VIEWSnBlaming Columbusnby Christie DaviesnÂ¥nThe news that pohtically correct groups in the UnitednStates are greeting the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ndiscovery of America by denouncing the great explorer as annimperialist exploiter has been greeted with incredulity andnderision in Europe. After all, had he not discovered America,nthere would be no tax-fed intelligentsia of progressive Americansnto denounce him. They would not, as their own jargonnhas it, have been called into existence. At the very most thenyear 1992 of the Christian calendar of Europe might havenseen mild protests in Oaxaca about the ritual cutting out ofnhuman hearts in the Aztec capital. More outrageously, a debatingnsociety in Cuzco might have had the temerity to suggestnthat the vigorous suppression of unnatural vice under thenstrict laws of the Inca Empire was an unjust repression of thenindigenous traditions of its subject peoples. After all, if youncan eat peyote …. It is even possible that the Cherokees, ifnuntouched by the treacheries of Jacksonian democracy wouldnhave been boycotting Eskimo-carved walrus tusks as a protestnagainst whale hunting by kayak. But enough, Columbus didndiscover America and it was settled by the Spaniards and thenPortuguese, the Swedes and the Irish, the Ukrainians and thenAshkenazi Jews, all of whom would have starved at home hadnthere been no New World for them to emigrate to.nChristie Davies is a professor of sociology at the University ofnReading, England.n18/CHRONICLESnnnA movement of peoples on this kind of scale necessarilyninvolves the displacement and disturbance of autochthonousnaboriginal peoples, but the whole of human history consists ofnsuch movements. Why should we single out Columbus forncalumny when we do not condemn the Arabs who eruptednfrom their desert peninsula to occupy and dominate all thenlands between Spain and Babylon, or the Chinese who havenswamped their less numerous neighbors—the Mongols, Tibetans,nUighurs, and Tartars—by sheer weight of numbers,nbacked by force? The answer is, of course, that the politicallyncorrect liberals of America are racists, and Columbus was thenwrong color. Accordingly he is to blame, even for the direnbut accidental importation of Old World diseases such asnsmall pox, which decimated the Amerindians who lacked anynresistance to them. It was the equivalent of the Black Death innMedieval Europe that killed between a third and a half of thenpopulation, after the opening up of trade routes to China permittednthe spread of plague. Blaming Columbus for this is likenblaming the Africans for unleashing AIDS on the world.nThe campaign against Columbus is but the latest manifestationnof the long held anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish bigotrynthat lurks throughout American history. True, Columbusnwas from Genoa and may even have come from a Jewish family,nbut his expedition was sponsored and financed by thenCatholic rulers of a newly united Spain, and his voyage led tonthe creation of a Spanish empire in the New World, whichn