Millions of Americans will head out today in search of a new car or a new mattress at a bargain price and maybe even join in a festive parade in celebration of Christopher Columbus’ “discovery of the new world.” But there’s one thing that should never be overlooked or forgotten while hunting for that special Columbus Day bargain: Columbus and his gang of mariners were lost at sea, nearly out of provisions and, when setting sails near a Bahamian beach, began what would be one of the single greatest calamities to have ever been visited upon an unsuspecting population in the entire history of humankind up to that fateful October day in 1492. A single modern word, used for the first time to describe the events observed at the end of WWII, best describes this calamitous event: genocide.
Columbus and his gang were responsible for the wholesale rape of indigenous women, the spreading of infectious disease (smallpox and influenza in particular), murder, torture, enslavement, kidnapping and, in fact, an entire range of thoroughly disgusting and debauturous acts against a native people that was repeated in what is now the southwestern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Central and South America.
And it was all done in the name of god, the Catholic Church and the King and Queen of Spain.
Below is something that Columbus read (not that the native people were able to understand a single word that he was uttering, mind you) to the small group of naked Taino people who met his landing party (emphasis is mine):
“On the part of the King, Don Fernando, and of Doña Juana, his daughter, Queen of Castile and León, subduers of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, living and eternal, created the heaven and the earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, and all the men of the world, were and are all descendants, and all those who come after us.
Of all these nations God our Lord gave charge to one man, called St. Peter, that he should be lord and superior of all the men in the world, that all should obey him, and that he should be the head of the whole human race, wherever men should live, and under whatever law, sect, or belief they should be; and he gave him the world for his kingdom and jurisdiction.
One of these pontiffs, who succeeded St. Peter as lord of the world in the dignity and seat which I have before mentioned, made donation of these isles and Terra-firma to the aforesaid King and Queen and to their successors, our lords, with all that there are in these territories,
Wherefore, as best we can, we ask and require you that you consider what we have said to you, and that you take the time that shall be necessary to understand and deliberate upon it, and that you acknowledge the Church as the ruler and superior of the whole world,
But if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their highnesses; we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him: and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us .”
He and his gang of murderous thugs then immediately proceeded to do everything he promised in that final paragraph. He blamed them for their enslavement and death and immediately set upon stealing everything in sight. When he discovered a little boy with a small golden ring in his nose, he really went ballistic, demanding that every man, woman and child bring to his ships a daily quota of gold or suffer amputation of a hand. Thousands dies by “bleeding out” as a result of their failure to bring the gold he demanded. This same treatment would later be visited upon the Aztecs, the Maya, the Inca and millions upon millions of other smaller tribes of indigenous people that cross the paths of Cortez, Pizarro, et.al.
The real story of Columbus “discovering” the new world is not a pleasant one but, like the holocaust, should never go unknown for as long as the human race continues in its existence.
The question to honestly ask ourselves as we enter that mattress store or car lot or line up in that festive parade down Main Street is: do we as a nation really want to honor a legacy of genocidal murder?