October 8, 2005: on many a calendar, and in some US cities, folks will mark the official Columbus Day holiday. In Denver, that means another holiday for poor, underworked state and federal government employees, as well as a parade.
And a protest.
The Sons of Italy are among those who stand behind the parade; elements of AIM and other fringe groups stand in the way of the parade.
The Denver Police will be standing in the middle.
I spent a little time yesterday, listening to the comments of both sides in this annual 'war of words', and sometimes worse. According to various and sundry spokespersons for the protesters, Columbus is guilty of committing slavery and genocide against the American Indians for hundreds of years. According to various and sundry spokespersons for the proponents, Columbus was one helluva navigator who discovered America.
Neither side gets it right.
Columbus -- between 1492 and 1504 -- made four trips to the 'New World'. The first, and most celebrated, had him leaving Spain with three ships on August 3, 1492, and arriving in the 'New World' on October 12, 1492.
The present-day Bahamas. Specifically, San Salvador.
Last time I checked, that isn't a part of North America, let alone the United States. If it were, Cindy Sheehan would be demanding that Dubya quit "occupying" it, but I digress.
Granted, on his last journey, Columbus did land in present-day Nigaracua. Last time I checked, that is in present-day Central America.
Christopher Columbus never set foot in North America. Never saw a single Native American on North American shores. And -- unless he was omnipresent and omnipotent -- he never enslaved, murdered, nor abused a single soul on the North American continent.
The same cannot be said for his employers, and the nationality that made up the crew he sheperded across the Atlantic: The Spanish.
Their record in the Caribbean, South and Central America, Cuba and Florida, is another matter.
Factually, who actually 'discovered' North America has been speculated upon for years: whether it was wandering Siberians, seafaring Vikings attacking persons with high interest credit cards, or some Eddie Murphy character, one thing is as certain as Howard Dean stupidity: it wasn't Christopher Columbus.
Of course, the AIM activists and their small cadre of sycophants -- including the infamous alleged plagiarizer, proven America hater and faux Native American, Ward Churchill -- don't say a word about any of that. Nor do they acknowledge the savagery, the cannibalism, the human sacrifices, the practices of slavery and genocide, by various and sundry indigenous tribes that Columbus did discover in his voyages. Let alone, some of the same barbarous practices by some (not all) tribes on the North American continent. Practices that existed well before contact with, or the potential for racial contamination by, a single Eurocentric.
It's easier for them to ignore their own history, turn Christopher Columbus into Adolph Hitler, and threaten to go fascist if their demands aren't met: that the City of Denver end the Columbus Day parade. The Columbus Day holiday. The Columbus Day anything.
While the Sons of Italy, and Columbus Day parade organizers, vow to meet threats with a parade.
Leaving the Denver Police to stand in the middle.
In a civil, tolerant society, a group disagreeing with the basis for a parade by another group, holds a counter parade of their own. Both sides have a voice; law and liberty see that both sides get to exercise it.
But idiots within and without AIM seek to stifle dissent of their own twisted views of history. Not uncommon in the liberal ideology.
Thus, today, October 8, 2005, Denver will see the annual Columbus Day parade. And the annual Columbus Day parade protest, chocked full of idiots having little, no, or a skewed view of what it is they're protesting.
Should prove interesting.
Except to the Denver Police Department.