Columbus Day. A Day of Infamy? Not Hardly!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Columbus Day is the day leftists love to hate.
Chris is blamed for everything from “evil, EVIL, colonialism, to destruction of the environment. Some even blame Colombo for slavery, and even charge him with genocide of the indigenous peoples he found here. All of it smacks of some ethereal, imaginative, leftist, “Blame America First” propaganda -- otherwise known as Bovine Scatology.
I have never seen any evidence that Christopher Columbus actually “discovered” America. Rather, he seemed to have simply bumped into it on is way to, er, India or China? “It” turned out to be Hispaniola where now resides Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
It is reliably reported that he actually touched the America’s well south of the equator and thought he had discovered Eden.
It is said that Columbus was one of the most confused men – ever. He didn’t know where he was going when he left, he didn’t know where he was when he got there, and he didn’t know where he had been when he got home! (Same thing happened to me once on a weekend pass from Fort Sill!)
Truth be told, we modern Americans haven’t a clue as to WHO, exactly, discovered this place we call America. We think we know the people we erroneously call “Indians” were here first having crossed the land bridge where now exists the Bering Strait between what is now Alaska and Russia.
There are claims that the Chinese explored the western coasts of the two Americas long before Columbus was even a twinkle in his father’s eye.
There are accounts that Europeans actually fished the waters off the coast of what became Newfoundland as far back as the 1400’s.
Then there is the report of the Vikings and their settlements on the northeastern coast of North America. Some even claim the Erikson boys, themselves Vikings, explored the northeastern coast and may even have settled here for a short while as early as 1001.
But the more we dig, and I do mean DIG, we find even more astonishing evidence that white men were on this continent long, long, before any of the explorers we know of today.
Anthropologists have discovered the skeletons of two Caucasian males that date back to at least 9,000 years ago. They were found on the west coast of the Americas. Now, where the heck did THEY come from – and how the heck did they get here?
But Columbus gets the credit, deservedly, or not.
I got my basic education in the public school system where I was taught: “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” I was taught that it was on the 12th day of October of that year that land was sighted. THAT is Columbus Day.
So, maybe Columbus didn’t “discover” America. But he did map a sea route to the western continents that was the most reliable of its time.
Columbus is not to blame for the mess we have made of the Americas. Only in the minds of those who must denigrate their own country in order to feel important is such an idea acceptable. It is WE, not Columbus, who must accept responsibility for the good and the bad we have created on these shores. Unfortunately, those who hatch such theories, blaming Columbus for all our ills, are not, it would seem, willing to accept responsibility. But then, that is America’s most pressing problem today -- lack of responsibility for one’s self and one’s actions.
What really gripes me is that we celebrated Columbus Day on Monday, October 10th, this year instead of October 12, the day of record. Heck, I even raised my flag in celebration of Columbus Day -- for about ten minutes -- until my conservative traditionalist self forced me to bring it down. I could not be true to my convictions and put the flag up on Monday the 10th. It will go up on October 12th.
Moving historical dates about on the calendar, to suit a government payroll, simply confuses the record of America’s history. When one’s history and heritage is confused it is generally lost. It is the greatest loss a people can suffer because it deprives them of their knowledge of self. That’s when we become just another face in the crowd, a number, a zip code, an IP address, anything but a living, breathing, human being created in the image of God, Himself.
When a nation of people loses the knowledge of self, they become like sheep, easily controlled – and ruled. If you need evidence of that, I invite you to look at modern day America.
My generation of individualists is dying out. And I am not sorry that I am. I do not wish to live to see the inevitable end of my country – death at her own hand.
No, I did not get all of this from the moving of a date on a calendar. But, IT WAS the straw that put the camel in traction… at least for me.
Feel free to join me in celebrating Columbus Day tomorrow, October 12th.
J. D. Longstreet