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Monday was the federal holiday commemorating Christopher Columbus. But many progressive jurisdictions, encouraged by liberal activists including some church groups, have replaced it with Indigenous Peoples Day.
The reasoning is that Columbus was a European colonizer whose encounter with America led to subjection and destructions for native peoples. This theme is in sync with contemporary political correctness that demonizes Western Civilization while portraying other cultures as victims. Identify politics, which divides peoples between oppressors and victims, with almost no possibility of reconciliation or atonement, is supported by this theme.
Culture - Others - Replaces - History - Ideology
Demonizing one culture while sacralizing all others replaces history with ideology. It also offers a spiritual mythology at odds with the Christian narrative, which insists that all peoples are equally sinners by nature. Sin is not spread by a particular culture but is intrinsic to all cultures.
Ironically, many Enlightenment era Europeans foreshadowed today’s political correctness by imagining that native peoples were sinless or at least less sinful because they were not tainted by European civilization. Their Enlightenment humanism, which rejected or minimized Christian teachings about fallen humanity, created the myth of the romanticized “noble savage.” These theorists were typically scribblers ensconced in Europe. Persons having actual contacts with native people soon realized that human nature in every culture is recognizably similar.
Course - Importance - Cultures - Year - Monument
Of course, recognizing the historical importance of native cultures is laudable. Last year a new monument in Richmond, Virginia was dedicated to Virginia’s native peoples. It’s called “Mantle,” based in design partly on the deerskin coat, embroidered with seashells, reputedly worn by the great chief of the Powhatan Confederacy that ruled eastern Virginia when the first English arrived.
That chief, Wahunsonacock, father of Pocahontas, assembled his empire of about 30 tribes in the usual imperial way. He conquered and intimidated weaker tribes. Sometimes he exterminated enemy tribes, in what we today would call genocide....
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