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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:42 PM
Original message
My Thoughts on Columbus Day
I think today is the most misguided holiday we have on our calendar.

Today we celebrate the discovery of a continent... that was already discovered. How can something be discovered when other peoples inhabit the area?

Prior to the Spanish ships that Columbus guided touching shore and even prior to the Vikings arrival on the Northeastern shore of North America, Native Americans and even some African tribes that had made their way over inhabited our country.

Columbus came here and was a party to a genocide that within 50 years eradicated an entire race of Arawak people. The Europeans brought diseases that eliminated many Indian races who had not been conditioned to build up immunity to them.

Indians were mutilated, raped and enslaved (some sold to the wealthy back in Europe) as well as robbed of their valuables (and any gold that could be had) and their culture.

They were systematically murdered for if they did not declare themselves christians (which many did not even understand what Christianity was) on the spot then in Columbus' view they deserved whatever brutal fate they received in the name of God.

Columbus didn't discover anything. He stole from an innocent people who for the most part lived a peaceful existence.

Now we celebrate a day in honor of one of the greatest mass murderers in history because his face brings a European conquest that seems more brave and heroic than the unfathomable truth of how America came to be.

Read more about this in "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen

As much as we hide it in our history textbooks or what the Government chooses to release, America has a shameful history of genocide, slavery, rape and deception to it's own people (and others) that is comparable to many of the worst countries and empires in history. We have just chosen to forget.

Today I choose to remember. I choose to remember the Arawak and other Native tribes that were sentenced to death by greed and lack of respect for human life that was displayed by so many of our forefathers.

Hopefully the rest of you will join me in remembering today as well.

Rp
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Retired AF Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree with most of what you said
but I don't think the bringing dieases thing was intentional.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. not initially, but what about the blankets?
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:52 PM by Gabi Hayes
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No it wasn't
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:57 PM by MessiahRp
But it was just a part of how they wiped out so many people. My point is we give this thing a European, one would even say white face to make ourselves comfortable with our history and then leave out the things that make us look bad, evil, or in the case of the diseases not somehow dominant and powerful as to prop up our historical egos.

The legend always has been the White Man came with his guns and technology and the dark skinned Indians were no match. It wasn't the guns that did the Indians in it was the disease and their unfortunate generosity and kindness that the Spanish took advantage of that helped put them in the situation where elimination was possible. If they had truly mounted a fight history might have read a little bit differently... of course if the outcome had been the same it would have been rewritten this way anyways I suppose.

Rp
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Waya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. The small pox blankets were most certainly.......
.....intentional.

"I will try to innoculate them...with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not get the disease myself."

To Bouquet's postscript, Amherst replied,

"You will do well as to try to innoculate the Indians by means of blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race."

On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal:

"Out of our regard for them (i.e. two Indian chiefs) we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect."


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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Well in this case you are correct...
I meant as a whole I don't think the diseases were a planned way to eliminating Indian existence... that sort of fell into the Europeans' laps so to speak and they rolled with it. Pretty damn evil if you ask me.

Rp
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chchchanges Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Leave to them WASPs to make other people feel guilty
Columbus day is celebrated among South America and Spain, not as a "discovery" or subjugation but as the inter winding of several cultures.

As the whole "discovery" issue, it was never about being the first ones to discover American and what not, it was about the first time there was a continuous contact between the European and American continents. In the sense that the classical world has no mention of the Americas, and after 1492, the continent becomes part of a common world history after its isolation.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hmmm, That's strange
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 03:06 PM by MessiahRp
When I check Google there are 4.79 Million matches of Columbus Day and Discovery. Almost every major reference site lists Columbus Day as the "Discovery of America".

My son's in elementary school, that's what they are teaching him.

Rp
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Try Googling La Dia de la Raza.
Or "The Day of the Race." The mestizo race, born from the mixture of European & Indigenous cultures. (Lots of African blood in the mix, too.)

It was a bloody birth & the day is still controversial. Notes from Mexico:

When Mexico celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus' landing, in 1892, the country was ruled by Porfirio Daz, who remained in power for over thirty years and was a great admirer of European culture, especially the French. At that time, the government prepared a celebration of "The communion of all peoples in sentiments of justice and admiration for the past, noble aspirations and glowing hopes for the future" for October 12, 1892. As in most of the world, this event praised Columbus for his skill as navigator, for his Discovery of America and for bringing European culture to this land, although all of these things have since been questioned and re-examined.

