Rethinking Columbus

No addio e arrivederci, Cristoforo. Benvenuti alla festa!

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor
According to AP, a movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the U.S., with Los Angeles in August becoming the biggest city yet to decide to stop honoring the Italian explorer and instead recognize victims of colonialism.

Austin, Texas, followed suit Thursday. It joined cities, including San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, that had previously booted Columbus in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day.

It’s not about taking anything away from Italian-Americans, said Cliff Matias, cultural director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, which is hosting a “Re-Thinking Columbus Day” event Sunday and Monday in New York City.

“The conversation is Columbus,” he said. “If they’re going to celebrate Columbus, we need to celebrate the fact that we survived Columbus.”

Since Christopher actually was sailing for Spain when we were “discovered” and we were “prediscovered” by Viking explorer Leif Eriksson, inclusion not exclusion should be the theme of the day.

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Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

Trail Mix Host

49 thoughts on “Rethinking Columbus”

  1. why isn’t “indigene” used instead of “native American” for brevity as well as more clearly distinguishing those citizens who are indigenous from who are merely born in (and thus native to) America?

  2. Well drumpf’s approval rating bump’s in the dumps. Down to 32% in the latest AP poll. Sad.

    Well, I’m not Italian and I’m not Spanish, and I’m not indigenous. And I am not in the dump Columbus camp. In the 15th century when no one was certain that sailing away from land would result in anything other than death, he got in three small boats, the largest being the Pinta at 74 feet and headed out into the ocean hoping to get to India. If you’ve ever sailed on a 50 foot boat, you ain’t getting on it if you’re going out into what is certain to be stormy seas, and particularly if you don’t know that The sea you’re on doesn’t end in a waterfall or has monsters residing in it waiting to make you lunch. Everything else aside, he defied conventional wisdom, defied erroneous beliefs about the world, and took one hell of a risk that resulted ultimately in the population of the land we live in. I think we owe him something for that. (I think that is certainly worth a day off for the post office and a bunch of white sales.)

  3. full disclosure, folks, for above thread, most of it, the meat of it, was written by the good people at associated press. my only written contributions were  the stab at Italian at the beginning and the last paragraph that said:

    Since Christopher actually was sailing for Spain when we were “discovered” and we were “prediscovered” by Viking explorer Leif Eriksson, inclusion not exclusion should be the theme of the day.

    like pogo said, let’s not dump the adventurous sailor. let’s include and celebrate all who made us the best we are… don’t celebrate ones who don’t (and you and sen. corker know who that is).


  4. ny times via msn:

    Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

    In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”

    “He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”


    Mr. Trump poses such an acute risk, the senator said, that a coterie of senior administration officials must protect him from his own instincts. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Mr. Corker said in a telephone interview.


    All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.

    “Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

    As for the tweets that set off the feud on Sunday morning, Mr. Corker expressed a measure of powerlessness.

    “I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” he said. “You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.”


    In August, after Mr. Trump’s equivocal response to the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., Mr. Corker told reporters that the president “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

    He said on Sunday that he had made all those comments deliberately, aiming them at “an audience of one, plus those people who are closely working around with him, what I would call the good guys.” He was referring to Mr. Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly.

    “As long as there are people like that around him who are able to talk him down when he gets spun up, you know, calm him down and continue to work with him before a decision gets made, I think we’ll be fine,” he said.

    Mr. Corker would not directly answer when asked whether he thought Mr. Trump was fit for the presidency. But he did say that the commander in chief was not fully aware of the power of his office.

    “I don’t think he appreciates that when the president of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world, especially in the region that he’s addressing,” he said. “And so, yeah, it’s concerning to me.”

  5. Why not re-title it Discovery Day? Discoverers Day?  Just celebrate explorers from all fields, including science.

    That way, it is transferable; all Martian postal facilities can be closed to observe it. 🙂

    Why Trumpy wanna go back to the moon?

