So, 513 years ago some dago sailed his boat across the ocean blue and "discovered" America. Today, and every second Monday in October, some of us celebrate the occasion by staying home from work.
A long weekend and car sales to celebrate all the wonderful things the Europeans brought to this great land. Manifest Destiny, slavery, smallpox blankets. Scalping. Yup, that's right. Scalping actually began with the European settlers. The Native Americans just cottoned to it, and of course history is written by the victor. We also brought industrial pollution, mass consumption, suburban sprawl and urban decay. Strip mining, segregation, religious intolerance. Wal*Mart, fast food and all that.
Don't get me wrong. America has created some great things over the course of it's short history. Happy hour, double coupons and "Two for Tuesdays", to name a few.
I'd like to think I'm fairly enlightened. Compassionate, kind. But let's face it. I'm white and middle class. If blacks were still only worth 3/5th of a human, I'd probably own one. It'd be nice to own someone who could take care of the chores. Someone to keep the house clean and cook the food. Someone I could throw an occasional hump in when the wife wasn't in the mood.
Thankfully, we're all victims of the times we're born into. It's the 21st century. You can't buy people in this country anymore. There was a big old war here that ended that. And that's a good thing. I was born into this era without any say, and I'm glad I am where I am. We got us one hell of a country now. A great place to live.
Unless of course, you're black and live in the path of a hurricane. Or you're white and poor and join the Army so you can pay for college. Or you're an indigenous person and live on a reservation. Cuz we still got those.
So, happy Columbus Day, y'all. He might not have been the first to discover this little corner of the world. But he was the first to wipe his ass with it, and for that we all should be proud.