His contemporaries despised him. He was a slave trader, taking people from their families to make up for the fact that he was inept at trying to “discover” a new trade route or riches. People tried to assassinate him, and he was returned to Spain in chains and stripped of his nobility and the entitlements that came with that status.
So, why do we, as Americans, praise Columbus and celebrate a day in his honor? It could be theorized that the story we were taught as children caters to our nature as a dysfunctional society of conquerors; a survival of the fittest mentality and a society that reveres avarice.
In truth, Columbus really has nothing to do with America at all. Using him as a symbol of liberty and independence is a grave insult to those who have fought for the same. Rather than teaching blatant lies to our children, we should use him as an example of the cruelty and inhumanity of those who torture and kill innocent people under the guise of subduing the enemy. The atrocities committed by Columbus and his men should serve as a lesson that diplomacy is preferable to war.BÓNUS - Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not) (The Oatmeal)