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Should we Still Celebrate Columbus Day?

 
 
snood
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 12:03 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:

Forgive me if this was stated in one of the previous posts, but didn't Columbus and/or his crew bring syphilis to North America or is this an urban myth? My understanding was that it was spreading across EU like wildfire before Columbus first journey so it was new and rampant in EU just prior to the first trip. As for cases in North America, it is unproven whether or not it existed to any degree in NA, but it clearly exploded in numbers of deaths once his 3 journeys were completed.


Everything I read said not that Columbus brought the disease TO North America, but that him and his crew likely brought it FROM the New World back to Europe..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_syphilis

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-columbus-really-bring-syphilis-to-europe/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/case-closed-columbus/

Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 01:06 pm
@snood,
I'll repeat what info I just researched ...just prior to Columbus first trip to the New World, syphilis outbreak was exploding all over parts of EU.

Two opposing theories exist about the timing of where it showed up first...one theory proposes that syphilis previously existed in Europe but went unrecognized. These are referred to as the "Columbian" and "pre-Columbian" hypotheses."

In late 2011, newly published evidence suggested that the Columbian hypothesis is the valid one.

One thing is for certain, the spread of numbers of syphilis deaths in North America changed greatly after Columbus came. For whatever reason/s, maybe it was more easily detected due to greater familiarity. hard to say why it increased.

Didn't they have HMOs ?


{Edit: reading further there's a big debate here..but currently, the Columbian theory is the preferred one as for credibility}
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 01:48 pm
@snood,
I think so - it is a great chance for me to drive into work without traffic and get free parking on the street as the meters are not in effect.

Great day to work while everyone else is out shopping. I can use the extra vacation/holiday when everyone else is working.

To be honest - no one is celebrating Columbus - they are enjoying a three day weekend. Please do not take away a holiday.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:02 pm
@Linkat,
I'm fine with a holiday but I'd rather have it celebrate our native amerind tribal people.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:11 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I think so - it is a great chance for me to drive into work without traffic and get free parking on the street as the meters are not in effect.

Great day to work while everyone else is out shopping. I can use the extra vacation/holiday when everyone else is working.

To be honest - no one is celebrating Columbus - they are enjoying a three day weekend. Please do not take away a holiday.


I don't have that power - to give or take away a holiday or anything else. Just the ability and right to say what I think about things, is all. Curious - is there any event or historical figure you wouldn't feel comfortable celebrating (or taking a holiday with their name attached)? Is a day off still just a day off if it's Benedict Arnold or Robert E. Lee Day?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:15 pm
What was disturbing about Columbus was his willfulness. He asked Isabella, the Queen of Castile, if he could enslave los Indios (he had, in fact, already done so). (Additionally, it is not accurate to speak of "the New World" in the context of the voyages of Columbus. He thought he had arrived in the Indies by sailing west. Neither he nor anyone then in Europe thought that he had discovered theretofore unknown continents.)

Isabella told him categorically that he must not do that. If he encountered heathens, they were to be given the opportunity to convert. If they refused, they could be slaughtered out of hand. If, however, they converted, they were not to be enslaved. Columbus not only had already enslaved some of the Indians, he enslaved more during his second and third voyages. Las Casas brought charges against him before the Inquisition after the third voyage, and he was imprisoned for a time. But they found that the church did not prohibit slavery, that was a dictate of Queen Isabella. They tried to build a case for him torturing the Indians, but it collapsed, probably largely because Kind Ferdinand was now supporting him. After his fourth voyage, he tried to claim that the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon should pay him 10% of the proceeds. But he was stupid, and said this to Isabella, who already didn't like him. Isabella and Ferdinand categorically refused. Even Ferdinand who had supported him would not agree to that. Ferdinand was all in favor of new ventures, as long as it didn't cost him anything.

Basically, i see Columbus as a sleaze bag--even in comparison to other explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:23 pm
If we start judging historical figures by contemporary standards of political correctitude I believe we would very quickly run out of cultural icons and holidays. Virtually all of the nation states of Europe, Asia and Africa rose on the backs of oppressed or exterminated cultures and people that preceeded them.

Wave after wave of peoples migrated into Europe from Central Asia, each displacing and/or suppressing those who preceeded them. The migration of European Settlers to the Americas was but a continuation of that process.

The survival of native cultures, people and even languages was much greater under the rule of Spanish, Portuguese, and to a lesser extent French colonists than it was under the British. Despite all the exploitation, the native cultures were replaced by others that were less murderous and more tolerant than those that preceeded them.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:34 pm
@snood,
We could change the name something more like - USA discovery Day? I think that is what most people look at the day as if they even do that.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 02:58 pm
@georgeob1,
At least we still have Christmas.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:22 pm
Many holidays have sinister roots. Should Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter be crossed off the list? A few others, too.

