Today, October 9, 2017, is the day most Americans celebrate Columbus Day, even though the great Italian navigator landed on the island he called San Salvador three days later. The holiday has been under attack by the social justice warrior crowd for decades. Jeanne Allen, writing in the Washington Examiner, lays out the case for why the Columbus haters are wide of the mark where it comes to the expressed excuse for their ire.

How Columbus treated Native Americans

Contrary to what one may hear from the people who want to expunge Columbus from the public square and the calendar, the Italian navigator treated the Native Americans with friendliness and respect.

He, after all, was anxious to convert them to Catholic Christianity. He punished members of his fleet whom he caught abusing the indigenous people, going so far as to hang a few of them. Many of the Spanish nobility was not pleased with how whom they regarded as an Italian upstart was treating them. To be sure, Columbus was less than impressed by the Caribe people he met later. However, his distaste was understandable as they were cannibals.

Left and right to be blamed?

We all know how the left hates Columbus and why. They regard the mass immigration to the Americas by Europeans as an unrelenting atrocity, not as most people do the foundation of new nations, including the United States. However, some of the far-right hated Columbus as well.

The Klan hated him because he was Italian, hence like many of the immigrants they loathed, and a Catholic.

Fortunately, Columbus hatred is only harbored by a minority of Americans. A Marist Poll that was recently taken indicated that 57 percent of Americans believe that Columbus Day is worth celebrating and only 29 percent disagree.

Columbus should be judged by the standards of his times, though even according to modern standards he stands up pretty well.

Why celebrate Columbus Day?

Christopher Columbus was a fearless sailor who, while looking for an ocean route to Asia, discovered an entirely new world instead. It can be argued that the great Norse explorer Leif Erikson discovered America 492 years before Columbus.

However, the great Italian sailor not only found a new world but opened it up to contact with the old. His spirit of adventure and exploration ignited a new spirit in Europe that led, in the fullness of time, to an overthrow of the old order of the divine right of kings and the foundation of new nations based on democracy and respect for civil rights. The process was not always pretty, but the world is better for the fact that Columbus sailed that ocean blue over five centuries ago.