That Columbus Day is Evil: A truth and a falsehood

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If you're in a tourist-type business in a place where fall foliage is a Big Deal (rural New England, upstate New York, and to a lesser extent Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan), Columbus Day weekend is one of your busiest weekends. I'm told this has been a particularly good, if late-running, year for foliage (I haven't had time to get out and about into the places with peak foliage), and the weather this weekend was mostly pretty nice (a cold front moved through, but that was pretty quick). So this has been a good year for such people. Last year was a bad year.

Today also happens to be a bank holiday in Canada. They call it Thanksgiving. For a New Englander it's a more sensible time for a harvest celebration than late November: depending where you are, the growing season normally ends between mid-September and mid-October.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 08 Oct 2012 #permalink

"Maneno". Apparently it means "words" in Swahili, so I suppose it's something you brought back from your time in Africa. But could you explain what it means in the context you've used here twice?

By Dan Milton (not verified) on 08 Oct 2012 #permalink

Columbus technically did not discover America. No one is eally quite sure exactly who did. There is evidence in Ohio and Illinois and in the Southwest that Manassa, one of the 12 tribes of Israel may have come this far either to settle or to trade/visit. Then again, Egyptian artifacts have been found in deep caverns in California and Arizona and all over the Southwest. Europeans may have not been the first here.

I think people knew of this land alot longer ago than we realize.

By Joseph Tendling (not verified) on 08 Oct 2012 #permalink

@Greg: "Um...." Just out of curiosity, do you suppose the golden tablets count as "Twelve Tribes" relics, or Egyptian? Or do think the "Egyptian artifacts" previously mentioned are actually Thetan? The possibilities are endless!

By Michael Kelsey (not verified) on 08 Oct 2012 #permalink

I liked that speech a lot, thanks for linking it. It saddens me though, that it fits so well today. I'd have hoped that we would have made some progress over the last 28 years.

Now that the person calling himself Joseph Tendling has commented, the message will be lost in a stew of silliness about Mormon claims to archaeological legitimacy.

By John Moeller (not verified) on 08 Oct 2012 #permalink


You are partly correct - no-one is exactly who did 'discover' the Americas. Bu there are some clues in the original article.

The oldest existing evidence for human habitation is some 12,000 years old. But it may have been as far back as 40,000 years that the first humans moved into what is now Alaska.

There is no doubt that Europeans were not first - but Egyptians and tribes of Israel wouldn't have been either - even if they had made the journey.

Cuomo the first politically powerful Italian-American? Fiorello LaGuardia might disagree.

By Zeke Hoskin (not verified) on 09 Oct 2012 #permalink

While many other people made it from Europe to America before Columbus, they didn't tell enough people about it. If nobody knows about it, it hasn't been discovered, at least as far as the general public is concerned.

So, for the Europeans, Columbus "discovered" America, even if it was an accident. Prior to Columbus, the people and nations of Europe had no knowledge of the Americas; after Columbus, the people of Europe knew of the Americas and swarmed to this heretofore mostly unknown land.

By tonylurker (not verified) on 10 Oct 2012 #permalink


If, on the other hand, you were a Republican and/or racist white supremacist type (and there are a lot more of those than gentile people like to admit)

Those lost tribes of Israel, OTOH, are far more forthright.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 10 Oct 2012 #permalink

Maneno means problem, argument, dustup, anything along those lines.

I am a registered Republican and I am neither a racist nor a white supremacist. I would even go as far as to consider myself both progressive and thoughtful. I'm guessing Mr. Laden's article may contain some valid points but I didn't make it past his first ignorant, biased paragraph.

At the risk of an accusation of pedantry Columbus was not Italian because Italy didn't form as a nation until 1861. Columbus was Genoese.

By Hengist McStone (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

I stopped reading your post after reading the line "thoughtful progressive american vs. republican/white supremeist". You do know that the KKK was created by democrats and as of 2010 there was still a democrat grand dragon with the kkk still in congress. Lincoln was republican as well as Martin Luther King and Jr. Someone needs to study up and learn some more facts.

Brandon, you stopped reading after the third sentence? That approach will get you the muddled view of history you seem to have! :)

Martin Luther King and Jr ... Republican

Some quotes from MLK Jr.

“I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses … And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”

The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right. The “best man” at this ceremony was a senator whose voting record, philosophy, and program were anathema to all the hard-won achievements of the past decade.
Senator Goldwater had neither the concern nor the comprehension necessary to grapple with this problem of poverty in the fashion that the historical moment dictated. On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.

It seems that Martin Luther King Jr. was no fan of Reagan:

When a Hollywood performer, lacking distinction even as an actor can become a leading war hawk candidate for the Presidency, only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis can explain such a melancholy turn of events.

Finally, his son, said this:

“It is disingenuous to imply that my father was a Republican. He never endorsed any presidential candidate, and there is certainly no evidence that he ever even voted for a Republican.”

Your assertion, Brandon, that he was a Republican seems to be a blatant falsehood.

I think that perhaps we should change the name to Clovis People's Day. Move it to the last Friday in November. We should take October 12 and make it Thanksgiving so that we are on par wtih the Canadians.

The Italians, I am sorry, but they don't get a holiday.

By Mike Haubrich (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

You really shouldn't interject biased and vastly (frankly, insulting) generalizations into an article that should otherwise be written objectively. That comment about Republicans being racists is pretty ignorant- there are disgusting racists on any side and if you believe the Democratic party is full of saints, you're wrong. Brandon was actually correct about Lincoln being a Republican, as it is a widely known fact that the Republican party was the party that freed the slaves and the Democrats were the ones who founded the KKK. Don't drag ignorance into fact.

"Its [the Ku Klux Klan] members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and black Republican leaders. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal–the reestablishment of white supremacy–fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s."

S, no, I can interject opinion.

No, comparing the Republican Party prior to a few decades back with the current party, and doing the same for the Dems is wrong. The original KKK were Democrats, all those crazy super right wing jim crow Republicans in Congress (who have all died off) were Democrats. Put we can't characterize the living, active members of these parties on the critter that 50 or 100 years ago things were different.

I am so happy to have learned the word maneno! Also, I agree that the second weekend in October should be Thanksgiving. Who came up with the fourth Thursday in November? It's an awful time for a holiday.

First, using words that you know perfectly well the vast majority of readers will not know is insensitive and self-aggrandizing. "Maneno"? Puh-leez!
Second, please take some classes is punctuation. You really need some help.
Third, there is absolutely nothing complicated about dropping Columbus Day from the US calendar of holidays. All we need to do is drop it -- that's it. And NOT replace it with something stupid like a so-called Indigenous People's Day.
Frankly, I'm sick and tired of singling out this ethnic/racial group or that to "celebrate." It's very polarizing for all the other myriad ethnic groups we have in this great country.
Okay, 'nuff said.

By Rick in Miami (not verified) on 16 Oct 2015 #permalink