Skip to content

Julia Leonardi / 08/30/2020

The first thing that came to mind when I was reading “Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress,” was how robbed of an actual education I feel. Just barely hearing the story told from the people’s point of view, changes my whole perspective of what history really is and how I need to change how it is viewed. Now knowing that it is this easy to just read and teach this side of history, I am disgusted that it took me going to college to read about Columbus as a villain and not the hero he’s been taught to be. This idea of completely ignoring the “great mans” wrong doings was already something that angered me, but to ignore mass genocide (he wiped out half of Haiti within two years!!) and extremely inhumane acts towards people, is nauseating. This makes me want to get back into the public-school system and demand change within the curriculum that is taught to kids all across the state of Virginia.

To quote Zinn, who quotes Camus “in world of “victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” Although that is a factual statement, it shouldn’t be like this. We as a society should be on the side of victims. We should teach the real story of the Americas to children, and not wait for them to get older and choose to figure it out.

Published inUncategorized


  1. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    Reading “Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress,” has hammered onto the idea that knowledge truly is power. Part of the solution to so many of society’s issues today is to become educated! Whether that is having enlightening, maybe uncomfortable, discussions, or doing your own research online, through podcasts, books, etc. We have the resources to learn the true history of America, but not enough people have the drive to do so. I believe our society is starting to change in this regard, which makes me hopeful, but I hope the trend continues.

  2. Henry Groves Henry Groves

    I totally agree with your point about being robbed of an education. If this article taught me anything is that I cannot fully trust anything that is written in textbooks or articles. I always knew this to an extent, but this chapter really emphasized it. I also agree that we should tell the full story instead of just the side of the “executioners”. Both sides of a certain story need to be told so that people can make educated opinions.

  3. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    I really admire your last comment on Zinn’s repeating of Camus’ quote. While yes, it is certainly better not to be on the executioner’s side, that alone is not enough. To lead in a modern context must mean — as I believe you pointed out — advocating for the down trodden, forgotten, and persecuted. Thus, having a more complete understanding of our history enables leaders to truly lead.

Leave a Reply