Monday, October 10, 2011

America’s Celebration of Disease and Genocide

It is not uncommon for people to offer praise to individuals for their historical impact. The consternation however begins when we applaud these individuals in complete absence of their entire body of work. The case can be made for example with Confederate General and the mass murdering founder of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford in several states across the south. But more prescient is the inchoate historical record of Christophoro Colombo , who we know better as Christopher Columbus.

Americans the descendent of the first illegal immigrants will give national praise to this man today for reasons I cannot ascertain, although the excuse is that he discovered America – a place where people had already occupied and had been living for centuries prior to his first voyage.

A holiday in theory is a day of celebration or honor.If this is the case, let us be clear of what there is to honor or celebrate Columbus for. Outside of making Europeans happy and proud, the only reality was that his voyage to the new world was a “harbinger of genocide” to non Europeans. We honor a ruthless slave master and a plundering megalomaniac. He schemed support from the Spanish crown in a manner that would make Wall Street Bankers seeking a bailout proud.

History informs us he discovered America in October 1492, but it was that month on the 12th in the Bahamas’ and from their sailed his three infamous ships to the coast of Cuba and Hispaniola (I always wondered why the people already there renamed their island after Spain). I called him a megalomaniac because his fellow Europeans of the time, his main interest was women, conquest and gold. In fact, among the individuals he called “Indians” in Hispaniola, he decreed that they must offer tributes of Gold to him or suffer death. His options were either convert and accept Christianity or be exploited or enslaved. Ironically he did not convert as many to Christianity for it reduced the number of folks he could make slaves.

Way I see it, giving Columbus a holiday means you should give one to the man who enslaved, killed and stripped inhabitants of their flesh in Mexico and feed them to the dogs – Bartolome de Las Casas a holiday too. The celebration of this man is merely a celebration of greed and the near total annihilation of the indigenous people of the places he landed. Thus this Columbus day as all of the ones before and in the future is just another way for America to honor and celebrate disease and genocide in what they termed the new world.

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