left biblioblography: COLUMBUS DAY – A HOLIDAY FOR A SAVAGE

Monday, October 09, 2006

COLUMBUS DAY – A HOLIDAY FOR A SAVAGE

So today is Columbus Day. What an utter farce. This is the LAST person this country should have any sort of a holiday for. (And yes, this is a court holiday, at the very least.)

In the book, Lies my Teacher Told Me, there’s a chapter or two about this…ignoble traveler. How, whenever he landed, a specific script was read (in Spanish) of how God claimed this land for Spain, how he gave nine-year-old children to his crew to do as they wished…there’s a list of atrocities, too long to enumerate here.

The answers.com entry says this:” Columbus was not the first European mariner to sail to the New World—the Vikings set up colonies (c.1000) in Greenland and Newfoundland (see Leif Ericsson and Thorfinn Karlsefni)—but his voyages mark the beginning of continuous European efforts to explore and colonize the Americas. Although historians for centuries disputed his skill as a navigator, it has been proved that with only dead reckoning Columbus was unsurpassed in charting and finding his way about unknown seas. During the 1980s and 90s the long-standing image of Columbus as a hero was tarnished by criticism from Native Americans and revisionist historians. With the 500th anniversary of his first voyage in 1992, interpretations of his motives and impact varied. Although he was always judged to be vain, ambitious, desirous of wealth, and ruthless, traditional historians viewed his voyages as opening the New World to Western civilization and Christianity. For revisionist historians, however, his voyages symbolize the more brutal aspects of European colonization and represent the beginning of the destruction of Native American peoples and culture. One point of agreement among all interpretations is that his voyages were one of the turning points in history.”

Revisionist? Hmmm… Same entry, a little further on…

“During his time as governor and viceroy Columbus virtually ruled his domain as a tyrant. Francisco de Bobadilla, a member of the Order of Calatrava, and Columbus' successor as Governor from 1500-1502, was charged with investigating Columbus' rule in the name of the Spanish Crown. His 48 page report — derived from the testimonies of 23 people who had seen or heard about the treatment meted out by Columbus and his brothers — had originally been lost for centuries, but was rediscovered in 2005 in the Spanish archives in Valladolid. It proved to contain an account of Columbus' 7-year reign as the first Governor of the Indies. According to his report Columbus was known both by friends and enemies for the atrociously harsh punishments he imposed on his subjects. He ordered a man who was caught stealing corn to have his nose and ears cut off and auctioned off as a slave. A woman who suggested Columbus was of lowly birth was punished by Columbus' brother Bartolomé: she was stripped naked and paraded around the colony on a mule. When Bartolomé had her tongue cut out, Columbus congratulated him for defending the family's honour. Consuelo Varela, a Spanish historian states: "Even those who loved him [Columbus] had to admit the atrocities that had taken place." Columbus' and his brothers' leadership was tyrannical and greedy, and life in the colony was horrifying and hard. [2]

So, yes, we owe old Chris a vote of thanks, otherwise we’d not be here (he did set into motion a number of events that helped form this country). But he wasn’t some noble, courageous visionary: he was a vicious scumbag, entrenched in the savage racism of his time, another white European hoisted on his scabrous petard. So the vote is the bare minimum.

I say we take this fucktard off the calendar. And amend the textbooks, to show the raw truth of this ruthless adventurer.

Credit where credit is due, I always say.

I love my country, but sometimes? We honor people who don’t deserve it.

/autorant off.

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19 comments:

Aviaa said...

So, I was absolutely going to blog about this today (could anyone who has read Lies not have the urge?), but, between work and groceries and life, I kind of ran out of time and energy. However, you did write about it, so now I shall just merrily direct others to your post.

But, yes, take him off the calendar. It makes me so sad when people who protest this holiday, such as a group of Native Americans in my city a few years back, are so widely called un-American. Revising history to idolize someone like this certainly doesn’t mesh with my idea of what American should be.

Okay, so now I’m getting all excited about it again. Perhaps I’ll go write about it even if you did beat me to the punch. Off to muster energy.

