“Goodbye Columbus” - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

“Goodbye Columbus”

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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 11:44 am

It may have escaped the notice of some that the famous Christopher Columbus is being downgraded from his exalted position to a lesser place in history due to the cruelty he visited upon natives he found in the New World. Today it is no longer politically correct to honor the 15th Century explorer. Christopher Columbus is now suffering the similar ignominy as his namesake, Saint Christopher who once, but no longer, adorns thousands of automotive dashboards. If Columbus is guilty of half of what he is accused, perhaps his fall from grace is deserved.

My mother, a proud Italian, often reminded us of the great men of her homeland – DiVinci, Michelangelo, Maconi, Caruso, the Popes, etc., and of course Christopher Columbus. I became partial to Columbus because he gave us a day off from school every Oct. 12 – none of the others had that clout! In an elementary school tableau, although I coveted the role of Columbus, I did portray the captain of the ship, the Pinta. It was still a heady experience and may have foreshadowed my career with the U.S. Navy.

At any rate, the District of Columbus (Washington) on Oct. 12 changed what was Columbus Day for years, to Indigenous Peoples Day. At least five states are also moving in that direction. I wonder if Columbus, Ohio will ever become Indigenous Peoples City, Ohio?

Heroes die slowly. Perhaps we should temper our fondness for Columbus as more negative voices are heard, but my takeaway is that there is enough good in Christopher Columbus that should be recognized and not swept away with the bad. He proved to be a fearless sailor, knowledgeable navigator and capable commander of a small but historic fleet. He did discover a New World in the Americas.

Once again we lean on Shakespeare to enlighten us, “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.”

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