Acknowledging the Past | Columbus in Context


I want to start this video off by saying that
we should get rid of Columbus Day. We should start celebrating Indigenous Peoples’
Day. And if cities and towns want to take down
their Columbus statue – or any other statue for that matter – they should be allowed
to do so. That has always been my position. But if that’s the case, why do I have a
video called “In Defense of Columbus?” This video was brought to you by Audible. I don’t think we will ever not talk about
Columbus, at least not in our lifetimes. He’s too interesting of a historical figure. He’s like the Titanic, hundreds, if not
millions, of ships have sunk over the course of human history, yet we keep talking about
this one – why? Because there’s so much more going on than
just the iceberg. There have been countless explorers, navigators,
and colonizers, yet here I am making another video about Christopher Columbus – why? Because there is so much more you can ask. What does it mean to be lost? He thought he landed on an island off the
coast of Asia. Which is laughable to us now. But if you were to ask him his latitude and
longitude, he would have gotten it pretty much exactly correct. So was he lost? What does it mean to discover? People had been living in the Americas for
well over ten thousand years and the Vikings famously had a settlement for a few years. But the two halves of the world didn’t know
about each other until Columbus. Regardless of your answers, the historical
discussion of these questions is itself interesting and has changed over time. People have been disagreeing about Columbus,
since Columbus. There were Spanish historians who made things
look better or worse depending on their personal views, then British and later Americans told
their versions of events. In the late 1800s, Italian immigrants in America
wanted an Italian-American hero to celebrate to sort of insert themselves into US History,
creating Columbus Day. Retroactively making Christopher Columbus
an Italian. Italy wasn’t a country when Columbus was
alive and wouldn’t be for another few centuries, he was a Genoese navigator sailing under the
Spanish. Which, technically Spain awasn’t a country
yet either. See, there are so many different tangents
and angles to this story that it’s almost a perfect storm of historical discussion. And that’s the story I wanted to tell. A few months ago, a response was made to my
Columbus video which took issue with some of my portrayals. I am not going to talk about that video here. I disagree with some of the characterizations,
but I’ve already talked that in a reddit thread, which I’ll link below. They’ve seen my response and said they’re
cool with it. So, I am not trying to stir up drama, but
it would be disingenuous of me to not mention it, since this video wouldn’t exist without
that one. I also said I would rework the original Columbus
video before the next Columbus Day, so… Shortly after that response video came out,
I was in a livestream with Central_Committee and Kormantine where we picked apart my Columbus
video in real time. That experience made me realize that… I don’t really want to rework the original
Columbus video, not because it’s incredibly inaccurate or I’m embarrassed by it. But because that’s just not what my channel
is about anymore. So, with it being 2020, let’s use the power
of hindsight to examine the original video and its shortcomings… [Snap] … As I’ve already said, this video
is not a response to the response, partially because my original video is itself a response. And that’s just too many layers for me. Most people know the basics when it comes
to Columbus, they know the names of the three ships and that in 1492 he gave us a day off
school. You know, the elementary school stuff. But they might not know the year of his second
or third voyage, or where he landed, or what year he died. In 2017, the Dakota Access Pipeline was built
and the country’s current and past treatment of native peoples was at the forefront of
public consciousness. That year, a number of comedy channels decided
to make Columbus Day videos which I felt took advantage of the general population’s lack
of detailed knowledge of Columbus. So, I decided to respond to some of those
videos. I had assumed that most everyone was already
familiar with the general story and popular claims against Columbus, so rather than spend
time on that, I just focused on debunking some of the more ridiculous claims. Usually in a “well, actually” tone. In my defense, that style of video was pretty
popular at the time, the main video I was responding to was from the guy who basically
made “well, actually” famous. Actually! You might think that style of video is awful…
and the algorithm would agree with you. There is a reason I had fewer than 3000 subscribers
when that video came out and for several months afterwards. This is why I laugh when people tell me to
bring back the live-action intros, since nobody was watching me back then. I made a number of videos in that style, though
I think I got away with it in this video by lampshading the fact that I was literally
cherrypicking stories from history. The point is, none of these videos were popular
when they first came out. I released Columbus in December 2017, which
was after Columbus Day that year, it saw some initial success on reddit but that was it. It wasn’t until I shifted away from nitpicky
responses and towards a more narrative style that the channel really took off, and even
then, it was mostly old videos like 4KTVs and Wannabe States. The Columbus video didn’t see its first
real success until a year after its release on Columbus Day 2018. I was happy that those older videos were doing