  6. wapo:
    SAN FRANCISCO — Google for the first time has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited the company’s platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the company’s investigation.
    The Silicon Valley giant has found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s many products, which include YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail, and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that have not been made public. Google runs the world’s largest online advertising business, and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site.
    The discovery by Google is also significant because the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook — a sign that the Russian effort to spread disinformation online may be a much broader problem than Silicon Valley companies have unearthed so far.
    Some of the ads, which cost a total of about $100,000, touted Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and the Green party candidate Jill Stein during the campaign, people familiar with those ads said. Other ads appear to have been aimed at fostering division in United States by promoting anti-immigrant sentiment and racial animosity. Facebook has said those ads reached just 10 million of the 210 million U.S. users that log onto the service each month.
    At least one outside researcher has said that the influence of Russian disinformation on Facebook is much greater than the company has so far  acknowledged and encompasses paid ads as well as posts published on Facebook pages controlled by Russian agents. The posts were shared hundreds of millions of times, said Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.

  7. Great idea BiD.  It goes with President’s day and other generic honorees.

    If they must have an Italian to honor then go for Amerigo Vespucci since he drew the map and gave his name to the country.

  8. I put changing the federal Columbus Day holiday to something else in the same box as changing gun laws. Not in my lifetime.

    My DNA shows I have no Spanish genes, but I do have Italian/Greek (13%), most likely when the Romans took over Britain and my relatives practiced “make love, not war”.  Which leaves me less interested in celebrating a guy who went on a long distance sail.  Also, I have Native American genes. Making me more likely to vote for a change of who we are making a hero on this day.

    I do like the Independence Day holiday, although I am developing a soft spot for Queen Liz now that it is confirmed I have a lot of British genes in me.

    Back to this particular holiday and the reason for its existence.  That reason is a good reason to change to something more inclusive.  Explorer Day for instance.  My Native American ancestors did not evolve here from monkeys in the Amazon jungle.  They explored and ended up here a long time ago.  So Explorer Day is a good thing.

  9. I’m with Pogo on this one.  Besides…  my region makes a lot of money from all the hordes of leaf-peepers running around.  Too bad it’s raining.


  10. A federal holiday — who can argue with that?  But, not all 50 states celebrate the holiday — which states observe ‘columbus day’?    It is a postal holiday, however.

    white shadow prez pence is such a showboater and another federal waste of money and time.

  11. BW

    So far we are not near the fires –more near Santa Rosa and we are close to the coast


    In SF as well as indigenous people’s day they also celebrate Italian Heritage Day…and the truth is it should be Queen Isabella Day == she paid for it.

  12. BW, our town is really heavily Italian – been run by folks with Italian names for a very long time – hearkens back to the Italians who lived here and worked in the glass factories – all of which are gone except one, and it’s nothing like the ones that were dominated by Italian workers.  Hell, we have what our town “fathers” like to tout as the largest Italian Festival outside NYC’s.  Today the courthouse is closed, as are banks and of course the PO, but the schools don’t celebrate Columbus Day – not even the Catholic school here.

    Stupid me – when LP was in about 8th grade I was off on CD and kept him home, thinking surely school was out.  Nope.  Got a call about noon from the principal asking if he was sick.  Problem was that their soccer team was playing evil cross town rival Bridgeport and LP was a critical piece of the team, but the school’s policy was no school, no play.  I took him into school for the last couple hours of the day and pled with the principal (a very good friend of ours) that he and the team shouldn’t be penalized for his father’s stupidity.  He got to play and they won the game on his hat trick

  13. I’d like to spend the day on Amerigo Vespucci Blvd. in Williamsburg NY…..that would be a nice holiday…..

    everybody knows the Spanish in those days were a bunch of sadistic freaks; and the Italians/Romans….Hoo-Boy, fahgeddabowdit

    so what the hell, take the holiday and use the occasion to call Columbus (and Andrew Jackson) a couple of assholes.

  14. How much did that little NFL stunt Trumpy sent Pence to carry out cost us?

    Why is more attention being paid to players not standing for the anthem than yet another player being allowed to play when there are allegations of violence against a woman (and pics of her bruises), and everyone dragging their feet until the season is over?

    Every time I see that stinkin’ PSA from the NFL about acceptable treatment of women, I wanna spit at the screen.

    NFL – National Felons League


    BB -Based on DNA, I’d be celebrating Leif Erickson Day.  A bit from the Iberian Peninsula (7%), but mostly Scandinavian.

