History was brutal. There is no nation that is without a violent past. The history of the United States is no different. The early explorers and the Founding Fathers were all deeply flawed. But, then again so were many of the Native American tribes. The Comanches, for example, butchered babies and burned enemies alive. The Cherokees owned slaves. It would be foolish to argue that the sins of the dead justified us ignoring their contributions to our greatly privileged country.

I feel no guilt acknowledging, or even celebrating, Christopher Columbus’ contributions (“Area residents call Waterville mayor out over Columbus proclamation,” Oct. 1). For if he had not done what he did, a great many of us would never have existed. If you truly believe that you are living on stolen land, perhaps you should donate your home and property to a reservation? If you truly believe that your very existence is the result of genocide at the hands of white colonists, perhaps you should find a way to erase yourself?

Of course, you’re not going to do either of these things. And why should you? You cannot atone for the flaws of your forefathers.

I am someone with both Italian and Native American heritage and I find all of this virtue signaling and hullabaloo to be just that. On Oct. 12, I will celebrate both Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans, because while both were responsible for brutal acts of violence, I recognize that this nation would not be what it is today without them both.

 

Bryan Fairchild

Fairfield


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