To the editor:

With Columbus Day upon us and all the hate-fueled rhetoric against him, it might be time to shift our focus from a hapless navigator who mistakenly landed in El Salvador in 1492 and look at the real villains who mercilessly took the land away from the native peoples through violence and cunning over the centuries.

First the Spanish, then the British and ultimately the United States itself, all of which engaged in warfare and various other acts of brutality in order to expand their empires, these are the real culprits. One of the worst was President Andrew Jackson who executed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 leading to what is known as the infamous Trail of Tears. Treaties with the Native Americans from 1646 to 1868, mostly disadvantageous to the tribes, were frequently broken by the Europeans and their descendants.

And frankly, if Columbus had not arrived first, it surely would have been someone from any number of countries that sent out their explorers in ships. The past is the past. We all enjoy this country because it was settled by immigrants. If you really feel so bad about the way Native Americans have been and are treated, then perhaps you should find a way to actually improve their plight. Support one of the organizations that helps those living on reservations. Celebrate their culture. That would be much more productive than decapitating a statue of Columbus during a protest rally and then returning home. Going forward is what really counts.

Kathryn J. Morano



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