well and my channel was growing, but I was mostly focused on making new content. So, when people wanted to respond to and discuss
my videos, it was because they were seeing it for the first time. But to me, they were year old topics I had
no more interest in. I knew some of my older videos weren’t very
good, not just when it comes to production quality, but I was still figuring out how
to present information to camera. There’s a reason it took so long for the
channel to take off. In the beginning, I was still trying to market
myself for grad school or a future job, so all of my videos took a centrist political
stance. Which is a good skill to have for a teacher,
but not so much for Youtube. I also assumed a base level of understanding;
I didn’t spend a lot of time on basics because I figured you already knew them. Which again, is a good skill for higher education,
not Youtube. The Columbus video was made keeping those
strategies in mind, which some have called irresponsible. And going by the modern standards of my channel… I agree. I’ve long since abandoned that approach
to making videos, you might not have noticed, but during this video, I tell you the entire
story of the Stanford Prison Experiment from start to finish three different times, from
three different perspectives. I never tell you the full story of Columbus. In the past, I’ve unlisted or even redone
videos that I thought fell short or needed to be updated for whatever reason. That was the original plan here. But in evaluating where my channel is now
and where it was then – I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to defend Columbus, he iss
not worth defending. And I used to tell people, including myself,
that the video isn’t really a defense of Columbus, I know I called it that but that’s
the Youtube game. Nobody is going to click on a video called
“a nuanced discussion of some of the recent depictions of Columbus in pop culture.” But since I never discuss the things Columbus
actually did and instead spend the whole time debunking spurious claims made by literal
cartoon characters. It is a defense of Columbus. And since I wouldn’t remake that video today,
rather than rework it, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend Cogito to help me put that
past defense of Columbus in its proper context. In August 1492, Columbus departed from Spain
on an expedition to find a western route to the island of Cipangu, now known as Japan. Columbus didn’t come up with the idea or
the route, every mapmaker in Europe agreed that this is where Japan was, because everyone
was basing their work on Marco Polo’s travel guide, which gives distances in days’ journey
rather than miles. As a result, they grossly overestimated the
size of Asia, placing Japan where Mexico is in reality. When Columbus landed on Hispaniola two months
later, he assumed he was on an island off the coast of Japan and continued to search
for the cities of gold Marco Polo described. After a few months of exploration around the
Caribbean, he returned to Spain with several native Taino people with the outwardly expressed
purpose of teaching them Latin and Christianity. Intent is a major theme of my original video
and many of my other videos at the time. I’ve often told you the reasoning of the
people involved, without offering any counter arguments or even my own personal feelings. In this video I explain the reasoning behind
dropping the atomic bombs and putting people into internment camps during World War 2 – two
things I personally very much disagree with. But since I only gave their perspective, it
comes across as my perspective. Whether Columbus intended to teach them Christianity
or just wanted to kidnap them is irrelevant, because in the end, it looks the same. Many people mark this as the beginning of
the Transatlantic Slave Trade, however, I disagree on a purely semantic basis. The Transatlantic Slave Trade typically refers
to African slaves being transported across the Atlantic to be enslaved in America…
not Americans being enslaved in America. Which happened six months later when Columbus
returned to the Caribbean with 17 ships and the expressed purpose of establishing permanent
settlements. This was the beginning of the encomienda system,
which was similar to the feudal system of lords and peasants in Europe. People given an encomienda didn’t own the
people, they owned the land, and the people were just another feature on that land to
be exploited. While this isn’t chattel slavery, where
people were auctioned off in front of a crowd, it’s a distinction without a difference. The fact that they owned the land, not the
people, didn’t stop them from brutally mutilating and killing the native Taino people whenever
they felt like it. Columbus was an active participant in that
mistreatment, while he may not have personally murdered anyone, he was the governor of the
colonies. He wasn’t really doing anything to stop
it and, on several occasions, he outright ordered it. Near the end of his third voyage in 1500,
the King and Queen of Spain replaced Columbus as governor, citing his inability to extract
enough silver and gold and his mistreatment of the Spanish colonists and native people. He was arrested and during his journey back
to Spain, he wrote a letter where he defends himself against various accusations, including
the sexual slavery of nine-year-old girls. The context of that quote is him complaining
about a thing happening and how that thing is harming his reputation. But that doesn’t change the fact that it
was still happening. He was in charge and he wasn’t really trying
very hard to stop it, in fact he may have even participated in it. The context of that quote, while interesting,
doesn’t change the reality. I did a similar thing in this video, does
