Few holidays are as “politically incorrect” as is the day that Americans reserve to commemorate the birthday of Christopher Columbus. Such is the ferocity of the smear campaign to which Columbus has been subjected for decades that he has been made into a villain among villains in the rogues’ gallery of history.
Geoffrey Symcox, of the Medieval and Renaissance Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, says of Columbus that while a “brilliant mariner,” he was nevertheless “an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing—not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting Biblical scripture—to advance his ambitions [.]” He continues: “The fact that Columbus brought slavery, enormous exploitation or devastating diseases to the Americas” has always been ignored by scholars and laity alike, for all that mattered is that he was “the great bringer of white man’s civilization to the benighted idolatrous American continent.”
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