Last Monday, in "celebration" of Columbus Day---a national holiday, hundreds gathered outside the American Museum of National History in NYC demanding the "racist" statue of President Theodore Roosevelt be taken down.
And the organizing group "Decolonize This Place" also demanded that Columbus Day be re-named---reflecting a national movement to get rid of Christopher.
Students at Pepperdine University, a Christian-based college, also demanded a statue of Columbus be removed from campus this week---that was echoed across the nation.
Columbus, Roosevelt---and others are the "embodiment of white supremacy," the activists say.
Next week more than 1,000 Seattle Public Schools teachers will wear "Black Lives Matter" t-shirts.
Is this creating "Hate" or "Healing?"
It didn't matter that 35,000 people were marching in Monday's Columbus Day Parade in New York City and tens of thousands more were watching along the parade route--- the "I want what I want, and I want it now" group was trying to drape cloth over the statue of President Teddy Roosevelt in downtown New York because he was intolerant and a racist. A white supremacist.
It also didn't seem to matter to these champions of tolerance, equality, and diversity that the thousands of people who were marching in and observing the Columbus Day Parade a short distance away, were celebrating their own Italian heritage.
Not because they "hate" anybody---because they love their heritage.
These social justice champions are demanding that Columbus Day be renamed "Indigenous People's Day"---like Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray has done.
The crowd cheered as activists on horseback, a black on one side and a Native American Indian on the other of Roosevelt's statue, attempted to drape a cloth over it so no one could see him.
The police intervened.
The activists say this must be done because the statue is "A stark embodiment of the white supremacy that Roosevelt himself espoused and promoted," they explain. "The statue is an affront to all who pass it on entering the museum, but especially to African and Native Americans."
Well, it isn't an affront to "all" who pass it when entering the museum. I've passed it and didn't feel "affronted"---does that mean I am a racist? I don't think so.
In fact, while in New York City on business, I "passed it" just before going down to observe the devastation following 9-11.
Are we to now believe that the 35,000 marching in the Columbus Day Parade and the tens of thousands watching them are white supremacists and racists?
The answer, in their mind, is obviously yes, because in their words, Columbus "is believed to have brutally enslaved the indigenous people upon his arrival and imposed harsh punishments, including torture. His arrival also ushered in European settlers to the Americas who waged wars against Native Americans and brought diseases with them that had a lasting devastating effect."
Kandia Crazy Horse, a country singer and one of the leaders of the event, said, "We're trying to see that New York City and the rest of Turtle Island [her reference to North America] ratifies Indigenous People's Day..."
Amin Husain, also one of the organizers of the protest, told the hundreds gathered, "I think that people are ignorant. It's a white supremacist society."
He's right, there is a significant degree of ignorance linked to much of this.
Let's take a brief look at Columbus.
Last year The Daily Kos, one the most far Left news and commentary web sites in this country, actually published an article titled, "In Defense of Columbus."
But it is Brad Schaeffer's article titled, "In Defense of Christopher Columbus" that lays open the ignorance---or hypocrisy of America's injustices. Schaeffer writes:
On September 6, 1492, when Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria, with the smaller vessels Niña and Pintain its wake, set sail from the Canary Islands in search of new lands, he embarked on a mission of discovery that the historian George Bancroft declared “the most memorable maritime enterprise in the history of the world.” Scholars agree that Columbus was not the first European to set foot in North America (and technically he never did). That title can be claimed by Leif Ericsson who, while en route to Greenland sometime around 1001-1002, strayed off-course and landed instead on modern day Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, where evidence of Viking settlements have been found. But the Norse, whatever their prowess as sailors, did not last as colonists and thus North America remained unknown to Europeans for the next five hundred years. It would take the five-week voyage of the Italian seaman Columbus and his crew, backed by the treasure of the Spanish court, to open up the New World and launch a decisive age, the effects of which are still shaping the modern world."
What was Columbus' motives? Was it really to plunder, kill and destroy?
"The image of the intrepid captain courageously braving the great unknown is, of course, not the way Columbus is often portrayed today. Clearly, the man was no saint and it does a service to history to humanize him…but he was no demon either. Unfortunately it is the wholly negative view that I hear more now in the educational system. I could rattle off anecdotes to back up this assertion, but it is fair to say that he has gone from being viewed as a noble explorer to a personification of the destruction of the indigenous Americans by Europeans bent on conquest, plunder, ecocide and genocide.
