“In 1492, the natives discovered they were indians, discovered they lived in America, discovered they were naked, discovered that the Sin existed, discovered they owed allegiance to a King and Kingdom from another world and a God from another sky, and that this God had invented the guilty and the dress, and had sent to be burnt alive who worships the Sun the Moon the Earth and the Rain that wets it.” ― Eduardo Galeano
A good friend of mine, a member of the Republic of Lakotah, has a meeting with her first grade son’s elementary school principal. Apparently, her six-year-old is defiant in classroom.
His defiant actions? Well, upon his teacher explaining Columbus Day and honoring the courageous and brave sailor who discovered this land in 1492, he had a couple of questions for the teacher. He wanted to know how it was possible that he discovered a land in which his ancestors had lived for 30,000 years, he wanted to know what happened to all the people who lived here in 1491, and he wanted to know why the man responsible for invading his native land and slaughtering his ancestors was being honored.
I would love to just be a fly on the wall of that meeting with the elementary school principal.
Christopher Columbus did NOT discover America.
There, I said it. The first thing we have been told about in our early childhood is a complete fabrication of the truth. But, that is only the beginning of the secret atrocities that shaped our nation that we know today.
The Spanish Conquest of the Americas, preceded by Columbus’s “discovery” resulted in mass assimilation, raping, slaughtering, enslaving, and intention to wipe out all evidence of more than 100 million indigenous people to the land.
Forced hard labor, abducting and selling children into the sex trade, mass raping of women and children, offering cash rewards for the scalps of men, women, and children as proof of murdering, consistently breaking agreements and treaties (U.S.A. has broken all 370 treaties signed with the Indian nations), removing them from their land and forced to small reservations with unlivable circumstances following a march of thousands of miles, public execution of those who do not follow orders and label them as resistant savages for not giving up all they own, celebrating mass murderers as heroes that sweep through villages while killing unarmed communities, systematically taking their children away and forcing them to boarding schools in which they are molested, beaten, forbidden to speak their native language and brainwashed into becoming “Americanized,” not entitled to citizenship, practicing their religion, or equal rights in the land they lived in for thousands of years, the mocking and ridiculing of their traditional lifestyle in mass media and in the classroom, and changing history to ignore and deny the truth for centuries.
These were the policies of our government, the United States of America. This wasn’t done by aliens from outer space; No, it was done by aliens from the East. Entered illegally into an occupied land with force to subjugate and exterminate the civilizations that had existed for 30,000 years.
Thousand-mile death march, concentration camps, forced assimilation, mass killings by starvation/disease, forced to change culture/beliefs…this all sounds familiar.
In John Toland’s book “Adolf Hitler,” he comments on the Furor’s admiration of the American Genocide:
Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.
He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination. Just how much Hitler took from the American example of the destruction of the Indian nations is hard to say; however, frightening parallels can be drawn. For some time Hitler considered deporting the Jews to a large ‘reservation’ in the Lubin area where their numbers would be reduced through starvation and disease.
But, that is kind of a harsh reality to teach children in grade school. So, we could probably soften it up a little…or change it altogether.
Discover, Invasion, or Conquer?
Discover is defined as finding something in the course of a search. Invade is identified as an armed force or its commander entering a country/region so as to subjugate or occupy. Conquer means to overcome and take control of a place or people by use of military force.
Discover technically could be applied as something was found, but the problem is that something already had belonged to someone for 30,000 years. For perspective, it has only been 2,014 years since Christ was born. That means the first indigenous people reached the Americas 27,986 years ago; whereas Europeans have only been here for 522 years.
The most interesting part about the definition of invade is the word subjugate and the fact that Columbus used this exact word upon his first encounter with the Taino people:
“They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
“With fifty men we could SUBJUGATE them and do whatever we want.” Interestingly enough the term subjugate is defined as bringing under domination or control, especially by conquest.
Conquest is simply the act of conquering, which is interlocked with our final term. It is indisputable that the place and people were taken control of by military force. In fact, the exact term in history is labeled, “The Spanish Conquest.”
Clearly, Columbus’s voyage may have initially been a “discovery,” but upon his first impression of the people of this island it quickly turned to an “invasion.” Following his death, Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizzaro carried out the tasks of conquering the Americas.
Now, before you disregard this article as a wacky conspiracist nut, anti-American post, please understand that this is more about seeking the other side of the story. It is about viewing the landing of Columbus’s ships on May 12, 1492, from the occupants of that land – the Taino and Arawaks perspective.
