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Examining the Reputation of Christopher Columbus
Sebastiano del Piombo painted this portrait thirteen years after Columbus' death
Published in this website on January 15, 2005. Jack Weatherford is an anthropologist at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. His most recent book is "Indian Givers." He wrote this article for the Baltimore Evening Sun.
"Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism... Imperialism and colonialism are not something that happened decades ago or generations ago, but they are still happening now with the exploitation of people... The kind of thing that took place long ago in which people were dispossessed from their land and forced out of subsistence economies and into market economies —those processes are still happening today." —John Mohawk, Seneca, 1992
Those imperialistic processes of oppression of the New World Order and major Corporations, the exaltation of Columbus in commemorations and the apologetic justification of his Conquest as a grand "cultural encounter" in school textbooks continue happening until the Illuminati Dark Agenda be completely removed from the planet with the proclamation of NESARA and First Contact. After that, those colonial lies, supported by the Illuminati Imperialistic thinking, will be removed from history books. —Luis Prada, Editor and Publisher of Brother Veritus' Website.
See http://www.indians.org/ and http://www.indians.org/welker/columbu1.htm .
Christopher Columbus' reputation has not survived the scrutiny of history, and today we know that he was no more the discoverer of America than Pocahontas was the discoverer of Great Britain. Native Americans had built great civilizations with many millions of people long before Columbus wandered lost into the Caribbean.
Columbus' voyage has even less meaning for North Americans than for South Americans because Columbus never set foot on our continent, nor did he open it to European trade. Scandinavian Vikings already had settlements here in the eleventh century, and British fisherman probably fished the shores of Canada for decades before Columbus. The first European explorer to thoroughly document his visit to North America was the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, who sailed for England's King Henry VII and became known by his anglicized name, John Cabot. Caboto arrived in 1497 and claimed North America for the English sovereign while Columbus was still searching for India in the Caribbean. After three voyages to America and more than a decade of study, Columbus still believed that Cuba was a part of the continent of Asia, South America was only an island, and the coast of Central America was close to the Ganges River.
Unable to celebrate Columbus' exploration as a great discovery, some apologists now want to commemorate it as the great "cultural encounter." Under this interpretation, Columbus becomes a sensitive genius thinking beyond his time in the passionate pursuit of knowledge and understanding. The historical record refutes this, too.
Contrary to popular legend, Columbus did not prove that the world was round; educated people had known that for centuries. The Egyptian-Greek scientist Eratosthenes, working for Alexandria and Aswan, already had measured the circumference and diameter of the world in the third century B.C. Arab scientists had developed a whole discipline of geography and measurement, and in the tenth century A.D., Al Maqdisi described the earth with 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude. The Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai still has an icon - painted 500 years before Columbus - which shows Jesus ruling over a spherical earth. Nevertheless, Americans have embroidered many such legends around Columbus, and he has become part of a secular mythology for schoolchildren. Autumn would hardly be complete in any elementary school without construction-paper replicas of the three cute ships that Columbus sailed to America, or without drawings of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to finance Columbus' trip.
This myth of the pawned jewels obscures the true and more sinister story of how Columbus financed his trip. The Spanish monarch invested in his excursion, but only on the condition that Columbus would repay this investment with profit by bringing back gold, spices, and other tribute from Asia. This pressing need to repay his debt underlies the frantic tone of Columbus' diaries as he raced from one Caribbean island to the next, stealing anything of value.
After he failed to contact the emperor of China, the traders of India or the merchants of Japan, Columbus decided to pay for his voyage in the one important commodity he had found in ample supply - human lives. He seized 1,200 Taíno Indians from the island of Hispaniola, crammed as many onto his ships as would fit and sent them to Spain, where they were paraded naked through the streets of Seville and sold as slaves in 1495. Columbus tore children from their parents, husbands from wives. On board Columbus' slave ships, hundreds died; the sailors tossed the Indian bodies into the Atlantic.
Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in his small ships, he put them to work in mines and plantations which he, his family and followers created throughout the Caribbean. His marauding band hunted Indians for sport and profit - beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000. Within another 50 years, the Taíno people had been made extinct - the first casualties of the holocaust of American Indians. The plantation owners then turned to the American mainland and to Africa for new slaves to follow the tragic path of the Taíno.
This was the great cultural encounter initiated by Christopher Columbus. This is the event we celebrate each year on Columbus Day. The United States honors only two men with federal holidays bearing their names. In January we commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled to lift the blinders of racial prejudice and to cut the remaining bonds of slavery in America. In October, we honor Christopher Columbus, who opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history.
Part 1. October 12th Is Columbus Day
The Columbus Myth
Taken from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wm0EvTk8o4
Part 2. The Sterilization of 40% of American Native Women Against Their Will and Without Their Consent
Taken from: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5998990073398228078&hl=en
Part 1. October 12th is Columbus Day
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/142.html . Transcription of the video by
Exclusive Video Clip from the Movie “The Canary Effect”.
1492, The Legacy
of Christopher Columbus. This clip tells the real story of what America
celebrates. Please feel free to blog it, share it, post it in bulletins,
educate people in whichever way you can.
Professor Troy Johnson, Long Beach University: “Everybody thinks of 1492 as some magic day in which Columbus discovered “America”. But Columbus was in the Caribbean and he never at anytime came to the United States.”
Professor Ward Churchill, Colorado University: “No, he was never near the continental mass of America. Even as a great navigator that he was, watched the beach of the Caribbean half the world he thought he was. He’s thought as the great navigator, the navigator that can never find his way from the island to the mainland, he couldn’t discover the continent.”
