“Columbus Day is a public holiday in many parts of the United States, but is not a day off in some states. Some government offices are closed because Columbus Day is still a federal government holiday. The day is a legal observance in states like Florida,” says Time and Date. Note two typos corrected in the quote above, but the text is otherwise as shown in the source.
“Columbus Day is a United States federal holiday commemorating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. It is observed on the second Monday of October,” according to Calendarpedia. “Columbus Day, which falls on the second Monday of October, is one of 10 federal holidays recognized by the U.S. government,” per USA Today.
“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” when a childhood rhyme from years ago that aimed to teach the year of Christopher Columbus historic voyage to youngsters.
For centuries a source of celebration for most Americans, it has in more recent years been caught up in controversy. As History sums the issue up, “Christopher Columbus undoubtably changed the world. But was it for the better?” The Columbus Dispatch says, “These days, storm clouds of controversy are pretty much constant companions to any Columbus Day celebrations,” the paper said earlier today. Biography questions if Columbus was a hero or a villain.
Why? What’s up with all this controversy that didn’t exist not so many years ago?
The resultant deaths among the indigenous peoples of the Americas is one reason. The ‘forced’ conversion from their native religions to Christianity is another. Add to it the appropriation of their lands and goods, the difference between races, and there is a compelling but dark narrative forged that makes Columbus look like the leader of European ogres.
There are many takes on this topic. But let’s take a look at a spirited spoof of the issue by Prager University.
“Even though it remains a national holiday, many cities no longer celebrate Columbus Day. They celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead. What’s behind the switch? Contrary to what you might think, it’s not about paying homage to America’s original inhabitants. Steven Crowder, host of Louder with Crowder, explains,” per PragerU’s YouTube page on the video above.
What’s interesting about Crowder’s commentary is that it doesn’t whitewash – pardon the Persian pun – the bad that occured, but it does put the matter into context through factoids and satire.
All of human history is a series of struggles of some person or group against other person or group. We could just as easily point to Warren Buffett’s candid admission below, or how Senator Bernie Sanders recently blasted Buffett and two of his fellow uber billionaires for having an amount of wealth roughly equal to the bottom half of the nation.
PolitiFact broke that down like this, starting with a written version of Sander’s statement, quoting: “The wealthiest three families now own more wealth than the bottom half of the country, and they will do everything they can to block our agenda.” The Sanders campaign told Politifact that “Sanders’ campaign told us his claim is based on a 2017 study from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies.”
“The study found that the three wealthiest individuals were Bill Gates of Microsoft with $89 billion, Jeff Bezos of Amazon with $81.5 billion and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway with $78 billion,” stated the fact-checkers. On Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 they walked through sources and methods, and concluded with the following. “The latest available figures indicate that the total wealth of Gates, Bezos and Buffett was $248.5 billion, exceeding the total wealth of $245 billion of the bottom half of Americans…We rate Sanders’ statement True.” Note that PolitiFact.com is a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. As with Columbus Day, PolitiFact faces its own charges of bias, but that’s another topic.
What is often unmentioned or is glossed over in such statements about the three wealthiest men in America is that they are financially and other wise interconnected. For example, Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway holds stock in Jeff Bezos founded Amazon. Buffett has donated billions in Berkshire shares to the Gates Foundation, on which Buffett is a foundation trustee. Or as CNN reporter put it during a report, ‘these guys talk to each other all the time.’
While those in the top 1 percent of society often gleefully fund nonprofit groups, for example, that make Columbus Day an issue that divides Americans, those same uber-rich are benefiting from what Senator Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and candidate-turned President Donald J. Trump have correctly called ‘a rigged system.’ That’s a point that PragerU’s video doesn’t mention.
Americans are perhaps more divided than at any time since the Civil War. By accident or design, donations made by Buffett, Bezos, and Gates to nonprofit groups that in turn use those donations to stir up controversies that distract and divide.
Following the money trail is what revealed that MHAction’s funding can be traced back in part to Warren Buffett. As factory-built home advocate, the Rev. Donald Tye, Jr. previously put it to MHProNews, for the uber wealthy, it is divide and rule. They can fund candidates and issues that often span the left-right divide.
It is therefor necessary for partisans on both sides of the gap to step back and ask, who is pulling the strings and why?
Gates and Bezos benefited from federal policies on antitrust that in some respects began during the Clinton administration years but rolled on through the Bush 43 and Obama Administrations too.
Columbus Day controversies are a symptom of a deeper problem. American history is imperfect. Anyone who studied the “trail of tears” or other episodes knowns that to be true. But as Crowder points out in the video, the matter is far from one-sided. But perhaps more important, is that the controversy is a distraction from larger issues that face our nation.
Be it “Occupy Wall Street,” or the Tea Party movements, each side identified real issues, but they came at challenges through a different perspective. Sanders, Warren and President Trump all say the system is rigged. It is. By looking at who pays for the groups supporting various issues, a deeper lesson may be learned. The uber rich, by accident or design, benefit from such divisions over ‘issues’ like this one. How so? Because if the left-and-right began looking beyond partisan labels at how Buffett – say, with Clayton Homes – or the tech giants got to be so big, it could unite groups to apply antitrust or other laws that right now are not being robustly used.
There is a genius to having at least a basic knowledge of holidays like todays. There is a practical relevance to understanding American history that is in some ways summed up by the quotes that follow.
That’s your second look today at “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, periodic entertainment, inspiration, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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