Hail to Columbus -- The First Immigrant

by Victor Gerhard

Just in time for our celebration of Columbus Day this October 8th, a startling reinterpretation of the life of Christopher Columbus has emerged in historical circles. Because of newly uncovered information concerning his groundbreaking efforts to champion the rights of new Americans, Columbus may deserve the title "Father of Diversity."

It may be hard to believe today, but before 1492 the entire Western Hemisphere was greedily monopolized by only one federally approved ethnic group, the 'Native-Americans.'

It was Columbus who met this challenge to diversity head on and fought to create a multi-cultural society in the Americas. He knew it would be a dangerous undertaking but he was determined to advance the cause of the unrepresented Europeans. A true liberal, he also realized the prejudiced Native-Americans would themselves greatly benefit from living in a diverse society. Once they were properly educated, Native-Americans could enjoy the many things immigrants had to offer.

It was a difficult task. European-Americans were at first confined to a few small islands in the Caribbean, and the Establishment -- controlled by xenophobic, nativist bigots -- still continued to prevent the immigrants' participation in the local political process. Indeed, for hundreds of years Native-Americans refused to allow people of non-color to run for Tribal Chief.

Columbus realized the necessary radical changes required the full participation of the government -- the Spanish Government to be precise. Upon hearing of the oppression suffered by immigrants, Spain instituted sweeping reforms designed to protect the rights of European-American minorities. With the passage of the historic Immigrants' Rights Act of 1505 it became necessary to create an agency to ensure compliance with the new laws. Thus were born the "Conquistadors," forerunners of the modern FBI.

And not a moment too soon, because unfortunately some of the Natives were attempting to "roll back the clock" by resisting their immersion in the Melting Pot. This led to regrettable Waco-like incidents, brought on by the anti-democratic acts of Native-American-Firsters opposing the laws of the central government. Some of these live-off-the-land, survivalist types even went so far as to claim the government had no authority over them!

For hundreds of years, European-Americans remained a small percentage of the population of the Americas. Much of the Hemisphere continued to consist of exclusive, no-immigrants-allowed neighborhoods. Refusing to integrate, many of the Natives engaged in "red flight" out of areas occupied by immigrants.

Through the sacrifices of civil rights pioneers such as Davy Crockett, Kit Carson and the martyred George Custer (the Rosa Parks of the 1870s), European-Americans made great strides in society and won many new opportunities. But it all started with Columbus.


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