Friday, November 07, 2003

Damn Revisionist History

Just did a school reading/comprehension project with Wesley. Today he read me a story about how great Christopher Columbus was, and how interesting he found the culture of the Arawak people, and basically, what a great time they all had together. When he was done I was a little shocked, and he said to me "Wow, did Christopher Columbus really do all that?" No, I said, he did much more. Then I shared with him the real story of Mr Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was a Bastard. He was a genocidal mass murderer who killed perhaps as many as 3 million Arawak people, or all of them, to be exact.

Etymologically, the politically charged word GENOCIDE means the killing of an entire gens, or of a whole people. At the hands of Christopher Columbus, the entire gens, the whole people of the native americans of the Arawak/Taino people were wiped out. Hunted for sport. Raped. Tortured. Murdered. Enslaved. Driven to suicide. Gone. By 1555, not a single Arawak person was left.

And that doesn't even touch the more then 12 million natives who were killed by the Europeans that followed.

I wrote a note to Wesley's teacher explaining my discomfort at the presentation of Christopher Columbus, but I am not sure what else to do. I can only imagine the uproar if this had been a feel good story of Hitler and the Jews of Europe.

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