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Thread: Should we celebrate Columbus day?

  1. #1
    Murder isn't so bad...
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    Exclamation Should we celebrate Columbus day?

    Hi! Sorry to everyone out of the U.S. who isn't as interested in the subject. Anyway, I know this question has been flying around a lot recently and since today's Columbus day, I thought I'd do a blog post on it. Well, here it is.
    Be sure to leave a comment either here or on my blog letting me know what you think. Thanks!
    http://incessantdroningofaboredwrite...celebrate-him/

  2. #2
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Nah. The guy was a first-rank creep.

    If the idea is to have an Italian-American holiday, lets celebrate more benign explorers like Giovanni da Verazzano or Filippo Mazzei, or Alessandra Malaspina, a friend of Thomas Jefferson's.

  3. #3
    i luv you giant bear statue Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    I think celebrating him is misguided at best. Though I do have fond memories of learning about Columbus as a small child, and I was quite disillusioned later on.

    Right now I work at a very liberal charter school--we did not have a holiday today, Columbus Day was not on the classroom calendars, and Columbus was not mentioned at all.

  4. #4
    Murder isn't so bad...
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    I'm glad to hear that, everyone! :-) In case you didn't see, this was at the top of my post. I love this pic. Really represents my feelings about him!

  5. #5
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    How many idols could withstand the scrutiny of far away hindsight? Witness all the mourning and eulogizing over the recently late Steve Jobs, conveniently forgetting the movie The Pirates of Silicon Valley which (along with other accounts) depicted him as a miserable excuse for a human being. Even Dr. King had his human frailties, but one is not supposed to mention such out of “political correctness.” Christopher Hitches even dared to write a scathing “expose” on Mother Teresa.

    Columbus’s voyages, as self-serving and -motivated as they were, were a momentous achievement. The fact that bands of Vikings (and quite likely other isolated groups of Europeans blown off course while venturing into the Atlantic) visited what came to be known as America is irrelevant. They hadn’t realized the significance of what they discovered and the “New World” remained unknown to Europeans in 1492, as were the people living here. Columbus to his dying day insisted he had landed in Asia. That too is irrelevant as the fact remains that Europeans now knew of what he had discovered regardless of where it was located in fact. They now knew how to get here.

    Columbus took a far more profound personal risk than had Steve Jobs, and I think what he accomplished was “at least” on a par with giving the world the iPod. God only knows how long into the future would have the New World remained unknown to the Old World, and how radically different life would be now, had it not been for Colombus.

    It never ceases to amaze me how often people denigrate the very forbearers who made their lives possible; made it possible to sit in a nice comfortable house or apartment pecking away at keyboards while doing so.
    Last edited by Donald Schneider; 10-11-2011 at 05:57 PM.

  6. #6
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Schneider View Post
    The fact that bands of Vikings (and quite likely other isolated groups of Europeans blown off course while venturing into the Atlantic) visited what came to be known as America is irrelevant. They hadn’t realized the significance of what they discovered and the “New World” remained unknown to Europeans in 1492, as were the people living here.
    Actually, the Scandanavians who landed in Canada did meet people here, and did report that to Europe. And they didn't arrive here by being "blown off course". They were actively searching for viable settlements. I'm not sure why you think they didn't realize the significance of another land mass. Or do you think that because they were looking to settle, rather than to exploit and return to (with a marketing tag of "new world") that they somehow had less invested in the trip?
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
    Actually, the Scandanavians who landed in Canada did meet people here, and did report that to Europe. And they didn't arrive here by being "blown off course". They were actively searching for viable settlements. I'm not sure why you think they didn't realize the significance of another land mass. Or do you think that because they were looking to settle, rather than to exploit and return to (with a marketing tag of "new world") that they somehow had less invested in the trip?
    No. As I said, the fact is that in 1492 America remined unknown to Europeans. It would have remained so at that time had it not been for Columbus.

  8. #8
    ~~~~*~~~~ backslashbaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Schneider View Post
    ...

    It never ceases to amaze me how often people denigrate the very forbearers who made their lives possible; made it possible to sit in a nice comfortable house or apartment pecking away at keyboards while doing so.
    This is a bit much, isn't it? Am I crazy, or are you implying that modern civilization depended on this continent being permanently settled by Europeans?

