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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The War on Columbus is a War on America

Columbus may have outfoxed the Spanish court and his rivals, but he is falling victim to the court of political correctness. The explorer who discovered America has become controversial because the very idea of America has become controversial.

There are counter-historical claims put forward by Muslim and Chinese scholars claiming that they discovered America first. And there are mobs of fake indigenous activists on every campus to whom the old Italian is as much of a villain as the bearded Uncle Sam.

Columbus Day parades are met with protests and some have been minimized or eliminated.

In a number of cities Columbus Day was transformed into Indigenous People's Day, which sounds like a Marxist terrorist group's holiday.

After making a shambles of his efforts at socialized medicine, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed on to Indigenous People's Day. What began in Berkeley, spread to Denver, Pheonix and Seattle, among other cities.

No American state has followed Venezuela's lead in renaming it Día de la Resistencia Indígena, or Day of Indigenous Resistance, which actually is a Marxist terrorist group's holiday, but the whole notion of celebrating the discovery of America has come to be seen as somehow shameful and worst of all, politically incorrect.

The shift from celebrating Columbus' arrival in America to commemorating it as an American tragedy by focusing on the tribes who had settled there earlier, rather than the American settlers, is a profound form of historical revisionism that hacks away at the origins of this country.

The attacks on Columbus Day have less to do with the distant descendants of those tribes, most of whom owe more of their ancestry to the later arrivals made possible by Columbus, than with the agenda of the left.

Anti-Columbus Day protests are mounted by La Raza, whose members, despite their indigenous posturing, are actually mostly descended from Spanish colonists, but who know that most Americans are too confused to rationally frame an objection to a protest by any minority group.

The absurdity is deepened by the linguistic and cultural ties between the Italian Columbus Day marchers and the Latino Anti-Columbus Day protesters with the latter set cynically exploiting white guilt to pretend that being the descendants of Southern European colonists makes them a minority.

If being descended from Southern Europeans makes you a minority, then Columbus, the parade marchers, the Greek restaurant owner nearby and even Rush Limbaugh are all "people of color."

Italian-Americans are the only bulwark against political correctness still keeping Columbus on the calendar, and that has made mayors and governors in cities and states with large Italian-American communities wary of tossing the great explorer completely overboard. But while Ferdinand and Isabella may have brought Columbus back in chains, modern day political correctness is erasing him from history and replacing him with a note reading, "I'm Sorry We Ever Landed Here."

But this is about more than one single 15th century Genoan with a complicated life who was neither a monster nor a saint. It is about whether America really has any right to exist at all. Is there any argument against celebrating Columbus Day, that cannot similarly be applied to the Fourth of July?

If Columbus is to be stricken from the history books in favor of ideological thugs like Malcolm X or Caesar Chavez, then America must soon follow. Columbus' crime is that he enabled European settlement of the continent.

If the settlement of non-Indians in North America is illegitimate, then any national state they created is also illegitimate.

It is easier to hack away at a nation's history by beginning with the lower branches.

Columbus is an easier target than America itself, though the left considers both colonialist vermin. Americans are less likely to protest over the banishment of Columbus to the politically correct gulag  than over the banishing America itself, which was named after another one of those colonialist explorers, Amerigo Vespucci. First they came for Columbus Day and then for the Fourth of July.

The battles being fought over Columbus Day foreshadow the battles to be fought over the Fourth of July. As Columbus Day joins the list of banned holidays in more cities, one day there may not be a Fourth of July, just a day of Native Resistance to remember the atrocities of the colonists with PBS documentaries comparing George Washington to Hitler.

These documentaries already exist, they just haven't gone mainstream. Yet.

We celebrate Columbus Day and the Fourth of July because that is our history. Had the Aztecs, the Mayans or the Iroquois Confederation developed the necessary technology and skills to cross the Atlantic and begin colonizing Europe, the fate of its native inhabitants would have been far uglier. The different perspectives on history often depend on which side you happen to be on.

To Americans, the Alamo is a shining moment of heroism. To the Mexicans who are the heirs of a colonialist empire far more ruthless than anything to be found north of the Rio Grande, the war was a plot to conquer Mexican territory. And neither side is altogether wrong, but choosing which version of history to go by is the difference between being an American or a Mexican.

A nation's mythology, its paragons and heroes, its founding legends and great deeds, are its soul. To replace them with another culture's perspective on its history is to kill that soul.

That is the ultimate goal of political correctness, to kill America's soul. To stick George Washington, Patrick Henry, Jefferson, James Bowie, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and all the rest on a shelf in a back room somewhere, and replace them with timelier liberal heroes. Move over Washington, Caesar Chavez needs this space. No more American heroes need apply.

Followed of course by no more America.

This is how it begins. And that is how it ends. Nations are not destroyed by atomic bombs or economic catastrophes; they are lost when they lose any reason to go on living. When they no longer have enough pride to go on fighting to survive.

The final note of politically correct lunacy comes from a headline in the Columbus Dispatch about the Columbus Day festival in the city of Columbus, Ohio. "Italian Festival honors controversial explorer with its own Columbus Day parade".

Once the great discover of America, Columbus is now dubbed "controversial" by a newspaper named after him, in a city named after him .And if he is controversial, how can naming a city after him and a newspaper after the city not be equally controversial?