the fact that this quote was written when he was a 22-year-old newspaper reporter change
the fact that they burned down entire villages? Obviously not. I also did a pretty poor job of explaining
the translation section of my original video, I’ve regretted that since the day I uploaded
it. If only I could use the power of 2020 hindsight
to… Huh, so, the original intent of that section
was to show how people can pick and choose different translations to convey whatever
meaning they want. These two translations are derived from the
same original sentence. One of them makes it seem like Columbus was
personally power hungry, while the other makes it look like a suggestion, one of the many
possible options for the King and Queen to choose from regarding what to do with the
islands. I obviously favor the second interpretation. But that doesn’t change the fact that Columbus
was like “Hey, it would be super easy to take these people over, just saying.” Columbus was in prison for six weeks, after
which, they gave him all of his land and wealth back and sent him off on his fourth voyage
in 1502. The Caribbean was now under the governorship
of Nicolas de Ovando, who hated Columbus and hated the Taino people even more, seeing them
as a rebellious people who needed to be pacified. The native people had been so decimated that
by 1515, Bartolome de las Casas gave up his encomienda and advocated for the importation
of African slaves instead. Decades later he said that that was a mistake,
but the damage had already been done. African slaves were brought to the Americas
by the millions, partially because they already had an immunity to the many Afro-Eurasian
diseases which killed 90% of the Native American population by 1600. In many cases, well before European contact. Obviously, not all of these deaths can be
directly attributed to Columbus… Columbus’s regime was so senselessly brutal,
that by 1542, the Taino population on the island had fallen to 200. This sentence was the impetus behind my original
Columbus video. If you want to say that it was the system
he established or the culture he created, then say that. Saying “Columbus Regime” makes it so misleading
that it’s false. Columbus was removed as governor in 1500 and
died in 1506, how did his regime last until 1542 when even his sons were dead for decades
at that point? Let me be clear, Christopher Columbus is directly
responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. The resulting European colonization, which
he started, killed millions more through disease transmission and military conflict. And continues to keep people in really poor
conditions to this day. That video, was me looking down the list of
charges and evidence against Columbus and saying, “I don’t really know if two or
three of these belong on here.” This video is me saying that the rest list
is still really long. Two years ago, I was nitpicking terrible historical
arguments for fun to an audience of basically nobody. Now that I have an audience, I try to be more
responsible. A few weeks ago, during my video on the Stanford
Prison Experiment, I said… So, I get why they did it, but that doesn’t
make it right. I wish I had said that years ago and that’s
going to be my approach to history moving forward. I’ve heard the criticism from fans that
I don’t do enough history anymore and I’ve heard critics say that my non-history videos
are still okay. But, almost all of my videos are history videos. I may not talk about World War 2 or Vietnam,
but I will talk about Milgram and Zimbardo or the Political Party Switch or Paradise
Lost, all of which are history labeled as something else. History is more than just battles. It’s the story we tell ourselves about why
things are the way they are, sometimes that’s through politics, sometimes it’s psychology. And the best version of that story can be
found on Audible by going to audible.com/knowingbetter or texting knowingbetter to 500-500. Where you can get a free 30-day trial of Audible,
which includes two Audible originals and your first audiobook for free. I personally recommend Sapiens, a Brief History
of Humankind, which offers a pretty unique perspective on how society and culture built
itself up from nothing. We like to think that things are the way they
are because some wise people planned it out that way, but that just isn’t the case. And with it being a new year, Audible is challenging
you to finish three books by March 3rd in exchange for a $20 Amazon credit. Get started by going to audible.com/knowingbetter
or texting knowingbetter to 500-500, you’ll also be supporting the channel when you do. Does Columbus deserve all of the hate that
he gets? I used to think that if it were up to me,
we’d talk about Columbus in the same way that we do Magellan, buried in some middle
paragraph of history. But now I know that’s just not possible. Not only because of the historical and educational
value of his story, but because we have a day to celebrate him. And we shouldn’t. As long as our calendar, and by extension
our government and our culture, continues to elevate him as a symbol of colonial domination,
he deserves to be torn down. Get rid of Columbus Day. New year, new outro card. I owe a huge thanks to Cogito for helping
me with this video. I’d also like to give a shout out to my
newest Golden Fork patron, Sarah. If you’d like to add your name to this list
of contrarian centrists, head on over to patreon.com/knowingbetter, or for a one-time donation, paypal.me/knowingbetter. Don’t forget to colonize that subscribe
button, or the join button if you’re feeling especially subjugated. Check out the merch at knowingbetter.tv, follow
me on Twitter and Facebook, and I really need to cut this down, this is too long, isn’t
it?