The movie shows a video clip of a cartoon movie depicting Christopher Columbus singing a song while pointing at the Native Americans he found on the island. He sings:
Oh I think it is
that they should have reddish brown skins,
but since we now have landed in India
then these people must be India-ens.
Professor Troy Johnson: “It is very interesting that Columbus’s first comment regarding the native Americans, early indigenous people, was that they were very loving, giving. They would trade or give anything they had without malice, without guile, the whole concept that Columbus thought they were savaged people was totally incorrect.”
The screen shows the words of Columbus:
“They are well-built people of handsome structure… and show as much love as if they were giving their hearts… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” —Christopher Columbus
Now comes again the cartoon video clip. Christopher Columbus at the beach with Spanish flags and members of his crew proclaims: “We will call this part of India San Salvador. And I take possession of it in the name of the King and Queen of Spain.”
Professor Ward Churchill: “It’s hard to discover unoccupied territory. I often go for the first time to visit people who have moved into the area, it maybe the first time I’ve been to their living room but I hardly say I discovered them, I mean, after all they live there. Much less that I extrapolate by virtue of my noble achievement of knocking on their door that somehow their newly discovered living room becomes mine.”
Professor Troy Johnson: “The general consensus is that Spain came for God, glory and gold. And God means that they are going to spread the Catholic religion, glory because they are going to add more land to the Crown, and, of course, gold because they are going to get rich.”
The cartoon video clip: Narrator: Columbus had no trouble to get ships and men for his second trip (Columbus is shown drafting the crew of seamen, writing down their names.) But still he didn’t have the slightest idea that he was heading for the faster continent of America.
The screen shows these words: Columbus returned to the island with seventeen ships, fifteen hundred men, and a message from God.
Professor Troy Johnson: “They issued documents to the native people, to be read to the native people saying ‘if you don’t convert to Catholicism and give us the gold we will do all types of harm to you, we will kill your family, we will take your land, we will enslave you.’ And when native people didn’t tell them where the gold, and in many cases they didn’t know where the gold was, they simply torture these people, they burn them at the stake alive, they had large hunting dogs they fed the Indians to, it was death and destruction.”
Professor Ward Churchill: “When Bartolomé de las Casas [Dominican Priest and Writer], who was there during Columbus’ 10-year governor of the island, placed the getting population of about 3 million [Taínos]. Twentieth Century historical demographic studies have placed it as high as 8 ½ million, whatever the reality actually was, it was being reduced to 100,000 by the time he left and by 1550 it was gone. It stinks.”
The video shows the image of a long horizontal wooden rack hold by fork posts at each end and Indians hanging in a row by their necks while below there is a bonfire burning them. The words of Bartolomé de las Casas over the images read:
“They hanged 13 natives at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the 12 Apostles. Straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive. They took babies from their mothers’ breasts, grabbing them by their feet and smashing them against rocks. They would cut an Indian’s hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin and threw others to the dogs and thus were torn to pieces.” —Bartolomé de las Casas
The video shows images of cutting the hands of an Indian with an ax on a wooden base, of a conquistador holding a baby dangling from one leg and then throwing the baby away. It also shows hunting dogs jumping over Indians to eat them alive.
Professor Ward Churchill: “Columbus is symbolic. Of what Columbus symbolizes is insidious. Columbus being valorized in the mythology of the United States is roughly the same as Germany valorizing Henry Himmler now and teaching this to Jewish students as well as German students and conditioning them to accept it.”
The video cartoon. The narrator says: “But each year on October 12 we celebrate Columbus Day, the anniversary on that day in 1492 when Columbus first sighted the land of the new world, America.” The video shows Columbus holding a telescope to sight the “new” land.
Part 2. The
Sterilization of 40% of American Native Women Against Their Will and Without
Taken from: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/142.html . Transcription of the video by Luis Prada.
During the 1970s Bush Sr. masterminded a covert program that sterilized over 40% of Native American women against their will and without their consent.
In 1970, with conservatives in the White House concerned about “the growth of the poor and black populations”, a young George H. W. Bush authored the Family Planning Act.
The Family Planning Act
The act legalized the use of federal funds for the sterilization of members of these groups. By the mid seventies evidence that a huge number of Native American Women were being targeted found its way to then Senator James Abourezk.
(black and white video): “Somebody came to me and said that
some sterilization was going on on Indian women. I publicized it and had
hearings on it.”
Question: “Can you remember what the findings were?”
JA: “The findings were that was indeed sterilization going on.”
Professor Ward Churchill, Colorado University: “Based on the documents that were secured by virtue of the “illegal action” of the American Indian movement, women of all native nations warned that that organization analyzed the documents and they concluded based on the evidence they had that there was about 42% of the overall female population of child bearing not only involuntarily and in a number of cases unwillingly converted, they were not even being informed.”
A different speaker: “It used to be routine practice to try to sterilize Indian women one after the other with a very small number of children.”
Government Accounting Office Report, page 25: “We reviewed the consent forms for 115 voluntary sterilizations which were performed. In no case did the documented consents fully comply with HEW regulations.”
Professor Ward Churchill: “I mean I don’t even know how to describe how vile that was. Just absolutely incomprehensibly inhumane. And that was done as a matter of course, women coming in, for any reason, going out sterilized.”
May the farce be with
you, but not for long.
—Michael Moore, www.michaelmoore.com, email@example.com