He also lays out the actual historical backdrop in which Columbus embarked on his voyage.
While Columbus hoped to find new trades routes because of the economic impact of Islamic expansionism in Europe, he was also a deeply religious man---something educators and activists have successfully deleted from text books and classroom narrative.
Schaeffer says this:
Columbus was deeply religious, and he saw the New World as a place where more than just fortunes could be made. In describing his discovery to King Ferdinand of Spain, Columbus portrayed himself as a devout and sincere Christian who rejoiced in the souls that would be saved in this new land: “Let Christ rejoice on earth, as he rejoices in heaven, when he foresees coming to salvation so many souls of people hitherto lost.” Many of the islands Columbus discovered he named in homage to his Christian faith such as Trinidad (trinity), San Salvador (holy savior), Vera Cruz (true cross), La Navidad (nativity or Christmas), St. Croix (holy cross), San Pedro (for St. Peter) and a host of others.
His sense of religious duty was very much apparent and so from its absolute beginning our nation’s narrative is one of a religiously rooted foundation. Indeed, to discuss the story of America while ignoring the Founders’ religious convictions is to rewrite the past to conform to the present. (I know, Jefferson was possibly an agnostic or deist. But he also cited God four times in the Declaration of Independence–this is for another article). George Orwell said who controls the past controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past, and thus is it imperative for secular progressives to try and play down or even eliminate any reference to the role of religion in the genesis of this American “city upon a hill.”
Schaeffer connects the dots:
It is a statistical fact that the left permeates academia and the so-called mainstream media. In short, they control the flow of information–the former to our children and the latter to the public at large. And so the gates of knowledge are often manned by those who view our civilization in an unfavorable light and seem blatantly contentious towards many expressions of our Judeo-Christian heritage. I do not deny their sincere empathy towards the indigenous people, many of whom suffered terribly at the hands of the conquistadors and colonists who followed in Columbus’ wake. But this tells only half the tale. As renowned author and law professor Dr. John Edsmoe points out, I do not lament the spread of Western civilization as reflected in “contributions to art, music, architecture, ethics, liberty, law, government, a Constitution that has served as a model across the world, an economic system that has produced the greatest good for the greatest number and the highest level of prosperity the world has ever known, and a spirit of ingenuity and achievement that led to unparalleled medical and technological advances.”
Still, if one wishes to take this holiday honoring an incredibly brave and dedicated explorer and his world-changing voyage and demean his memory in such a way as to unfairly paint him with the crimes of the conquistadors who followed and as a profiteer and racist, well, it’s a free country…still. As for me, I will continue to honor this man, warts and all, who bravely sailed west into the uncharted realm not just for profit alone, but to find a way around Islamic walls and to spread the Gospel he fervently believed in as Truth. To me, he represents capitalism, Western exceptionalism, and faith in a higher power than ourselves. Indeed he represents the best of us in some ways. Conversely, this man represents the worst of several worlds to certain segments of the multi-culturalist and atheist mindset so imbedded in the ranks of those who tell the story of who we were and who we are in the hopes of changing us into the secular society that they believe we ought to be. They say to judge a man by his enemies as well as his friends. Given what I know about those who take Columbus to task without any sense of historical context or impact, as well as their disdainful view of the values and traditions I hold dear, I will side with the man from Genoa and take on all comers.
Does shutting down streets, taking down statues, dispensing with national holidays, smashing windows, looting, burning and refusing to respect the US flag and the National Anthem create an environment of hate or healing?
How can "progressives" believe this is progress?
Q13 TV in Seattle is reporting that at least 1,000 Seattle Public Schools teachers will wear "Black Lives Matter" t-shirts in the classroom next week.
There will be push back from parents and students.
Seattle teacher Sarah Avery says, "It's important for us to know the history of racial justice and racial injustice in our country and in our world and really for us to address it. When we're silent, we close off dialogue and we close the opportunity to learn and grow from each other."
Is all this creating "hate" or "healing?"
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.