Those of us who teach about the history of Latin America have completely and utterly failed at our task judging by the huge exultant crowds that tear down Columbus statues. Our field is dying but that’s because we never managed to transmit anything good about the culture we teach. Out of intellectual infantilism we run around condemning and exposing, triumphantly wagging our fingers and pretending that this is an intellectual and not a psychiatric exercise.
Only the very naive think it’s somehow possible to declare Columbus evil but defend Martí, Borges, Rulfo, or anybody whose very existence was made possible by Columbus.
All that’s being left of our field of knowledge is “border studies” because the only interesting thing about the Hispanic people of the Americas is how fast they can get anglicized.
The toppling of Columbus is about the erasure of “Latin” from America. The taínos who had legitimate grievances against Columbus aren’t here and it’s not their descendants who are crashing the statues. It’s only and always the entitled Anglos whose narcissistic woundedness can’t stand anything not being about them.
It’s my life’s work to bring the wonder of the Hispanic culture to those who are unfamiliar with it. And when I see these ridiculously stupid crowds trashing the Columbus statues, I realize I’m failing. We are all failing. And we totally deserve to be turned into appendages to English departments because philosophically and intellectually we are.