Have you ever — even once — asked yourself where this current, fashionable narrative came from that Christopher Columbus was a racist, rapist, murderer, slave-driver and genocidal maniac? Have you ever looked into finding out the answer to that question? A good chance exists that your answer to one, if not both of those questions, is a resounding “no.” That is precisely what the Columbus detractors are banking on in perpetuating their false narrative against him.
As an attorney, historian and professional researcher, I have asked myself that question and have looked into it, on a deep, methodical and scholarly level. In fact, I was enlisted to do so by Philadelphia’s City Council when they received a petition to eliminate the municipal holiday of Christopher Columbus Day — as over sixty U.S. cities had already done — from a local member of the bar.
He shall remain anonymous in this article — let’s call him “Mr. Coarse.” But suffice it to say he has characterized himself in a local news-outlet interview as a “Socialist ideolog[ue]” and “aveng[er of his] enslaved ancestors” who, oddly, is admittedly “scared sh**less of statues.” In that same interview, he also expressed his opinion that “[t]here are no ‘good cops'” and revealed that those who know him understandably may be “surprised to know” his secret: “I don’t hate all white people”.
The splenetic “Mr. Coarse” buttressed his polemic petition with the usual lies about Christopher Columbus being a racist, rapist, genocidal maniac, et cetera. He purported to support those lies with the usual hackneyed hack-job of out-of-context pseudo-quotes of Columbus’s own writings. The reader is undoubtedly familiar with these pseudo-quotes: those so carefully crafted with strategic use of ellipses to twist portions of Columbus’s own correspondences to create the false impression that he means the exact opposite of what he actually said, and that are plastered ubiquitously across the Big-Tech-controlled internet.
Christopher Columbus became the first civil rights activist of the Americas and the founder of Western Culture in the New World, making him, beyond cavil, the greatest hero of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.
At the request of City Council to investigate the calumnious claims of “Mr. Coarse,” I reread the primary historical sources, this time in their original Fifteenth-Century Spanish. These included the seminal, three-volume Historia de las Indias (History of the [West] Indies) by Friar Bartolomé de las Casas, who was appointed by both the Crown of Spain and the Church as “Protector of the Indians.” De las Casas’s account, written contemporaneously with the Spanish settlement of the West Indies — and, importantly, very critically of his own countrymen’s violent and anti-Christian deeds in that endeavor — is the closest account in existence to having been recorded by the indigenes themselves. I also read the epistolary account of Columbus’s Second Voyage written by Dr. Diego Chanca, effectively the surgeon general of the West Indies, and Columbus’s own journals, which have been publicly available in English for nearly two centuries.
All of the primary sources dovetailed in one important regard: they show, unequivocally and irrefutably, that Christopher Columbus was none of the epithets with which his detractors repeatedly characterize him. Rather, in addition to his well-known feat of bringing to light to the rest of the world the existence of the Americas and its inhabitants, Christopher Columbus actively fought against the rampant racism, rape, murder, enslavement and genocide committed by his arch-nemeses, the Spanish hidalgos (low, landed nobles). Consequently, Christopher Columbus became the first civil rights activist of the Americas and the founder of Western Culture in the New World, making him, beyond cavil, the greatest hero of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.
This is precisely why Columbus’s detractors — a sinister axis of cultural majoritarians that includes radical leftists, post-modernists, neo-Marxists and globalists — hate him; because Christopher Columbus stands for everything they stand against. That is, he was a devout Catholic who valued and successfully fought for the welfare of all human lives; brought the existence of the Americas to light to the rest of the planet; and established the “trinity” of Western Culture in the Americas: (1) Judeo-Christian ethics and morals; (2) Greco-Roman democracy and law; and (3) the benefits of self-sovereignty, which in turn include civil rights, personal responsibility and the demos of capital.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, in this spirit of cultural majoritarianism, has recently and repeatedly attempted several journalistic kill-shots at Christopher Columbus. As my own name surfaced as a local expert in the history of Columbus and his voyages, the Inquirer attempted the same at me, claiming that no historians supported my characterization of Columbus as the greatest hero of the post-medieval era and first civil rights activist of the Americas. The Inquirer was wrong, of course, and seems to have quietly removed the article from the internet without a formal retraction or apology. To add insult to injury, my multiple correspondences to Inquirer Managing Editor of the Op-Ed section, Sandra Shea, requesting to provide an historically-accurate counter-narrative, were repeatedly ignored by her.
This is precisely why Columbus’s detractors — a sinister axis of cultural majoritarians that includes radical leftists, post-modernists, neo-Marxists and globalists — hate him; because Christopher Columbus stands for everything they stand against.
Yet, anyone who has actually read the primary sources — not the internet’s reimagining of them — concurs with my characterization. For instance, Stanford Professor Emeritus Carol Delaney, who left her tenured university position to dedicate ten years of her life to travel the world in the study of Columbus artifacts in order to write her book Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem — and who is truly an unparalleled world-expert on Christopher Columbus — agrees that all the tired calumny repeatedly levied against him is simply a collection of lies. “[H]e’s been terribly maligned,” she wrote of Columbus, by revisionists who are “blaming [him] for things he didn’t do.” And that, dear reader, is the reason for this exposé.
In the months to come, I, with the help of Broad + Liberty, will continue to bring you a series of articles about Christopher Columbus, entitled “Christopher Columbus: The Greatest Hero of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries as Revealed by the Primary Historical Sources,” to put to rest these lies of the cultural majoritarians. Following this introduction, my first substantive article on the man will chronicle Columbus’s birth and early life, putting a real, human face on the near-mythical historical figure Columbus has become. The subsequent articles will detail his First, Second, Third and Fourth Voyages; the world-changing events they spawned; his lifelong and tireless civil rights activism on behalf of the indigenes of the New World; and his continued efforts to his dying day as their champion.
Should you honor me by continuing to the end of this series, it will conclude with an account of the civil rights legacy his life and efforts spawned through those that proudly modeled themselves after “the illustrious Genoese” Christopher Columbus, the first civil rights activist of the Americas, our first Founding Father and the greatest hero of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.
Robert Petrone, Esq. is a civil rights author and attorney, and local Philadelphia expert on Christopher Columbus.