Can the day when USA Today has a headline reading, "Some cities still plan controversial 4th of July celebration of American independence" be far behind?






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.

11 comments:

MikeyParks said...

My Apple calendar has both Columbus Day and "Indigenous People's Day." I don't know who invented and implemented IPD, but it was without my knowledge and consent. The calendar won't let me delete it. This is how this crap gets started – by stealth. Make you wonder who's running things. The far Left?

LondonMale said...

Wishing you Happy Leif Erikson Day.
From an outsider's perspective, perhaps the day can be used to prompt historical discussion in schools as to the various explorers who reached the Americas...including non-continual Welsh and Scots settlements?
Plus the Rav Glazerson and Professor Haralick theory linking ancient Israelites to the Mayans.

Cleaneth_Johns said...

It is sad that no Conservative, or for that matter no one at all, has suggested the unsuitable but is right - that these demonstrations, these groups and their speeches do not carry Constitutional Protections derived from the free speech and assembly clauses of the Constitution.


A consensus has been reached among among many Americans - not only the Left but also among other Radicals like Conservatives, and many Americans living normal lives, probably a majority - that Constitutional Rights are supremacist rights.


They believe that any law, practice or policy - Federal, State or local - that infringes on the exercise of a right is unconstitutional. They do not adhere that the exercise of the right is protected from unconstitutional infringements only - not just infringements.


Examples of holding a right above all else abound. In California the State Legislature passed a law to require parental permission for a video store to sell certain video games to their children. The law was struck down as a violation of the right of the video company's free speech. The same happened when local laws tried to prevent the opening of x-rated book shops within some number of feet of a school. In New York the arrest of a Occupy Wall Street type for burning an American flag in the street was overturned because it was protected speech - that is, it was speech.


No one in California passed a law punishing anyone for publishing an x-rated video, or writing them, producing them or - for that matter - bringing them to market and selling them. In New York the law that made it a violation to burn anything in the street was not created to suppress speech. It became law to protect us from fires. And the laws that prevented x-rated businesses near schools was not an attempt to punish producers who run porn shops or produce sex shows for doing so, not did it attempt to punish people who work in those places.

In these examples an infringement on even the most trivial application of that right takes precedence over any other law or policy no matter how fundamentally part of our social mores and structure.


In a second post I will try to explain what an alternative configuration of rights would entail.

Sandy Kramer said...

Wishing Senator Warren a Happy Indigenous People's Day.

Michael Mostofsky said...

Another incredibly insightful essay. As a child I always admired Columbus as the reason I was alive. Without his actions none of the good that has come out of the USA would be realized. My family might've been destroyed in Europe with all others who didn't get out in time. Democracy wouldn't look anything like it has. Human progress would not look anything like it does today. I have gratitude which is an emotion not felt often enough nowadays. .

Anonymous said...

Let the fate of the American Indians be a warning to all Americans; If you invite in an invading population (refugees from muslim countries) be prepared to be overwhelmed and subjugated.

Anonymous said...

The Alamo is currently getting a left wing PC facelift. Operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for decades, tasteful and free to the public, a massive smear campaign was launched by lefties against them. As one local politician said we are redoing the Alamo as a monument to the struggle of all indigenous peoples yearning to be free. Happy horsesh!t. If you haven’t seen it get to San Antonio ASAP before it’s history is revised beyond recognition to those that know.

Solange Silverman said...

Columbus did NOT discover America. He wasn't even the first European to land here. He did horrific things to the indigenous people, who had already discovered America. Sure, he was a great and courageous explorer, but, truth be told, he was also very mercenary and very brutal. However, to his credit, he smuggled Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition to America. To accurately reflect history, he does need to be demoted to his proper place among the explorers, and the truth needs to be told about him with the understanding that those were different times with different ideas and mores. He does not need a day, unless, of course, we're willing to give all the explorers their own holidays. So, sorry, I have to disagree with you on this one and say "Goodbye, Columbus."

Aisla Portland said...

We in western Europe can only despair if this truly is an issue.
Does anyone think that debauched former cultures now gone, let alone the appalling contemporary alternatives are; in any way so trashed and gnawed at by leftists and moral pigmies?
Do Arabs, Muslims, Turks, Russians ,Chinese or Africans also let traitors and fleck spittles kids on campus do this to their cultural capital? And ever wonder why we let our elite get away with trash and treasonable like this?

Empress Trudy said...

After they’re done deleting all history and they’re still furious, we can ask ‘about what?’

Anonymous said...

To previous commenters. You see in others what you do. Northamericans exterminated the indigenous population whom even didn't do human sacrifices. The Spanish Crown was the first european country to abolish slavery for indians de facto, and for example they founded many universities everywhere in America while anglosaxons were being pretty much racist with their neighbors. What percentage og indigenous people do you have now, and what percentage in South America? English created the Black Legend towards the spanish people because they were their rivals. You win, but only apparently, morals of the Hispanic Empire remains.
And yes, Columbus discovered America, becouse he went with old kwoledges at hand, and confirmed what the Bible, other holly writtings and some ancien Greeks pointed. You can discover something for you and your village, but not for the nations of the world as Cristóbal Colón did. Eduardo, España.

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