Columbus descendant pens op-ed defending Columbus legacy

Columbus descendant pens op-ed defending Columbus legacy
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A descendant of Christopher Columbus penned an op-ed published Monday defending Columbus's legacy.

In the op-ed published in USA Today — titled "Hey America, my ancestor didn't cause your failings" — Christopher Columbus XX wrote that history has some "truly evil people," but his ancestor is "not one of them."

"Most often, history is not made up of perfect people and evil ones, but of complex people who must be understood in context," he wrote.

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"What is happening at the hands of Columbus’ detractors is political, not historical. As his direct descendant and namesake, I should know."

Columbus XX wrote that blaming his ancestor for everything that went wrong when two cultures met for the first time in 1492 "hides the truth about him" and "obscures the great things that the countries of the American hemisphere have accomplished."

Columbus XX said Columbus did "something incredible" by reaching the Bahamas on board three small ships.

"Those who now question Columbus conveniently ignore the fact that slavery, cannibalism, warfare and even human sacrifice all existed in the Americas before he even sailed," he wrote.

"Even so, some today blame Columbus for everything they dislike in U.S. history, despite the ample evidence that he was a moderating force on his men, and the fact that he sought to keep good manners and friendly relations with Native Americans."

Columbus XX continued to tout the accomplishments of his ancestor, saying blaming Columbus "does his legacy a terrible injustice" and focuses people's anger "on the wrong man."

He argued that an "all-or-nothing view of history polarizes everything."

"And ironically, those who oppose Columbus in the name of progressive ideas end up following the propaganda campaigns of the Ku Klux Klan and also of Hugo Chavez, who suppressed the celebration and replaced it with the Day of Indigenous Resistance," he wrote.

In recent years, some Americans have celebrated “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on the second Monday in October. Sixteen states in the country don't recognize Columbus Day as a public holiday. 

President Trump did not mention Native Americans in his first proclamation of Columbus Day statement released Monday.