It is perhaps fair to say that our story opens at Alfred University, where, during the fall of , I served as distinguished scholar of American Indian Studies for a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Insofar as I was something of a curiosity in that primarily Euroamerican staffed and attended institution, situated as it is within an area populated primarily by white folk, it followed naturally that I quickly became a magnet for local journalists seeking to inject a bit of color into their otherwise uniformly blanched columns and commentaries.
My response, at least in its short version, was and remains that celebration of Columbus and the European conquest of the Western Hemisphere he set off is generally analogous to celebration of the glories of nazism and Heinrich Himmler. Publication of this remark in local newspapers around Rochester, New York, caused me to receive, among other things, a deluge of lengthy and vociferously framed letters of protest, two of which I found worthy of remark.
Furthermore, he said, the enterprise Himmler created as the instrument of his genocidal ambitions incorporated, deliberately and intentionally, considerable economic benefit to the state in which service he acted. The second letter came from a member of the Jewish Defense League in Rochester.
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I promised myself to investigate the matter further. Meanwhile, I was captivated by certain commonalities of argument inherent to the positions advanced by my correspondents. Nor did they demonstrate any particular desire to correct the situation. Indeed, in their mutual need to separate their preoccupation from rational scrutiny, they appeared to have conceptually joined hands in a function composed more of faith than fact.
The two groups are bound to one another in a truly symbiotic relationship foundationed in the mythic exclusivity of their experience: one half of the equation simply completes the other in a perverse sort of collaboration, with the result that each enjoys a tangible benefit. To this end, zionist scholars such as Louis Irving Horowitz and Elie Weisel have labored long and mightily, defining genocide in terms exclusively related to the forms it assumed under nazism.
Participating for profit and with gusto in the deliberate starvation of much of the Third World is no particular problem if one is careful not to goose step while one does it. Such technical differentiation is then magnified and used as a sort of all purpose veil, behind which almost anything can be hidden, so long as it is not openly adorned with a swastika. Given the psychological, sociocultural and political imperatives involved, neither correspondent, whether German or Jew, felt constrained to examine the factual basis of my analogy between Himmler and Columbus before denying the plausibility or appropriateness of the comparison.
To the contrary, since the paradigm of their mutual understanding em-i bodies the a priori presumption that there must be no such analogy , factual investigation is precluded from their posturing. He went, as his own diaries, reports, and letters make clear, fully expecting to encounter wealth belonging to others. It was his stated purpose to seize this wealth, by whatever means necessary and available, in order to enrich both his sponsors and himself. To this extent, he not only symbolizes the process of conquest and genocide which eventually consumed the indigenous peoples of Ameri-ca, but bears the personal responsibility of having participated in it.
Still, if this were all there was to it, I might be inclined to dismiss him as a mere thug rather than branding him a counterpart to Himmler. His policies, however, remained, with the result that by the Spanish census of the island showed barely 22, Indians remaining alive. In , only two hundred were recorded.
Moreover, the population of indigenous Caribbean population destroyed by the Spanish in a single generation is, no matter how the figures are twisted, far greater than the seventy-five percent of European Jews said to have been exterminated by the nazis. It must be born in mind when considering such facts that a considerable portion of those who perished in the nazi death camps died, not as victims of bullets and gas, but from starvation, as well as epidemics of typhus, dysentery and the like. Their keepers, who could not be said to have killed these people directly, were nonetheless found to have been culpable in their deaths by way of deliberately imposing the conditions which led to the proliferation of starvation and disease among them.
Nor should more direct means of extermination be relegated to incidental status.
Voyages of Christopher Columbus
They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords. No SS trooper could be expected to comport himself with a more unrelenting viciousness. And there is more. All of this was coupled to wholesale and persistent massacres:. Then the whole hundred drew theirs and began to rip open the bellies, to cut and kill [a group of Tainos assembled for this purpose]-men, women, children and old folk, all of whom were seated, off guard and frightened.. And within two credos, not a man of them there remains alive. The Spaniards enter the large house nearby, for this was happening at its door, and in the same way, with cuts and stabs, began to kill as many as were found there, so that a stream of blood was running, as if a great number of cows had perished.
The Indians saw that without any offense on their part they were despoiled of their kingdoms, their lands and liberties and of their lives, their wives, and homes.
Deconstructing the Columbus Myth
As they saw themselves each day perishing by the cruel and inhuman treatment of the Spaniards, crushed to earth by the horses, cut in pieces by swords, eaten and torn by dogs, many buried alive and suffering all kinds of exquisite tortures The butchery continued until there were no Tainos left to butcher. The answer, or some substantial portion of it, must lie in the fact that the Indians were considered by the Spanish to be untermenschen , subhumans.
In the end, all practical distinctions between Columbus and Himmler — at least those not accounted for by differences in available technology and extent of socio-military organization — evaporate upon close inspection. They are cut of the same cloth, fulfilling the same function and for exactly the same reasons, each in his own time and place. If there is one differentiation which may be valid, it is that while the specific enterprise Himmler represented ultimately failed and is now universally condemned, that represented by Columbus did not and is not.
