Columbus Day—A Comanche's Philosophy

[Previously By David Yeagley: A Comanche Looks At Columbus—See Other Columbus Day Pieces Here.]

Great men often suffer greatly. And where there is greatness, there is great error.  Columbus was no exception, by all accounts.

I consider Columbus one of the greatest men who ever lived, certainly since the time of Christ. I would therefore expect him to be demonized. Nevertheless, whether denounced by modern American Indian protesters paid by white liberals, or condemned by his own contemporary countrymen, the rage against Columbus has ever but slightly shadowed his true accomplishments.  Anger is a weak ideology. True greatness is untouchable and triumphant, even if it's crucified along the way.

As an American Indian—a Comanche—I find no objection at all to the Columbus venture.  Columbus, having never encountered my people, or any other American Indian tribe, certainly deserves a dispassionate opinion from me. I find it stifling to be denied the wonderment his adventure affords. I find it demeaning to be coerced by political correctness to associate his name with every ill experienced by the American Indian subsequent to his arrival in the Caribbean.

Fortunately, Columbus' name and adventure survived the contumely over the centuries.  The liberal-backed Indians who protest today really represent the weakest criticism of all, the least logical, and the worst construct.

Yes, in 1500 Columbus was brought back from the Caribbean to Castile—in chains. But there was earthly logic in that. Comendador Bobadilla, the Spanish governor of Hispaniola, saw some bloody evidence (hanging bodies of Spaniards—punished by Columbus), immediately misinterpreted it and took advantage of it, in the name of the Crown and his own power. On the other hand, today's mythical association of every known Indian personal pang with the name of Columbus is utterly irrational.

And not only was Bobadilla himself cruel to the Caribbean Indians, but today's liberal political abuse of Indians is equally cruel, in my opinion. It is a spiritual slavery, of imaginary or misconceived injustice, that liberals impose on the minds of Indians.

To tell Indians they must denounce Judeo-Christian European civilization is like making them bark at the moon. What is accomplished by encouraging perpetual discontent? It is an ultimately self-destructive anger that the liberals offer Indians.

I for one Indian deeply resent and reject this puppet role, this wooden Indian posture. Give me the aspirations of Columbus. Give me the world to explore! That feels a lot better.

One who is often lauded in the ranks of liberals is Kirkpatrick Sale, author of the terrific book, The Conquest of Paradise. Sale's book, seven years in the writing, is actually a dramatic balance of violently opposing views.

The fact is Sale can't help himself. Though a renowned liberal, he cannot disguise the historical record, nor does he try. Yes, he founded the New York Green Party, and takes many opportunities to denounce the mechanical materialism of European society and its galactic expansions through America. But, the facts in the case of Columbus, the sheer telling of the story, is overwhelmingly convincing. Columbus was an extraordinarily individual. Sale simply can't tell the story any other way.

It may be true that people simply need heroes. But the gainsayers never replace them with anything comparable, let alone better.

Indeed, the critics can't comprehend greatness. They are but leeches, living off protesting the achievement of others. Worse, they are thieves. As college professors, they rob youth of their natural aspirations, their instinctive ambitions. They offer instead an attitude of perpetual complaint, protest, and depression. They degrade reality.

Greatness speaks for itself.  It is its own interpreter.  

Dr. David A. Yeagley [email him] is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, Elgin, Oklahoma. His articles appear in TheAmericanEnterprise.com, FrontPageMagazine.com, and on his own Web site BadEagle.com, and he is a regular speaker for Young America's Foundation. David Yeagley's columns for VDARE.COM include An American Indian View of Immigration, and To Deport or not to Deport. David Yeagley is the author of Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche and Altered States: The State of the Dead and the State of the Holy.