We’re going to have another ‘did you know’ moment with your indigenous hosts, because apparently a few truths bear repeating:
- Columbus did not discover America. The Americas were already here populated by hundreds of indigenous First Nations. You heard me right: nations, as in independent cultures, economies, and governments. Columbus didn’t discover shit.
- What Columbus did do was usher in over 500 years of greed, colonialism, enslavement, degradation, and cultural genocide all of which continued into our modern day, and continues to impact this country and its indigenous peoples in negative ways.
- The indigenous cultures that populated the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus and his crew were highly developed, rich, complex, and intelligent. They were men and women, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers living in sophisticated societies practicing their ancestral religions that were in no way “primitive” or in need of forced Christianization, colonization, and destruction.
- Historically, the Norse, Polynesians, possibly the Celts all arrived in America hundreds of years before Columbus. They did not feel the need to destroy and enslave what they found.
- Columbus was a bad navigator. He was looking for India. Seriously, people.
- If Columbus were alive today, he very likely would find himself on trial for crimes against humanity.
- Among his less than stellar crimes, was the wholesale selling of girls as young as ten into sexual slavery. Apparently, raping children was a popular hobby amongst the conquistadors. (Columbus, by the way, records this trade in his diary so we have it from his own hand).
- Columbus was actually arrested during his lifetime, specifically because of his wanton cruelty toward natives. The king and queen of Spain, however, pardoned him. He was bringing in too much cash to the crown.
- When Columbus arrived in Hispaniola, the population numbered about 3 Million people. Within fifty years, it numbered less than sixty thousand. That’s 3,000,000.00 to less than 60,000.00. Do the math.
- By honoring Columbus, we as a nation are giving our tacit seal of approval on the horrors perpetrated as a result of his arrival.
Happy Columbus Day? Um…no.