Happy Columbus Day 2004
I grew up in West Germany in the 1970s before moving to Israel for most of the first half of the 1980s and arriving in Los Angeles in the summer of 1984. In Germany, to the best of my knowledge, I did not notice any controversy about Columbus. He was treated as a hero, a person worthy of admiration. I would say the same was true for Israel. It was only when I arrived in the US that I learned there was some controversy here. I admit to being somewhat ignorant and confused about the controversy at first. I don't consider myself an expert on Columbus yet but the moral arguments now used against him I no longer find convincing.
For some discussion why Columbus day is important see Tom Bowden's essay at ARI, as well as Joe Kane's comments. Tom Bowden, in particular, played an important role in clearing up some of my misconceptions on the topic with his pamphlet that I read about 10 years ago. The pamphlet was a well researched objective set of questions and answers on Columbus and the American Indians. Mr. Bowden has since turned the pamphlet into a short book.
Today I am looking forward to attending Tom Bowden's lecture Columbus Day without Guilt. Anybody interested in Columbus day should try to attend the ARI sponsored talk which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine, California at 7:30 PM. See the flier for details.