Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Happy Indigenous People's Day!

Santa Maria in Portland Harbor
What struck me most about the Santa Maria was how tiny she is. A replica sailed into Portland Harbor last month and I paid ten dollars to go aboard and look around. More astonishing still was remembering that the Nina and the Pinta — the two caravels sailing with the Santa Maria — were even smaller. There’s only one enclosed space on the biggest ship, and that was where the captain slept. Its fifty-two crew members slept on the open deck of the 117-foot ship, only going below with the cargo when the weather was bad.

Good Columbus

Americans my age were taught to revere Columbus for his intrepid maritime leadership sailing across uncharted waters, holding a mutinous crew together, and discovering what we call America. Now school children are taught that Columbus was a money-grubbing, European, white guy who slaughtered and enslaved innocent Native Americans who only wanted to help him and his men. When Democrats took over Maine government in 2018, they abolished Columbus Day and ordered Maine citizens to celebrate “Indigenous Citizens Day” instead.

Bad Columbus
Not only that, schoolchildren are now taught that Columbus was too dumb to know he had bumped into two previously unknown continents and thought he was in the Indies. So, he called the people he found “Indians,” and they continued to be called that for the next five centuries until progressives insisted they be called Native Americans. Whenever I meet someone who is a real American Indian and looks nothing like Senator Elizabeth Warren, I ask whether he or she wishes to be called Indian or Native American. So far, all have said, “Indian.” Next time I’ll also ask: “How about calling you ’Indigenous Person’?” but I think I know what the answer will be.

In light of all this, I wonder if I should be wishing people “Happy Indigenous People Day” over the weekend in Maine, and “Happy Columbus Day” in New Hampshire since I’m so often driving back and forth across the state line. Will automobile dealerships in Maine be putting on special Indigenous People’s Day Sales? Is it now illegal to sponsor a “Special Columbus Day Sale” over here on Maine’s side of the border?

Since no drawings or plans of the original Santa Maria exist, we cannot know how closely the ship I explored compared to it. All I can say is that it represents the closest guess of what it probably looked like based on other ships in use at the time. I have to wonder if the Spanish crew members knew about what happened in Maine when Democrats returned to power. Would they have sailed right on by Portland if they knew?

Portland Progressives demonstrate
I didn’t see any left-wing demonstrators down there on Commercial Street while I was touring the ship and it doesn’t take much to get them cranked up enough to staple signs to sticks and march down the street chanting. I expected the arrival of Columbus’s ship would have been enough to turn them out. Doing research for this article, I learned that a replica of Nina sank last April in Corpus Christi Texas, but the articles I read said nothing about foul play and the ship was eventually re-floated.

The City of Portland had earlier (2017) abolished Columbus Day before the whole state did it in 2019 but I don’t recall seeing any Indigenous People celebrating the new holiday and I’m often there during the second Monday of October. Come to think of it, I never saw any Spanish Americans or Italian Americans (Columbus was Italian) celebrating when it was called Columbus Day either. I do see people celebrating other holidays like the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but those last two are threatened by progressives as well. The Pilgrims, after all, were also white Europeans. Progressive groups are now claiming that Thanksgiving is “celebrating ongoing genocide.”

And of course, Christmas has been under siege by the left for decades now. Public schools no longer mention the word, calling it “Winter Holiday” instead. People paying homage to political correctness are hesitant to say, “Merry Christmas” outside their own household, wish people “Happy Holidays.” It all makes me wonder: what’s next? Labor Day? The diminishing number of unionized workers still marks the occasion but most of our populace gives it a big ho-hum.

Memorial Day is celebrated and we’ve all known soldiers who have died in recent wars. That holiday should be safe, and Veteran’s Day too. Martin Luther King Day? It’s still relatively new so I guess it’ll be okay for a while. I have come to believe most Americans care much more about getting a paid holiday off from work than whatever it is that day is supposed to commemorate.

It’ll be up to the Spanish now to decide whether they’ll pay future voyages of the Santa Maria to Portland, Maine.


