Well, for a time, religious scholars did debate whether there had been two Edens. They could not comprehend how the Natives had gotten there. This was after Castile knew that it wasn't the Indies Columbus had found. And there is no doubt that Columbus disobeyed the Crown by enslaving the Natives. This is why he was relieved of his Governorship. I am not suggesting that Columbus should be absolved. I merely suggest that what he did be considered in light of what any European would likely have done. And though Columbus was relieved, do note that the system of indentured servitude he had set up was merely changed to the equally brutal encomendero system. When the Natives had proven not to make good slaves (insofar as they died by the millions due to European disease), the Spanish imported Africans to solve the problem. So, Columbus was a product of his time, and should be evaluated accordingly.
Yes, we're all aware of US History 1.
But, I'm inclined to say that you're wrong. It's Great Men Syndrome. When you learn history purely via the great people who supposedly led it, it's easy to believe that humanity didn't evolve morality until a decade or two ago. But you have to remember that the average person didn't realize that this stuff was going on. And when they did, they freaked out about it. Columbus and the other great explorers were people who were willing to sacrifice their lives and the lives of their crew for glory. They weren't exactly the nicest people in society. In fact, I'd be willing to wager quite a bit of money that if Columbus lived today he could be diagnosed with sociopathy.