I was watching a very popular national televison show this this morning and something a reporter said caught my attention. He said something like “tomorrow is Columbus Day a day of celebrating Italian American heritage.” What ever happened to it being the day that we celebrate the “discovery” of our country? I was amused and encouraged by the overt change in the description of what has become a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” fiasco of a holiday. By now everyone knows that Columbus wasn’t much more than a confused, lost, poorly trained, hustler and murderer. In some circles he is even credited with setting in motion 400 years of race-based slavery (hey, you have to give credit where credit is due). Not much to celebrate if you ask me.
My only conundrum is when am I supposed to tell my son the truth about the man and the myth? When should I pull out my copy of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States or John Henrik Clarke’s Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust and give my son the facts? At what point is a person ready to hear about the slaughter of the Native Americans and the evil and idiocy of Christopher Columbus? Clearly, we as a country are moving away from the lies that we were told regarding this man. But are we moving toward the truth?
I think that what’s happening is that as the world stage changes the people in power are beginning to fear that the truth is starting to slip through their carefully-crafted veneer. And there is nothing they can do about it. What is done in the dark will always come to light.