Columbus not worthy

To the Editor:

Add my voice to those who would remove all monuments and other visual paean to Christopher Columbus and who would replace the holiday that is his namesake with, appropriately, National Indigenous People’s Day.

Gloria Endres, in her letter in Sept. 20’s SPR (“Christopher Columbus — Admiral of the Ocean Sea”) argues that to denigrate Columbus is to denigrate all Italian-Catholics — a specious tautology.

I speak only of one man only.

Columbus enslaved thousands of indigenous peoples and exported them to countries such as France and Spain for slavery. He required a ration of gold of the native Taino: those who complied were given a medallion to wear around their neck; those who did not, a severed hand to wear in its place. Some were fed live to Columbus’ men’s dogs. The torture and murder visited on native populations by Columbus were detailed by a former aide, Bartolome de las Casas, who wrote, “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel.”

I do not believe this the stuff of a national hero. There are innumerable other Italian Catholics worthy of honoring.

Ms. Endres concludes by saying Columbus laid the groundwork for the greatest nation in history. I don’t believe there are any “greatest” nations. It is hateful and unproductive for any one nation to assert moral superiority. The US. is a particularly poor position to stake such a claim given its current climate of zenophobia, racism and grotesque economic inequality.

Columbus’ apologists say Columbus should not be judged “through the lens of modern mores and politics.” Yes, there is a historical context, that said, I do not believe slavery is OK through any aperture, nor Columbus worthy of our celebration.

Philip Blumenkrantz
South Philadelphia

Winfrey/Obama 2020

To the Editor:

Oprah. Michelle. America needs you to run in 2020

I know this wasn’t part of the plan, but we need you. The environment needs you. Future generations need you. Equality needs you. Hope needs you.

Actions speak louder than words and nothing encapsulates “women empowerment” more, than taking on Bully President Trump (who prefers to divide instead of unite) with your infinite class and elegance.

When they go low, we go high.

A president can do a lot of good in eight years, but they can also do a lot of damage that is potentially irreversible.

America seems less great by the day under the current administration.

Who else is going to dethrone Trump? Bernie Sanders. Wife’s alleged fraud. FBI investigation. Former Vice President Joe Biden. Family drama. Inopportune F-bombs. Cory Booker. Is the junior-senator ready to run? Is America ready to vote for a middle-aged man with no children, who never married or publicly has been linked to a long-term committed relationship? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Don’t think so. Kanye. Even less likely.

Hit those battleground states hard. Cover every corner 10 times over.

We know this endeavor will be life altering but Americans’ will forever be grateful for your personal sacrifices. Never underestimate hate.

It already won one election. Please, don’t let it win again.

#OprahMichelle2020 #Don’tLetHateWin

Jason Kaye
Northeast Philadelphia