Editor’s Note: Every year on Columbus Day we see a surge in traffic to this post, originally authored by Tommy De Seno for the 2010 holiday. When we saw a similar bump this morning, we decided to feature it here on the Main Feed for all who haven’t read it before.
I’m sure it’s happened to you, as it did to me again last night: Some starry-eyed collegian told me Christopher Columbus shouldn’t be celebrated because of his treatment of Indians, armed with nothing more than her University professor’s insistence.
If Mark Twain was right that a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth has a chance to put on its shoes, imagine the damage a lie can do over 500 years.
Let me introduce you to Francisco de Bobadilla – liar and Columbus usurper. The criticism of Columbus today comes from de Bobadilla. Who was he? The man who wanted Columbus’ job as Governor of Hispaniola.
In 1500, the King and Queen sent him here to investigate claims that Columbus wasn’t being fair to the European settlers (which means Columbus was protecting the Indians). So de Bobedilla came here, and in just a few short days investigated (with no telephones or motorized vehicles to help him), then arrested Columbus and his brothers for Indian mistreatment and sent them back to Spain, sans a trial. Oh yeah, he appointed himself Governor. Coup de Coeur for power lead to Coup d’ etat, as usual.
The King and Queen called shenanigans and sent for de Bobadilla two years later, but he drowned on the trip home. Columbus was reinstated as Admiral. So what we know of Columbian malfeasance comes from a defrocked liar, de Bobadilla.
Nor was Columbus involved in the slave trade, as America haters like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky have asserted. One of his boats crashed in Haiti. He had no room for 39 men, so he started a colony there. Columbus came back a year later to find the Taino Indians killed all of them and left them where they fell. Columbus went to war with the Tainos and took 500 POWs, not slaves. They were released after the war. Big difference.
Also wrong is blaming Columbus for bringing genocidal microbes to kill the Indians. His detractors make fun of him for thinking he was in the East. So was his evil plan then to bring disease to wipe out the East?
Europeans didn’t know of germs until Italian physicist Girolamo Fracastoro proposed the theory 40 years after Columbus died. Also, had an Indian built a boat and traveled to Europe and back, he would have contaminated the Indians too. Trans-continental contamination was going to happen at some point, making the first carriers irrelevant.
Brown University recently changed the name of the holiday from Columbus Day to “Fall Weekend” due to the Columbus slave allegations. Hypocrisy alert: Brown University was founded with slave trade money, according to their own report. But they didn’t vote to change the name of their college! Hypocrites.
Happy Columbus Day!