19 thoughts on “The Invention of Christopher Columbus, American Hero

  1. “Rather than celebrate what he did achieve, admit that fortune had something to do with his success, or recognize the horrors he wrought, he unapologetically defended himself and blamed any suggestion of failure or incompetence on others. ”

    Sound like someone a little more modern?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It isn’t difficult to understand or appreciate early America’s veneration of Christopher Columbus. Just one detail illustrates how so many could relate to his story: the fact that all who funneled out of Europe to arrive in the New World did so exactly as Columbus did, in small ships that crossed a perilous sea.

    More difficult to understand or appreciate is why the Columbus mythology must be debunked. What are we supposed to learn from the Nation doing so?

    Not much, from what I can see. The piece offers no improvement on the historical record, no insight regarding the events themselves which transpired. It offers only defamation, first of Columbus himself, then of anyone who might have been inspired by his example, especially the many — whole generations of Americans — who were.

    This being Columbus Day, I suppose we are now meant to celebrate our remorse at having been deplorable.

    No thanks.

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    1. “More difficult to understand or appreciate is why the Columbus mythology must be debunked. What are we supposed to learn from the Nation doing so?”

      It’s important because the entire political project of a large subset of the right is the restoration of America to some bygone era of greatness. This ideology assumes a divinely ordained America that is somehow uniquely benevolent in the history of civilization, whose virtue must be defended. To have nuanced discussions about America’s future requires a proper accounting of its past.

      Also, it’s generally considered unhealthy for adults to believe in fairly tales.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. RE: “It’s important because…”

      That was pretty much my assumption. Debunking Columbus is necessary for ideological reasons. The ideology that requires the debunking obviously isn’t strong enough to survive on its own merits.

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      1. “The ideology that requires the debunking obviously isn’t strong enough to survive on its own merits.”

        You’re arguing in favor of perpetuating inaccurate historical myths as the premise to right-wing ideology and it’s the OTHER ideology that isn’t strong enough to survive on it’s own merits?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “You’re arguing in favor of perpetuating inaccurate historical myths…”

        I’m not aware of any inaccurate historical myths involving Columbus that require debunking. The factual record of his voyage and its significance are well documented and readily available.

        You and The Nation make it sound as if there is some great conspiracy of false consciousness that must be exposed, lest our future as a nation be imperiled. That sounds to me like fear of bogeymen.

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        1. RE: “You and The Nation make it sound as if there is some great conspiracy of false consciousness that must be exposed . . . ”

          Not really; it’s just that when I speak on a topic, I like to have some background information and context, and I try to be as accurate as possible. If you prefer the fairy tale version of events, that’s totally fine and valid. We just have different rhetorical strategies.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “it’s just that when I speak on a topic, I like to have some background information and context…”

          In that case, what did you learn from The Nation piece? Were you in danger of committing some historical error, from which now you are safe?

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  3. Heroes are in the eyes of the cultures affected. To early Americans, and still today, Columbus was the heroic figure who “discovered” the New World.

    To the surviving indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and their descendants, he is probably on par with other natural disasters such as famines, hurricanes, pestilence and merciless conquerors that can destroy cultures.

    Our own history has always had a mix of myth and reality, just like any other nation in the world. We are unique, but so are other cultures. We have had our share of good fortune via location and resources. We were a relatively blank slate upon which we drew up a system of governance that blended some others in history along with Western philosophies that had come about in the preceding centuries.

    Yet are we necessarily superior? We came out ahead in a couple of world wars and that helped. But that is a matter of a few generations. Cultures go back centuries, even millennia, so we have not proven anything more than that we have done well in a modern, industrial, capitalistic market which is relatively new.

    Accurate history is important. It keeps a nation grounded and bestows national humility which is a good thing. A moral society will use the present and future to right the wrongs of the past. Admission and understanding of those wrongs have to come first, however.

    IMHO

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Are we really going to continue to negatively judge historical events to suit some SJW agenda and make someone pay? It is history and things were different then. You people need to get a life and quit trying to negatively twist everything to suit your cause. What happened had a profound influence on the beginning of our great nation. Some of it good and some bad but we are here and we celebrate the accomplishments that made us such. That is why it is called history.

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    1. If you had bothered to read the article, which would have taken you all of 10 minutes, you would know that it is the traditional interpretation of the Columbian encounter that was “twisted to suit a cause.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What is equally disturbing is the liberal folks grasping at a known left wing periodical (rag) as a truthful source of historical events. The story oozed of far left wing bias but first I was even presented with an honorary chance to select left wing issues to “tell” Elizabeth Warren what was important to me and make a donation before I could read it. All I could think to tell her was f*$k socialism and there was no donation selection of 1 lira or a pay me to listen to your bs available. Go figure.

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    1. Maybe if you would listen to what the other side says with an open mind, you might be able to see what is being said instead of your anti-liberal tantrums that you continually post.

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      1. Try taking your own advice and listen to reason instead of trying to turn everything into a race issue with anti-conservative tantrums.

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