Every year on Columbus Day, Americans awaken with heavy questions on their minds….
“Is there garbage pick-up today?”
“Crap. Is the bank closed? Will I be able to deposit my check?”
“How many likes did I get on my craft beer photo at the brewery?”
Deep questions indeed, until we open our apps and social media reminds us through clever memes and two-minute video clips that it’s really Hate on Columbus Day. Tempers flare, sides are taken and keyboards explode from endless diatribes on Columbus: bringer of genocide and slavery up against Columbus: the right-wing evangelical (wait… wasn’t he Catholic??) who brought us prosperity and of course, ‘Murica.
In this episode the El Lector crew have a frank conversation about Christopher Columbus and the day memorializing his landing in the New World.
Adam Conover of the popular show “Adam Ruins Everything” recently released a clip called “Christopher Columbus was a Murderous Moron”.
Among the many anti-Columbus articles and websites vilifying him we decide to tackle the idea of how history is taught and received rather than the man or the event.
We are joined in this episode by Dr. Joseph Holbrook, director of Academic Programs at the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU. Dr. Holbrook reminds us that history is filled with “the good, the bad and the ugly”, and describes Christopher Columbus as a complex individual who we must understand in context as a man of his time.
Our intent with this episode is not to argue for or against Columbus Day. Instead we explore the importance of studying history in context, how history can be twisted to support myriad arguments and agendas. More importantly, we discuss how learning history in context can help us better understand who we are and avoid repeating horrific historic events.
What we’re smoking:
Marcos, Victor, and Dr. Holbrook:
La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel Tip