    I think I'm offended on behalf of both my Native American and European forebears Both groups were doing fine, really.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW firedrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Schneider View Post

    It never ceases to amaze me how often people denigrate the very forbearers who made their lives possible; made it possible to sit in a nice comfortable house or apartment pecking away at keyboards while doing so.
    And it never ceases to amaze me that people could honor a person who marked the beginning of the end for the original inhabitants of the continent. I'm sure their descendants are eternally grateful for Manifest Destiny and all it entailed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by backslashbaby View Post
    This is a bit much, isn't it? Am I crazy, or are you implying that modern civilization depended on this continent being permanently settled by Europeans?

    I think I'm offended on behalf of both my Native American and European forebears Both groups were doing fine, really.
    I’m saying history is as it is, and if that were not the case, you quite likely wouldn’t be here to be offended “on behalf” of Native Americans.

    Why start moralizing in 1492? Anyone here have any English heritage? Let’s identify all the Englishmen with a significant amount of Anglo-Saxon blood in them. You’re a disgrace! Your ancestors drove the Celts, who were there first! to the peripheries of your main island, and off the island all together to Ireland. Pack your bags and go back to Germany and let the virtuous Celts reclaim their ancestral lands.

    Oh wait! The Celts weren’t there first either, come to think of it. They took the island from the native Bretons! Back to Eastern Europe for you (where some think the tribe originated)!

    And no one would ever think that Native American and African tribes ever warred amongst themselves for territory before ever encountering a white person. Unthinkable!

    Are you of European heritage? If so, exactly when are you going to take a break between crying through politically correct movies like Dances With Wolves (in which all whites (except the ever-virtuous Kevin Costner, of course) are depicted as devils incarnate or insane), to give your Volvo and house to some deserving Native American family and move back to your ancestral homeland in abject contrition?

    Or is it far more convenient just to watch Dances With Wolves twice a year and lambaste your forbearers and be metaphorically patted on the back for your enlightened attitudes?
    Last edited by Donald Schneider; 10-12-2011 at 05:42 PM.

  11. #11
    Two years old now. Lyra Jean's Avatar
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    I think Columbus should be taught in schools just like everyone else. He is an important historical figure.

    I don't see a need for a national holiday. Especially since I don't get the day off.
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  12. #12
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Schneider View Post
    No. As I said, the fact is that in 1492 America remined unknown to Europeans. It would have remained so at that time had it not been for Columbus.
    No, it didn't. The Scandanavians who abandoned the settlement in Newfoundland told other people about it. Or, do you not consider Scandinavia to be part of Europe?
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennontheisland View Post
    No, it didn't. The Scandanavians who abandoned the settlement in Newfoundland told other people about it. Or, do you not consider Scandinavia to be part of Europe?
    Please provide a source that states that in 1492 Europeans already knew of the existence of the Americas and that Columbus deliberately set out on a voyage to reach them or that others had since the time of the Viking explorations? If the existence of the Americas was already known within Europe, then why had Columbus been so obstinate in his belief that he had gone around the (a much smaller in his belief than in realty) globe and had reached India?

    By the way, I said other bands of Europeans might have reached America after having been blown off course, not the Vikings. They had indeed been exploring..
    Last edited by Donald Schneider; 10-12-2011 at 03:30 AM.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW firedrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Schneider View Post
    I’m saying history is as it is, and if that were not the case, you quite likely wouldn’t be here to be offended “on behalf” of Native Americans.

    Why start moralizing in 1492? Anyone here have any English heritage? Let’s identify all the Englishmen with a significant amount of Anglo-Saxon blood in them. You’re a disgrace! Your ancestors drove the Celts, who were there first! to the peripheries of your main island, and off the island all together to Ireland. Pack you bags and go back to Germany and let the virtuous Celts reclaim their ancestral lands.

    Oh wait! The Celts weren’t there first either, come to think of it. They took the island from the native Bretons! Back to Eastern Europe for you (where some think the tribe originated)!

    And no one would ever think that Native American and African tribes ever warred amongst themselves for territory before ever encountering a white person. Unthinkable!

    Are you of European heritage? If so, exactly when are you going to take a break between crying through politically correct movies like Dances With Wolves (in which all whites (except the ever-virtuous Kevin Costner, of course) are depicted as devils incarnate or insane), to give your Volvo and house to some deserving Native American family and move back to your ancestral homeland in abject contrition?

    Or is it far more convenient just to watch Dances With Wolves twice a year and lambaste your forbearers and be metaphorically patted on the back for your enlightened attitudes?
    Difference is that the native Americans are still around in reservations, in case you hadn't noticed. And, no, don't assume that those who live on reservations are all living off the profits of casinos either. Celts, Vikings, Saxons, whatever are long gone having been assimilated. The whole Manifest Destiny thing assured that native Americans would be isolated by being shoved onto reservations.

