The negative comments about Christopher Columbus seem to be based on reports that he was a violent and cruel explorer responsible for the death, enslavement, and spread of disease in America. However, it is unclear how much evidence supports these claims. As a journalist, I want to emphasize that history is not a science, and while historians do extensive research, they are also subjective in their decision-making.
When faced with conflicting accounts about events or individuals, historians make judgments as to the truth before them. For example, consider recent historical events such as the Vietnam War or the war in Afghanistan. How many different accounts have there been? Who is right? Here we might say that truth is in the eye of the reader. Before making any unwarranted judgments, we must gather all available information and consider it objectively.
It is essential to recognize that conquests have been happening for centuries for various reasons. While it is true that Indigenous peoples were subjugated during Columbus’s era, we cannot forget that America’s independence came after bloody conflict. Typically, the winning side in any war claims ownership of the land and imposes its culture on the vanquished. “To the victor goes the spoils.” However, reparations should be offered to those who have been exploited.
In conclusion, I believe that Christopher Columbus’s statue should remain as it is – a symbol of courage and discovery – rather than being removed or altered due to negative perceptions about him. It serves as a token of pride for Italian Americans and represents new opportunities for those who came before us.