CaptDMO said...

Native American Indiginous peoples blah blah blah.....
I find the least anout of "offense" if I go out of my way to refer to folks by their tribe names, "Algonquin" or Cree in a pinch,
'Round here, it's usually Abanaki, or Mi'kmac. There's so many retained "indian" names for stuff, and locations, sometimes it kinda' pays off to be aware of who's who, and what's what.

Can't wait to hear all about how the great Captain Columbus sailed directly from England to Plymouth rock, celebrated the First Thanksgiving with the witches that disembarked and settled Salem, before they got together with the Indians and fought the British in Concord NH.

Nick Peace said...

Let's be realistic: Columbus was not nice to the natives he found in the Caribbean, enslaving them, feeding them to his war dogs, etc. But regardless, Europeans would have bumped in to the Americas eventually, bringing diseases which the natives had no immunity for, exploiting resources, colonizing, and taking the land. It was inevitable. And the Europeans came out on top in that meeting. Guns, germs, and steel Jared Diamond says.

Human nature is human nature. As you correctly point out in your memes, some of the native tribes were just as brutal and war-like. Let's not mythologize the natives either.

But most of us just want a paid holiday!

Brian said...

"Now school children are taught that Columbus was a money-grubbing, European, white guy who slaughtered and enslaved innocent Native Americans who only wanted to help him and his men."

Schools I have worked in teach the facts about Columbus and let the children make up their own minds. "Money grubbing" is not mentioned, but the fact that Columbus was after riches is. Yes, the facts are he was European and white. Yes, the facts are he slaughtered and enslaved Native Americans. It has not been mentioned as a fact that the Native Americans "just wanted to help", but the fact that some Indians DID help is mentioned. Columbus, in my experience teaching, is never referred to as "dumb", but the fact remains he landed somewhere other than where he thought he was. He is still given credit as a great and brave sailor. It sounds as if you would like to ignore inconvenient facts in order to glorify Columbus and diminish indigenous people.

If you have a problem with the holiday being re-named “Indigenous Citizens Day”, you did not state what your problem is.

As for what people would like to be called, I certainly hope you don't really think you know simply because you talked with a few people. If you step outside your personal bubble and actually broaden your research you might discover a bigger picture of the truth.



I think you'll find that many would prefer the term indigenous people. But whatever, they're really "just Indians", right?

It's hardly worth commenting on your echoing the loony theory of a war on Christmas. Again, the schools I work are FULL of Christmas displays and Christmas songs, etc. Personally, I enjoy it, but the fact is that this religious holiday continues to be pushed into the entire public in a huge way. I hear, and say, Merry Christmas countless times. I hear Christmas songs being played in stores constantly. (Starting in October sometimes!)

So give that old dog a rest.

Uber_Fritz said...

Oh yes, the new progressive movement takes the standards of today and applies them to the past. Suddenly, former noteworthy people have become evil. Consequently, any evidence of these people in the past MUST be destroyed. So much for the teachings of history and the potential lessons learned. How might the Jews react to the abolition of any mention of their torment and sorrow? Should we forget about the Holocaust? Or should it remain a great lesson?

Since slavery has always been an example of horrible behavior, then any references to the Civil War must be deleted. That means that any discussion of reparations dissolved along with the war.

This type of attitude is garden variety stupid! We cannot impose the current societal standards on the past. The past must remain part of history and serve as a chronicle for learning. Anything else lack any logic whatsoever.

Brian said...

Not sure why Fritz is going into this nonsensical rant. I just explained that Columbus is NOT being forgotten and that the facts about him are being taught. No evidence is being "destroyed". Slavery or the holocaust being deleted? What are you babbling about? Nobody is saying anything of the sort. The past is very much a part of history. People's perspective on history is always changing...choosing to honor somebody or not does not "delete" it.

Jared James Bristol said...

I think we know who should be deleted.

Kafir said...

How can American Indians claim to be indigenous anyway? Didn’t they cross into what’s now known as Alaska from Siberia across the Bering Strait 20,000 years ago?