Washington, D.C. – The big government socialists who currently run the country have for years been offended by Columbus Day. They see it as the first example of white, European oppression of people of color.
Like most of their historical interpretations, it is nonsensical. Nonetheless, it’s in vogue – even at the White House where, instead of simply honoring Christopher Columbus, President Joe Biden marked the holiday with a proclamation issued Friday highlighting “the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on Tribal Nations and indigenous communities.”
Democrats and others holding to the liberal mindset might love that. For most Americans, Biden’s proclamation that “(W)estern exploration ushered in a wave of devastation: Violence perpetrated against Native communities, displacement and theft of tribal homelands, the introduction and spread of disease, and more,” will likely not go down well.
Biden came into office promising to unify a divided nation, bringing us all together. Instead, he’s demanded uniformity, seeking to move us all in behind him, single-mindedly marching to the left in a de facto rejection of America’s founding principles.
Most Americans are willing to acknowledge the nation’s faults without them being forced upon us as the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory are trying to do. Such admissions of wrongdoing, as George Orwell pointed out more than once, are a useful tool for the collectivists wishing to control the past through re-education. “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” he wrote in 1984, a literary masterpiece that depicts life in a dystopian future overseen by an allegedly benign “Big Brother.”
Those who would control the future here and now set their sights on Columbus Day some time ago. It is no longer about the “discovery” of America, something kids in my youth would animatedly argue over with all the intensity they could muster. Now, it’s a trigger for social justice warriors desiring to invoke the image of peaceful indigenous peoples massacred by white, empire-building Europeans.
That kind of grievance-based analysis helps to justify the rage recently express in places like Portland, Ore., Seattle, Louisville, and other major cities while ignoring the human cost and the consequences of such actions.
Columbus’s accomplishments are worth celebrating because they culminated in the American founding. He was, after a fashion, the first immigrant to what became a nation of immigrants that, more than once, has stepped up to save the world from all kinds of evil.
Like many who later followed, Columbus’ interests were primarily commercial. Others came seeking religious freedom. Some wanted a chance to start anew, escaping their past to live under a new name. Others simply wanted a better life than they had, a reality that continues today.
We must never forget some people were brought here without their consent to be treated as property rather than people once they arrived. That is an offense that must always be acknowledged yet when taken together, those born elsewhere who ended up in America contributed to the creation of the greatest, freest, most prosperous country mankind has ever known. Rather than abolishing or renaming Columbus Day, we should expand the reason to celebrate it by remembering the accomplishments immigrants have made.
Think of all the honorable men and men and women who’ve added to this nation’s economic, cultural, scientific, political, diplomatic, artistic, and commercial achievements. What would America be if it had not offered a new start to Bela Bartok, Irving Berlin, Albert Einstein, Vinod Khosla, Enrico Fermi, Andrew Carnegie, Levi Strauss, Madeline Albright, Dikembe Mutombo, and others born outside the United States who nonetheless help make and keep this a great nation?
Most people emigrating to the United States are coming looking for the chance to improve their living standards because, in their country of origin, they faced insurmountable religious, economic, geographic, political, linguistic, or ethnic barriers. Once here, they contribute mightily to the greatness that is America.
The Kaufmann Foundation, an entrepreneurship and education research group, estimated in the early part of the century almost 350 out of every 100,000 immigrants created a new business every month. according to the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship and education research group. Let’s welcome them with open arms and applaud their courage.
Think about it. Who among us would leave behind everything we know for a new life in another country? Only the bravest would take on such an adventure yet, to a claque of idiots out to prove a point, America is a flawed concept incapable of redemption. The country we are today was not stolen from the people Columbus encountered when he came ashore from the Santa Maria. That severely distorted view of history peddled who refer to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” is a lie.
Immigrants have made the United States a stronger, richer, healthier, and better place. Honor them on Columbus Day. Salute their courage. Applaud that they are seeking a better life, if not for themselves than for their children and grandchildren.
Peter Roff can be reached at RoffColumns AT GMAIL.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeterRoff.
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