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Today, as we honor oppression...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
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post #2 of 22
Thanks for the post.

Just one reason we homeschool--- don't really like the idea of our children being taught that Columbus came and "saved the savages" when in reality, he set off a plauge that killed tons of people and crippled civilizations.

Kay
post #3 of 22
I really cannot express my opinion of Columbus day without asking myself to edit.

I find it just gross beyond measure that people would celebrate something that lead to such atrocities.

Blah I don't celebrate Indigenous People's Day. It depresses me. Being a member of one of the tribes that originated in the North East it is just a painful reminder of how much we lost over all the forced relocations, seperations and integrations. I am very involved with my tribe and currently we are doing all we can to ensure we don't lose anymore of our culture.
post #4 of 22
Time to remember all human being killed in the name of someone else's God.

There is a book, "American Holocaust" by David E. Stannard that is a must read for all people!

I am not sure I can quote from the book? If I can, I will for the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

It is a sick holiday I agree.
post #5 of 22
You can quote up to 100 words.
post #6 of 22
Is today Columbus day? Stupid stupid holiday.
post #7 of 22
Thanks Abimommy-I going a countin' Ds is way to loco right now to post
post #8 of 22
Quote:
In the darkness of an early morning in 1945, on a desolate spot in the New Mexico desert named after a John Donne sonnet celebrating the Holy Trinity, the first atomic bomb was exploded. Oppenheimer later remembered that the immense flash of light, followed by the thunderous roar, caused a few observers to laugh and others to cry. But most, he said were silent. Oppenheimer himself recalled at that instant a line from Bhagavad-Gita:

I am become death,
the shatterer of worlds.


There is no reason to think that anyone on board the Nina, Pinta, or the Santa Maria, on an equally dark early morning four and a half centuries earilier, thought of those ominous lines from the ancient Sanskrit poem when the crews of the Spanish ships spied a flicker of light on the windward side of the island they would name after the Holy Savior. But, the intuition, had it occurred, would have been as appropriate then as it was when the first nuclear blast rocked the New Mexico desert sands.

From "American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World
By: David E. Stannard
post #9 of 22
Had he never made it, surely I would not be here. I am Central American among other things. My mother is a mix of Spanish and indigenous indian.

I do think it ironic that Columbus is so widely celebrated for his "accomplishments". He had the kind of ruthlessness that would have made him the Bill Gates or Sam Walton of his time.

Interesting when you think about it. How much drive the guy must have had.

Denny
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Columbus himself was directly responsible for the deaths of some 280,000 Lucayans in the Bahamas and no fewer than eight million Tainos on the island of Hispaniola. They were either worked to death in the gold mines or hung in mass gallows (13 at a time, "in honor of our Redeemer and the twelve Apostles"). So to celebrate him, as Gitksan hereditary chief Wii Seeks notes caustically, "is like celebrating Hitler setting up the concentration camps."


Quote:
Large and voracious mammals like cows and horses quickly munched away the native grasses, while aggressive pioneer species like dandelions, daisies and nettles moved into any open spaces, crowding out the weaker native flowers. Herds of cattle compacted the tropical soils and stripped away the ground cover that resisted soil erosion...."the whole hydrology, and thus the whole climate, of the area was slowly altered," Sales writes.




Quote:
One of Columbus's fiercest critics, the Dominican bishop Bartolome de Las Casas, wrote in 1552 of Hispaniola: "It was the first to be destroyed and made into a desert." It was certainly not the last.
Wow, Colombus and Spain had a Christian critic? Who knew? He was probably executed.

I unschool. I have somehow neglected to tell my kids much about Colombus. Or his Day. I asked my ds, 12, yesterday abt what he knew. Nothing. So dd 17 and I talked about it with him, and its horror. How he thought he was going to India. How he called the natives of the Bahamas Indians and it stuck for all the natives of N, S and Central "America" to this day.

How he claimed "India" for Spain. Wait a minute, he didn't know he was in a "New World?" He was actually thinking he was claiming the continent of India for Spain? The arrogance. I guess that was common then. Go to a sovereign nation, claim it now belongs to your king. Frickin invaders, booty hunters, rapists, all.
post #11 of 22
we took dd, who is 11 months old, to a sunrise ceremony on Alcatraz island hosted by the International Treaty Council. I try to go every year; I don't want to celebrate Columbus, nor do i want to forget him, you know? I think us white folks can too easily forget what this country is founded on. Being a guest at an event by and for and in honor of indiginous people is a good reminder.

It's also a bit heartening....these days are so depressing and it's hard to find hope. the resistance of indiginous people here and all over the world is really awe inspiring and amazing.

And every time i see the Aztec dancers I cry, but it's a good kind of crying.
post #12 of 22
Okay.... lay down your flamethrowers and listen for a moment. I have an honest question. Do you all really feel that there is no way at all to celebrate the stunning accomplishment of Columbus without endorsing what followed? I mean.... these days no one will go ten blocks without good directions and a printout from mapquest. He set out with three tiny boats hoping Galileo was right and he would hit land rather than an abyss. I have to respect that. In fact I am awed by that. Is there no room for that in your paradigm?
post #13 of 22
kama, since Pythagarous and his guys knew the earth was round and had figured out its circumference to within a degree or two, using higher mathematics, circa 500 BCE, nope, not really.

