Such accusations about Columbus are unfortunate, and it's high time someone set the record straight.
First of all, Columbus--to the best of my knowledge--never killed any Indians, and he can hardly be held responsible for the actions of others who followed him. And does anyone honestly believe that if Columbus had NOT made his discovery, the rest of the world would not have somehow stumbled across the Americas at some later date? Otherwise, wouldn't people of this alternate 21st century reality have wondered why there was a big hole in their GPS devices' maps of the western hemisphere?
Additionally, Columbus was Italian but sailed on behalf of Portugal. The Conquistadors, who shoulder much of the responsibility of what eventually happened to the native population, were from Spain. After that came the French and the English. The few Italians that did finally follow Columbus across the ocean blue were limited by law to working as cops in New York city.
Besides, it's not Columbus' fault that Indians were already living here and kept getting in the way. They should have just gone back to where they came from! And while Columbus may not have been the first to find the Americas, his discovery was the first to "take." It set the stage for future European colonization, something earlier discoveries by the Vikings failed to do.... Though they did eventually make three Super Bowl appearances under the able leadership of Fran Tarkenton.
Most importantly, Columbus' arrival in the New World demonstrated the need for strong, effective immigration policies.... As well as the importance of maintaining an up to date smallpox vaccination schedule.
At any rate, the bottom line is that if it weren't for the European colonization of the Americas, there would still be buffalo roaming across our interstates. And if you think an overturned tanker truck causes traffic tie ups, think what a herd of several hundred thousand bison would do.
President Sitting Bull would have admitted SMOKING that corn husk but denied ever inhaling it. And he would certainly have denied having sexual relations with that squaw, Pochohantas.
Furthermore, man would never have landed on the moon, John Wayne wouldn't have had a movie career, there would never have been a Star Trek or Star Wars, the light bulb would never have been invented, we'd all be writing emails in the dark, and Iraq would be a stable nation.
Oh, and the entire world (including the French) would be speaking German or Japanese.
So happy Columbus Day!!