October 12, 2023
Monday, October 9th is Columbus Day. It is also Indigenous Peoples Day here in Nebraska. Christopher Columbus was a man of incredible integrity, but revisionists have targeted him in their attempts to rewrite the history of Western civilization with false narratives. Too many people today erroneously believe that Christopher Columbus was a bad person. So, today I would like to expose the revisionism and help restore the good name of Christopher Columbus.
On October 9, 2017 Vincent Schilling published a revisionist article in Indian Country entitled, "Eight Myths and Atrocities about Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day." Not only was Schilling wrong in each of his eight attempts to correct the historical record about Columbus, but he was downright deceitful in how he went about it. For example, Schilling cited as one of his eight myths the idea that Columbus discovered America. According to Schilling, Columbus never discovered America. However, what Schilling meant by "America" was the upper 48 states of the USA, not Central or South America. The fact of the matter is that Christopher Columbus explored much of what today is considered Central and South America during his third and fourth voyages. Nobody teaches that Columbus ever explored the "upper 48" of the USA, so to suggest that this is somehow a myth in need of correction is deceitful.
Schilling claimed in his article that Columbus enslaved some of the native peoples of the land for gold. Schilling suggests that after Columbus failed to find gold, he intended to deport hundreds of natives to Spain in order to sell them as slaves. Schilling's claim is unsubstantiated and ignores evidence to the contrary.
The fact of the matter is that Columbus considered slavery abhorrent to his mission. For instance, on January 10, 1493 one of his own men named Pinzon took four native men and two women by force. In response, Columbus ordered their release back to dry land and said, "This...is a service of your Highnesses. For all the men and women are subjects of your Highnesses, as well as on this island and others. Here where your Highnesses already have a settlement, the people ought to be treated with honor and favor...," The Voyages of Columbus and John Cabot; 1906; p. 219.
Schilling went so far in his article as to accuse Columbus and his men of using native peoples as dog food and dashing the heads of native babies, but neither Columbus nor any of his men ever did any such thing. Instead, Shilling confused Columbus with the Spanish settlers who came after him because of a report about these atrocities which was made by Bartolome de Las Casas about the Spanish conquistadors.
What the Critical Race Theory revisionists don't want you to know is why Columbus ever set sail in the first place. In 1492 Columbus described the purpose of his westward journey to the Orient in his journal. Columbus wrote that the purpose of his journey to the Orient was "...for their conversion to our Holy Faith." Columbus set sail because he wanted to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the East.
I share these things with you today in order to show you that there are deliberate attempts to rewrite the history of Western civilization. While atrocities have certainly occurred in Western civilization, it is wrong to destroy the character of a good man like Christopher Columbus. Today, it has become popular to tear down the statues of good men like Columbus without knowing the true history of what these men did.