Protesting the Brown U Protest of Cristoforo Colombo

Noon, Monday, by the flagpole on Brown University’s Main Green. Organized by WPRO’s John DePetro, the Brown Spectator and the Brown College Republicans.
From John DePetro’s press release.

… the decision by the faculty at Brown University to change the name of the
Columbus Day holiday is “a tremendous insult to all Italian-Americans.” DePetro said he would be happy to accept the resignations from members of the Brown faculty at the rally,” to clear their conscience of teaching at a school built upon the slave trade.” ” This grossly misguided farce to try to ignore and destroy the historic contribution made by one of the world’s greatest explorers is not only insulting to Italian-Americans, but is a very disturbing reminder of how
America’s traditional heritage is under attack in many quarters of the Ivy League and on other college campuses,” DePetro says.

[Irreverent side note: does the fact that Columbus apparently navigated by a map given to him by aliens – space aliens – at all mitigate his image in the eyes of his Brown critics?] From Marc’s post in April when the Brown faculty voted to recognize the boycott.

Of course Europeans didn’t cover themselves in glory with the way they treated the indigenous people of the New World. Man has made war upon man for time immemorial. As “anyone who has studied history” should know, the difference is only a matter of degree.

It does make me wonder. Is it only the violence committed by the “victors” that is objectionable?

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

Since it is widely believed that Columbus was of Jewish ancestry, do you think it would be possible to tar the Brown faculty with anti-Semitism?
[Irreverent side note: does the fact that Columbus apparently navigated by a map given to him by aliens – space aliens – at all mitigate his image in the eyes of his Brown critics?]
Current belief is that Columbus’ map was of Chinese origin. Is discrediting Columbus some sort of slight against Asians? The actual derivation of Columbus’ map is open to question, most were compilations of older maps. Some are quite interesting. There is an existing ancient map that accurately depicts the land mass of Antarctica without its ice cover.

12 years ago

What exactly, is Columbus famous for? Discovering America, as is taught in grade school? Quick questions then, how do you discover something where people already live? If he discovered America, then I want to go to Providence, put a flag in the ground and proclaim to have “discovered” it. No difference.
And, another question. Anyone remember why the people he met here were called “Indians”? Was it because this “great explorer” thought he was in India? Half a world away?
I don’t really care much about what the Brown faculty did, but for Italian-Americans to get upset about this is just ridiculous.

12 years ago

This reminds me of the Sopranos episode where the entire crew (even the usually level-headed Silvio) pitches a hissy over the Columbus Day controversy, much to Tony’s chagrin.
I’d love to see the Brown community come out so Little Big Man can make his resignation demands in person. 🙂

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

I think that point has been made, but missed, what this shows is how far out of the mainstream the Brown faculty is. It is simple to deride Columbus’s explorations because they may not qualify as a “discovery” in every sense of that word. There is no question that what he did do was draw two entire continents into the known world. Brown has taken a “principled position” that is without meaning. What is their hope, that we simply forget Columbus? Or, should we learn to revile him for disturbing the “Indians”?
One might easily make the argument that he was preceeded in his discovery by the Vikings. Does anyone else remember that Viking descendents decided to repeat Lief Ericson’svoyage about 10 years ago? That did it in reconstructed “long boats” and made a visit to Providence. What I remember is two things. They managed to find Lief Ericson’s lineal descendent to lead the voyage. It turned out that he was a drunk and was put ashore in Iceland. I attended the festival off Fox Point and recall that the crew had some excellent jokes about Columbus and the Indians. I also recall that there was absolutely zero minority attendence, from the “look” of the crowd you might think you were in Sweden.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
12 years ago

I think too much. With all of the hoopla about Columbus Day and his disturbance of the Indians, my mind started to wander.
It is well to remember that the Indians were not indigenous, such claim as they had was a “claim by conquest”.
As archeology improves, diggers are finding more examples of “Kennewick Man”. He was a predecessor to the Indians. The efforts of those archeologists is being severely hampered by law suits begun by the various Indian tribes.
What seems to be the source of their concern is that Kennewick Man is caucasian (caucasian in the sense of the original Japanese, not the current Koreans who occupy the islands). Worse, many examples of Kennewick Man that have been found were clearly done to death by weapons of Indian design. So, it appears that the Indians swarmed over North America and killed the people that they found there.

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