Krystalline Apostate said...

aviaa:
So, I was absolutely going to blog about this today (could anyone who has read Lies not have the urge?), but, between work and groceries and life, I kind of ran out of time and energy.
I actually did a book review about some mos. ago. (I will be doing a quick review very soon, not on this 1).
However, you did write about it, so now I shall just merrily direct others to your post.
& I shall hold ye to it, love. ;)

PastaLaVista said...

Wow I must admit I had now idea of the history behind old Columbo. We are obvioulsy fed a whitewashed version of the events. Very interesting indeed.

Krystalline Apostate said...

PLV:
We are obvioulsy fed a whitewashed version of the events
There's a lot of that going around.
100 yrs. from now, I think they're going to whitewash the old Shrub-a-roo.

Vile Blasphemer said...

Hopefully enough live media can be smuggled out of the coming "Information Purge in the Right's Righteous Fire" for the Neo-serf class to regain a sense of true history and fight back against the Futura Republican Alliance of Godwill (FRAG).

Alas!

karen said...

Can we put it to a vote? I say YES, by all means take Columbus off the calendar!

(I suspect somehow, he has some connection to those damn Gideons, too. Did he hand out bibles with the 9 yr. old children as the ship anchored off the coast?)

Krystalline Apostate said...

VB:
Hopefully enough live media can be smuggled out of the coming "Information Purge in the Right's Righteous Fire" for the Neo-serf class to regain a sense of true history and fight back against the Futura Republican Alliance of Godwill (FRAG).
Uh-oh, don't go 'conspiracy' on me, dude! ;)
karen:
Can we put it to a vote? I say YES, by all means take Columbus off the calendar!
Hey, that's a thought. I'll write my congressman. Seriously. The courts are closed, the post office closes. I dunno about any other govnmnt offices, but those 2 are close enough for govnmnt work (as the saying goes).
I recall that old Sopranos episode, where all the wise guys went after an Amerindian protest against the holiday. It was a pretty intense episode.
(I suspect somehow, he has some connection to those damn Gideons, too. Did he hand out bibles with the 9 yr. old children as the ship anchored off the coast?)
That sounds suspiciously close to the 'Spanish Inquisition' MP skit.
We got too many bleedin' holidays in this country, you ask me.

karen said...

KA
That sounds suspiciously close to the 'Spanish Inquisition' MP skit.
If it is, must be subconscious. I only barely remember a very small part of that skit.
I'll write my congressman. Seriously.
Maybe I will too. Thought of writing a letter to the editor, but after the fact is not so effective. Will have to try to remember it for next year.


BTW, off topic, really sad news about Sean over at GiFS. I just read it this morning; still can't quite get my head around it. :( I wasn't even real familiar with him, but I feel deeply and oddly moved by his death.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
BTW, off topic, really sad news about Sean over at GiFS. I just read it this morning; still can't quite get my head around it. :( I wasn't even real familiar with him, but I feel deeply and oddly moved by his death.
Well, I got hit a little harder than I let on.
We were supposed to get together for a beer, never did. We corresponded a bit, but he was always too busy.
Another friend I never got to meet. I liked him a lot: we mostly chatted at God4suckers.
It's things like this that make me understand why theists fight so hard for their belief. Who wants it to end, really? Life is gone, the metaphorical equivalent of a light switch turned off.
He was 40: too young, by far. Way too young.

say no to christ said...

Columbus was not the first to discover nor settle north america.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/716088/posts

But, he was the first to start the slave trade from and in america. I find him repulsive and if I ever get the opertunity to protest with the Natives, I'll go all out!

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Columbus was not the first to discover nor settle north america.
How do you discover a land someone already lives on?
It's a stupid holiday - it needs to go.

say no to christ said...

I agree Ka, it needs to go. Its a slap in the Natives face and just rude.


Karen, Ka

Does anyone know what caused Sean's death?
Absolutely heartbreaking.

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
Does anyone know what caused Sean's death?
I was a little...hesitant to ask.
Absolutely heartbreaking.
Hey, I wept some.

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