Wait. Columbus was America’s first immigrant but the left doesn’t want to celebrate him? I guess he wasn’t a Democrat.
But now we have antifa threatening to destroy all statues of Columbus.
Far-left historian Howard Zinn, in particular, had a huge impact on changing the minds of a generation of Americans about the Columbus legacy. Zinn not only maligned Columbus, but attacked the larger migration from the Old World to the new that he ushered in.
It wasn’t just Columbus who was a monster, according to Zinn, it was the driving ethos of the civilization that ultimately developed in the wake of his discovery: the United States.
“Behind the English invasion of North America,” Zinn wrote, “behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.”
The truth is that Columbus set out for the New World thinking he would spread Christianity to regions where it didn’t exist. While Columbus, and certainly his Spanish benefactors, had an interest in the goods and gold he could return from what they thought would be Asia, the explorer’s primary motivation was religious.
“This conviction that God destined him to be an instrument for spreading the faith was far more potent than the desire to win glory, wealth, and worldly honors,” wrote historian Samuel Eliot Morison over a half-century ago.
In fact, as contemporary historian Carol Delaney noted, even the money Columbus sought was primarily dedicated to religious purposes.