Monday, October 8, 2018

Still Celebrating Columbus

In honor of Columbus Day today, PragerU has a new video, presented by Steven Crowder.

Crowder’s purpose is to debunk the trendy idea that Columbus committed genocide, which he did not.

screen shot from "Goodbye, Columbus Day,"
from PragerU

Did natives die? Actually, quite a lot, on the island of Hispaniola, where Columbus first landed—but not from warfare. They died of infectious diseases. It turns out that, back almost half a millennium before medical science discovered the causes of infectious diseases under a microscope, what you don’t know can hurt you. What would have been a mild cold to a group of people used to certain germs could be catastrophically life threatening to a group of people never introduced to those germs.
It’s hard to hold someone accountable for something they had no way of knowing about nor could they have anticipated.

Also, while there has been war, there has never been anything in the way of policy or practice that could accurately be called genocide against native peoples in this country.

Another thing that’s not true, as Crowder puts it, is that natives

lived in harmony with the environment until Columbus arrived, and European settlers destroyed the land with their evil technology.
Truth? Not only did the Natives brutally take out PEOPLE, but they took out entire forests and hunted species to extinction.
And one more myth that’s not true: that natives lived in pacifistic harmony until Western civilization introduced war. Not so. As Crowder tells it,

The truth is... not so much. When Columbus arrived, the islands were inhabited by two main tribes: the Arawaks, who were passive and friendly, and the Caribs, who were vicious cannibals. The Arawaks actually lived in fear of the Caribs for—you guessed it—the reasons being that they hunted them down to enslave them and eat them. Yes—eat them. Ironically, we get the name “Caribbean Islands” from those famous people-eaters.
The only way settlers were able to conquer this land was through the help of Native Americans who teamed up with them to settle the score with other tribes who were even bigger jerks than they were!
That’s not even to mention the populations in Central and South America, famous for ritual human sacrifice. You think Cortes was able to command and conquer with only 500 or so Conquistadors? Of course not! It took 50,000 screaming, ANGRY allied natives who’d had it up to here with being tortured, enslaved and forced to carry gold for the other native Aztecs. At some point, they decided to roll the dice and go with the guys sporting funny beards and metal hats.
So why do we get told about Columbus and the evil he supposedly committed? Good question:

Columbus is not the issue here, and never was. This whole “Indigenous Peoples Day” charade is about teaching your children to despise Western civilization and anybody who dare defend it.
The next logical question, of course, is, Why do people teaching our children these things so despise Western civilization? And the answer to that—which is beyond the scope of this particular PragerU video—is that certain people use a misguided but common self-disparagement disguised as humility as a manipulation tool to get weaker, immature minds to submit to assertions of power over them.

I wrote a fuller discussion (including a lot of PragerU videos that day too) in “Self-Hatred Isn’t Virtuous,” from August of this year.  

Last year I also spent Columbus Day debunking some of the myths, probably also worth reviewing, here. 

Truth is always a good way to celebrate this historically memorable day, and every day.
Here’s the full PragerU video:

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