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It would be well to examine the nature of at least the major claims in order to appreciate the extent of the mad scramble which has been undertaken by various peoples to associate themselves with what was delineated in the preceding section. One cannot avoid the suspicion that the spectacle bespeaks much of the Eurocentric character. The popular wisdom has always maintained the Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, a city state which is incorporated into what is now called Italy.
Were this simply an historical truth, it might be accepted as just one more uncomfortable fact of life for the Italian people, who are — or should be — still trying to live down what their country did to the Libyans and Ethiopians during the prelude to World War II. For instance, although such records were kept at the time, there is no record of his birth in that locale. Nor is there reference to his having been born or raised there in any of his own written work, including his personal correspondence. For that matter, there is no indication that he either wrote or spoke any dialect which might be associated with Genoa, nor even the Tuscan language which forms the basis for modern Italian.
His own writings — not excluding letters penned to Genoese friends and the Banco di San Grigorio, one of his financiers in that city — were uniformly articulated in Castilian, with a bit of Portuguese and Latin mixed in. These center primarily in the established facts that he spent the bulk of his adult life in service to Spain, was fluent in both written and spoken Castilian, and that his mistress, Beatriz Enrfquez de Arna, was Spanish. Since then, Spanish chauvinists have had to content themselves with arguments that The Discoverer is theirs by virtue of employment and nationality, if not by birth.
Portuguese participation in the fray has been less pronounced, but follows basically the same course — sans forged documents — as that of the Spanish. Columbus, the argument goes, was plainly conversant in the language and his wife, Felipa Moniz Perestrello, is known to have been Portuguese. Interestingly, given the tenacity with which at least some sectors of the Jewish community have latched on to it, this notion is not at all Jewish in origin.
Christopher Columbus, the Myths Behind the Man - revolexituju.tk
And, from there, that the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy really exists, and has since the Illuminati takeover of the Masonic Orders. Another odd essays or full volumes address the same question to some extent while pursuing other matters. Perhaps the Swedes, Danes and Norwegians will advance the case that he was a descendant of a refugee Viking king, or the Irish that he was a pure Gaelic adherent to the teachings of Saint Brendan.
And then there are, of course, the Germans He believed he was personally chosen by God for a mission that no one else could achieve. After , he signed his name "xpo ferens"—"the Christbearer.
His arrogance led to his downfall, that of millions of Native Americans—and eventually fostered his resurrection as the most enduring icon of the Americas. In , Columbus was the governor of a colony based at Santo Domingo, in what is now the modern Dominican Republic—a job he hated. He could not convince the other "colonists," especially those with noble titles, to follow his leadership.
They were not colonists in the traditional sense of the word. They had gone to the Indies to get rich quick. Because Columbus was unable to temper their lust, the Crown viewed him as an incompetent administrator.
The colony was largely a social and economic failure. The wealth that Columbus promised the Spanish monarchs failed to materialize, and he made continuous requests for additional financial support, which the monarchs reluctantly provided. By , conditions in Hispaniola were so dire that the Crown sent Francisco de Bobadilla to investigate. Bobadilla's first sight, at the mouth of the Ozama River, was four Spanish "mutineers" hanging from gallows. Under authority from the king, Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his brothers for malfeasance and sent them to Spain in chains. Columbus waited seven months for an audience at the court.
He refused to have his chains removed until the meeting, and even asked in his will to be buried with the chains.
Ancestry and Faith
Although the Spanish rulers wanted Columbus to disappear, he was allowed one final voyage from to He died in , and went virtually unmentioned by historians until he was resurrected as a symbol of the United States. In the midth century, scholars brought to light long-forgotten documents about Columbus and the early history of the New World.
One of the most important was Bartolome de las Casas' three-volume Historia de las Indias. This book was suppressed in Spain because it documented Spain's harsh treatment of the native peoples. His depiction of Spanish mistreatment of the Indians provided the foundation for the " Black Legend. Whatever Spain's motives, the conquest of the Americas destroyed native cultures and ushered in centuries of African enslavement. Another was the personal journal of Columbus from his first voyage, published in The journal captured the attention of Gustavus Fox, Abraham Lincoln's assistant secretary of the Navy, who made the first attempt to reconstruct the route of Columbus' first voyage.
Renewed scholarly interest in Columbus coincided with political motives to deny Spain any remaining claims in the Americas. Spain's American colonies declared independence, one by one, from the beginning of the 19th century. The final assault came with the U. Puerto Rico became a U. Virgin Islands from Denmark.
In , France put on what reviewers described as the most spectacular World's Fair possible. After Paris, the U. His embellishments created the great hero whose legend the fair celebrated: "He was one of those men of strong natural genius, who appear to form themselves; who, from having to contend at their very outset with privations and impediments, acquire an intrepidity in braving and a facility in vanquishing difficulties.
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