WASHINGTON: Political correctness is taking over historical precedence. Today a statue, or a painting, triggers reactions of disdain by those who would rewrite our history. Painted more than 130 years ago, twelve murals illustrate the arrival in the new world of Christopher Columbus. To detractors, the murals were “blind to the consequences of Columbus’ voyage,” university President Rev. John Jenkins said in a letter Sunday announcing his decision. Therefore, they must be hidden from sensitive eyes.
The murals were painted by Italian artist Luigi Gregori. Columbus’ voyage to America is chronicled in twelve paintings created in 1880 following the buildings reconstruction. What makes this censoring difficult is that the murals are painted directly on the wall of the Main Building. To remove them would mean destroying them.
For now, the school will be hanging woven cloths to obscure the murals from view.
For the native peoples of this “new” land, however, Columbus’s arrival was nothing short of a catastrophe.
Whatever else Columbus’s arrival brought, for the indigenous people it led to exploitation, expropriation of land, and repression of vibrant cultures. Europeans brought enslavement and new diseases killing millions.
As Pope John Paul II said in a 1987 meeting with the Native Peoples of the Americas,
“the encounter [between native and European cultures] was a harsh and painful reality for your peoples. The cultural oppression, the injustices, the disruption of your way of life and of your traditional societies must be acknowledged.”
The murals’ depiction of Columbus as beneficent explorer and friend of the native peoples hides from view the darker side of this story, which we must acknowledge.
History, before this revelation, has taught us that the so-called “Native People” were in fact not indigenous peoples (the current politico-phrase). They were Mongolian migrants who for the most part had found their way across the Behring Straits into what is now Alaska.
These so-called indigenous ones (invaders?) took over from those (whoever) who were here before they were.
Did Europeans bring the diseases that killed out indigenous people
As far as the Europeans, like Columbus, bringing disease and death the record is very strong for these indigenous ones to have seemed bent on destroying themselves. The Aztecs, one of the most advanced of the American Indian cultures, were well on the well to self-extinction before Cortez even came.
Aztecs are a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico at the time of the European invasions.
Aztec society suffered under a tremendous burden of a religion which held that the god of the Sun needed to be fed human hearts in order to make the daily journey from east to west. This meant that the Aztecs needed to wage nearly constant war to capture sacrificial victims.
Thus in their warfare, the Aztecs tried not to kill their enemies in battle but to take them alive.
This religious burden drained labor away from productive enterprises and required substantial effort and resources be devoted to supplying the army with weapons and sustenance.
An excellent book on the history of one powerful tribe, as well as their enemies, is Tr. Fehrenbach’s Commanche: The Destruction of a People (free downloadable link). This leaves one with an honest conception of the state of man in his ultimate fallen state.
And any approach by Christian Europeans only brought hope to the savage ways of the native people.
Now Notre Dame seeks to hide in shame artwork.
The murals reveal the coming of Columbus and his “evil” ways over 500 years ago.
The “enlightened“ society of today asserts that it would have acted differently when Columbus landed.
These contemporary “enlightens” having a much higher moral superiority, would have, of course, done better by the happy locals. They would have made many a different decision than Columbus. Worked with, lived with, cohabitated with the native peoples.
Cloaked in political sophistry these same people would never think of denying Jackie Robinson the right to play major league baseball. Today they are perfect. Tomorrow they will be even better. They never would use the “N” word nor they have shot an Indian. Bullocks.
Notre Dame is a sign that universities are in the final throws of academic dementia.
These institutions are nothing more than political whorehouses, taking money from donors, with lust without love. They are no longer philosophical thought and reason thrones. It is no longer teaching the rights and wrongs of history, but promoting what they are ordered to promote. To not grasp a teaching moment, instead choosing to whitewash history in political correctness.
Notre Dame is never thought of as anything other as an institution with tradition, dedication, and integrity. Unfortunately, Notre Dame at some level of authority has decided to join the mob of historical miscreants. They will cover history with a bedsheet of classless political correctness.
Now they are administered by those who crawl before the political jackals.
President, Father John I. Jenkins in a lengthy letter to: “Members of the Notre Dame community” has taken Notre Dame off of the road of academics and followed the road of false history in the name of political correctness (or opportunity).
In part Father Jenkin’s letter said.
“The murals present us with several narratives not easily reconciled, and the tensions among them are especially perplexing for us because of Notre Dame’s distinctive history and Catholic mission. At the time they were painted, the murals were not intended to slight indigenous peoples, but to encourage another marginalized group. In the second half of the 19th century, Notre Dame’s Catholic population, largely immigrants or from families of recent immigrants, encountered significant anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant attitudes in American public life. At the same time, Columbus was hailed by Americans generally as an intrepid explorer, the “first American” and the “discoverer of the New World.” Gregori’s murals focused on the popular image of Columbus as an American hero, who was also an immigrant and a devout Catholic. The message to the Notre Dame community was that they too, though largely immigrants and Catholics, could be fully and proudly American.
For the native peoples of this “new” land, however, Columbus’s arrival was nothing short of a catastrophe. Whatever else Columbus’s arrival brought, for these peoples it led to exploitation, expropriation of land, repression of vibrant cultures, enslavement, and new diseases causing epidemics that killed millions. As Pope John Paul II said in a 1987 meeting with the Native Peoples of the Americas, “the encounter [between native and European cultures] was a harsh and painful reality for your peoples. The cultural oppression, the injustices, the disruption of your way of life and of your traditional societies must be acknowledged.
The murals’ depiction of Columbus as beneficent explorer and friend of the native peoples hides from view the darker side of this story, a side we must acknowledge.”
Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
- Title: Painting: “Columbus Coming Ashore” at the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana
- Creator(s): Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer
- Date Created/Published: 2012 October.
- Medium: 1 photograph : digital, TIFF file, color.
- Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-18710 (original digital file)
- Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.