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October 18, 2013

Oct. 18, 2013: Letters to the editor

Burgess butchers American history

As an American history teacher, I read with great interest Mr. Rob Burgess’ recent denunciation of Columbus Day as a celebration of, among other things, “torture, rape, theft, slavery, mutilation and slaughter.” His remarks are not surprising. They are the logical result of an education steeped in close-minded allegiance to multicultural blather. Burgess is merely imitating the nonsense that is promulgated in liberal college lecture halls and reiterated in press releases from liberal groups like the National Council of Churches that declared Columbus Day was “not a time for celebration” but for whites to “reflect” on a continuing history of “oppression, degradation and genocide.”

But if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to take a brief moment away from my shameful internal reflection on things I didn’t do to call bull.

Columbus’ own journal reveals that he held the peaceful natives he encountered in high esteem. He marveled at their beauty, praised their generosity and admired their intellect. So what happened? What caused the Europeans to change their minds about the natives in such a way that it led to intense conflict? Liberal academics blame Europeans for their sense of racial superiority. You can believe that, but there is no actual evidence to support it. What the Europeans themselves record is that they turned on many Indian tribes after witnessing the brutal, gruesome and inhuman treatment those tribes inflicted upon smaller, innocent, peaceful ones.

This is why I laughed when I read Burgess condemn a Columbus Day celebration of the “genocidal” Europeans while simultaneously advocating the celebration of an “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Call me crazy, but that seems a tad bit inconsistent given the way those Indigenous People treated one another. As Dias records:

“[The natives] strike open the wretched [victim’s] chest with flint knives and hastily tear out the palpitating heart which, with the blood, they present to the idols in whose name they have performed the sacrifice. Then they cut off the arms, thighs, and head, eating the arms and thighs at their ceremonial banquets. The head they hang up on a beam, and the body of the sacrificed man is not eaten but given to the beasts of prey.”

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