Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

GOODBYE, COLUMBUS

A navigator/explorer sets out with royal backing to find a passage to India, and comes nowhere near it. He disembarks far from his objective, sees brown-skinned people and cries, “Look! Indians!” From thence he is known as a great discoverer and the rest is a ball of twisted history.

          Columbus discovered nothing. He wandered lost was found by people native to that soil. But such is the Euro bias regarding so much of what was the New World. Columbus was an interloper with the cheek to deem the house his, and all its inhabitants.

          There is something about when a time is right, and this is it. We can no longer afford to be numbskulls when it comes to the truth of origins, especially where we live, move and have our being.

          Worse, the people here are incredibly misnamed. What were they before this cockeyed invasion? Well, throughout the New World they were many and known by as many names, but those he found near San Salvador were Taino. Columbus, by the way, was also lusting for gold under the banner of God. The natives were unwarlike, unarmed and a willing market for baubles Chris brought along.

          It occurred to him that such nice people, who were well-built and handsome to boot would make good slaves so he bagged half a thousand

and FedEx-ed them to Spain. Imagine his surprise when Isabella sent them back—after all, if Spain were to own this land-grab, the inhabitants thereof would be Spanish and ineligible for enslavement.

          Chris was both a bad manager and a brutal one, which was known to all who knew and tried to love him but found such to be impossible. He ended up in irons, returned to Spain, stripped of titles and died 14 years after his great “discovery.” Good ol’ Chris: RIP.

          He had bounced around on that first trip–the Caribbean to Haiti and the Dominican, and later Panama. Sadly, he wasn’t the first in these parts. Leif Eriksson was ahead of him by 500 years, and seafarers from China and Africa likely even before Leif.

          Then there’s Amerigo Vespucci, after whom we are all named Americans. He followed shortly after Chris and knew something the latter didn’t—that there were two continents, now known as North and South America.

          So all this time we have been Indians and/or Americans, thanks to Italian explorers. And here it gets touchy. In all such bargains, something is gained and something lost. Italians are justly proud of Chris and Amerigo, but don’t call them “discoverers.”

          The majority of my DNA is Iberian and Central American. I know about lies on all sides of that. To Spanish conquerors God equaled Gold. That’s why they came to Mexico. The conquest of Mexico is a “patriotic” story, of which there are a many throughout the world, all intended to make winners look good. Spain was the deemed the capital of the world at the time but when Cortes entered what is now Mexico City he saw something even more grand, took advantage of trusting people and while putting an end to human sacrifice, took time to burn the feet of the leader, Montezuma, in hopes of getting him to tell them where the gold was.

          Nor am I a stranger to the bogus patriot-tale of the Alamo: Texas was part of Mexico and thieves and malcontents here begged to buy its land cheap, and become citizens of the host country. Once in the majority they said it was all theirs—unless Mexico wanted to fight over it. Hence the Alamo, a cooked-up story of “victims” who fell to a brutal enemy. If Mexico invaded us now how would we react? But to this day, Texans still say they “stole it, fair an’ square.”

          Enough of this. Let’s tell the truth, this time about Columbus. Our City Councils soon entertain changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Be there or be square.

Time to live the truth or go on living a lie.

         

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