Always a surplus of brutality

"Landing of Columbus '' (12 October 1492), by John Vanderlyn.

"Landing of Columbus '' (12 October 1492), by John Vanderlyn.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

Columbus Day this year predictably included denunciations of the explorer and the colonialists who accompanied and followed him. Columbus, et al., were presented as world-historically brutal and are blamed for presiding over a huge genocide. This aroused a lot of backlash in southern New England, with its many proudItalian-Americans. (But I have always wondered why someone would be proud, or ashamed, of what a distant ancestor did.)

But members of Native American tribes were just as brutal to members of other tribes and to European usurpers. They just didn’t have the equipment (particularly guns) to defeat the far more technologically advanced Europeans, and, of course, their numbers rapidly declined after the European arrival because they didn't have immunity from the diseases brought over from Europe.

As for the African slaves brought over to the Americas by Europeans, we ought to remember that it was African chiefs who captured these poor souls and sold them to the Europeans. For that matter, slavery still exists in Africa.

People of all shades and nationalities are brutal.