  15. Trumpy & Pence should each donate that to womens’ shelters in the city  of each team.

    Trumpy should donate to Puerto Rico relief for the way he mocked the proper pronunciation of the name of the island, which in the middle of the ocean.

    “Adult” day care?  I beg to differ, Corker.  Third-grade, tops.

  16. BiD – I have a little of the Lief genes too.  Again, most likely from when they invaded Britain and my ancestors once again relied on the “make love, not war” plan of action to prevent annihilation.

  17. business insider:

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s making battery production for Puerto Rico a top priority — but installation costs have reportedly been prohibitively expensive for many locals.

    Tesla delayed its electric semi-truck reveal in part to focus on ramping up battery production for the storm-ridden island, Musk said Friday.

    Tesla has been shipping hundreds of its residential batteries, the Powerwall, to Puerto Rico. This way, residents who already have solar panels installed on their houses can use the batteries to restore power while the electrical grid is still down.

    But with so many people in need of power, it’s no surprise that demand has far exceeded supply. It certainly doesn’t help that some third-party installers are charging excessive premiums, Electrek first reported.

    Some locals told Electrek that installers have charged as much as $12,000 for a Powerwall with installation. The $6,200 Powerwall typically costs between $800 and $2,000 to install, according to Tesla’s website.

    Musk said on Friday that Tesla always charges the same price for a Powerwall and will stop shipping units to installers charging excessive premiums.

    He added that the internal Tesla team on Puerto Rico is very small and the company is working to send more experienced installers to train and hire locals.

    […several tweets here…]

    A Tesla representative declined to comment beyond Musk’s statements.

    Musk said increasing battery supplies was a top concern after speaking with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, who said he was interested in using Tesla’s commercial batteries, the Powerpack, and solar panels to rebuild the island’s electrical system. 

    Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, knocked out power for the Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents, and they may not get power again for another six months.

  18. Why does the moron-in-chief like lightning?He thinks someone is taking his picture.


    I have to clarify I have not telling moron jokes MOM I am telling The moron jokes

  19. Ha, Katherine Graham Cracker, Queen Isabella had more balls than all the explorers/discoverers combined.

  20. sj, for Izzy it was an investment – those Spaniards back then and for a couple centuries after were all about investing in finding silver and gold in the new world since that trade route to India thought didn’t work out.

  21. Pogo,

    I’m thinking of Isabella as the Warrior Queen in Spain. Her daughters Katherine of Aragon & Juana inherited her spirit.


  22. blueINdallas,

    My brother was named after Erik the Red.


    Doesn’t matter which European entity was over here first because the Indigenous Peoples crossed that land bridge way long before.

    There is a Leif Ericsson Day celebrated in the upper Midwest but honestly no one else in this country gives a hoot. Columbus Day means nothing to me. It’s one more annoying Monday holiday without mail.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo takes great pains to refer to today as “Italian-American” Day. He is a major whiny panderer who by the grace of God or Satan or the Man in the Moon will never be President. Seriously, he is a Political Machine. Like in robot.

  23. Pogo

    She took the risk when no one else would …for whatever reason and she rarely gets an credit

  24. I am glad that Corker is speaking out against Trump but I have a hard time with him after the scuzzy campaign he ran against Harold Fordjr

  25. Read a bit about ol’ Chris today.  Columbus probably assumed the world was a sphere – he was pretty well read and the concept of the earth as a sphere had existed for at least 1800-2000 years although lots of folks didn’t buy it.  In the early 1400s one popular model was a flat but round earth.  Portuguese sailors had pretty much put the idea of a spherical world along the N-S direction to rest in the late 1400s in their voyages along the African coast – sun’s position in the sky as they went South and all.  The oldest surviving globe was made in 1492 –  during CC’s return to Europe on his first voyage – there weren’t any islands he sailed to on it of course. Now about those dragons….

  26. I take nothing away from Izzy – A few bucks to CC and his scrappy crew was a minor investment .  She was definitely an impressive figure in late 15th/early 16th century Europe – Just ask the Portuguese and Granadans.  Of course the Inquisition and expulsion of the Jews from Spain at about the time ol’ CC was setting sail don’t look all that great on her resume – although Ferdinand may have been the driving force on that last thing.