100 thoughts on “Acknowledging the Past | Columbus in Context

  • Do not take this video as an invitation to harass anyone over months' old drama. This is meant to be the end of that, not the beginning.

  • I think we should be humbled by how far we have come, Columbus would be the president of the anti Columbus club today

  • I'm disappointed that you felt the need to make this video. It feels as though you are only denouncing Columbus because of pressure from activist types. Columbus discovering America is arguable the most impactful event to ever happen on this planet. You are judging him by today's standards which frankly is ridiculous.

  • Hey Knowing Better can you please debunk Micheal Cremo .His research is super misleading and is plain ignorant of our scientific advances. Thx

  • 2:52 Oh boy.
    Not that this is my place to try and discourage anyone from associating with others, but You have mentioned you also care about the responsibility of messaging to a large audience (Witch I 100% am in support in) I feel like you should be extremely careful with these 2.
    Talking to mike about any issue publicly is rather irresponsible, the man doesn't even know many of the he advocates for not understanding definitions of many political terms especially post capitalist ideas despite the fact that he claims to have a post capitalist position.
    Not only this problem of influencing thousands of people politically wile being unable to even state the definitions of some of the most basic of things, but talking to someone who is clearly a class reductionist on issues relating to racial issues is a really bad idea Im sure you'd understand that class reductionists will usually throw out the issues facing those who are facing racist issues from the systems they live in by just moving to the position that if they gained more class protections that it would be able to fix all their issues rather then looking into the causes of the problems that they face in particular.
    He also seems incredibly unwilling to even acknowledge any of the 20th century iconography he has as a image witch is completely disingenuous.

    These 3 things that just come off the top of my head it really just makes me think of him as a grifter (I also find it funny as this is one term he uses but doesn't understand) and you should take everything the man has to say with a grain of salt.

    As for the other man I've only seen him once before and he himself comes off to me as a grifter as well, though Im more then willing to revert that opinion if I see more of him.

    Please KB be very careful with you're messaging and those you engage with I'm a big fan of the channel its a fantastic thing.
    I'm just worried for it.

  • If anyone hasn't seen BadEmpenada's video regarding KnowingBetter's previous video addressing Christopher Columbus, I recommend you do. He literally goes point-by-point correcting him.

    He made another video correcting more inaccuracies found in this video as well.

  • I have noticed the sign of a good YouTube channel is when its creators retrospectively look at their own work, publicly acknowledge any mistakes they made, try to correct their own factual inaccuracies, and review how they could make their content better, while bad YouTube channels seek drama by making attacks on other content creators, and trying to defend their work (often through ad hominems and strawmans) even if their work is of poor quality or factually incorrect.

  • I don't think we should have an indigenous peoples day. Why celebrate one group because of who their parents are? Let's have a all peoples day. Indigenous people aren't better or worse or more or less deserving than other people.

  • Magellan is considered a villain in our native narrative in the Philippines, while American colonizers like McArthur (who gave the command to level a whole city) even has his own statue.

  • In another 2 years from now I bet your arguments and style will be indistinguishable from those who made the cartoonish Colombus' videos. Too bad..

  • A town deciding to get rid of a statue is not wrong. The problem is that is not being carried out based upon the will of the people generally, but rather a progressive, fascist county board or city council is autonomously decreeing it. And, colonization is not wrong ipso facto.

  • Interesting…Columbus was made a hero to represent Italian-Americans? Let me see. In 1784, King's College in NYC was renamed Columbia College. Columbia University today is the only Ivy League university in NYC. The new capital of South Carolina was authorized in 1786, named "Columbia". Columbia County in NY State was also formed in 1786.

    1791 the US capitol was named "Washington, District of Columbia". What was the Italian population in the US in 1791? The Columbia River was technically named after the discoverer's ship, Columbia (later Columbia Rediviva), but what was the shipped named after?

    Ohio's new capital was formed in 1812: named Columbus. Columbia, the country was named in 1819. Columbia, Missouri in 1821.

    "A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus" was written by Washington Irving in 1828. It was widely enough read that it created the 'flat earth' theory as something real. British Columbia was named by Queen Victoria in 1856. Not an American insight.

