By Mark Swarbrick
As we all know, the woke community – a group of violent socialist liberals ignorant of history – are busy cancelling anything to do with America’s founding. Why? Because they hate America, and all it stands for. They want a new world where elitist, autocratic rulers oversee a socialist society where baby-killing sexual perverts are celebrated as heroes.
People of yesteryear who studied, worked hard, and faced tremendous odds and dangerous journeys to better the condition of man – these are not the sort of heroes that the woke left wants remembered. Indeed, if they have their way, such people will all be cancelled. That is why they roam the country tearing down statues that represent our history and cancelling holidays that celebrate milestones of the past.
Christopher Columbus is one such person who has become the target of wacky wokeism. While seeking better trade routes Columbus inadvertently discovered a heretofore unknown continent, leading to immigration to North and South America. While illegal immigration into America today is considered a sacred right of all people by the left, immigration to the American continent in the 15th century is held by the left to be the unforgivable sin. Consequently, the woke left blames Christopher Columbus for all the bad things that ever happened in the Americas after his arrival. This year the Biden Regime has jumped on the cancel culture bandwagon with Biden publicly and officially denigrating Columbus by saying that he “ushered in a wave of devastation: violence perpetrated against native communities…” The District of Columbia has legislation pending that will cancel Columbus Day for the district.
Columbus is also blamed for bringing European viruses to the Americas, which decimated the indigent populations. That is the rhetoric, but what are the actual facts? The fact is that diseases and plagues had wiped out large numbers of people in all parts of the world. The Black Plague had wiped out over two-hundred million people before Columbus ever set sail. Yes, it is sad that diseases spread to the indigenous of the Americas. Over the next 100 years disease would wipe out 90 percent of the population. But it was not intentional nor was it something Columbus or anyone else could have foreseen or prevented. They didn’t even know what germs were back then.
Columbus is accused of mistreatment and enslavement of the “Indians.” It is claimed that he established the Transatlantic slave trade. This is nonsense. Much of the “facts” reported by wokeists is simply misinformation, although it appears genuine, for they present quotes from Columbus’ journal that paint him as a cruel slave trader. In order to separate truth from error we must realize a number of historical realties.
First of all, there is no extant copies of Columbus’ ledgers. What we have are translations of a manuscript made by Bartolome de Las Casas, who claims to have read Columbus’ log. Casas wrote up a synopsis of some portions and allegedly copied word-for-word other parts. History reveals that Casas had motive to blame Columbus for certain conditions to lead the blame away from himself. How much of what Casas wrote is really the words of Columbus, we don’t know. While leftists are eager to believe quotes that paint Columbus in a bad light, it is noteworthy that they ignore other things, such as where the manuscript claims that Columbus sighted three mermaids.
Some of these manuscripts are very poor translations and skew the meaning of what Columbus wrote, if indeed he wrote those particular words at all. Leftists take the worst quotes, from the worst translations, take them out of context, and twist them to intentionally defame Christopher Columbus. For details, I recommend the video found here: https://youtu.be/ZEw8c6TmzGg
Secondly, we must discard Hollywood’s myth that natives of North and South America were eco-conscious free spirits living in harmony with nature. The reality was that they were sinners in desperate need of a Savior of whom they had never heard. They were brutal and bloodthirsty. They sacrificed their children to pagan gods. They attacked neighboring tribes, murdering, raping and torturing their enemies with unspeakably horrific atrocities. They carried the defeated off as trophies of war and enslaved them to hard labor for the rest of their miserable lives. Many were cannibals and headshrinkers. The condition of North and South America at that time was one of continual war and conquest.
Columbus was not a perfect saint, but it bears pointing out that he was not even an American. The United States would not exist for another 250 years. Columbus was an Italian who sailed a Spanish ship to the Americas before the reformation of the Church. The Catholic Inquisition didn’t end until the early 19th century, so Europeans who sailed with Columbus and shortly thereafter were not exactly models of kind Christian behavior. In short, the world at that time was an evil barbaric place, where practically everyone practiced slavery, including the natives of North and South America. This is the historical context. Columbus was not a perfect human being, but he was certainly better than many, if not most, of his contemporaries.
One of Columbus’ main goals was to bring Christianity to the natives. His first prayer on reaching land was:
“O Lord, eternal and omnipotent God, Thou hast, by Thy holy word, created the heavens, the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy name; praised be Thy majesty, who hast deigned that, by means of Thy unworthy servant, Thy sacred name should be acknowledged and made known in this new quarter of the world.”
In a letter after Columbus’ first voyage, he writes:
“Let Christ rejoice upon earth as he does in heaven, to witness the coming salvation of so many people, heretofore given over to perdition. Let us rejoice for the exaltation of our faith, as well as for the augmentation of our temporal prosperity, in which not only Spain but all Christendom shall participate.”
Of course, Columbus’ Christianity is a further reason the left hates him, for the left hates all things godly. Thus they malign him at every turn. The most oft repeated lie is that he intended to enslave the natives and they quote his journal where he allegedly said, “With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
When we see the context, we will understand how intellectually dishonest the woke cancel culture is. The context is this: Columbus was friendly to the natives he encountered and they to him. Columbus was concerned about scars that he noticed on the Indians and learned that they were caused by a hostile tribe, and it was felt by some that Columbus should undertake the building of strong forts. To this Columbus explained this was unnecessary as none of the tribes were a threat to them, as the indigenous had no weapons and that “With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” So you see, that is something entirely different. The fact that Columbus did not go about enslaving them is proof that such was not his intent.
Even when it came to presenting the Gospel to the natives, Columbus insisted that this not be done by force, as the Catholic Church had been known to do in the past. Columbus said, “I recognized that they were people who would be better freed [from error] and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force.”
Why is the left obsessed with obliterating and twisting our history? They have told us why. They have said that they wish to “fundamentally change America.” To do that they need to erase our history from our collective conscience. General Robert E. Lee wisely said, “A land without memories is a people without liberty,” and “a nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today.” If the left can erase our history, they are closer to accomplishing their goal of doing away with a free America.
The successes of the cancel culture should put fear in the heart of every American who loves our Constitution and cherishes our freedoms. It is essential that we fight for – as Superman put it – “truth, justice, and the American way.” I decry, as we all should, any attempt to deface our heroes and erase our cultural history. I for one will be celebrating Columbus Day this year and we should voice our objection at every turn to the efforts of the cancel culture to trash our history.