The NFL team from Washington D.C. continues to face the pressure to choose a different mascot. Phil Simms made a personal and public statement when he refused to refer to the Washington team by their traditional referent. But, many with that same sensibility will enjoy a day off today courtesy of Christopher Columbus, he who did not discover America.
Where is the outcry to be rid of Columbus Day? To let this holiday continue without some formal change as to that which we celebrate, calls into question every appeal to get history correct.
My undergrad experience included a course in Comparative Civilizations. Dr. Rutledge, a double PhD including work in anthropology, made us uncomfortably aware of the way Native Americans experienced life with their new found neighbors from Europe. He reported the astonishing figures associated with nothing short of genocide. The sheen came of Columbus Day during that course.
Nearly 30 years ago I sat in a Master’s level course where this bit of information seemed pertinent to the discussion of The American Religious Experience. When I referred to the information learned just a couple of years earlier, the professor panned the information as inaccurate. There was little point in arguing. I was the student, he the professor. What did I know. I ignored the rather arrogant dismissal and from that point forward put less and less stock in the ideas of the professor with the Oxford PhD. It was one of the first signals that religion will continue a narrative to support its own ideology. After all genocide is genocide whether here or in Germany.
Recently a friend re-posted an article from 2010, Christopher Columbus? True Legacy: Cruelty and Slavery. It is still pertinent as today. The writer begins,
Once again, it’s time to celebrate Columbus Day. Yet, the stunning truth is: If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus’ reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish.
Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?
If you’d like to know the true story about Christopher Columbus, please read on. But I warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart.
I wonder where the social sensibility police are today? Where are those who make a monstrous issue out of sports mascots? Likely at home enjoying a day off thanks to Christopher Columbus.
Let me be clear. Any racist referent should be taboo and expunged from public discourse and private musings. And, any national holiday predicated on a false narrative should come to an end as well. Oh, the irony.
Our office is open today. We say, “No,” to Christopher Columbus. You should too.