    All of this is before Italians were in the US in any significant numbers. Your revision to your earlier work seems to focus on inaccuracies for political correctness that are simply inappropriate and incorrect.

  • "We should get rid of Columbus Day and start celebrating Indigenous People's Day."

    Oh really? We going to admit the atrocities they also committed too while doing so?

  • Here in Brazil, Colombo gets far less coverage in the books. The first Portuguese explorer to land (in 1500), Pedro Álvares Cabral, is much more celebrated.
    Since his expedition didn't leave any permanent settlement, and his visit to South America was just a stop in his journey to India (officially by accident, but some say it was intentional), this is a much less controversial subject.
    Magellan (Magalhães), being Portuguese and despite being in service for the Spanish crown, is probably much more noted here as well.

  • columbus day if seen in it's most practical application is the marking of rejoining of two segments of a species(humans) seperated by an ocean for over 10,000 years.it was an event that was inevitable to happen.Detractors looking back at all the events around the discovery point out all the injustice…….columbus day does'nt celebrate the man,but for better a worse a SIGNIFICANT event in human historty

  • Context is a funny thing, and presenting 100% true information can still be deceptive.

    It can be hard to identify your own bias as well when determining how appropriate it was to include context that colours your perception.

    I found your original video didn’t really make me think Columbus was a good guy, though I think they way you talked about the letters he wrote in jail was not great, it certainly sounded like he disapproved of the sex slavery, not just that it reflected poorly on him.

    Ultimately, I think it’s important to have someone who cleans up after comedy channels, as people have a tendency to view the akshually-style videos as very credible, because they compare them to the obviously incorrect information they are debunking and not a nuanced analysis.

  • Don't get too into the weeds about which one video "the audience really liked," your channel taking off had more going on than just whatever video you'd put out right before it did. I recently started following some guy who makes videos mostly about European travel and fun facts, and in the weeks before I did he had less than 1000 subs, and then a few weeks after that he had over 80K subs, and really the content on his channel never changed. I think it's very difficult for a channel to take off with only a few videos, regardless of quality or interest, but rather that you typically just need to hit a critical mass of a dozen or two videos, and for subs it's best that these videos maintain a consistent theme to them, otherwise people will just watch one, say "oh, that was nice, but there don;t seem to be any more worth watching," and then move on. Subs come from consistency, "I want to see more like this." And the algorithm. The original Columbus video was a major factor in why I chose to sub to this channel and to the Patreon, because it gave the impression of someone who was neither an alt-right wacko, nor a breadtube proselytizer, but someone willing to look into an issue from all sides and arrive at a more nuanced conclusion.

  • I tried reading the "discourse" over the original video and I'm exhausted. Apparently it was "white supremacist denialism".

    Some people need to go the fuck outside and do something more productive with their time. In fact, so do I.

  • To be fair, modern First Contact Narratives often devolves into the belief that Indigenous Peoples were innocent of the sins of humanity before outsiders arrived but in reality the opposite was true. Indeed James Cook is reviled as much as Columbus is for many where he landed but he did not introduce the human sacrifices he witnessed or killing of those who broke what would be ludicrous rules like Hawaii had under Kapu Law. It's Revisionism at an odd angle because it paints a pastoral bliss between groups in the New World that's false before First Contact and there's never been a Culture/Ethnicity free of the worst impulses know to Humankind.

  • I appreciate and understand the direction your taking now. It's fair to give your own viewpoint. Just two things I have in warning: because of my knowledge of historical and cultural context, many people would see my actions as against the better interest of humanitarian efforts, despite that those who know me have said that wouldn't even have crossed their minds. Also just because someone is in a position with authority doesn't mean people obey, unless brutal force is used; look at classrooms 70 years ago vs today. Just because Obama was president doesn't mean he's responsible for the mass shootings that occurred during his presidency.
    I don't think we can hold there people of the past in elimination for the never before understood effects of their actions. They didn't have the example we do, they created it. Some examples are best left to theory, but it's often been radical and unpopular ideas that turn out best. I am actually proud to be a member of the Knights of Columbus, not for everything in his life, but for the organization and for the things he did right. Thank you for your videos, you still do a good job of a well-rounded exploration (pardon the pun).

  • Ok, I get all the stuff in the beginning, even if I don't think we should slow down for everyone all the time (or, maybe better, I wish we wouldn't, simply because I like sophisticated things). But you wanting to make more of the epidemic of partial videos, instead of giving impartial perspectives lowers my interest by orders of magnitude. I also don't think that that is acting responsibly. Let's see what happens, cheers.
    [addendum] I agree with the comments of lord freezer and Marius Periwinkle.

