Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Sure, evidence suggests that Columbus and his men did enslave some of the natives; however, his rationale was not based on their skin color or ideas of racial inferiority. Instead, he saw the “Indians” as suitable servants because of their familiarity with the land and vast knowledge of the location of resources.
Slavery was not introduced to the New World by Columbus. In fact, slavery was common even among native people in the Caribbean. Instead, Columbus sought to be kind to the natives because he knew that they would be an essential component in not only his survival but the survival of the men that accompanied him as well.
Owning or facilitating the trade of slaves is not indicative of racism, especially not during a period of time in which slavery was orthodox.
The father of our great nation, George Washington, purchased and owned slaves. Does that make him a tyrant or a racist? Of course not. It makes him normal concerning that time period.
Columbus simply acted following what was considered common practice back then. Slavery was not abolished in Portugal until 1761, over 200 years after Columbus’ death.
He adopted the son of a deceased native chief. In all of his writings, he did not delineate the natives as inferior based on the color of their skin.
Columbus did not commit genocide against the natives.
Natives died as a result of diseases and viruses, not because Columbus and his men slaughtered them for fun. These diseases were unintentionally brought over from the Old World.
Indigenous people were not victims.
Celebrating Columbus Day doesn’t detract from indigenous peoples’ or Native Americans’ accomplishments and contributions to America.
But not celebrating Columbus Day does detract from the brave voyage and achievements made by Columbus and his men.
Columbus didn’t “discover” America, in fact, he never set foot on what is now American soil, but Benjamin Franklin didn’t “invent” electricity, either.
Columbus did, however, introduce the Americas to Western Europe and initiated the influx of Western Europeans who eventually established Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
Columbus was not perfect. He was human and all humans make mistakes. Though not perfect, he still should be rightfully honored.
Heroic and iconic figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and former U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt were apparent dishonest womanizers; nonetheless, they each made substantial contributions to both the development of the country and the world and are revered for their respective contributions.
We all have shortcomings and flaws. However, we cannot allow the left to belittle the successes and achievements of honorable people based upon their imperfections –– especially if these imperfections are merely alleged.
Before you condemn Columbus, rip away praise and tarnish the day that was designed to honor and respect him, think about how different your life could be had he not taken that journey. As you sit in the single greatest and most prosperous country in the world, I urge you to celebrate the courageous man who unequivocally made it all possible.
Please take into consideration the conclusion of that elementary school poem:
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.