Why Columbus Day Needs To Stay

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/10/09/why-columbus-day-needs-to-stay/

Two years ago, the town of Wellesley approved by a narrow margin a proposal to call Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples Day.” And, unfortunately, this woke move is being repeated throughout the Commonwealth and the nation.

Wellesley is one of the wealthiest towns in America, as measured by average household income income. So why would progressives and liberals want to attack and denigrate the civilization that has given them such an enviable lifestyle and so many benefits?

Surrender to misplaced self-loathing. Virtue signaling without virtue. Self-righteousness based on nothing. Ingratitude.

Appearing to side with indigenous peoples against those purportedly rapacious Europeans makes some otherwise-comfortable Americans somehow feel better about themselves.

Yet it’s a sham.

The war on Columbus Day is a proxy war on America. Many of those who hate Columbus Day also hate American culture. Columbus Day symbolizes the evil of Western civilization for the woke. So, according to them, it needs to be cancelled.

Yet what needs to be cancelled is the unfounded assumption that America is something to be ashamed of.

America is a land of plenty. Even in hard times, our country is always better off than the vast majority of other countries.  How did that happen?

America is a land of liberty, order, freedom of speech, and freedom of worship. It is the envy of most of the world. As evidence, since President Joe Biden was sworn in, more than 7 million migrants from all over the world have illegally crossed our border seeking a better life. America is and has always been a beacon of hope.

How did that happen?

It could not have happened amid the cultures Europeans encountered when they first came to the New World.

Indigenous peoples in North America were Stone Age peoples. They had no written language and never invented nor used the wheel.

That doesn’t make them inferior. All men are created equal — to borrow a uniquely Western idea. But it does make their culture underdeveloped. In what sort of universe would affluent Wellesley residents be living their affluence if Columbus had not come to America?

Contrary to modern fairy tales, indigenous peoples in North America were not always peace-loving and innocent, either. Like Europeans and other peoples around the world, many native Americans were warlike and coveted their neighbors’ land. Some native American tribes were better warriors than others and conquered others, seizing their lands.

Many of these tribal wars were unspeakably savage. There is much documented evidence that captured prisoners were often burnt alive. In some cases, the victors ate the losers’ body parts.

Let’s acknowledge that the strong have often horribly mistreated the weak in the New World. Such has been the case in every age and on every part of the earth.

That doesn’t justify the way Europeans and their descendants frequently treated indigenous peoples in the Americas. But it does help pinpoint the problem — not Europeans, but fallen human nature.

America is not perfect. Some of our deeds were horrible. Columbus is not above reproach. Some of what he did was clearly wrong.

More to the point, though, is that Columbus brought Christianity to the New World — a standard by which all conduct toward one’s neighbor can be rightly judged, even if many who have claimed to believe in it have often failed to live by it.

The story of Europeans coming to the Americas is not about evil outsiders destroying innocent natives who had been living in a Garden of Eden. It’s about flawed people moving to another part of the earth inhabited by other flawed people, and bringing with them a culture and belief system capable of lifting both peoples up — materially, yes, but more importantly in love of God and neighbor.

That culture is something to celebrate.

Don’t let the Woke win this battle. Columbus Day needs to stay.


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