  • I disagree Columbus day isn't about Columbus, its about what he did. He is the reason that the United States of America could even exist. His achievement caused the most free country in the world to exist. That is why we celebrate Columbus day, at least thats what I'm celebrating.

  • The thing about knowing better is that he doesn’t make videos all that often, simply because they are time intensive, but bc of that it’s easy to burn through kb’s new vids and then binge the old ones

  • You keep saying America. It's not America. It's the United States. If the US was America, Florida would be in South America, which it isn't. America cannot be in North America. I can't believe how you'll hunt down the most minute details about Columbus in order to be right, but then say dumb, racist shit like this as if it made any sense from literally any point of view.

  • You can't really blame Columbus for the disease part.

    – nobody in that time period had a real understanding of immunity and disease.
    – he was sailing towards japan, a place where travellers have already been without major issues.
    – limiting contamination requires a lot of equipment they didn't have.

    In the end if you went on a long journey, and were low on resources and salvation was within your grasp. Would you reach for it, or would you chose to die rather than risk contamination.

  • I'm against replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day because a day of celebrating native culture shouldn't be created in opposition to Columbus. It makes the whole issue yet another thing that the country can polarize around. Slowly phase out Columbus Day and create a different day for Indigenous people. As it stands, Indigenous People's Day is more of a "Fuck Columbus" day than a "learn about the history of native groups" day, which I think is a disservice to North and South American indigenous groups.

  • I do agree that Christopher Columbus wasn't a great guy, but celebrating Christopher Columbus Day isn't a bad thing. Thanks to finding the America's we have a great country like America itself. And shitty countries that were affected by colonialism in the past aren't shitty only because of colonialism, there are other complications for a country becoming shitty. For example economic problems, religious conflicts, corrupt politics, etc. Some countries weren't even affected negatively by colonialism, or weren't even affected at all. And colonialists weren't always bad people, they were also reasonable and beneficial in many ways. Also disease epidemics that happened throughout history were proven to be false, for there wasn't enough proof of mass graves or much written texts about them. This means that catastrophes could be the likely reasons for many of the Native Americans deaths.

  • At 10:07 you show Cartoon Columbus writing a letter with his left hand. What have you got against LEFT-handed people, KB!? 🧐 DISGRACEFUL! 🤣

  • if you are going to blame him for all the atrocities that occurred because he was the start of the wave of colonization to the Americas, you have to also credit him with the creation of the USA and Canada which if you pulled out most metrics are some of the best countries on the planet and have done a lot of good in the world.
    Historical context is also massively important, he may well be incredibly immoral by today's standards but how does he compare to the norm at the time. If he was closer to our morals then was common at the time I would consider him to be a good person.

  • a lot of Italian Americans will fight you on banning Columbus day. it is a silly thing to try.. Genoa is in Italy

  • I just wanna say that the Columbus video is probably my favorite video on this channel and I would support bringing them back

  • Americans definitely shouldn't start celebrating """Indigenous""" People Day. But they should stop celebrating Columbus day as well. The autistic clinging to tradition is something that plagues the entirety of humanity. Acknowledge Columbus as an interesting, vital figure in World History, but enough of this autistic need to celebrate the name of every person who heroically farted.
    If you want a day for celebration you don't need the approval of the Ghosts of humanity past. And you certainly don't need the approval of people who aren't part of your culture (""Indigenous""). The day of celebration should exist on its own merits, as a day where you take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and just enjoy a day of rest with your family and/or friends.
    Of course that might run the capitalists and the neoliberals in charge a bad way so we have to cloak this in "historical importance". When the very idea of historical importance is a spook

  • I really appreciate the amount of work you put into your videos. I also applaud your attitude to how you aim to learn from your previous videos. I think your way of presenting things has improved during the last year, and your arguments are more nuanced than before. Thank you.

    Unless something you said was to be proven categorically false and harmful towards someone, I don't think you should take down videos. Kinda goes with the whole theme of the channel, really, that we are constantly growing. We might've made mistakes in the past, but when we make to effort to improve, we will know better, and that is a worthy goal in of itself. No shame in having your mistakes out in public, because they are a mark of growth.

