Columbus is regarded as a hero to the Italian people mainly because of his skilled navigational abilities. His goal was to find a more direct route to Asia by sailing in a
westerly direction from Spain instead of following the traditionally accepted navigational route around the coast of Africa. Many thought it would be a suicide mission. Nevertheless, Columbus lobbied Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II of Spain to sponsor the journey and set sail in August, 1492. Between 1492 and 1502
Columbus made four transatlantic trips.
Centuries later, Italians faced terrible discrimination and prejudice in the United States during the latter half of the 19 th century and early 20 th century. At one point it had
become so bad it strained relations between the United States and Italy prompting President Benjamin Harrison to declare Columbus Day a one-time national celebration
in honor of the 400 th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage. Eventually, through much lobbying efforts and many years, it became a national holiday.
Over the years, revisionists have bent, twisted, distorted, and rewritten the historical account of Columbus’s voyages. To make matters worse, Columbus has also been
blamed for everything that occurred after his voyages.
This is analogous to blaming Henry Ford for every automobile accident that occurred after he began selling cars at the beginning of the 20th century.
Unfortunately, these distorted views are now being accepted as the true historical account making it nearly impossible to have an intelligent conversation without everyone retreating into their respective corners, arguing positions using false narratives or incomplete facts.
What is needed is to analyze the facts and dispel the myths and lies. We have to ignore the current political correctness and cancel culture climate and dispassionately analyze
the facts. Only then can we have an intelligent conversation about the legacy of Christopher Columbus.
Related Item: Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to the Nutley Board of Commissioners, Nutley UNICO, & Nutley - Belleville Columbus Day Parade Committee