Do you know who did what and when they did it back in 1492?Can you say exactly at what moment in history they threw someone off the boat for mutiny, or if they even did it?
Do you know for certain that Columbus held a knife to an innocent person and then killed them in cold blood?
As a history lover, once again i am mystified by the way people trash history and either glorify or damn someone for something we have no proof of in the past. i keep seeing people tweeting things like, "why do we celebrate a person who slaughtered millions of natives? it's wrong!" Perhaps there was blood shed by Columbus himself, but do we have a bloody knife with his fingerprints on it saying, see here is our proof? No, there is no hard evidence. We know that his group did indeed kill natives on their journeys. But we do not know if it was done because of fighting (an attack brought on by either side), or killing of innocent people for no reason other than to just kill them.
Perhaps his crew was killing in his name or the name of the King or perhaps the name of someone else. But if you are going to damn someone in history for having blood spilled in his name, then your biggest person to look at for that would be Jesus. The crusades alone would have millions killed all in the name of Jesus and spreading his name, forcing people to believe that he was their savior and their God. We still have people killing in the name of God, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating the good that came from these beliefs. The past was full of murderous killings, all in the name of someone else.
It baffles me that people neglect to recognize the history of our world because of the violence. In 1492, the world was full of disease, murder and rape. Do you know for a fact that your ancestors were not among those killing and raping and stealing? Do you have a time machine and a mind reader to know each and every person in your past to prove that nothing bad was done in the history of your family? No, no one does. No one knows the facts of history. Even the written word was biased by the person writing it. Just like today. people write what they see and what they feel. Perhaps facts were misconstrued back in 1492 just as they are today in 2009. No one can be 100% sure who did what in history. None of us were there.
The cold hard truth is that American history is filled with brutal stories of some fact and some exaggeration. We learn from history. We can not damn each person in history without glorifying someone else. If you were to start to pick apart every person from history, no one's hands would be clean. Children even carried guns and fought in the American revolution (and the civil war!). But we've taken some people and created them as "heros" in our history... but not all of them have clean hands. Most of those who are believed to have been strong leaders and the creators of our current America have blood on their hands. Each person who can trace back their life in America comes from that spilled blood. It isn't pretty, but it is who we were and where we come from.
For without people in our history thinking outside of the box and doing things that no one else wanted to do... we would still think the world was flat. We would still be living in caves. We would still be in the dark ages. We would still be living by candle light. We would still be living with disease and famine (oh wait, some of us still are - which is just sad!). We would not have running water, and therefor would still be dumping our pee/poop bowl into the streets, rivers, and oceans. We would be savages still killing in the name of religion (gee, thanks America for breaking off from England so that people could FREELY say how they feel and believe in whatever religion they want to). We would still be the horrible people living on one continent if it were not for people risking their life back then so that we could live here today. Sure he didn't discover America exactly, but without him - NO ONE would have even sailed this way to begin with. FEAR of the unknown could have kept us in the dark far longer than it did... and without all of which those who came before us did - you would NOT be reading this on a computer. You might not be speaking English. You might not even be alive today. So, enjoy the day for what it is - full of HISTORY, the good and the bad.
Happy Columbus Day everyone!