Monday, October 09, 2006

Fuck Columbus

My top ten reasons for saying Fuck Columbus Day!

10. Fuck Columbus. I’m at work

I wasn’t really expecting to have the day off….but I know a lot of other companies do. I would bet money that more companies take off for Columbus Day than for Martin Luther the King Day. Scribe is off, Kids are their Grandma’s. And I’m at work and will probably be staying late due to busy tax season. This sucks.

9. Why should we celebrate some Italian who went to Spain to ask for an expedition to India because he was broke.

8. Why should I celebrate Columbus when all he did was get lost? Europe needed a new route to India after the fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453. Forty years without silk and spices must have been hard.

7. Why should I celebrate when Columbus’ claim to fame…that he discovered a “new world”…is false….because people were here already?

6. Columbus was full of shit. This is what he had to say about the Taino Indians:
we might form great friendship, for I knew that they were a people who could be more easily freed and converted to our holy faith by love than by force, gave to some of them red caps, and glass beads to put round their necks, and many other things of little value, which gave them great pleasure, and made them so much our friends that it was a marvel to see. They afterwards came to the ship’s boats where we were, swimming and bringing us parrots, cotton threads in skeins, darts, and many other things; and we exchanged them for other things that we gave them, such as glass beads and small bells. In fine, they took all, and gave what they had with good will. It appeared to me to be a race of people very poor in everything.…They are very well made, with very handsome bodies, and very good countenances [features]. They neither carry nor know anything of arms, for I showed them swords and they took them by the blade and cut themselves through ignorance. They have no iron…I saw some with marks of wounds on their bodies, and I made signs to ask what it was, and they gave me to understand that people from other adjacent islands came with the intention of seizing them, and that they defended themselves. I believe, and still believe, that they come here from the mainland to take them prisoners. They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observe that they quickly took in what was said to them, and I believe that they would easily become Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no religion.''
—Christopher Columbus, Journal of His First Voyage, Markham, pp. 37-38

5.He used their loving nature and kindness against them. He ended up enslaving them. Didn’t take him long. He even kidnapped some of them on his first voyage. Apparently they did not go willingly…they went by force.

4. Columbus was the first white man (that I know of) to enslave anyone in North America. He wrote a letter to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, requesting that he be allowed to enslave the Caribs. These were the natives of West Indies. They were the most powerful of all of the tribes in the Caribbean…they are the namesakes of the term Caribbean because of their boating skills and mastery of war making. So Columbus didn’t want to enslave them because of them attacking other tribes. He was scared of what the Caribs were doing to his men he left to colonialize the place....and he wanted free labor...

Isabella said no. So Columbus seized 1600 of the kinder, gentler Arawak Indians and enslaved them.

Later, in 1503, Isabella reversed herself and said that only people who are better off under slavery (including cannibals) could be legally taken as slaves, which gave Spaniards an incentive to identify various Amerindian groups as cannibals, mainly targeting the warlike Caribs.

3. Columbus was particularly cruel slave master. During his third voyage he was arrested but released. A young priest was with him and kept a diary of Columbus’ atrocities. Bartolomé de Las Casas wrote of how Columbus would chop of hands of the Arawaks who could not find gold. Las Casas was the first advocate for the abolition of slavery against the Indians and he was the one who suggested that Africans be brought to work the sugar fields instead. Thanks!

2. Again I say…HE did not find shit. Most of you know…I like to study European colonialism. It was during this time that Caucasians began their dominance of the world. We are just watching the after effects 500 or so years later. So no parades for me.

1. Fuck Columbus. I gotta work.

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