The current, unprecedented trend to apply today's political norms to historical figures such as Christopher Columbus is unfair and unrealistic.
If such trends made sense, there would be strong arguments to remove memorials and monuments honoring Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others who embraced the practice of slavery. Such memorials represent a snapshot of history, measured mistakenly against 21st century sensibilities.
As noted by emerita professor Carol Delaney of Stanford University in her book "Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem," Columbus had a favorable impression of many of the Native Americans he met and instructed men under his command not to abuse them but to trade with them and punish those who committed crimes against them.
The recognition of Columbus is to pay tribute to the value of New World exploration and the contributions of Columbus and those immigrants who followed and made the country great. As an immigrant from Italy, I feel privileged to embrace my native culture and that of my adopted country the U.S. This is shared by millions of Italian immigrants who have made significant contributions to the economic and social development of the U.S.
Lt. Col. U.S. Army – retired