Letter: Don't blame Columbus
Tom Kovach of Nevis, Minn., writes, "it is a myth to say that the Americas before the arrival of white people was some sort of Utopia. It wasn't. American Indians fought among each other. There were
With another Columbus Day coming up Oct. 10th, there will be the usual outcry from the woke crowd to blame Columbus for all the ills that fell on Native Americans with the arrival of white Europeans. But why blame Columbus? If Columbus hadn't come to the Americas in 1492, some other European would have eventually come to the Americas. Its human nature for people to explore, to move, to find a better life, etc. etc. For Columbus, like many others to follow, achieving riches was themain goal. Later, settlers from other European countries came for a variety of reasons; land, more freedom, fleeing persecution and new trading routes and products.
Did the white people who followed Columbus exploit the Native American population? Of course. In destroying American Indian's way of life by taking their land and wiping out their food sources, like the American bison, some of these actions by some very unscrupulous individuals, amounted to nothing short of genocide.
But it is a myth to say that the Americas before the arrival of white people was some sort of Utopia. It wasn't. American Indians fought among each other. There were slaves taken in battle. There were lean times with lack of game or droughts and even human sacrifice. That doesn't excuse the actions of white people, but it certainly wasn't all happy, prosperous times for American natives. And by the way, even America Indians came to America from Asia, so at one time they too were newcomers.
There was a lot of animosity among many tribes, and many Indians sided with white people against other tribes.
You can't blame the Europeans for looking for a better life. People have done that since the beginning of time. Look at the hundreds of thousands of legal and illegal people who cross our southern border every year. Mostly they are looking for a better living than what they left in their home countries.
Even though Columbus sailed for the Spanish, he was an Italian by birth. And the first Columbus Day was observed in Colorado which in l937 when President Roosevelt made it a national holiday, there were a lot of Italian immigrants there. It was to honor Italian heritage. Since l971, Columbus Day is observed on the second Monday of October. So if you're a federal worker or work somewhere where you get the day off, forget the blame game and enjoy your holiday. It should not be looked upon as disrespect for Native Americans.
Tom Kovach lives in Nevis, Minn.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.