Was Christopher Columbus an explorer or a psychopath? Or was he both?
He was a rapist, murderer and slave trader. We know that from historic documents. He received money from a powerful woman in Spain and traveled the Atlantic Ocean in search of a shorter route to India and a shortcut to wealth. To rape, kill and imprison people in pursuit of this wealth was somehow acceptable to people in certain circles in Europe in those days. Something about “taming the wild” or some such nonsense.
When the Spanish ships commanded by an Italian landed in Hispaniola in 1492, the barbaric Europeans came into contact with the Taino people. They put them to work as slaves under threat of murder to search for gold. After a year or so of searching they decided to instead load slaves onto their ships to bring back to Spain. After four decades of slavery (with the blessing of the Catholic Church) over seven million Taino were murdered. By 1535, the Taino culture was no more.
Today we actually celebrate this genocide that has continued for more than five centuries. Though isn’t taught in our schools that way, that’s basically what has happened.
Manipulative people making fortunes on war, genocide, slavery and other types of oppression have been making the rules in our society for far too long. They control information to keep everyone in formation, but we have access to evidence of what these despicable criminals in the past did (as well as what today’s professional criminals do).
Why do we continue to pretend that they “discovered” people more civilized than they themselves were? The Taino people certainly wouldn’t call what the Europeans did discovery. Why do we still allow the manipulation of facts that serve only to continue a white-washing of history and to embolden continued imperialistic tendencies? A society needs to suppress this type of insidious behavior and admit the truth of its murderous past in order to become civilized.
Some day, if we survive the willful destruction across the planet of life as we know it, we may no longer need to ask such questions. In the meantime, why don’t we change the name of this “holiday” to Indigenous Rights Day or something else more appropriate and conducive to honesty?