Columbus Early Life:
Born as Cristofor Colombo (Italian name; Spanish: Cristóbal Colón; Portuguese: Cristóvão Colombo; and American: Christopher Columbus) was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. He grew up working on ships and began sailing at age 10. Upon delivering goods to northern Europe in 1476, upon his return his ship was burnt by a group of French sailors and he swam to shore in Portugal. He remained in Portugal and started working for the kingdom, which had the finest fleet in the world at this time.
During the middle ages, the kingdoms of Europe made their wealth by trading with Asia. But in 1453, the Turkish Empire cut off all land routes and the race to find a sea route to Asia had begun. Columbus sailed along the coasts of Africa, trading with the colonies and learning of the currents and wind patterns of the Atlantic. In 1487, a different Portuguese sailor, Bartholomeu Dias made is way around the southern tip of Africa and discovered the eastern coast and giving strong belief to a quicker route to Asia by sea.
Columbus had already believed the world as the common-held belief. Once Dias’ made this discovery, Columbus’s desire to sail west intensified as he had been seeking sponsorship for a trip across the Atlantic as early as 1484.
He was rejected funding from Portugal, twice in Italy, Spain, England, and France. However, upon the Spanish kingdom conquering Granada they were more willing to fund his voyage of three ships and 80 men. Struggling to find a crew, Isabella released prisoners early to join the voyage along with other criminals, conquistadors, pig farmers and former military men out of work following Spain’s recent capture of Granada.
For it was these men that did not fear dying at sea, as it would likely be better than what life had in store for them in Spain. And in August of 1492, after eight years of trying to make a voyage around the world, Columbus set sail seeking the riches of Asia.
The first voyage to the so-called “new world” was highly unsuccessful, despite the credit and admiration it has received. After weeks at sea and a disgruntled crew of men, Columbus gave an ultimatum of finding land in the next two days or head back to Spain – dated October 10, 1492. As unfortunate fate would have it, two days later Rodrigo de Triana was the first to spot an island, which is modern day Dominican Republic. However, with a large payout at stake, Columbus claimed that he actually spotted the light the night before – hence, claiming the lifetime pension from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
Columbus claimed the land for Spain and renamed it San Salvador although it had been occupied for thousands of years by the Taino, Arawak, and Lucayans (all extremely hospitable per many written accounts). Early estimates believe there were up to three million indigenous people living in the Carribbean; whereas more recent studies believe that number to be closer to eight million.
As written in his journals upon his first encounter with the Taino:
“These people have no religious beliefs, nor are they idolaters. They are very gentle and do not know what evil is; nor do they kill others, nor steal; and they are without weapons.”
Columbus quickly captured a handful of Taino to help guide him to find gold, while putting many into forced labor and sent thousands back to Spain to be sold as slaves (although most of them died on the journey back across the Atlantic).
“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts. And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.”
Merry Christmas – 1492 Style
After a few weeks exploring around Cuba, Columbus made his way back toward Hispaniola (Dominican Republic). On Christmas Eve, the Santa Maria shipwrecked before making it to land. The Arawak Indians saw the men struggling and their chief ordered all his men to swim out to sea and help the settlers to safety – including the chief himself.
The Arawak invited the settlers into their home. Columbus wrote of the kind hospitality of the Arawaks:
“They are artless and generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but him who had seen it. Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hears.”
With not enough room on the two remaining ships, Columbus left 39 men behind to settle a fort in which he called La Navidad.
When Columbus returned to Spain, his stories of the new world impressed the King and Queen – Mostly due to his large exaggerations of the amount of gold present in the Caribbean. The Spanish royalty granted him another voyage, but this time with 17 ships, 1200 men, livestock, and weapons.
Columbus consistently wrote about the kindness of the people that he encountered on his first voyage and shared this with the Kingdom of Spain:
“They are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone….”
On May 4, 1493, the beginning of the Spanish Conquest took place with the approval of Pope Alexander VI. The Pope stated that any land not inhabited by Christians was available to be “discovered,” claimed and exploited by Christian rulers and declared that “the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of the souls be cared for and barbarous nations overthrown and brought to faith itself.”
This became known as the “Doctrine of Discovery” and became the basis for all European claims in the Americas and continued with the United States western expansion in the 1800’s. As a United States Supreme Court case in 1823 states that “the principle of discover gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands.”
Basically stating the American Indians had no right to their land. And, it was not until 1924 in which “Native Americans” were allowed citizenship. I quote the term Native Americans to highlight the irony of not being granted citizenship to their homeland until 450 years after the Europeans tried to wipe out their civilization.
