October 9th, 2011

planet

Are we seriously still celebrating Columbus Day?

October 11th isn't for a couple days, but I wanted to get this out early in hopes that it'll get passed around a little bit and maybe give people something to think about this week.

Let's review "Columbus Day" and what we're celebrating here, people. In 1492, a slave trader named Christopher Columbus didn't discover America. In 1493, he had a second voyage to not discover America, where he set up shop and required all the natives to start mining gold. If any Taino male over 14 didn't meet his quota for the quarter, the Taino's hand would be cut off and he'd be left to bleed to death. A tribe of nearly 8 million people was virtually extinct by the time Columbus's stint as caribbean governor was complete. By his third voyage, he learned that the Spanish citizens he'd brought to colonize his new land were struggling a bit, so he instructed them to focus more efforts on helping him enslave the native people for transport back to Europe. If his crewmembers disobeyed him he had them hanged.

He wrote several religious books to try and back up his exploits with biblical evidence. He was sent back to Spain in chains for grossly mismanaging new colonies. He was convinced, even on his deathbed, that he'd been exploring east Asia the whole time.

So let's have a holiday?

It's time to stop! History has shown us that we were grossly wrong about this "explorer" and he is not someone that Christians, Italians, Europeans or anyone should be proud of. Find another source of pride! He was not a product of his time, he was a tyrant above the rest.

The Ancient Greeks discovered that the world was round before the 14th century. America was "discovered" by millions of indigenous people even before that. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about Christopher Columbus, except maybe our own self-absorption and idiocy. It's time to stop having parades, and it's time to start being angry at our federal government for continuing to recognize this holiday and shutting down banks. It is time to be critical of the white house for calling Columbus' voyages "inspiring". I am not inspired. Are you?

"What represented newness of freedom, hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others." - Resolution of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, 1992


More links:
Transform Columbus Day FAQ
Columbus's Genocide
Columbus Day – Celebration of Myth, Torture and Genocide