With respect to our American past, more worrisome to me is abusive behavior at more recent points in history when our forebears should have known better_  the continuation of the very bad ancient institution of slavery into the modern era beyond any historically explainable* point;  the racism in the South and North after the Civil War;  the Western Indian conquest (despite the lessons learned from the defeat of Eastern Woodland tribes); and  the bizarre invasion and conquest of the somewhat civilized and very Christian Philippines as late as 1899-1902 and of their Moros between 1906-10.
Historical events before then are partially explainable by history and the more brutal ways of the world, justified or not. Concern and analysis of earlier eras are interesting and worthy; judgement of them is a waste and an unworthy endeavor.
We remain the nation with the best record for helping the world, even when done with some level of self interest. Interestingly, the intelligent, tough, and resilient Filipino-Americans usually have little interest in rehashing the harsh history they suffered at America's hands.
Critics over-judging past eras (intelligent people or not) lack a certain ability to analyze such historical things properly due to many reasons (esp. their biases). Those of us with a sense of historical perspective love studying the past but have no time for that judgementalism and those opinions other than to acknowledge the annoyance of them.
Instead of continually attacking America, I suggest you judge closer modern era things such as Japan's systematic sexual slavery of captive women into brothels for Japanese soldiers in World War II instead of casually buying up Japanese products while that nation officially seems to only reluctantly own the crime and their professors still conduct studies to disprove it. Do you ever see criticism of those horrible social war crimes , so close to our time, in the news.
Current historical revisionists (however intelligent) are academically and intellectually shallow and hollow in their endeavor, partly because the fail to put themselves in the shoes of ALL of the participants during their imaginings of how it felt then, rather than just in the victim's shoes. They fail to put themselves in to the era, and the 'feel' and atmosphere of the times. Perhaps it is academic laziness or a lack of imaginative ability. As a historian and artist, I have both abilities. Some people are very smart, but lack imagination. To study past eras with totally different value systems, one needs an overactive imagination.
THE ATTACK ON COLUMBUS is typical pseudo victimhood in vogue today. Those constantly attacking past known historical figures with some measure of positive historical worth (but flawed like everyone else) do not look at the whole historical perspective of the times those historical figures lived. Furthermore overzealous critics of the past do not realize they are joining in a broader attack on all that is our past history for the purpose of dividing us. Columbus is a valid target for criticism, but he is not the only one being attacked currently; and the broader political left movement's larger goal is to tear down every traditional figure to tear down the whole concept of a democratic republic. My field is history; as an Anglo approaching the study of history, my personal ties are to a previously (and more recently) abused racial and ethnic minority group. And that group is one of my greatest focuses of study. I'm close enough to the historical abuse issue to understand it in a somewhat personal way but not too close as to be as biased as America's current overabundance of 'victims' and victim wannabes.
People have mentioned the defense of Catholicism in this Columbus discussion, but I never even thought about the Catholic angle while writing this. I just understand historical analysis better than most and was approaching it as an historian and person who is glad the forces of history got me here to these shores. Most people who are happy with their lot in life today benefited from those who history tromped on, because it eventually tromped on everyone in those more brutal times.
That even the otherwise sensible Columbus critics cannot discuss this rationally all smacks of people who either have an agenda or cannot take views other than their own and are just trumpeting their ideas to get their ego massaged by their social media followers who feel like them. No problem is ever solved that way. My historical comments are factual and well researched, though they include the opinion to focus more on more recent wrongs. That earlier times were callous and brutal for everyone everywhere is fact (with of course some exceptions). That people of those times (good and bad) were callous and brutal is fact as well. My view that the current attacks on the status quo are coordinated by others for divisive purposes is valid. That technique is 'Social Radicalism 101'. Apparently many Columbus critics just want commentators who echo their words and thus build them up.
*[Slavery was a bad historically ingrained institution that was fortunately fading away.]