Following his first voyage, Pope Alexander VI granted the new world to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, claiming:
“We of our own motion, and not at your solicitation, do give, concede, and assign for ever to you and your successors, all the islands, and main lands, discovered; and which may hereafter, be discovered, towards the west and south; whether they be situated towards India, or towards any other part whatsoever, and give you absolute power in them.”
Later, as word of the mistreatment of the natives reached the Spanish Kingdom, Queen Isabella finally made a “Stand.” She proclaimed that the Natives shall be given the opportunity of converting to Catholicism before being forced into slavery.
But, claiming slaves of anyone non-Christian was not a new trade. Back in 1455, the Pope issued a statement allowing Portugal to enslave any non-Christians. Columbus got started in his slave trading back in 1480’s as he sailed along the West coast of Africa picking up slaves for the Portuguese kingdom.
And on his third voyage, Columbus was the first to bring African slaves to the new world in the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola) with his claim that “one African slave is equal to four Indians.”
By 1514, the Spanish Conquistadors carried with them an ultimatum entitled, “The Requirement,” in which the Indians were forced to accept, “the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world.” The Requirement warned the natives the consequences for non-compliance:
“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 all the harm and damage that we can.”
The King and Queen of Spain were eager to fund a second voyage following Columbus’s reports of the first trip to the new world. In his largely exaggerated accounts he shared:
“Hispaniola is a miracle. Mountains and hills, plains and pastures, are both fertile and beautiful … the harbors are unbelievably good and there are many wide rivers of which the majority contain gold. . . . There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals….
Columbus returned in 1493 to find the fort at La Navidad burnt to the ground and all 39 men were killed. It was reported that these men apparently had “Misbehaved.” And, of course, by misbehave it is meant they raped all the women and children and tried to steal whatever they could get hands on. In hindsight, leaving 39 released criminals into a land with no rules and laws it should not have surprised Columbus.
The Spaniards retaliated and Columbus forced anyone age 14 or older to work in the mine fields daily searching for gold. If they refused, they were killed. If they did not meet quotas each month – they had hands and arms amputated. Many began committing suicide to avoid the tortures of the Spanairds, while others were buried alive for refusing to oblige to Columbus. The Taino were being killed by starvation, worked to death, disease, or murder. The women were all given to the Spaniards to do as they chose.
Columbus wrote of the innocence of the Natives and his intent to sell them into the slave trade:
“Naked as the day they were born, they show no more embarrassment than animals.” Columbus later wrote: “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”
With not enough gold to return to Spain, Columbus rounded up the best 1,000 Taino he could find. He gave half to the Spanish colonists and took the other half to be sold to the slave trade in Spain. While 250 of the 500 died en route back to Spain, the conquistadors simply tossed them overboard. With much disorder among the colonists at this time, Columbus left his brothers in charge of the islands as he returned to Spain.
Upon his return, the island was in more disarray than when he left. Columbus embarked on daily beatings, raping, feeding infants to wild animals, and progressing the sex trade of children. Columbus began selling girls as young as nine years old into the sex trade as accounted in his writings:
“A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”
As word got back to Spain, the King and Queen had Columbus and his brothers arrested and shipped back to Spain. At the same time, a man named Bartolome De Las Casas was aboard the third voyage with Columbus and was the first to speak out about the crimes against humanity in the new world.
While settling into Hispaniola in hopes of fortune in the new world, La Casas was a slave owner himself until 1509 in which he started speaking out against the crime. However, he still believed in converting those to Christianity but in a peaceful, non-violent way. While it was applauded by the royalty of Spain, it was simply not followed by the Conquistadors.
La Casas wrote of these atrocities:
“Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy…
And the Christians, with their horses and swords and pikes began to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them. They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them head first against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!”
Forgotten Parts of the Legacy:
Columbus was arrested, shipped back to Spain and stripped of all his land and titles of “discoverer.” However, he did find a way to be released and allowed to explore once again – with gold! He presented gold to the King and Queen and was pardoned and allowed a fourth voyage.
He passed away in 1506 always believing he had landed in Asia and no knowledge this was an entirely different continent. During the ten years of his four voyages (1492-1502) the population decreased from 3-8 million inhabitants to less than 50,000. By the mid 1500’s that number was reduced to just 500 remaining Taino.
A liar, crook, thief, rapist, pedophile, savage, torturer, genocidal murder, introducer of slave and sex trades, and conqueror did not discover anything besides a beautiful group of people who rescued him and welcomed him into their home.
The thirst for wealth, greed, and power wiped out generations within a decade. And for his “bravery”; we celebrate the day he invaded the land of the people that rescued him.