October 10, 2006
More on Columbus
I am glad that Jase posted about Columbus day. Thanks Jase, great job. I started writing a comment to add to it, but it grew very long, and I thought that i should make a full post about it. Warning, don't click the link and read the rest of this post if you like to think of Columbus as a nobel explorer or a good christian spreading the word of God.
I am appalled by the fact that this is still celebrated as a holiday. It is very true that Genocide ensued after european contact, but people should recognize that Columbus himself was more that a mere catalyst. He was a tyrant in the truest sense of the word.
Before Christopher Columbus was a "discoverer" he was a slave trader. In his report to the spanish crown, he said that the people would make poor slaves, but that they did possess riches that Spain could capture.
In 1493, columbus returned to the Americas with an invasion force of 17 ships (appointed at his request). His expressed purpose was to set himself up as "viceroy and governor of [the Caribbean islands] and the mainland" and seize the wealth there by whatever means necessary.
He promptly instituted a tribute system where every native citizen over the age of 14 had to pay a certain amount of gold to him every 3 months. Upon payment, they were then given a token to wear around their neck to show that they had fulfilled their duty. If they did not pay, they were punished by having both hands cut off and were left to bleed to death. In his first 4 years as governor, it is estimated that around 10,000 natives died in this manor alone.
Bartolome de Las Casas was the first european historian in the Americas. He oversaw conducted censuses and documented (in exquisite detail) what was happening in that time and place.
He gives accounts of Spanish colonists hanging Tainos (the native people) en masse, roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed and so forth, all of it to instill in the natives a "proper attitude of respect" toward their Spanish "superiors."
Here's another description by another historian "The Spaniards made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babes from their mother's breast by their feet and dashed their heads against the rocks...They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords."
By conservative accounts based on Spanish surveys, the Taino numbered as many as 8 million in 1493. Las Casas estimated that over 5 million people had been exterminated within the first three years of the Columbus rule. By the time of Columbus' departure, only 100,000 Taino were left, and by 1542, only 200 were left. Within the entire Caribbean Islands, about 15 million indigenous people are estimated to have been exterminated within one generation of Columbus' arrival. This is genocide, the wholesale killing of an entire people group.
Hope you enjoyed your day off.
Posted by collin on October 10, 2006 10:11 AM
Yikes! I guess they didn't teach all that at my school...
Posted by: Susan on October 10, 2006 12:10 PM
And we wonder why people have been turned off by Christianity?
Posted by: jonathan on October 10, 2006 12:51 PM
Even I don't have a glib comment. I feel a little sick . . .
That's actually really sad. When we were in St. Lucia, my sister told us that the same thing basically happened to the Carib indians, so there are actually none left in existance. It's pretty sad that one of the most beautiful bodies of water I've ever visited was named for a people group that no longer exists.
Posted by: Susan on October 10, 2006 01:45 PM
The U.S. is now considering replacing Columbas Day with the all new Hitler Day.
Posted by: Anonymous on October 10, 2006 01:49 PM
I didn't get a day off. Anyway, obviously this isn't a first person account by Collin or from his imagination. I was wondering where you got this information. I'm not a Columbus proponent at all, but it is hard for me to believe this or anything such as this without knowing it came from a credible source. When I read things such as this, which state everything as fact without any citation, it reminds me of propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, I actually believe everything you said, I took a history class that talked about Columbus’s role in the Americas. In general, I need to know where the information came from, because it changes how I view it. I’d be skeptical if it came from Joe’s History Book, as opposed to something publish by a renowned academic establishment.
Posted by: Childish on October 10, 2006 02:02 PM
its amazing how dark the human condition can truly sink to if given the right opportunity.. i had never heard that side of Columbus..
its pretty gross
Posted by: jaysonjaz on October 10, 2006 04:22 PM
That is a great question childish. Here are some sources for you here.
Unfortunately for history's sake, this is not leftist propaganda. It is history published in many, many academic books and articles. Here are a few. Let me know if you want to see more. I took an Colloquium on european contact in the Americas. I have all of the books still.
Cook and Woodrow, Essays in Population History, Vol. 1, Chapter VI, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971)
Samuel Eliot Morrison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (NY: Little, Brown and Co, 1942)
Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (NY: Plume Books, 1991)
Bartolome' de Las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account (originally published in 1547) reprinted by Johns Hopkins Press, 1992.
Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present (City Lights Publishers,1998)
Posted by: Collin - band member on October 10, 2006 04:38 PM
now citing Ward Churchill is never a good thing. He was recently made famous for calling the people who were killed in the World Trade Center "little Eichmans" and saying that the people who died there had it coming.
Additionally Colorado University recently fired him for plagarism and research misconduct.
Not to get the conversation too side tracked, but this guy should never be quoted OR cited.
Posted by: jaysonjaz on October 10, 2006 07:18 PM
I know about Ward Churchill and his recent misconduct. Everyone does. It's even on his wiki page for goodness sake. I could have left him off of the list, but I didn't want to. I don't agree with his horrible statements around 9/11, or his bad publications that got him fired, but he has written some interesting things.
I included that book only because it is an unique conglomeration of historical references and sources.
Posted by: Collin-Band Member on October 10, 2006 07:30 PM
Las Casas is a primary source. while I question the numbers (doesn't the whole US only have 300 million people? and there were 15 million on an island more then 500 years ago?) the gist of the story is true
Posted by: jason on October 10, 2006 08:48 PM
and I agree, I would avoid ward churchill if you want to make a point! the guy could say water is wet and I'd find another citation.
Posted by: jason on October 10, 2006 08:49 PM
Is it just me or is Benny Hinn a little creepy? I just saw him on TV in his weird white suit, trying to cast the perception of savior. Reminds me of other cult leaders.
"The Spirit tells me - Fidel Castro will die - in the 90's. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God."
- Benny Hinn.
"The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90's, about '94-'95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it - with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed."
- Benny Hinn.
Posted by: Childish on October 12, 2006 03:10 PM
I would trust Benny Hill with my soul before I trusted Benny Hinn.
Posted by: jason on October 12, 2006 04:10 PM
Did I just make a quantum leap to a new thread?
Posted by: Susan on October 12, 2006 09:25 PM
I posted after the first blog about Columbus. When I first started talking about Columbus and his atrocities years ago with parents, it caused such an uproar. His name was hallowed. I am really glad this conversation is happening. Las Casas is primary source material and is a good read for anyone wanting to really know what happened through Columbus. How exciting to see people actually looking at the possibility that things are not as we've been told.
I'm all for celebrating Native Heritage Day. Part of a Christian's job on earth is to be a mouthpiece for those who have no voice.