I personally don't celebrate any holiday. But I don't turn the fire hose on anyone's parade, either. Why not add a few holidays for special causes? Most of us could use a few more days off. And bank closings don't hurt, either.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:37 pm
@snood,
Interesting thread.

It caused me to do some reading at wikipedia and some follow-up links. Columbus Day doesn't happen in Canada so I thought I'd try and figure out what it's supposed to be about - and where it's celebrated/noted. After the reading, I still can't quite figure out why Columbus was of interest to the US. It's not like he was the first European in North America (which might be notable but not necessarily something to celebrate).

So thanks for the thread, I'll be doing more reading.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:38 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

I take it the Italians in the US are into Columbus Day parades (or are they?) but I don't remember reading about Italians in Italy being so gung ho about him. Maybe I missed it.


Quote:
The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Raza ("Day of the Race") in many countries in Latin America, as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristopher Columbus or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy and in the Little Italys around the world.[1][2]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Day
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:41 pm
@ehBeth,
Aha, thank for finding all that.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 06:49 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:
You question the accuracy of this article, or you question the contention that Columbus was an unscrupulous, murderous fortune seeker and not a great hero discoverer?


using Columbus' logbook and the Las Casas books, it doesn't seem to be that difficult to source the info in the OP

Quote:
Journalist and media critic Norman Solomon reflects in Columbus Day: A Clash of Myth and History that many people choose to hold on to the myths surrounding Columbus whereas historians who deal with the evidence are frequently depicted as politically correct revisionists.

He quotes from the logbook Columbus's initial description of the American Indians: "They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance.... They would make fine servants.... With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want".

In 1495, during the Second Voyage, American Indians were transported to Spain as slaves, many dying en route. "Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity", Columbus later wrote, "go on sending all the slaves that can be sold".

Solomon states that the most important contemporary documentary evidence is the multi-volume History of the Indies by the Catholic priest Bartolomé de las Casas who observed the region where Columbus was governor.

In contrast to "the myth" Solomon quotes Las Casas who describes Spaniards driven by "insatiable greed" — "killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the native peoples" with "the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty" and how systematic violence was aimed at preventing "[American] Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings.

" The Spaniards "thought nothing of knifing [American] Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades", wrote Las Casas. "My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write".[53]


same wiki page as above


(my apologies if someone has already referenced it)
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 07:07 pm
http://www.lalrp.org/spanish/facsimiles.html

if someone's interested and has $$

http://www.lalrp.org/Covers/documentoscolomb.jpg

Quote:
Columbian Documents at the Archive of the Duke and Duchess of Alba in Madrid

These 21 documents authored by Columbus that were kept at the House of Alba contain nine personal letters (one of which is to his son, Diego) and four of the only remaining documents written during the time of his four voyages.

The accompanying 75 page commentary and transcription is by Consuelo Varela.

Approximately 8 1/2 x 12 inches. Available for $2,150, it is the only one of its kind still available for purchase.



http://www.lalrp.org/Covers/diario.jpg

Quote:
Libro de la primera navegación
Logbook of the First Voyage

This edition is a reproduction of the logbook kept by a young Father Bartolomé de las Casas as he accompanied Columbus on his first voyage. The original is kept at the National Library of Madrid.

The accompanying commentaries, research and transcription are by Manuel Alvar, professor of philology and former director of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, and Francisco Morales Padrón, professor of History of Geographical Discoveries at the University of Seville.

This edition is approximately 8 1/2 x 13 inches. Available for $1,025.




(more at the link)


_________

http://www.amazon.com/The-Log-Christopher-Columbus/dp/0877429510

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wPxm4K7VL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Quote:
Columbus's journal entries, dating from August 1492 to March 1493, offer an account of his journey to the New World 500 years ago. Biographical, nautical and navigational information also is included in this commemorative volume.


I'm going to be looking for this one at thrifts
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 07:16 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
It is very likely that your great grand-children will disapprove of some of the things that are happening now.... things that you think nothing of in the same way that you disapprove of Columbus.


Very well said and thank you for saving me the trouble of doing so.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 08:29 pm
I hear that Jebediah Springfield was a major son of a bitch.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 09:43 pm
@ehBeth,
Yes, I figured the sources wouldn't be that hard to research. But that is not max's point for calling the reference into question.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 09:48 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

Many holidays have sinister roots. Should Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter be crossed off the list? A few others, too.

I personally don't celebrate any holiday. But I don't turn the fire hose on anyone's parade, either. Why not add a few holidays for special causes? Most of us could use a few more days off. And bank closings don't hurt, either.


Yeah, what the ****? And it shouldn't matter who is memorialized either, should it? I mean, let's not be too snooty about it. We should include a couple of famous mass murderers and war criminals for good measure, don't you think? It is the land of equal opportunity and inclusion, after all.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2015 09:54 pm
@snood,
Not too many holidays represent the decimation and destruction of a native people.
 

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