I have read countless blogs and articles repeating the exact same things; yes, we know it is a historical myth that Europeans believed the earth was flat, yes, on his first voyage Columbus believed he would arrive in Asia but all things considered only people with 20/20 hindsight scoff, and finally the ridiculous cries of genocide are raised. Christopher Columbus made the discovery, regardless of intention, and how many discoveries were made by accident? Is this really a legitimate argument? The voyage, at this time, was no small undertaking and it marked an age of exploration. Columbus' voyages and discovery hold immeasurable historical importance for us today, but in the toxic atmosphere of multicultural and cultural relativism, we can't even celebrate history. As for disease, no one had any knowledge at this time of germs and it could be noted that syphilis made it's way from the New World to Europe, so it was a two way street. It wiped out 5 million Europeans. He spent most of his professional life as a seaman traveling from Iceland to West Africa. And people aren't informed that the native Caribs were some of the most savage and merciless conquerors in history and cannibalism was a part of their regular diet. Of course wiping these savages out, to me at least, is hardly an offense worth troubling myself.
The native Americans had settled the Americas thousands of years before Columbus ever set foot on the Caribbean islands. But of course, this is not we care about as a civilization. Being Eurocentric, we only care who was the first person to discover the Americas for Europeans. Well, even in this narrow view, Columbus is still left behind by the vikings who beat him by five hundred years. And even when he did reach the Americas, it was only so the Europeans could enslave, infect, and imprison the natives, killing off the Taino natives entirely after using them as forced laborers. The wave of explorers who came to the Americas following Columbus were spreading waves of trouble. Although profitable for Europeans (until the economic crash of the 1600s) this was the worst period for the natives. The Aztec and Inca civilizations showed great potential for advancement to the level of the Europeans, already having surpassed the ancient Greeks and Romans in technology levels. However, the Indo-European powers were not nearly as isolated as the American powers and so their constant competition advanced them by necessity faster than their American counterparts, at the cost of thousands of lives lost in war.
Columbus did not intentionally come to America, in fact in his narrow view of the wold the America's didn't exist. He is cited as having been revolutionary in his thinking that the world was round, however this is not true since it had been common knowledge for generations hence. What Columbus thought is that the diameter of the world was smaller than predicted, and when he ended up in America he thought he was in India, which is why Native American's are inappropriately called Indians. Not only was he wrong about the demographic portion of his history, he also brought to the America's death in the forms of genocide and disease. Should we celebrate ignorance and genocide? No.