Are you asking do the means justify the ends? hehe
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
kama, since Pythagarous and his guys knew the earth was round and had figured out its circumference to within a degree or two, using higher mathematics, circa 500 BCE, nope, not really.
True, but that was not the accepted science at the time of his journey. His was the time of the "heresy" of Galileo saying the world was round. Gotta agree with Kama here.

It also seems a bit of a stretch to blame centuries of atrocities on a single man. Those things more than likely would have happened with or without Columbus.
post #15 of 22
Oh I don't blame Columbus for centuries of atrocities. I blame him for his atrocities. I blame him for wiping out 90% of the Taino people and Hispaniola in 7 years.

Similarly I don't blame Hitler for today's atrocities. . . I blame him for murdering 12 million people. And I don't blame Stalin for modern day Russia. I blame him for exterminating 20 million people.

I just don't think it's any more right to celebrate Columbus's achievements than it is to celebrate Hitler's (he completely turned around Germany's poor economy and did a lot of good things for the state before he took to killing people).

And as far as Columbus not knowing the world was round - it was common knowledge at the time. I don't credit Columbus for any great things. . . he set out on a known path to India. He just didn't know there was an entire continent in his way.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by MFuglei
I don't credit Columbus for any great things. . . he set out on a known path to India. He just didn't know there was an entire continent in his way.
Not to be snarky or anything, but if it were a known path to India, wouldn't it actually have led to India? And for it to be known , wouldn't someone have to have actually traveled it before?

Not touching the rest, except to say that there is not a single culture in the world today that didn't oust another to live where they are now. And that no culture's history is free from an atrocity or two.

And curiously, why would you blame someone for wiping out a people via disease? I seriously doubt that Columbus planned to bring smallpox over to the New World in order to destroy the natives. Especially since the germ theory didn't exist in his time.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Hilary
True I guess someone will point to the fact that contaminated blankets were passed out, but I don't know when it became common knowledge that smallpox could be passed person to person.
My understanding is that this occurred during the French and Indian War, which was pretty post-Columbus. I would guess that they probably learned it could be passed easily to the Native population because of what happened after Columbus, but that is pure conjecture.

I disagree with the idea that some people aren't worth studying. Columbus, and other more or less horrible figures in history, are integral to where our world is today. Just because we don't like some of the things they did, it doesn't mean that we get to pick and choose what's important to learn. That's revisionist.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
I disagree with the idea that some people aren't worth studying. Columbus, and other more or less horrible figures in history, are integral to where our world is today. Just because we don't like some of the things they did, it doesn't mean that we get to pick and choose what's important to learn. That's revisionist.
But why choose Columbus to honor with a holiday? After all others had been to the Americas prior. And why not have celebrate a Native American day/week/month? After all they had been here for centuries prior to Europeans.

I agree that Columbus should be studied - but in a realistic way - not as a discoverer but as a person who opened European expansion in the Americas. He certainly didn't do any favors for the NA who were here.

Once he ascertained he wasn't in Asia, his foremost concern was about the gold jewelry he saw the local NAs wearing. He used the possibility of gold to raise even more money in Europe and in 1495 rounded up 1500 Indian slaves and penned them, 500 were sold to Spain (of which 200 lived), the rest were kept as slaves in Haiti (where Columbus was based at the time).

Of the 500,000 who were beleived to be alive in Haiti at the time of Columbus' arrival, by 1515 only 50,000 were left. Within a century over 3,000,000 native Americans in the Caribbean are beleived to have died at the hands of Europeans. P.S.: If you go to the Caribbean now and ask for the local Arawaks - there are so few that they live in a small enclave in Dominca).

That is what people should be told as we take our day off in honor of a great enslaver.
post #19 of 22
Yes, I truly think this Day has had its day. Tired of these days to celebrate the "accomplishments" or births of white men.

To be an honest, democratic nation/world, we need more days and weeks, months to celebrate women and people of color.

Trying to stay off
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Yes, I truly think this Day has had its day.
LOL, good phrase.

I'm not trying to be offensive here, but... I didn't realize there were people who thought that educated people in Columbus' day thought the world was flat. There was no arguement on that point: they knew the world was round! It was only a question of how large. From what I have read, the only reason Columbus got the money to go was he fudged the numbers on how big the world was. Most people thought it was much bigger (and were right) and so would be a much longer journey than Columbus proposed.

In addition, not only had vikings been to America, there is ample evidence that Africans had sailed to South America. The only difference is that the Europeons/Columbus brought so much disease with them that within a few short years the Navite Americans had died off leaving easily cultivated (since it had *already* been tamed by them) land. The "wilderness" that was settled had actually been settled for along time... its just that its inhabitants had mostly all died!

Kay
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