  • The white guy's defense of a previous video that didn't defend Columbus but that didn't really condemn Columbus because of semantics but in all defended Columbus, and after being pulled up on defending Columbus, retorting with semantics and cherry-picking facts to support a centrist view… Cue advertisement for sponsor.

  • I dunno man, little too much moral presentism. It's hard to argue that any other culture at that time would have done any differently put in the same time with the same opportunity Would the Aztec or Maya have done any differently? This was a singular moment in history where two different branches of the civ tech tree came into contact for the first time. Peaceful first contact is far more the exception rather then the rule.

  • Was he personally responsible for the deaths of millions of natives thou? Don't make him response for the terrible things that happened after him.

  • The first Knowing Better video I watched I thought he was in prison, that his room was a prison cell. lol That was back when the intro was real instead of being a cartoon, and there were no posters on the wall or much of anything else in his room. I subscribed anyway.

  • nothing you do could be too long. i could watch your videos for hours but i do miss the live action intro, although now that its animated i don't have to worry that you'll accidentally burn your hand on the stove for every video 😛

  • Blaming the YouTube algorithm for what you choose to name your video – that's a slippery slope. Good that you've acknowledged the shortcomings of the original video; now you need to do the same for your Taking on the Red Pill video where you engage in lazy argumentation, quote mining and blatantly take people out of context.

  • Bad is the worst kind of “intellectual” . He’s the “I’m smarter than everyone” and those are the worst kind . Just how he made that video alone would have made me double down on the original video just in spite so good for you . Bad is that guy that is smart but has to say it every chance he can and put other people down to lift how smart he feels

  • I don't think you needed to apologize for the previous video, and I completely disagree with both you and the people who said it needed to change. You made it VERY clear in the previous video that Columbus established a lot of very horrible things, but your point was that this was the system he came from. He was part of a machine, not the one who started it. In no way did you say this excuses Columbus, and in no way did that come across. Unfortunately, it's today's culture that will shoot you down if you don't expressly say over and over that someone is evil incarnate. Many people don't understand nuances, and are just looking to pass judgement.

    I even shared your video as a way to express that history is full of shades of gray. Granted, Columbus is a very dark shade of gray that is too often portrayed as a shining white; but there is something more there than just "he was evil!"

    In fact, I think it's very important to point out that he was a cog in the machine. The reason is because when you hold up Columbus as the ultimate evil, you let those who were more guilty get away with it. Imagine if you got the commandant of a concentration camp. Obviously that person was evil in that they went along with an evil system. However, if we were to hold that person accountable for the whole system, then we won't go up the ladder and see Himmler, and Hitler, and all the other Nazis. They get away from blame because we put all of our hatred on that one commandant.

    So you see, it's important to recognize when someone is just a cog; not to let that individual get away, but so that those above him don't escape blame. And that, to me, is what your previous video did.

  • I don't disagree with dropping nukes on Japan in WW2. Regardless of whether it shortened the war, regardless of the fact that my own grandfather's life was spared by not having to invade Japan in a wooden glider, someone was going to nuke someone eventually, and it's better that it happened as soon as possible with the smallest nuclear weapons ever built. The world needed to see what nukes could do to civilian population centers one way or another. Those tens of thousands of Japanese civilians who were vaporized saved millions of future people from being vaporized instead.

  • Historic revisionism is dumb. Columbus was a great guy and should be celebrated. He is part of the reason you exist and since I have no desire to wish you away, I'm happy that he had the guts to do what he did.

  • This is why I follow you. You are genuinely the most intelligent, well-meaning, beyond-industriously diligent, assiduous, person on this website. The absolute grace and humility you displayed in this video truly give me so much hope. Even the bet of us, recognize they weren’t always the best, and understand the importance of not necessarily correcting but recognizing when they were incorrect, misleading, or faulty. Thank you for all you do

  • An Indigenous Peoples Day makes absolutely no sense in the context of Columbus Day. The whole reason Columbus Day exists is to remember Europe's arrival in America. If you want an Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated on some other day, I'm all for it. But Columbus Day should remain its own entity and, at the very most, have its name changed to Discovery Day.

  • Wow. Whether it's called an apology video or backing down or whatever…. I never expected a very well read YouTuber, who always explains both sides of every argument to make a video defending himself. Most politicians with less than half the wisdom and empathy would never be expected to do such a thing.
    The knowing better guy(sorry idk his name) is a hero, a war hero and a role model.
    ….God some people suck.