  27. Pat,
    There’s an excellent op-ed “Christopher Columbus, Great American” in this morning’s Journal. The title says it all and why it is true and why we should celebrate him.

  28. Ya know, any sailor knows the world is round. A sailor/mathematician could even compute a close measurement. But a smart explorer knowing that  Queen Isabela wanted a way around the Portuguese monopoly to the orient is going to offer her what she wants. Even if he just wanted to see what was beyond the horizon.  In other words Columbus knew it was a long frigging way to China But being honest doesn’t get you funding.

    BTW 20 years after Columbus, European fishing fleets were off the banks of Newfoundland. Wonder how many were there before Columbus.


  29. For those disparaging CC, calling the day explorer day would be just as offensive.  For them it I about the dominance of European civilization over the world. Given what the Europeans brought enlightenment, science, liberal democracy.   As a result, Chinese invented  the rocket, we sent it to the moon.

    As any historian can tell you nobody has a monopoly on genocide.  Like slavery, it seems to be a human condition.

    The solutions that the Europeans developed made both outdated. That is a reason to celebrate today.


  30. One last politically incorrect comment about Columbus day. The creation of a federal holiday of Columbus day in 1937 was the official recognition that Italians were White. Although some people still dispute it to this day.



    grin duck and run,


  31. What is the difference between what #45 said on Access Hollywood & Harvey Weinstein (perhaps) (probably) did in life?

    Is it appropriate that both New York Senators donated the money they received from Weinstein? (As their constituent I’m OK with this.)

    Should Dems walk the walk & come clean from probable sleaze?

    Is it proper to call out & shun those who accepted the money yet don’t donate/return?

    This is truly a bipartisan issue as neither Party can throw stones at the other’s glass house. I don’t see any solution as Big $ is too entrenched in our Politics since … forever. Icky bad Dem $ is just as rotten as icky bad GOP $. Stink is stink.



  32. Pelosi is known as the master fundraiser for the Dems. If she can be tied to lobbying Weinstein for the $ could be ammo for the young fry agitating for change in the Party Leadership.




  33. SJ: “Is it proper to call out & shun those who accepted the money yet don’t donate/return?”

    Depends. If the person was unaware that the individual was a creep and the money is already spent for documented campaign expenses and the campaign account is empty, then no, the individual shouldn’t be shunned. And there’s no money to donate much less return.

  34. Jack, you’re correct about the racism directed at those folks from the north side of the Med. It’s okay, though, their kin still in Europe take it out on the peoples on the Med’s south side.

  35. Speaking of shallow but true: for all the money Ivana Trump leads us to believe she has, she should be able to afford better plastic surgeons. Holy cow. She was a naturally lovely woman who would have aged naturally lovely. Embrace who you are, ladies! Let your DNA shine.





  36. I have pictures of Mrs Jack from when she was a really cool looking hippie chick, straight brown hair. from the eighties when her hair was curly and piled on top of her head and now she is a natural blonde soon to be platinum. So what is real?

    I say do what you want, you want a little surgery then go for it.

    Me I’m lucky as I age I just look more distinguished.

    Really,  I wouldn’t lie


  37. as to Weinstein

    Hell we all know that kind of asshole, we’ve got one for president. What I say is take their money use it and don’t apologize.


  38. Republicans would have taken money from Weinstein or anybody else who offered, but they were too busy taking money from white supremists and  the NRA.  All the while trying to give cover to an admitted pussy grabber.Don’t recall them losing any sleep over it. They are in a poor position to criticize. They best STFU.

  39. jack & flatus, not much has changed has it? except now the brunt of jokes (or worse discrimination/violence) are Mexicans and muslims instead of Italians (also irish)  and catholics (also Mormons).  interestingly, considering the disparagement of mexican immigrants of today, the italian immigrant of old was called (among other unkindly epithets) a “wop” an acronym for WithOutPapers.

  40. “Republicans would have taken money from Weinstein or anybody else who offered, but they were too busy taking money from white supremists and  the NRA.”

    jace, ’tis a puzzlement how money from an exhibitionistic sex predator is seen as more vile and tainted than money from promoters and perpetrators of hatred and violence.  the ones with blood on their hands metaphorically as well as actually should be the ones at the front of the shunned line.

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