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Given that I have the benefit of hindsight, I find it easy to condemn some of the actions of Columbus but it is important to note that he was also an individual in the midst of a culture that considered native populations to be obstacles to be overcome in the pursuit of the goals of the colonizers. This was happening all over the globe and was accepted, even celebrated as a great achievement by many in European circles so my judgment has to be tempered slightly by those things.
There are some admirable qualities about the man but those two are perhaps suspect given that there are few records about his voyages that he did not have some influence in maintaining.
Given the result of his explorations and his decisions, millions of people suffered and many of them died as they were ravaged by disease, forced from their homes, or killed by colonizing forces led by or at least given the opportunity by Columbus' efforts. So I think it would be more fitting to try and respect and celebrate those native cultures rather than a man whose historical legacy is questionable at best.
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