View Poll Results: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

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Thread: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

  1. #41
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    We will never know whether or not Lincoln was racist. We can only judge him by what he said and what he did. His statements could have been made for purely political reasons since most people (the vast majority) believed in the crap he was saying about blacks. But standards of racism change in time, things like selling children as sex slaves really don't. They're evil. Lincoln gets a pass from most people because he signed the emancipation proclamation. As unpleasant as some of his words were, I can understand why he's so revered.


    This is EXACTLY my point.

    Lincolns MANY faults and bad calls are papered over with respect because he did one great thing: he signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

    For a long time, it was the same with Columbus. His misdeeds were papered over and ignored because of the one great thing he was credited with: discovering "America".

    If you're going to strip away the conventional wallpaper from one historical figure and damn him for his misdeeds, then to be consistent you should treat all historical figures in a similar fashion... including the ones you like.

    Columbus was a sumbitch. Lincoln was a sumbitch. They both had feet of clay. Probably neither was really a nice man. But they both did something great, and many people choose to revere them for the one great thing than revile them for the many (presumably lesser) wrongs.

    Be consistent.

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  2. #42
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It astounds me that we still honor this horrible, horrible man with a holiday. He was a greedy, racist murderer. Why not commemorate someone or something worthwhile instead?
    It is clear that most who have voted on this do not know what Columbus day celebrates.

    And I do not mean this to insult anyone.

    Columbus day is not about what happened on his 2nd trip when he went back with 17 ships and 1,300 Spanish military men, farmers, craftsmen, and clergy, in early November 1493 leading to a lot of really bad things, or even the next many years of slavery and death.

    It's not even about his initial landing in 1492. It's 100% about him making the round trip which led to what came long after the slavery, death and destruction.

    It is about that fact that it eventually brought to this continent the Greatest Experiment in Human History. That being our Democratic Republic based on the two most important Documents ever created by mere mortal Humans, the Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution.

    History is replete with examples of explorers taking advantage of people that were seen at the time as, uncultured, or uncivilized. heathens.

    Where would or whole history have been had this continent not been discovered for another 100 or even 50 years?

    Fact is we are today the SUM of everything we have experienced every minute of our existence and the same is is true of the evolution of any Nation for good or bad, and I believe our Nations effect on the world and everyone on it has been for the better in the long run.

    Imagine what the world would be like had Hitler not been stopped or the Expansionism of Japan, or the USSR not been held in check because of the Cold War.

    Has there things we should never be proud of? Of course, but we need to look forward as we keep in mind the failures of the past and set out to only do better.

    Just my view of the reality that is life.

  3. #43
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Except he didn't. That is why I do not think he deserves a holiday. We know the Vikings were here before Columbus, and it is quite likely that many others "discovered" it before him. We should make a bigger deal out of Leif Erikson day.

    Stipulated. There were other explorers who were, in their own ways, just as important: Magellan, Vasco de Gama, Lewis and Clark, etc.

    The vikings did land here yes, and found one short-lived colony. The problem is they didn't announce it to the world, and their discovery did not lead to massive colonization of the "new" land by Europeans... hence it just isn't as historically significant.

    Okay, Columbus wasn't so great. But his voyage was the precursor for the exploration and colonization of the Americas. Historically, we chose to draw the line there and credit Columbus.

    Maybe that was a mistake. But don't strip him of his historical importance simply because he was a bastard. Most historical figures were bastards of one sort or another.

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    I haven't noticed many conservatives accepting that excuse when it comes to Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder, born 1879.
    "My God, she thought blacks were inferior. She actually said so. Planned Parenthood is racist, they're trying to genocide black unborn babies, it's all a big evil conspiracy!!"

    It's like, show me a white person born in 1879 who didn't think blacks were inferior.
    That's the way history goes. I'm careful with my judgements, even though I am incredibly wary of eugenics and have noticed its steady rise with discussing autism and other disabilities.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 10-11-10 at 07:48 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    We will never know whether or not Lincoln was racist. We can only judge him by what he said and what he did.\ .

    mmmm kay:

    While appreciatively discussing Lincolnís moderation, Foner takes an unblinking look at the blots on his record: a court case during his lawyer years when he defended a Southerner trying to repossess a slave family that had claimed its freedom in Illinois; his early opposition to political rights for blacks; his stubborn belief in the need to deport American blacks, even after the scheme had become untenable; his statement that he conducted the war to preserve the Union, regardless of whether slavery survived; and an astonishing remark he once made that held blacks responsible for bringing on the Civil War because of their presence in America.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/bo...eynolds-t.html

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Why do people say Columbus discovered America? He didn't discover it. He wasn't even the first European to set foot in the Americas. The ignorance on what he did needs to stop.

