Will Columbus the Discoverer Be Ousted From Discovery Park?
Written by Steve Byas
If the city council of Chula Vista, California, follows the unanimous recommendation of its Human Relations Commission, given to the council late last week, the statue of Christopher Columbus, which has stood for decades in the city’s Discovery Park, will be removed.
The dismantling of the statue of the discoverer of the New World (at least of those of the Old World) from Discovery Park is certainly ironic, but not surprising. The past few years has seen a frenzy of Taliban-like politically correct dismantlement of several statues and similar items recognizing the contributions of powerful figures of western civilization.
First, the radical anti-western civilization crowd went for the “low-hanging fruit” of prominent Confederate heroes, such as Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Although Lee quickly freed the slaves that he inherited from his father-in-law, and Jackson even opened a Sunday School for black children, it did not matter. After all, the politically correct crowd insisted that the two men had fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.
At the time, many warned that the Founding Fathers would be next, and sure enough men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the like have come in their crosshairs. Finally, our National Anthem is denounced as racist, along with our flag itself.
In Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego, the Columbus statue has been the target of vandals, who have twice covered the statue with paint, costing the city thousands of dollars to clean up.
At the city chambers of Chula Vista last Thursday, opponents of the Columbus statue called for its removal, with one speaker telling the city council, “He came here, he stole land, enslaved people.”
But the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charity organization, had its representation present to defend the statue. Michael Brault, a Knights member, pleaded for compromise, arguing that rather than tearing down the Columbus stature, build one for indigenous peoples. Rene Tevino, also with the Knights argued, “We stand proudly of our history. History of our faith, history of the world, history of our country.”
Trevino said that the namesake of their group is too important. “With him on his first journey was Father Juan Perez, who brought Christianity to North America — Canada, the United States and Mexico.”
One council member, John McCann, seemed to agree. “We have a very, very diverse community and you can’t elevate one group by tearing down another.”
But a self-described communist, Rafael Bautista, rejected such reasoning. “This ideology is so wrong because it’s based on injustice and inequality.”
It is not surprising that a self-described communist would oppose Columbus, as he represents western civilization, which is built on a foundation of Christianity — and all the most significant communists, including Karl Marx, Mao Tse-tung, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin were ardent atheists, and haters of Christianity. Voltaire, the forerunner of this anti-Christian ideology, even called Christianity the wretch.
Among the falsehoods leveled against Columbus are that he was a racist killer who enslaved Indians, started the slave trade, and even used captured Natives as dog food! James Loewen, a left-wing former college history professor even argued that the pre-Columbian population of Haiti was eight million, but, “When Christopher Columbus returned to Spain,” the number had been reduced to a little over one million. In his book, 48 Liberal Lies About American History, Larry Schweikert said, “To think than any pre-modern civilization could eliminate seven million people in just over two years defies all logic, not to mention history.”
Pre-Columbian America is usually pictured as a paradise by those who wish to denigrate Columbus. It was not. Before Columbus set foot in the Western Hemisphere, slavery was already hoary with age, widely practiced by the indigenous peoples upon other indigenous peoples. The Aztec Empire was a brutal tyranny that was unrivaled by anything seen in Europe before the days of 20th Century socialists such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Aztec priests offered up human sacrifices in the thousands, usually drawn from the populations of other native peoples who were slaves, or had been taken in war. They also practiced cannibalism.
The Spanish put a stop to all of this. If Columbus is to be blamed for injustices (and there were injustices) inflicted years after his death, then fairness would dictate that he should be applauded for ending such barbarism, as well.
And that bit about Columbus using natives as dog food?
The reality is that Columbus used dogs in the war against the Taino Indians (a branch of the Arawak). No doubt some flesh was consumed in the battle, but is that any worse than using a sword to lop off a man’s head? War is horrible. But it is simply deceitful to say that Columbus used the native peoples for dog food.
But it makes good propaganda for the Left, and that is what this is really all about. Columbus is just a convenient target in the propaganda war to tear down the foundations of America, and replace those foundations with leftist tyranny.
Steve Byas is a university professor of history and government and the author of History’s Greatest Libels, a book which challenges many of these types of lies told about great figures of the past including Columbus, George Washington, Marie Antoinette, Joseph McCarthy, and in more modern times, Clarence Thomas. He may be contacted at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American