Next month, it will be exactly 526 years since October 12, 1492 when Christopher Columbus, who was financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, arrived on the Bahamian island of what he referred to as San Salvador.
By the way, he didn’t “discover” America or the so-called New World. In fact, Red/Brown people, i.e., Taino, Arawak, and Lucayan, were here 14,000 years before his 1451 birth.
After Columbus’ arrival in 1492, he sailed to what he labeled Espa-ola, which is today’s Haiti and the Dominican Republic- in the inept belief that he had discovered a shortcut to India. But he was thousands of miles off course. In fact, the only reason the indigenous Red people in this country are commonly but erroneously called “Indian” is that he mistakenly thought he was in India and therefore arrogantly- like Europeans do- imposed a name on them. By the way, the correct name is Ongweoweh.
Not long after his incompetent Gilligan’s Island-type arrival/invasion, and in order to get more royal financing, he returned to Spain with his exciting, but fake, news that he had found a quick route to Asia. Accordingly, he received funding to lead three more voyages to the so-called Americas, occurring in 1493, 1498, and 1502.
As a result of those voyages, and in addition to destroying ancient civilizations, he murdered approximately eight million Red/Brown people, raped and tortured millions of them, and robbed them of millions of acres of land. Despite that horror, Philadelphia- through annual City Council resolutions- callously celebrates him.
Here are five factually irrefutable and historically documented facts that explain why City Council must immediately end all celebrations of Columbus:
1. Columbus ignored the King and Queen’s order that he “abstain from doing… (the inhabitants) any injury.” For example, he created in 1495 the “tribute system” requiring every person over 14 to provide him with a “hawk’s bell” of gold every three months. Those who complied were given a “token” to wear around their neck. Those who didn’t, as Columbus’ son Fernando reported, were “punished by having their hands cut off” and “left to bleed to death.” About 10,000 in Haiti and the Dominican Republic were victimized.
Many of the indigenous people were- while alive- “roasted on spits (i.e., slender pointed rods)… and burn(ed)… at the stake…” and the invaders “hack(ed) the… children into pieces….” Also, Columbus’ men “tore the babes from their mother’s breast by their feet and dashed their heads against the rocks… They ‘splitted’ the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers… on their swords.” As noted by Spanish historian and Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas, who witnessed much of the carnage, Columbus, in order “to test the sharpness of their blades,” directed his men “to cut off the legs of children who ran from them.” His crew would “pour… people full of boiling soap” and cause others to be “eaten (alive by)… hunting dogs….” And if Columbus’ brigade ran out of meat for their vicious dogs, “Arawak babies were killed for dog food.”
2. A Columbus shipmate, Miguel Cuneo, wrote that “When our caravels… were to leave for Spain, we gathered… 1,600 male and female ‘Indians’… on February 17, 1495… (and) we let it be known… that... (any of the sailors) who wanted to take… them could do so….” Cuneo took a teenage “Caribbean girl as a gift from Columbus.” And when she “resisted…, (he) thrashed her mercilessly and raped her.” Speaking of rape, it was noted by University of Vermont history professor Dr. James Loewen that “As soon as the 1493 expedition got to the Caribbean..., Columbus was rewarding his lieutenants with native women to rape. On Haiti, sex slaves were one more prerequisite that… (they) enjoyed.” It included adult rape and child rape. As Columbus himself wrote in 1500, “… girls… from 9-10… are… in demand.” In one day, de las Casas saw Columbus’ soldiers “dismember, behead, or rape 3,000 natives.” As a result, de las Casas wrote, “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.”
3. Columbus’ evil was so efficient that when he arrived in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands in 1493, there were eight million Taino. That number, within a mere three years, was reduced to just three million. By the time he left in 1504, only about 100,000 remained alive.
4. Columbus not only pioneered a new form of mass murder, he also pioneered a new form of slavery, which he transformed into a race-based and generational form of brutal labor. In fact, as documented by Dr. Loewen, “Columbus not only sent the first slaves across the Atlantic, he probably sent more slaves- about five thousand- than any other individual.”
5. Columbus’ evil was so outrageous that Governor Francisco De Bodadilla arrested him for inhuman and widespread crimes against the Taino/Arawak/Lucayan population and shipped him back to Spain in shackles. The evidence was so overwhelming that Columbus confessed and was convicted.
Despite these horrors, City Council inexplicably continues to annually celebrate this self-confessed monster, including last year with Resolution No. 170872 “commemorating” him for his “historic voyage to the New World.” WTF?!
But at least four states (i.e., Alaska, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Vermont), 57 cities/counties, towns, and villages (from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Ypsilanti, Michigan), and three major universities (i.e., Brown University, Minnesota State University, and University of Utah) have abolished Columbus Day as an independent officially recognized event and replaced it with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” or “Native Americans’ Day.” Many other governmental and educational entities are currently considering the same.
This year, Philly must join in by celebrating heartfelt humanity instead of heartless inhumanity in connection with Columbus Day on October 8. Therefore, call Councilpersons Bass, Blackwell, Brown, Clarke, Domb, Johnson, Green, Greenlee, Gym, Henon, Jones, Oh, O’Neill, Parker, Quinones-Sanchez, Squilla, and Taubenberger. You can get their direct numbers by dialing the Council’s president’s office at (215)686-3442. And tell them to immediately stop issuing resolutions that commemorate Columbus’ indisputable genocide.
Also, tell them to ask Philly’s enlightened Italian-American community to provide a list of great Italians and great Italian Americans to honor. I’m sure that list would include Amerigo Vespucci (first European to recognize North and South America as distinct continents and to realize- unlike Columbus- that the so-called New World was not part of Asia), Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci (identified by the U.S. Congress as the real inventor of the telephone), and Guglielmo Marconi (Nobel Prize-winning electrical engineer and physicist who is validly credited as the inventor of the radio). Since this commemoration pertains to Italian Americans, they should decide who goes on the list.