Columbus Day: Celebrate our history for what it is, warts and all!

Christopher Columbus

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

It’s Columbus Day again, Save Jerseyans, but despite the fact that over 17 million Americans claim Italian ancestry, this bank holiday is quickly turning into little more than that.

‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ is gaining popularity in U.S. cities. Because indigenous peoples are moving into gentrified neighborhoods? Nope. Because our urban centers are now dominated by yuppies who have been raised to believe that American History is a graveyard of evil deeds.

Relax, Hippster Nation. This dumb annual debate is as unnecessary as it is annoying. You’ll find a nut if you scratch anyone, or one of your goofy beards, deeply enough…

Welcome to humanity.

Christopher ColumbusYes, Martin Luther King was an objectively great man but he also was a man who all available evidence bears out conducted extramarital affairs and nurtured communist connections. FDR oversaw Japanese internment and likely led an open marriage. The revered St. JFK, for his part, behaved like a straight-up man whore and made it through his days with self-medication notwithstanding his heroism in war and during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There isn’t any evidence that Abraham Lincoln cheated but he did violate/ignore/temporarily mothball key elements of the Bill of Rights and, earlier in his career, call for the resettlement of black Americans in Africa. A healthy percentage of the founding fathers owned slaves (as if the Left would ever let us forget it). Democrats used to swell the KKK’s ranks, a fact which they’re much less likely to bring up. The Know-Nothings beat up the new Irish immigrants who then turned around, a few decades later, and beat up the Italian immigrants (which is why Fiorello La Guardia and Rudy Giuliana had to run as Republicans in NYC). Just about every major world religion killed a LOT of other people, from other religions, at some point in time.

Jesus? He drank WAY too much wine by today’s standards. And let’s not even get into the trials and tribulations of the Old Testament…

That’s only the tip of the iceberg but you get it. We all suck, folks. Some worse than others, of course, but Western Civilization and the United States of America wouldn’t be what they are today – or maybe not even here at all? – were it not for incredibly imperfect men and women. 

Christopher_ColumbusWould there have been a new world to save the old one in two successive world wars AND a cold war had Columbus and a long line of explorers not risked their hides to found it?

Put more directly, does anyone other than the kookiest leftists think we’d be better off without the civilization that Columbus and his contemporaries helped create?

A lot of the uglier stuff you’ve heard about Columbus isn’t true (e.g. he was never a slave trader). Some of the rest? Humanity is a work in progress, an inescapable truth that even the most obnoxious Leftist pseudo-intellects wouldn’t dispute. What they don’t get is how erasing a single player from the complex historical tragedies and triumphs comprising human dominance of this little blue orb is reductionist at best and dangerous at worst. As Pope Francis said during his visit to Congress last month, “we know it’s very difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present.”

What I would support? Italians and Native Americans joining together to celebrate this day, warts and all, every October 12th. The good and the bad! No one is celebrating murder today for goodness’ sake, anymore than we’re endorsing Jefferson’s slave-owning hypocrisy or Lincoln’s 18th century racial worldview when we honor those great American leaders. We’re trying to keep our heritage alive. We are who we are. Cautionary tales are informative for a new generation. Learning from the past, good and evil, is how we gain perspective and make better decisions in future. So let’s gorge on delicious pastries and bitter revivals side-by-side. A balanced diet is good for the brain.

After all, there are not now nor have there even been “safe spaces” in history, Save Jerseyans. Pretending they exists serves no one.


Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8156 Articles
MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


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