In 1918, philosopher Antonio Caso took October 12th as an opportunity to praise the "Mexican mestizo race", La Raza, the rich mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures which characterizes us. He was perhaps the first to coin the term La Raza, which has now been adopted by Latinos from all across the continent. Ten years later, the Da de la Raza was declared an official national holiday by Congress, after only minor debate....

Historian Edmundo O'Gorman, author of La invencin de Amrica, (The Invention of America, 1958), felt so passionately about the issue that he resigned as Director of the Mexican Academy of History in 1987, because of his objections to concepts such as the "discovery of America", "the encounter of two worlds" and "cultural fusion". To him, the appropriate terms for the historical phenomenon were "taking over" and "domination". The key to resolving the problem of the historical appearance of America, in his view, was to consider this event as the result of an invention of western thought, and not as a merely physical discovery, which occurred, in addition, by chance.


http://zedillo.presidencia.gob.mx/welcome/PAGES/culture...





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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. Hi chchchanges!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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clydefrand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. What about them chinese -
they probably made it here before the Viking, Columbus, etc. But you are right, the 'native' americans been here longer than any other people, and they migrated from Europe when you could still walk the ice.
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chchchanges Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. No they migrated from Asia
The Bering straight is between Alaska and Asia (Siberia), it seems to be the most logical point of crossing of early American inhabitants.

Everyone and their mother seems to have at some point have "discovered" America. In any case, the context of the "discovery" is regarding the the addition to the classical world which had up to that point being of European-Asian-African centric focus, of a whole parallel world (the New World if we may) that had been completely ignored in that main historical discourse until the XV century. It has not the "we saw it first" because no one was there, which seems to be the traditional reading of people unable to put things in perspective. Much like Flemings discovery of Penicillin, which had always been there (mold) he just figured out how to use it or a specific purpose...

I am not defending the atrocities and what not, but it is ridiculous for us to put everything under a XXI perspective, even among Native American societies there were plenty of history of subjugation and even annihilation.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. There (theoretical) Bering land bridge is not the only possible route.
For example, settlers from Asia could also have come by water. Not with long oceanic routes, but by paddling along the shoreline. The Center for the Study of The First Americans is a good source.

www.centerfirstamericans.org /

Some have found a hint of later Chinese influence in mesoamerica. Not left over from "conquest"--but a few visitors or castaways might have dropped a hint or two.

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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. or Leif Erickson Day
I don't think Columbus deserves either recognition or applause.

And I want my damn mail.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I agree...
Postal workers sure get a lot of weird days off. :)

Rp
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. off topic
but every time it rains I think there will be no mail delivery.

Newman!

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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. My thought on Columbus Day-
It's a pretty dumb, useless holiday.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. Columbus wasn't technically an Italian....
Italy was part of Spain at the time, therefore he wasn't one.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Well, OK.
And technically Spain wasn't Spain, it was Castile.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. That must make him a Castilian?
Fine, anything to get the Italian/American community to STFU*.



* - I'm an Italian/American and Christopher Columbus was a fuckstick.
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
18. A good book to check out
http://www.wmich.edu/dialogues/texts/apeopleshistory.ht...

I linked to this little summary because it seems appropriate.

Columbus was an asshole.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
21. remember 1992??? the 'conservatives' howled that PC was
rewriting American history, claiming Columbus 'wasn't a hero.'

I'm sure Lynn Cheney lectured the country on how the 'liberals' were brainwashing the school children with their 'PC lies.'

A link to a nagative view of Columbus

http://www.transformcolumbusday.org/articles.html

We've all been lied to about Columbus.
Before Columbus sailed the Atlantic, he was a slave trader for the Portuguese, transporting West African people to Portugal to be sold as slaves. Columbus initiated the first Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Columbus, brother and son continued slave trading of indigenous peoples from the Americas to Europe, and from Africa to the Caribbean. Under his administration as viceroy and governor of the Caribbean Islands, 8 million people were killed, making his "contribution" to history the first mass genocide of indigenous peoples. The Columbus legacy is steeped in blood, violence and death.

The Transform Columbus Day Alliance believes public holidays celebrating Columbus not only teach children to honor a cruel and brutal man, but they also encourage people to ignore and possibly support racist practices that are embedded in social, economic, political, and judicial systems.

The research below will guide you in critically evaluating the role of Christopher Columbus and his legacy of his oppression and cultural domination.

******

This site also has a discussion of Ward Churchill's negative comments about Columbus and Columbus Day in 1992. Were the Cheney-Horowitz group just waiting for an excuse to 'get him???'

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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
22. I agree
I just think that the "holiday" has morphed into a simple celebration of Italian Heritage and culture similar to St. Patrick's Day for the Irish.
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