Why Do We Celebrate Columbus Day?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Flopper, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    It’s time again to honor the great man that discovered America. To me this has always seemed a bit strange since he did not discover America and his greatness is certainly debatable.

    Leif Ericson landed on our shores 500 years before Columbus. There exists cartographic evidence, according to cartographic expert Armando Cortesao, that Portuguese explorers visited the Americas and mapped the area in 1424. There is also evidence of other early explorers reaching our shores. Of course we always discount the first real discovers of American, the native Americans.

    Well, as far as a being a great man…. He was a slave trader who heartlessly took men and women away form their families in order lessen his failure to find a new trade route. He oversaw and participated in the rape and murder of innocent villagers. His contemporaries despised him. As governor of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola, he was a despot who kept all profits for himself and his brothers, and was loathed by the colonists whose lives he controlled. Attempts were made on his life and he was actually sent back to Spain in chains at one point after his third voyage. During his fourth voyage, he and his men were stranded on Jamaica for a year where his ships rotted: no one wanted to travel there from Hispaniola to save him. He was also a cheapskate: after promising a reward to whomever spotted land first on his 1492 voyage, he refused to pay up when sailor Rodrigo de Triana did so, giving the reward to himself instead because he had seen a “glow” the night before. However, one of the greatest curses he brought to American was smallpox which killed as much as 400,000 native Americans. A great man, I don't think so.

    Previously, elevation of Columbus to a hero caused people to name cities (and a country, Colombia) after him and many places still celebrate Columbus Day, but now days people tend to see Columbus for what he really was: a brave, but very flawed, human being. Frankly, I just can't figure why we set aside a special day in his honor.

    Who Discovered America? Not Christopher Columbus, That's for Certain - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com
    The Truth About Christopher Columbus
    AmericanHeritage.com / Christopher Columbus, Hero and Villain
     
  2. Woyzeck
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    Woyzeck Senior Member

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    A day off is a day off.

    I myself have never particularly liked Columbus, certainly not enough to give him his own holiday. Granted, the man was a product of his time, as we all are, but there are other and better historical figures to celebrate then him. He's really just a crown example of the washing out of historical figures.

    If you want someone to admire from the colonial period, I recommend Las Casas.
     
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  3. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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  4. Leweman
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    Leweman Gold Member

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    Geeze I thought asian americans had been here for thousands of years before columbus. Not to mention Columbus didn't even land on current American soil.
     
  5. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    It pretty much seems like a worthless holiday. Besides, the American continents are named after Amerigo Vespucci.
     
  6. Woyzeck
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    Woyzeck Senior Member

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  7. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    It does not "look down upon the Native Americans". It simply points out how Columbus awakened Western Europe to the Americas and aided in eventual development of an objectively superior culture. There's also the added benefit of pointing out the inherent racism of multiculturalism.

    Mostly it just answers the thread title. :lol:
     
  8. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If it weren't for Columbus you would have never been born.
     
  9. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    I didn't read it...can you sum that up in your own words?
     
  10. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    I can't tell if you are for or against the celebration of Columbus day based on the birth of Woyzeck though IMHO the birth of Woyzeck does seem to undermine my "pro-celebrate" view.

    Hmmm

    :tongue::tongue:
     

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