Today, millions of people–largely, white people–will be honoring the criminal legacy of Christopher Columbus–the greatest genocidal mass murderer in the last half millennium, a man who paved the way for the greatest land theft in history, which ushered in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade depleting Africa of it greatest resources: millions of its Black-skinned daughters and sons.
Columbus the criminal con-man deserves universal contempt not congratulatory commemoration. Because of him, millions of Indigenous Peoples, in what became known as The Americas, would have their paradise lost and turned into hell on earth.
In recent years, absurd arguments have been made that Columbus Day must be protected because Columbus is too important an icon for Italians.
Why would Italians want to be connected to a man whose actions spilled the innocent blood of millions? Aren’t figures, such as Leonardo da Vinci, more appropriate for praise by Italians?
Unfortunately, in spite of Columbus’ crimes, many (who could care less about the suffering of “others”) will today celebrate him as a great explorer and “discoverer” of lands, where there were thriving Indigenous civilizations of people. How does someone “discover” lands where people were living for centuries–unless, the humanity of those people are ignored?
One of the most important books ever written in our time, which exposed the lies regarding Columbus’ so-called “discovery,” was also the most important book I ever read: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima’s classic work “They Came Before Columbus.”
At thirteen, I stumbled across this book while I was doing library research. It was the title that first caught my attention. And while reading the title, and wondering who the “they” were, I focused on the Africoid features of the figure on the book cover. Van Sertima was making a radical claim: Africans had been coming to the Americas long before Columbus would even be born. Dr. Van Sertima’s work here did much to debunk the lies about Columbus.
After reading They Came Before Columbus, my thinking would never be the same. I was overjoyed for the well researched illuminating information–but mad about the brainwashing deception in history that passes for academic learning.
History had always been my most favorite subject. I had been a top student in all my history classes. But after reading Van Sertima, I realized that much of what I had been taught was largely white-washed stories regarding white heroes who victimized and exploited Black and Native peoples. The lies, especially of omission, started to become clear.
Van Sertima’s book made it obvious that any full examination of history–particularly, that of Africans–would not be possible by just depending on school history curriculum classes. Personal research and reading would be required to learn the deeper truths.
The deceptive fables that are told in America’s schools about Christopher Columbus explain much about our contemporary problems and outrages. The negative aspects of Columbus’ invasion into the Americas can still be seen all around us.
Today, some will object to the escalating attacks against the bloody murderous legacy of Christopher Columbus. Some are no doubt upset by President Biden’s proclamation, last Friday, recognizing Indigenous People’s Day today. “Wokeism” will be the charge made by pundits on right-wing media, like Fox News.
Over the last several months, much anger regarding critical race theory has been engineered by these broadcast puppeteers. Of course, all this noise isn’t really about critical race theory. It is about a certain segment of white people who refuse to accept those aspects of history which reveal ugly truths about the role of American racism.
American schools omit the fact that Columbus and his criminal gang initiated and instituted orgies of violence against Indigenous peoples, which included mass murder and mass rape. We know from the works of great historians (like Dr. Howard Zinn) that Native girls, some as young as 12-years-old, were routinely raped by Columbus’ men, along with other cruelties like dismembering and disemboweling pregnant women, and feeding their babies to dogs.
Currently, there is a discussion that must be had regarding who has ultimate control of ones own body. Is it the individual or the state?
Over the last several years, we’ve seen the rising up of women in the Me-Too and Times-Up movements. Women are demanding an end to the white male sexism that is also connected to racism. Others are talking about the need to eradicate America’s rape culture.
But how can we do that and still praise the man who is singularly responsible for bringing rape culture to these lands?
Because of Columbus, untold numbers of Indigenous women, followed by African slave women, would be defiled and raped because of the savage practices of white European men. Generations of white men were programmed to believe that they had the right to exert final control over the bodies not just of Indigenous and Black women–but of all women, and indeed of anyone who isn’t a white man.
This is why the same white men who claim they are about “small government” continually push policies to make things like abortion illegal. It is also why they incarcerated generations of Black Americans for drug use while giving us bloviating rhetoric about freedom.
Currently, the issue of immigration is another explosive topic. Most Republicans and conservative Americans rail about the “illegals” coming across the “open” border. What must Indigenous Peoples think when they hear these galling statements from the ancestors of those who massacred millions of them while stealing their lands?
The Natives of Turtle Island, and the other areas of what became known as the Americas, had no immigration department or hatred for the first Europeans who came to their shores. In fact, we know they welcomed them, at first–before they realized they were dealing with greedy, ruthless, cutthroats who meant to dispossess them of everything.
But now some of the ancestors of the Native Peoples from Central America are being called “illegals” and “aliens” by those who committed genocidal mass murder while stealing the lands of their cousins in North America. These kinds of incongruities can only occur while we continue to get sanitized pro-European stories about America.
Last year, the world witnessed the horrific murder of George Floyd and millions marched all across the globe for change. In the aftermath, statues of white oppressors were toppled by we the people all over. However, Christopher Columbus who is particularly responsible for creating a climate where their crimes became possible is still being championed by a vast segment of white society.
Therefore, it is up to us the larger body of Black, Indigenous, non-white people, as well as whites of conscience, to continue to fight against the criminal legacy of the mediocre explorer Christopher Columbus.