That the victors write the history is also true in the wake of culture wars. Unfortunately, when those winners happen to be losers (intellectually and morally), the history they write may be your civilization’s last chapter.
Our current cultural revolution, which would do China’s Red Guards proud, has again kicked into high gear, with Confederate statues getting the Taliban treatment. Yet much as how forces winning battles and taking territory move on to the next campaign on Conquest Road, today’s cultural revolutionaries now have in the cross hairs even Founders such as Thomas Jefferson and the father of our nation, George Washington. Yet under withering direct assault currently is a “softer” target, Christopher Columbus.
In my birthplace, Yonkers, New York, a statue of the Italian explorer was recently vandalized; this was followed by similar incidents in the Big Apple borough of Queens and Manhattan’s Central Park. A “community organizer” (no, not Barack Obama) — or, as they used to be called, an agitator — has proposed replacing a Columbus statue in St. Paul, Minnesota, with one of late pop star Prince and one chosen by the “Native Community.” Even more significantly, the city council in our country’s second-largest metropolis, Los Angeles, voted 14-1 on August 30 to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous People’s Day.” If this keeps up, the rhyme we all learned as children will be changed to, “In 1492, Columbus assailed all that was good and true.”
But is this true? Who was Christopher Columbus? And, more significantly, what did he accomplish?
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