Letter to the Editor

Columbus, Jefferson, Kennedy and the education problem

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Another Columbus Day has come and gone with a bunch of college beatniks stepping out of their drum circles to fuss about Christopher Columbus.

They decry the racism of the term "Indian" as opposed to the more politically friendly, "Native American." Frankly, I do not know why a term originating from Columbus' misunderstanding of where he put down port is any more offensive than using the term "native." The people Columbus discovered immigrated from other parts of the world. Referring to the tribes as "native" is still only an accurate description from Columbus' point of view. Neither term gives the population value in their own right. Neither term comes from American Indian language.

A similar kind of stupid is happening at the University of Missouri. Students are demanding that a Thomas Jefferson statue be removed from campus. They continually cover the memorial with post-it notes with words like "Racist," "Rapist" and "Slave Owner." The allegations of misogyny stem from Jefferson's relationship with a black woman who was also sister to his late wife. A disgruntled and partisan muckraker wrote scathing articles about Jefferson's private relationship after being denied a postmaster position. This is the equivalent of basing today's history solely on the perspective of MSNBC. Who cares if you wrote the Declaration of Independence if MSNBC calls you a rapist?

Columbus was not the first man to set foot in the new world. He was not even the first explorer. However, his expeditions did create a tipping point that led to globalization between the old and new world. His legacy is opening a new frontier; he put in motion the rise of a great nation who would eventually end tyranny in Europe and put a flag on the moon.

Jack Kennedy pledged to put our flag on the moon. What's next? Was he a misogynist because of his rumored affair with Marilyn Monroe? Does political correctness demand we go back and collect that flag lest we promote the perception that Gentleman Prefer Blondes?

Last March, the University of California, Irving student council voted to remove the American Flag from the student union. They felt that our flag is "offensive." They claim that our flag is not inclusive of people who do not identify as American. To hold a civic spirit and pride in the sacrifices and success of our nation is offensive?

We have an education problem in the U.S. Students are graduating from college with record debt, limited job prospects and no applicable skills for real work. Graduates have an understanding that success can only be achieved by victimizing others. If you aren't successful it is because you were victimized. Also, if you are successful your greatest achievements must be without any scrutiny by your angriest critics.

I think I know how to fix education in America. It is very simple.

Dear college professors,

Stop teaching our kids to be stupid.