Monday, October 09, 2006

Columbus Day? That Psycho-Freak?

Allright class - repeat after me-
Columbus made four voyages to the "New World", he hit Haiti first (he never made it to the American continent, which was just as well, really) -where he encountered the Arawaks, the early occupants of the what's now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If you ever sit down and wonder why Haiti is the poorest nation in this hemisphere consider it's history. Around 1 and a half to 3 million Arawak lived on the island in pre- Columbian times. Columbus, once he realized that he had not made it to the Pacific Indies and his route would not open direct trade from the Orient to Spain, set about kidnapping, enslaving, and murdering the Arawak people. Within 20 years the Arawaks were reduced by murder and enslavement to less than 12,000. Seriously - 12,000 down from 1,500,000 - in 20 years - what a sick achievent! Columbus often ordered sick and severe punishments for insubordination- cutting off ears, noses and hands. Like a horrific Potuguese Taliban. It's informative to note that the Spanish Inquisition erupted the year he set sail for the Indies, a purging of the Moors and Jews that was probably made easier by the introduction of the slave labor that Columbus brought back to the Iberian Pennisula.

In 1495, when the Arawaks attempted a coup, Columbus retaliated with hunting dogs, horses, and guns, slaughtering all those who did not flee. Columbus enslaved the remaining Arawaks to work mines in a desperate search for the gold he had promised the Spanish crown. Arawaks who refused to mine for gold had their hands cut off. Mass suicides by the Arawaks were common under his tyrranical rule and Columbus consigned countless Arawak women to rape, rewarding his good men with the youngest girls, ranging in age from 9 to 12. The Arawaks did not know how to cope, and the women would kill their newborn babies rather than have them raised in such murderous and cruel circumstances.

When Columbus' son took over in 1505, he continued the slaughter. By 1555 not a single Arawak remained. Puerto Rico and Cuba were scrubbed clean in the same manner. Way to go.

And yet today we're celebrating... what? Why do we make up weird shit about a psychopathic murderer (everybody knew the wourld was round back then, ok? They just thought it was all water and isolated islands until you reached the Orient, and that unless you found a few new ports of call, you'd take years to get from one end of the planet to the other by sailboat), in the hopes of doing what, exactly? Taking the day off? Why not take a day off for Hitler's birthday, or Andrew Jackson's? I refuse to elevate a mass murdering, child-raping, hand-chopping, butcher-psychotic - let him rot in hell for all Eternity. Shame on everyone who "celebrates" this hideous man's birth.

Sources for historical information on Columbus' genocidal policies can be found in a gazillion sources, not the least in:
History of the Indies by Bartolome de las Casas translated by Andree M. Collard [1971]
Select Letters of Christopher Columbus translated and edited by R. H. Major [1847]
A People s History of the United States by Howard Zinn [1980]
The Log of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America in the Year 1492, as copied out in brief by las Casas [1989] ( a real friggin' eye opener, nothing beats primary source material, kiddies)
and where I learned all this stuff first-
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen [1995], a fantastic book that tears the veil off of the bizarre crud that American "teachers" continue to perpetuate on the youth of this country.

Coulumbus Day -What a grand hoax. Yuck.


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