Since 2004, Portland's Only Bar Trivia That Matters.
Note To College Roy, Age 20:
Dude - of course Columbus was a brutal killer! Didn't they tell you he lived in the 1400s? Back then "willingness to kill brutally" was the 2nd-most sought-after job skill (behind only "eagerness to be be brutally killed"). And if you possessed neither skill, there was always the clergy - which of course was exceptionally brutal.
If we judged every person who lived in a brutal age for participating in the brutality, we'd come to the conclusion that most any human who did anything of note for our first million years or so was totally evil. And that's plum silly, Little Roy.
So let 'em keep their Columbus statues, and the holiday - just in case the Post Office is actually stupid enough to hire you one day. And to the Spanish Crown (assuming they seek our forgiveness from beyond the grave), just be all "fuck it, dude - we're cool."
The thing I'm a bit more concerned about is my own country, circa now. You know that unrelenting, unrepentant, uncanny commitment to brutalizing the American Indian into extinction? Well you won't believe this, but it is actually even worse now! And I am still waiting to hear - just once, from anyone seeking or wielding power in our capital - any kind of commitment to finally honoring our commitments to the first Americans.
Sometimes it's best to let history's dead stand in stone for our judgment, and sometimes it's better to knock 'em down. More often than not I argue for the former, but one thing we absolutely must do is...
TAKE ANDREW JACKSON'S DISGUSTING FACE OFF THE 20-DOLLAR BILL!
So seething was this bigot's zeal to destroy what deemed a useless race of people that he violated the Supreme Court (and even the terms of his own, already-horrific Indian Removal Act) in ordering the genocidal act we now call the Trail Of Tears. That should be enough. But here’s a tiny bit more…
He showed total disdain for our young Constitution, and for any restrictions at all on his power, and he ignored them both routinely. When pressed by the plantation class, he illegally ordered the postal service to censor or seize all abolitionist literature mailed to the south. And for the escaped slave, he went all out - offering (for the capture of one of his own) “ten dollars more for every 100 lashes any person will give him, to the amount of 300.”*
And still his visage looms large over the desk and mind of another vile sociopathic bigot we call “President", on this Columbus Day, 2017. It boggles.
Andrew Jackson’s portrait should be as welcome in our lives as Heinrich Himmler’s is in modern Germany.
(Sorry about the all-caps; I think that was Young Roy.)
*ad in Tennessee Gazette, 10/3/04