Why? For one thing, as the helpful graphic inset between my Columbus Day pictures below, to celebrate 'Indigenous Peoples Day', over 'Columbus Day', necessarily means celebrating the mass slaughter of indigenous peoples, which some indigenous peoples, perpetrated upon other indigenous peoples, to further the customs of their own (literally) blood thirsty religions, such as the tens of thousands slaughtered in a single day (on a regular basis) to appease the 'indigenous' people's gods of the Aztecs. One thing that Columbus's discovery of The New World heralded, was the putting of an end to horrors such as that, and no, none of the other atrocities attributable to 'The West' come even close to that level of barbarity. And no, such barbarity and slaughter wasn't limited to the Aztecs (or perhaps you were unaware of what Pocahontas's pop was up to prior to the English landing at Jamestown?).
Did some not so good things follow from Columbus's discovery of The New World? Yes. Welcome to human history - do pay attention please, because if you're looking for easy answers you came to the wrong world. And after years of being bombarded with unsubstantiated charges and hysterical outrage from the most outrageous folks imaginable, I think it's time, even with as small a nod as this is, to explicitly disregard the rantings of the failed and the botched, and to lift a glass of cheer and celebrate the heroic adventures of those who actually dared to do what others feared; deeds which, even though tinged with a great deal of error, led to the greatest advances for mankind in all of our nations known histories. Celebrate this day, even moreso because everything it represents is loathed and feared today by those who oppose celebrating this day (as the 'Sultan of Knish' said so well) of commemorating the voyage that Christopher Columbus undertook to take in 1492.
In Other Words: To Indigenous Peoples Everywhere:
Happy Columbus Day!
"In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."
|If you don't know the rest, or refuse to repeat it, your ignorance is too deep for me to fix in so little time and space. I won't bother a protest, qualification, any hint of apology or take any other sort of a defensive stand on what is and should be recognized and celebrated on this day.
What we like to think of Captain Kirk doing, Christopher Columbus actually did, and he did it without electronic wizardry, without science officers or communication specialists or even replaceable extras in red shirts, but with only wooden boats, a compass and a number of guesses about how the extent of the world might be shaped.
He and some ninety crew, set out on an uncharted ocean with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, and it was incredibly brave and bold, and resulted in Western Civilization expanding westward around the globe, and even entertaining the notion that we today need to defend or justify that, is not only stupidity on stilts, but a repudiation of all that is good.
In fourteen hundred ninety-twoColumbus sailed the ocean blue.