Undoubtedly this month’s Columbus Day observance has evoked the usual howls of outrage about how the evil monster mariner was the master criminal who started a continuing European genocide against the peaceful and harmless nations. True, the Spanish colonists committed atrocities that nothing can excuse. But for the multi-culturalists to blame Columbus is a piece of retrospective lynching.
There is no society not founded on crimes, massacres or conquest of the weak by the sword — neither Islam, China, India, the Aztec, Inca or Ottoman empires. What happened on the new hemisphere continued the practice of the old; the Caribbeans, when Columbus first encountered, conquered the Anawaks. The American Indians lived in perpetual warfare and many had slaves. In ancient Greece alien tribes marched in from the north. Likewise in the making of the Roman Empire, in the peopling of the British Isles by Romans, Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, Danes and Normans; in France, Italy and Spain by Franks, Normans, Lombards and Ostragoths.
Everywhere the story is one of invasion, killing, rape and plunder and occupation of the land that belonged to the vanquished. Today this fusion and dispersions of peoples and cultures by means of death and destruction is still deplored in principle but flourishing in fact. Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Far East are still theaters of conquest and massacre and Columbus is not the responsible party.