As somebody who teaches about Christopher Columbus, here’s what I have to say. And I’ve said it before but we have new readers.
He was an absolutely outstanding, brilliant, deeply courageous person.
He was also completely ruthless, heartless, and only out to enrich himself. Time and again, he defied the wishes of the Spanish crown and tried to enslave the natives. A shitty human being, completely immoral.
When we read Columbus’s diaries in class, students invariably ask why we should celebrate such an imperfect individual. And I always tell them that statues and holidays don’t celebrate individuals. They celebrate us and the impact the individuals’ achievements have on us.
The famous Pushkin Monument in Moscow doesn’t celebrate the poet’s disordered life or his ownership of slaves, some of whom he exploited sexually. It celebrates the emotions we feel when reading his poetry.
The famous statue of Churchill isn’t celebrating Churchill’s opinions on anything. It celebrates Great Britain’s heroic resistance and victory in WWII.
And the statues of Columbus is celebrating our existence. Well, not mine, obviously, but definitely of every sad fool who is now toppling them.
But this is all part of the Left’s religious thinking. They want saints and angels. They perceive these statues like Orthodox Christians perceive holy icons. And like a person of primitively Christian feelings who trashes an icon when it fails to deliver a miracle, they demolish an object that points to life’s unbearable complexity.