Columbus Day/A Traditional American Holiday

columbus-day-parade-1columbus discovering America

I was in North Beach in San Francisco with my family the other day, visiting Coit Tower, and as we passed through the heavily, mostly majority Italian neighborhood, past Washington Square and the lofty beautiful twin spires of St. Peter and St. Paul’s church, which tower over the neighborhood, my thoughts turned to Columbus Day, and how there is always a big Italian/American parade down Columbus avenue, which is dotted with Italian restaurants…The restaurants put out extra chairs and tables to handle the overflow crowd, and it is like a total street fair, with booths selling souvenirs, Italian flags and tee shirts and all kinds of delicious Italian food to celebrate the holiday….It is a very festive, very American holiday…

The actual date was October 12, 1492 “When Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue”, and discovered America, but at least here in San Francisco, the oh so politically correct extreme liberals, have defiled and defamed Columbus, his name has now become almost a dirty word for his role in the exploitation of the Native Americans!…. I think it is a shame that these left wing demagogues refuse to honor Columbus, in fact they scorn and vilify him, and they have also officially passed legislation proclaiming Columbus Day to be renamed “Indigenous American’s Day!” At least here in San Francisco….

These “Politically Correct” people, self appointed and self anointed as they are, judging from the lofty viewpoint of their self righteous 20-20 hindsight, have blamed Columbus in historical retrospect as the villainous forerunner of the European invasion of the Americans…. So poor Chris, who just wanted to prove his theory that the earth was round, who just wanted to sail around the world and establish new trade routes, who had the vision and intelligence to really, truly believe the world WAS round, and not flat, has been vilified by the PC (politically correct) segment of the knee jerk liberals, instead of being honored for the heroic, brave explorer he really was…

I am not sure if this extreme viewpoint has been embraced by other parts of the country, somehow i strongly doubt it….I myself am a “conservative anarchist” in theory, but i am mostly apolitical, not really politically active at all, although i dutifully vote….Basically I just am an observer of life and people, but I am also primarily and fundamentally proud to be an American, a citizen of the best country in the world, and i honor and embrace ALL of our traditions and celebrations that i have grown up with….

They still have a parade, and I am sure they always will have one on Columbus street in North Beach, the neighborhood where many Italian people still live in San Francisco, but the uptight little PC’ers, and I will bet you that these politically vocal group of self righteous fools are the same affluent white people people, who i am sure are health Nazis….

They are the same  know it all people who want to rule your personal life by their goody two shoes standards…. They have gone so far as to have passed legislation to officially rename the day “Indigenous Americans Day” instead of Columbus Day, at least here in San Francisco…Granted, there were huge injustices committed by the European invasion of this country against the indigenous Americans, but that will be the topic of another blog….

Ironically, Columbus himself never did reach America, he got as close as Cuba, i think, before he realized that there was no clear trade route to the mysterious East Indies, which was what he was seeking, but only a land mass of as yet to be determined size, which of course turned out to be two entire continents, North and South America…

cortez4

It is true that of course waves of Spanish invaders followed closely on his heels, like Cortez in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru, and they were admittedly not nice people, soldiers and conquerors, conquistadors, but that was not the fault of Christopher Columbus…Eventually in the 1600’s the English via the Pilgrims on the Mayflower went to Plymouth Rock, and established the first English colonies….Both the Spanish conquistadors and the English settlers were cruel, exploitative and genocidal, and  the injustices they inflicted on the Native Americans is a sad, shameful, outrageous chapter in American history, but again had nothing to do with Christopher Columbus proving that the earth was round…cortez3

But the historical truth is that the Spanish got to the “New World” first, thanks to the vision and courage of Christopher Columbus, and i will continue to honor and salute him as the bold and brave adventurer that he was…..It is hard to fathom now, but in those days people sincerely believed the earth was flat, it was common and accepted scientific knowledge, and people truly believed that if you sailed to the horizon you would just fall off the edge of the planet!…..

Ridiculous to think that now, but it was a universal belief at the time…I mean, like where did they think the water went at the horizon? I guess they thought it just stopped right there and if you kept going you would sail off the planet or something…The scientific breakthrough was established years before by various astronomers, the concept of the earth as being round, but it took the courage and drive of Christopher Columbus to prove the theory correct by putting his own life on the line…I for one still recognize and honor him, and always will, as a bold and brave explorer, he bet his life to back up his beliefs….

He was certainly not responsible for what happened afterward with the indigenous Americans, he never even actually set foot in America! He was not even well compensated or especially honored in his own time for his startling, revolutionary proof of his then radical theory…..Even many of his sailors on his three tiny ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were growing increasingly doubtful about his theory as they sailed for weeks with nothing but water in sight, and they almost mutinied or gave up all hope before land was eventually discovered, but Columbus pressed on…….

Yes, it was Christopher Columbus who had the courage, the will and the drive to prove his dream a reality, and I think it is for this alone that he should be honored and recognized, not vilified for what happened afterward… Progress always has fallout, for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, but that is just the nature of life and part and it is all part and parcel of the human spirit, the drive and need to explore the unknown…..

Denial, ignorance and revisionist history hundreds of years later are not the answer… So Christopher Columbus, I will always salute you on your special day every year! You deserve total respect for your accomplishments, not smarmy, self righteous putdowns 500 years after the fact! You were and should always be recognized as the  bold, visionary explorer you were,  and I for one will always honor you for that…..

Just leave it like it is right now

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