The National Christopher Columbus Association Separates 'Fact from Fiction'
Christopher Columbus — the Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer responsible for introducing The West to much of the New World — has found modern-day admirers, eager and willing to protect his statues with steadfast petitioning.
The National Christopher Columbus Association (NCCA) launched a website recently, TruthAboutColumbus.com, to quote "separate fact from fiction" about the Mediterranean-born globetrotter. The association’s leaders pontificate that Columbus is an undeserving target of current historical backlash, with many synonymizing Columbus as a warmongering globalist set-out on global domination.
"Up to now, the campaign of flawed history and misinformation against Columbus has been allowed to proceed with barely any pushback," Patrick Korten, one of the association’s board of directors, said in a statement published by Fox News.
“TruthAboutColumbus.com will help set Columbus’s record straight and serve as a reminder that ... the majority of Americans support celebrating Columbus and his key role in our history.”
Columbus, too, was responsible for introducing Europeans to such culinary cultural touchstones like maize (corn), potatoes and tomatoes; he also is cited to having given the New World European-bred horses, coffee, and wheat as well for them to later cultivate and utilize. Odds are that the pickings found on your dinner plates and the beans ground for your coffee machine are, largely, due to Columbus’s handywork.
However, Columbus evidently didn’t tread across the Atlantic lightly. In an era in which the international slave trade was starting to grow, Columbus and his seamen enslaved native inhabitants of the West Indies and subjected them to obscene levels of violence and brutality. When he set foot on his first day in the New World, he ordered six of the natives to be seized, writing in his collected journals that he believed they would be good servants.
Nevertheless, the NCAA's megaphoned mantra is something we should all adopt — ”[separating] fact from fiction”. It’s both socially responsible and resoundingly important to not blindly worship any one individual based on a single story; every cultural and historical icon is a dynamic individual, someone whose life sits (or once sat) on a multidimensional plane.
And it’s your responsibility as an engaged member of society to be cognizant of that fact — regardless of whether or not he or she has a statue erected in his or her honor.
(Feature image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)