Bye Bye, Columbus Day

by Travis Rowley on April 22, 2009


“Education is the motor-force of revolution.” – Bill Ayers

Several weeks ago the Brown University faculty ratified a student petition demanding that the university abandon its recognition of Columbus Day. The directive was enacted by Brown’s Native American student group, whose spokesmen defend their activism by pointing out the atrocities committed by Christopher Columbus and his men upon the indigenous people of the newly discovered continent. Some have suggested that the holiday be renamed Indigenous Day, but for now Brown has decided to settle for Fall Weekend — a weekend in which Brown students and professors will still enjoy a Monday off from work.

Now that Brown University has set new moral standards for preserving traditional namesakes, some are wondering if Brown students will petition to scratch the name of a slave-trading family from the face of their university.

Or will they look into the misdeeds of Martin Luther King Jr. in an attempt to save the nation from commemorating anyone who may have blemishes on his moral record? Will there now be an academic investigation into the countless atrocities committed by Native Americans, prompting the removal of tribal names from casinos and other landmarks?

Probably not. But nobody expects consistency from liberals anymore anyway.

Of course, academic effort to clarify history is a laudable activity, which is exactly the sort of innocence Brown activists are currently shrouding themselves in. We are merely correcting the record and then asking if it is appropriate to hold Christopher Columbus in such high esteem.

Fine. But more bothersome than whether or not Columbus’ name deserves enshrinement is the driving force behind liberals’ odd propensity to obsess over the transgressions of America’s traditional heroes.

Vilifying the American heritage is what passes as “progressive” and “enlightened” at Brown because it is an intellectual stance that stems from the university’s multicultural lesson — the politically correct teaching that commands students to recognize the worth of every society except their own, to honor and respect people of every race and creed except for whites and conservatism.

As the Brown Daily Herald recently editorialized, “White people, ranging from European colonizers to the government of the United States, have committed innumerable brutal offenses against Native Americans over the past 500 years. Honoring Columbus with a holiday glosses over a racist, blood-stained facet of our history and glamorizes the past as victorious manifest destiny.”

The Brown Daily Herald did not print this passage to be inflammatory. This is commonplace at Brown. This is Tuesday.

Multiculturalism’s most potent message involves America’s oppression of just about everyone — blacks, women, military veterans, Hispanics, Muslims, Native Americans, homosexuals, foreigners, the poor, the disabled, etc.

And the indoctrination begins with history. Columbus was a genocidal colonizer and the nation’s founders were white supremacists. This fixated outlook on America’s past is intended to prove that a legacy of American cruelty continues today — white hatred aimed at blacks, Latinos, gays, and Arabs. The murder of third-world people for first-world profits. War for oil! This is what students learn at Brown University.

Those who were aware of the Ivy League worldview in 2001 were not surprised after 9/11 when members of the Brown community erupted into a frenzy of anti-Americanism, informing everyone that “[America] was founded on racism, genocide, and theft” and that America is “the largest terrorist state in the world.” And they fully expected to hear this gem: “I was cheering when the Pentagon got hit because I know about the brutality of the military. The American flag is nothing but a symbol of hate and should be used for toilet paper for all I care.”

Ah, alma mater.

But what fuels this campus contempt for the United States? In reality, the left’s agenda has nothing to do with issues of racial justice or gender equality. These are merely causes that the left has hijacked in order to pursue a more sinister end, mainly the destruction of individualism and capitalism — also known as “the American way.”

The declaration of Brown’s International Socialist Organization encompasses a popular campus sentiment: “Capitalism produces poverty, racism, famine, environmental catastrophe, and war.”

Or one could listen to the Marxist firebrand (and college professor) Bill Ayers: “Capitalism promotes racism and militarism — turning people into consumers, not citizens.”

Leftists understand that, in order to have freedom-loving people relinquish their liberty, they must rely on the heart-tugging perception of injustice. Brown students don’t have to understand the complexities of economic theory. They just need to be told that someone is being victimized by the dissemination of freedom.

Victimization is highlighted on campus because it is a lesson that demands national shame rather than patriotism; it instructs Americans to scoff at their country rather than marvel at its miracles, to hold it in contempt rather than be willing to die for it.

And off the students go, embarking on activist quests to denigrate men like Jefferson, Washington, and Columbus — never realizing that they are doing the dirty work of a radical campus network.

What recently occurred at Brown University was more than just a simple case of a few naive kids who will someday grow up. Rather, the university is the place where students become the people they will be for the rest of their lives. Their newly adopted anti-American philosophy becomes their perpetual operational assumption, from which they make all their final determinations.

The radicals know this all too well. As Professor Ayers once informed an adoring Venezuelan crowd, “Education is the motor-force of revolution.”

The campus condition is dire. Brown University elites have presented us with the latest example of the left’s incremental attack on the United States. The multicultural mindset found at Brown is the exact intellectual basis from which State Representative Joseph Almeida (D) calls for the removal of the word “plantations” from Rhode Island’s official name (The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations). It is the same mentality that has the Congressional Black Caucus coming home from Cuba gushing over a murderous dictator. It is the same moral and cultural relativity that seduces President Obama when he heads overseas to apologize for American “arrogance,” prostrates himself before a Saudi King, and then vows to “spread the wealth around.”

This is not about Christopher Columbus. This is culture war. And the left will never stop.

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Columbus Day Cancelled at Brown « OSPRI BLOG
October 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

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