    1. The Vikings were the first Europeans in the Americas. Evidence of this has been found in Canada and has been public knowledge for over 50 years.

    2. Nobody other than the first people to cross into the Americas through the Bering straight discovered the Americas. Columbus found them and recorded their existence.

    An ignorant mentality will lead people to believe that Columbus discovered anything or was even the first European to get to the Americas. It's kind of an insult to most Native Americans to treat them and their lands as having been discovered. They weren't discovered. They were already there.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    I never understood why Americans had Christopher Columbus day. His life was a travesty and the things he did were horrific. Besides, we now know that the Vikings discovered the Americas long before Columbus did, so I don't see the point anymore.

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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    I like the idea of a Lewis and Clark day. That being said, I would like to remind people that this is no longer in the realm of historical studies or dark American public history lesson. This has long since been in the realm of historical mythology. With mythology, it is incredibly difficult to remove such icons because they are deeply ingrained in our culture. It is no longer good enough to revitalize a different portion of history to counterbalance someone like Columbus, you have to deal with the entire American story that has been crafted for centuries.

    Edit: The defense of that story will be tremendous, and perhaps rightfully so ( I somewhat lean in this direction). Likewise, any modern proposition may be lacking in support, and further, support down the road. Sometimes the mythology needs to be upheld even when the scholar sees differently. There are going to be those of us researching figures and create propositions that so and so was better. Then the popular historians will use those scholars works to talk to the masses about what is best, perhaps exaggerating their points to make sales soar for the masses in comparison to the regular historical community. Historians have to accept that in some ways they are apart from the regular trends of American mythology. In a way, they could even embrace it-some have. Others, hold history as some sort of tool to punish the US for its bad deeds-like Zinn. I am not such a man.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 10-11-10 at 08:12 PM.
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  9. #49
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    I like the idea of a Lewis and Clark day. That being said, I would like to remind people that this is no longer in the realm of historical studies or dark American public history lesson. This has long since been in the realm of historical mythology. With mythology, it is incredibly difficult to remove such icons because they are deeply ingrained in our culture. It is no longer good enough to revitalize a different portion of history to counterbalance someone like Columbus, you have to deal with the entire American story that has been crafted for centuries.

    Edit: The defense of that story will be tremendous, and perhaps rightfully so ( I somewhat lean in this direction). Likewise, any modern proposition may be lacking in support, and further, support down the road. Sometimes the mythology needs to be upheld even when the scholar sees differently. There are going to be those of us researching figures and create propositions that so and so was better. Then the popular historians will use those scholars works to talk to the masses about what is best, perhaps exaggerating their points to make sales soar for the masses in comparison to the regular historical community. Historians have to accept that in some ways they are apart from the regular trends of American mythology. In a way, they could even embrace it-some have. Others, hold history as some sort of tool to punish the US for its bad deeds-like Zinn. I am not such a man.
    Thank you for this post.
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  10. #50
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    Re: Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    I like the idea of a Lewis and Clark day. That being said, I would like to remind people that this is no longer in the realm of historical studies or dark American public history lesson. This has long since been in the realm of historical mythology. With mythology, it is incredibly difficult to remove such icons because they are deeply ingrained in our culture. It is no longer good enough to revitalize a different portion of history to counterbalance someone like Columbus, you have to deal with the entire American story that has been crafted for centuries.

    Edit: The defense of that story will be tremendous, and perhaps rightfully so ( I somewhat lean in this direction). Likewise, any modern proposition may be lacking in support, and further, support down the road.

    Exactly right. I would go further and say that our "historical mythology" is IMPORTANT to us, that it serves an actual purpose: it helps identify us as a people, as a culture and a nation.

    Strip away all the myths, and you're stripping away a lot of the glue that binds us together. Reveal, and teach the children, all the faults and failings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Chris Columbus, Ben Franklin, etc etc... and you deflate a lot of the positive mythos surrounding their nation and their history and culture. The ramifications of doing this are not to be underestimated. A people who feel no pride in their nation or their culture are a people without an anchor, easily blown away by the tides of history.

    Yes, I realize I'm arguing in favor of puttying over some of the facts about historical figures for the sake of nationalism. It's the same reason why I say that throwing all traditions overboard simply because they're old is another way of making a society come unglued and disunified. People are held together by a certain quantity of shared values and shared mythos. If you don't believe me, ask a Marine Corps DI why they teach Marines about Chesty Puller, the halls of Montezuma and the Shores of Tripoli.

    Without some degree of shared values and shared mythos, my vested intrest in caring what happens to some guy in NYC or LA becomes much more abstract and much less important to me.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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