Brainerd keeps Columbus

Brainerd won’t be joining Red Wing and Minneapolis in putting Columbus out to pasture.

The City Council has tabled member Chip Borkenhagen’s proposal to change Columbus Day to “Native Peoples’ Day.”

The move comes after Borkenhagen sent a memo to his colleagues with one of the greatest put-down lines since the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria got lost.

“Clearly our community is not ready to move forward to this on this intellectual level,” he said.


“Clearly, the vocal minority has moaned loud enough to foul the air to the degree that I don’t wish to pursue it.”

Borkenhagen said if Columbus were alive today, “he would be tried as a terrorist and war criminal.”

He didn’t say a lot at this week’s Council meeting, Forum Communications reports, although he said many residents aren’t aware of history, which speaks to a larger failure.

  • jon
    • And we have a lake to honor John C. Calhoun. We’re a nation of history illiterates.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Borkenhagen said if Columbus were alive today, “he would be tried as a terrorist and war criminal.”

    You could say the same of George Washington. At least the British thought as much. So did France, back in 1754, when Indians under his command murdered French POWs. It all comes down to who writes the history books.

    • jon

      The God of the old estimate poisoned the water for an entire country (with blood) before killing the first born son of an entire ethnicity.
      He wiped other cities off the map completely.
      Sure he mellowed out when he had a kid, new testament God wasn’t nearly as bad. But if the God of the old testament were subject to our laws, it’d not be a pretty sight. Good news is he doesn’t have a federal holiday once a year, but he does get one day a week in many parts of this country…

    • It’s funny how to be a “hero” in this country, you basically have to kill a lot of people.

      Wait. No, it’s not really funny.

      Oh, look, a military flyover!!

      • Robert Moffitt

        I don’t know. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Jonas Salk, Jackie Robinson. I’m sure we can name a lot more.

        • Kassie

          99.9% of all women who are looked up to as heroes haven’t killed people. Except maybe Wonder Woman. Did Wonder Woman ever kill anyone?

        • Yes, I’m looking forward to having some time off for Jonas Salk Day. Maybe I’ll go visit the Jackie Robinson monument in Washington.

  • Jim G

    Mr. Borkenhagen has a valid opinion about Columbus. However, to sell an idea it is important to remember some important hints in Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ Brainerd, my mother’s hometown, has plenty of people with good old common sense. I’m positive that if the issue is presented differently, the result will probably be altered.

    To Win People to Your Way of Thinking
    1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
    2. Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
    3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
    4. Begin in a friendly way.
    5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
    6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
    7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
    8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
    9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
    10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
    11. Dramatize your ideas.
    12. Throw down a challenge.