REFLECTING ONCE MORE ON
THE IMPACT OF COLUMBUS
It must have been the distraction of Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation brouhaha, but this year we’ve been largely — and blessedly — spared our annual agony over how the discovery of America ushered in the greatest of injustices and suffering.
Even Indigenous People’s Day, about which so much was made in 2017 when it received official status in Los Angeles, has gotten little attention.
Last October I reflected on Christopher Columbus in a blog post. And while some of the points touched on then were time-specific and might be slightly out of date, I think the general observations I made are still highly relevant.
The great Voyage of Discovery was a pivot point in human history. It’s impact is still being felt.
Take a few minutes to read my thoughts at…
…and please come back to share your own views in the comments section.
After posting this blog entry, I discovered a Facebook link to a 2016 article about Columbus’ involvement in slavery. This essay, from the website of the Foundation for Economic Education, a free-market advocacy group, is not at all flattering to Columbus’ legacy. But it does make some points which, in fairness to the truth, must be considered.
Author Bryan Caplan, economics professor at George Mason University, knocks down some common excuses for downplaying the slavery angle — for instance, that even with slavery, the New World was still better off after Columbus’ discovery…
“Even if this were true,” Caplan writes, “it would be no reason to have a special day to honor Columbus and his ilk. If Mengele had cured cancer, should we celebrate Mengele Day?”
I don’t think Caplan’s argument negates the long-term good cited in my post. But it can’t be ignored. Check it out at…
While I respect an honest critique of Christopher Columbus, the more common approach these days is somewhat less than intellectually coherent. An example: Columbus Day vandalism, as in my hometown of Philadelphia, reported here by WPVI-TV News (with broadcast video included)…