    Don't assume that all people of European heritage are misty-eyed and taken in by the new-age noble savage crap that is 'Dances with Wolves'. I wouldn't insult my Indian friends by thinking that way.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by firedrake View Post
    Difference is that the native Americans are still around in reservations, in case you hadn't noticed. And, no, don't assume that those who live on reservations are all living off the profits of casinos either. Celts, Vikings, Saxons, whatever are long gone having been assimilated. The whole Manifest Destiny thing assured that native Americans would be isolated by being shoved onto reservations.

    Don't assume that all people of European heritage are misty-eyed and taken in by the new-age noble savage crap that is 'Dances with Wolves'. I wouldn't insult my Indian friends by thinking that way.
    My point is that as soon as our race (i.e., homo sapiens, the human race, the only one there is of us!) reached a point of critical mass, competition for territory and natural resources became inevitable. This has been our sorry fate throughout history.

    Extended families grew to become tribes and develop a group identity based upon ancestry, physical appearance, religion, language, etc.. As a result, an “us” versus “them” mentality became engrained in our psyche. When conflict developed, there were victors and vanquished. That is the nature of combat. The victors reaped the fruits of victory, while the defeated suffered to various extents. Often, the decedents of the victors continued to reap the benefits of their ancestors’ martial victories down through the generations. That continues to this day.

    I’m tired of all we hypocritical white people tripping over one another with nauseating political correctness to voice “moral outrage” at the aggression and the war crimes of our ancestors and denounce them without renouncing all the material benefits said crimes made possible for us and that continue to this very day.

    Columbus was a pivotal figure in world civilization and for our country. Celebrate him for what he accomplished, not for his nonexistent sainthood.

    On a final note, the only way we are ever going to vanquish “racial” and ethnic conflicts is to eliminate the very notion of artificial races based entirely on superficial physical characteristics by massive intermarriage. However, many groups (including minority groups) do not desire this because they cherish their cultural traditions and, in some cases, religions. One cannot have it both ways.
    Last edited by Donald Schneider; 10-12-2011 at 03:35 AM.

  16. #16
    ~Charity~ writingismypassion's Avatar
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    Wow, such hostility!

    Stating that Columbus should not have a holiday to recognize him simply because of what the Europeans did to the Native Americans would be inappropriate, IMO. As has been stated, Europeans weren't the first race to ever do away with another. And we should keep in mind Native Americans were warring amongst themselves before the Europeans arrived, and for all we know they may have eventually wiped themselves out. That doesn't excuse what the Europeans did, however.

    That being said, my anwer to the OP is this: I'm not sure a holiday is necessary. Columbus certainly should be recognized for his achievement...even if he was mistaken. We should also continue to learn about Columbus in school because he did play a part in our history.
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  17. #17
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Yeah too much hostility, in the wrong forum. Feel free to air your views in the Let's talk about Christopher Columbus thread in P&CE forum.

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  18. #18
    ~~~~*~~~~ backslashbaby's Avatar
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    Yes, Donald, I'll respond over there if you'd like to repeat your argument in that thread.
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  19. #19
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    Columbus did nothing to the native Americans that they hadn't been doing to each other for centuries. The strong conquer or drive out the weak. The weak adapt and integrate or they die. Too many seem to have the opinion that native Americans lived in peace and harmony before Columbus arrived. They were just as prone to war, just as prone to killing and torture, just as prone to driving out the weak and taking over their land, as were the Europeans. The Europeans, due to sheer numbers, better technology, pots, pans, and whiskey, were simply better at it. But certainly not one iota less moral, less warlike, than any of the Native Americans.

    Trying to judge anyone from another era by today's standards is the mark of a fool.

    And, of course, people were coming to this country long, long before Columbus. Not just the Vikings, but the Welsh, and probably the Chinese. The Welsh fished offshore here for at least a century before Columbus arrived.

    Europeans knew there was land here. They just didn't know how extensive it was, what treasures it held, how good it would be for settlement.

    And anyone who believes they wouldn't have done the same thing the Europeans of that era did is not living in reality.

    Whether or not we celebrate Columbus Day matters not. But only a damned fool thinks Columbus was any different than they are, or any different than Geronimo or any other Native American.

  20. #20
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    Cool story, bro.

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    banned as an incurable tosspot billythrilly7th's Avatar
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    I still got love for Columbus.

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