De-idolizing Columbus requires a lot more than just removing or renaming a federal holiday, though. You've also got a big city in Ohio, smaller ones in Indiana and Georgia, a famous university in NYC, a mighty river in the Pacific Northwest, a whole country in South America, a record company, a movie studio ...
... the name of our nation's capital. Yeah. You're totally right. But TODAY, I'm annoyed at the day that it is today.
2013-10-14 03:16 pm (UTC)
We just need to do what King County (WA) did and find another Columbus who's actually worthy of that level of respect, then rename everything for him or her instead. Rufus King? Not any more....
When I looked up Rufus King to see why having a county named after him might be a problem, I was puzzed, because he was prominently opposed to slavery, and appeared unobjectionable in other respects as well
. The other three Rufus Kings that Wikipedia had entries for also appeared to be pretty unobjectionable, and two were actually plausible candidates for having things named after them - one was a Union general, and one received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War.
Then I looked up "King County, WA", and found out that it was named after _William_ Rufus King, who *was* pretty objectionable, because he opposed the abolition of slavery. Still, it looks like if they had wanted to, they could even have kept it named after "Rufus King", and just changed which one they were talking about.
2013-10-14 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks; I misremembered which one had been the original source of the county's name. Interesting that there were closer namesakes that were more suitable; I hadn't known that!
I HAVE heard someone wishing people "Oh -- one more thing" for Columbo's Day.
As a person of part Native American heritage, and a convert to Judaism, I think of this day the way I think of the day we mourn the destruction of the temple. It's a holiday. Some years I make it a fast day. Other years I think on the problems of culture clash in other areas.
Ah the good 'ol Knights of Columbus. They could use a proper, unbiased, history lesson. Hm if we need a symbolic day to honor a really cool Catholic person, how about Dorothy Day?
While I was an undergrad at UMass Amherst, (the "belly of the beast" for political/social activity), many folks were already campaigning for an "Indigenous Peoples Day" as a replacement for Columbus Day. Of course, the tight-ass, wing-nut students hated them (because they behaved like Communists) and why couldn't these "boring, liberal, f*gg*t, losers" leave well enough alone? I could go on but I think you get the picture.
It just wears me out the way some people need to cling to symbols without wanting to understand the history behind them. So much so that they'll call anyone who doesn't agree with them every name in the book, stick their fingers in their ears and go on their merry way.
Er, didn't Columbus finding there was land in reachable distance, sort of lead to other Europeans coming over and settling?
The legend that says everyone thought the earth was flat and only Columbus got it right and sailed off on his own (like Ellis Wyatt or someone) and found a eucatastrophe -- is a great legend but untrue. Everyone else knew the earth was round but too big for a non-stop voyage to the East Indies. If Teddy Roosevelt had dug the Panama Canal in 1491, Columbus might have restocked, sailed on, and lucked out.
Even as it was, "Try crazy experiments because they may have unexpected payoffs" is not a bad moral for, excuse the term, America.
A more or less spotless Columbus fits the "World is Round" legend. But the "Crazy serendipity" legend doesn't need a moral hero, in fact a Harold Hill fits okay. But really it doesn't need any stinkin hero at all. Better "Everyman, er, everyperson who has the guts to try something, may find something."