  • What you call nitpicking, others call try to present a complete picture.
    The problem with debunking statements is that if it is a long statement, or group of them, any point you don't hit on is accepted as truthful or accurate.
    This has been a tactic of people who support more extreme positions.
    1) Make 20-30 claims.
    2) Allow someone to disprove 2-10 of them.
    3) Claim even the critics accept the majority as accurate because they didn't take the time to disprove them.

  • in fact, many nativeamericans fought along the spanish under an alliance, like for example on the battle of Guadalajara in 1522. Even though the Spanish Black Legend makes us thingh the opposite.

  • To be honest, I was one of those early subscribers that enjoyed 90% of the videos you made and saw someone who was knowledgeable and said it how he saw it. But then at one point I felt there was a change and videos started to become nods to leftist college kids and the 'woke'. I've voted left all my life but at my age it's hard to be patronised by the feelings of middle class Americans typing from college campuses.

    I am glad your channel has been successful and targeting your current market clearly works for you and makes you more viable for youtube but its an unsubscribe for me. Best of luck.

  • How about no. We dont celebrate the man for what he did to the natives everyone condemns him, but we do celebrate what he started and the spirit of discovery he champions to this day.

    Keep the day and go complain about something else.

  • A very big factual error, Columbus didn´t establish the encomineda system, the encomienda system was established by Nicalas de Ovando. What COlumbus did was repartimientos. Which were just grants of land and natives to colonists, there were no legal obligations, then Bobadilla did basically the same. But the encomienda system started with Ovando, first in 1503 where it was declared by decree that the natives were subjects of the Crown and as such could not be slaves and legally institued in 1505, where it was regulated. The encomienda system was at least at first, a way to regulate those repartimientos, because with the repartimientos during Columbus and Bobadilla the people who got natives, had no obligations towards the natives or the Corwn, while with the encomineda they had obligations both towards the crown (the encomienda was given by the Corwn and the Crown had the power to negate or give in the form they desire) and towards the natives (they had the obligations to pay them and to instruct them in the Catholic faith) Of course that was the theory, in practise it was slavery by another name, since most of the natives were completely ignorant of their rights, the encomenderos stepped over them and it was almost impossible to try to enforce the rules without risking an open rebellion of the encomenderos an ocean away.

  • Seems to me that you’re capitulating to the power of YouTube money. This video was mediocre at best and seems like a 15 minute apology video.

    Your original Columbus video was best and I didn’t see anything wrong with debunking the common misconceptions about him. Holding a historical figure to modern standards is disingenuous at best.

  • Apparently the PC police got to you or your advertiser…a very disappointed former subscriber who thinks you caved in to what others think

  • Your original Columbus video was the only one I truly didn’t like. Thus I completely appreciate this video clearing it up.
    Excellent work

  • What I don't understand is the US obsession with Columbus. He didn't even see let alone set foot in North America let alone the US.
    It's like celebrating the moon landing on 12th of April and calling it Gagarin Day. It doesn't make sense.

  • Columbus shouldn't be "credited" with every Native American death caused by a European for all time after his governorship. The conditions were ripe for Europe to discover and exploit America. If it hadn't have been Columbus, someone else would have led a voyage and set up the exact same scenario, likely within a decade or two.

  • For me it's pretty odd Americans devotion to Columbus, he was an Italian, working for Spain and never put a foot on North America, you only celebrated due to the Italian Migrants, if instead you had Portuguese Migrants you Americans would be celebrating Vasco Da Gama Day,

  • Dude, I just heard about all this drama and whatnot. You are a great way for people to look at the other side of an argument, and have changed my mind on several topics.

    You do not need to listen or cater to the breadtube community in any way. They are a toxic, bad faith, and argumentative community that attack people on their own side constantly. They only listen to the farthest left creators, and attack everyone else. Thank god they are such a small community, because their cancer does not need to influence more people. The creators I enjoy who started making content for them have become insufferable in their own self righteousness, to the point where I unsubscribe. I do not want to watch someone suck their own dick.

    Ignore them, do your own thing, and keep making great videos, please don't fall for their bait and traps. You cannot appease them, all they will to is make you unhappy.

  • Should we celibrate Columbus day?
    I don't know, but should probly keep it on the books.

    Should we replace it with Indiginous Peoples day?
    In shot: no.
    In long: Only if we also do the same for every other contry that has ever gained land via conquest of tribal peoples.

  • More ideological social justice programming… It's sad to see this kinds of videos.. I will never celebrate "Indigenous peoples day." nonsense.

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