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Response to NonMetro (Reply #42)

Tue Oct 13, 2015, 06:06 PM

55. You have already passed judgement.

 

First of all, your argument that the day was important is a red herring. We all agree it was very important. It should be taught, studied and commemorated. Some of us think it should not be commemorated in the name of the failed conquistador Colon, however.

Merely in the fact that you primarily wish to identify the would-be conquistador as a mariner means you have already delivered a judgment, one in his favor. I suppose we can also call Alexander and Genghis horsemen. You seem to be attached, not to a credible history, but to the modern-day, nationalist narrative (of Spain and a number of N. and S. American countries) that exonerates a mass murderer.

It is certain that people of his time did condemn him - the only problem is you're not willing to hear their voices, since they are the ones who didn't matter to him, the indigenous peoples he "discovered." He understood what he was doing at the time very bloody well, demanding that his missions deliver more forced labor, slaves, and gold. It was the moral standard of the Spanish empire to which this Italian voluntarily chose to attach himself. Not everyone at the time would have acted as he did. (It's interesting seeing on behalf of which arguments people choose to invoke the objection of anachronism.)

It was Eratosthenes, a mathematician in Ptolemaic Egypt, who first estimated the earth's circumference. No one is judging Colon by the standards of today to point out that more than 1600 years later, he was wrong about the circumference. This is why people at the time thought he was crazy, because he was trying to sell the Spanish crown on the idea that the earth was much smaller than thought by the consensus of those who had an opinion. Quite possibly because he was a con man, since the crown would not have spent on the mission if he had not persuaded them of his smaller earth theory. He got lucky.

So yes, commemorate. October 12 should be an Indigenous Peoples Day, and for their part I can only wish Italian-Americans would choose to celebrate a holiday commemorating Galileo - someone who was far more important in constituting the modern-day civilization than Colon. Someone furthermore who displayed moral courage, not just a desire to make himself famous, rich and powerful.

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
LiberalElite Oct 2015 OP
tclambert Oct 2015 #1
NonMetro Oct 2015 #7
tclambert Oct 2015 #15
YOHABLO Oct 2015 #17
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #25
Binkie The Clown Oct 2015 #2
840high Oct 2015 #5
edgineered Oct 2015 #13
tclambert Oct 2015 #14
oberliner Oct 2015 #3
YOHABLO Oct 2015 #18
CreekDog Oct 2015 #44
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #23
Blue_In_AK Oct 2015 #4
mpcamb Oct 2015 #9
wordpix Oct 2015 #52
harun Oct 2015 #61
NonMetro Oct 2015 #6
mpcamb Oct 2015 #8
NonMetro Oct 2015 #10
Old Crow Oct 2015 #12
Skittles Oct 2015 #20
passiveporcupine Oct 2015 #21
Old Crow Oct 2015 #27
Psephos Oct 2015 #29
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Psephos Oct 2015 #34
Old Crow Oct 2015 #35
passiveporcupine Oct 2015 #31
frizzled Oct 2015 #37
Old Crow Oct 2015 #38
frizzled Oct 2015 #39
Old Crow Oct 2015 #40
NonMetro Oct 2015 #43
Old Crow Oct 2015 #53
NonMetro Oct 2015 #54
Old Crow Oct 2015 #59
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #58
Drahthaardogs Oct 2015 #60
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #24
CreekDog Oct 2015 #45
Throd Oct 2015 #11
CreekDog Oct 2015 #46
LanternWaste Oct 2015 #47
YOHABLO Oct 2015 #19
Psephos Oct 2015 #30
harun Oct 2015 #62
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #26
NonMetro Oct 2015 #42
LineLineLineLineNew Reply You have already passed judgement.
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #55
YOHABLO Oct 2015 #16
valerief Oct 2015 #22
prairierose Oct 2015 #28
world wide wally Oct 2015 #32
clamshells Oct 2015 #36
BumRushDaShow Oct 2015 #41
mhatrw Oct 2015 #48
itcfish Oct 2015 #49
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #56
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2015 #50
brooklynite Oct 2015 #51
JackRiddler Oct 2015 #57
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