Noah’s News

Erasing “History”

Noah Davila, Managing Editor

We hold historical figures in a weird regard nowadays. We were taught these people were near mythical heroes, but when we reevaluate their acts, we see the uglier truth. For example, we were taught Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, and brought about a great trade between the New and Old World. Then as we got older we learned what really happens. We are taught that really he only reintroduced the Americas to Europe (the Viking were actually the first here) and by “great trade” between the old and new world, really that meant he shipped resources back home and subjugated the natives that survived the diseases Columbus brought. 

So how do we handle this information? Well, there’s two options. A lot of people say “Oh wow, I guess he wasn’t actually a great dude like we thought. I guess we shouldn’t treat him like a hero.” Then there’s the Other People. They say “So? That’s just how it was back then. Should we really judge someone from the past by OUR moral code?” 

It’s an interesting question,except they always come to a strange conclusion. Yes, that is “just how it was back then”, BUT here where the Other People split. The Other People say “nothing should be changed in the way we perceive him”. That wouldn’t put it that boldly though, would they? No, not most of them, but their actions do.

 They complain when statues of people get taken down because it’s “erasing history”. Statues aren’t history though, they’re just a way to glorify people. So when you take down a statue of ol’ Christopher, you’re really taking down the false narrative that statue represents, not the fact that Columbus was important to history. You’re not erasing history, you’re bringing the real history to light. 

Am I saying the other people are purposely glorifying what Columbus really did? No. Are they trying to protect the image of one of the hero’s they learned about in school? To them, it’s like defaming Batman or The Lone Ranger. You’re attacking what they know. 

So, if you’re one of those Other People, I don’t think you are bigoted or stupid and I don’t think you glorify hate or violence, I think you’re holding on to a lie, because you dont want what is happening to Columbus happens to you. No one wants to be remembered as a monster, but if morals are always advancing, and old ideas fall out of favor, won’t you eventually end up on the wrong side of history? 

Here’s my solution. We stop glorifying people from history as mythical figures, and instead look at them as they really were, normal people. We should be able to recognize the good and the bad of what they did, and when we learn some not so nice things about them we add that to the list. Yes Columbus arrival was terrible for the natives, but without him, we have no idea how long it would have been till Europe’s arrival. He was important to history, and his story needs to be remembered for what really happened. And for god’s sake, please stop saying Columbus discovered the Americas.