Well, refuting each of these points...
We now know that he didn't discover America,or even the Americas, there were people living there well before he arrived and he wasn't even the first European explorer to arrive there. The shape of the world was well known among the educated in Columbus's time, and the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria probably were not even the names of his boats.The Santa Maria was also known at the time as La Gallega, meaning The Galician. the Nina is now believed to be a nickname for a ship originally called the Santa Clara, and the Pinta was probably also a nickname, though the ship’s real name isn’t known.
Realizing all of this, I was still struck by the differences of the presentation of the history when I visited the Grenadian Historical Museum.
It started with the sign designating the room.
As accurate as that is, I am pretty sure that is not how my teachers presented it to me in elementary school.
The caption on this picture was
"Christopher Columbus is shown initiating the Invasion of Europeans into the region that was already inhabited by many and diverse groups of people who are later grouped under the term Amerindian."
Can you imagine arriving at a new place, with people already living there, and deciding that you have the right to rename it?
And make new laws for this country saying that it is OK to enslave the people there.
I understand that history is written by the victors, but that certainly does not make it right. I stood in the museum, reading the exhibits, feeling for the conquered people, wondering what our children are being taught now. Are they being taught empathy for the conquered people? And what about Thanksgiving? There is another example of skewed history I was taught.
We should all consider the people on both sides of history. Not the conquerors, not the governments, not the victors, but the people.
Happy Columbus Day, everyone.