Happy Columbus Day!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
I suppose this is a difference:
The story of America’s mistreatment of indigenous peoples is long and painful. And yet, Native communities have proven resilient. We owe them our respect—and we must honor our government’s commitments and promises to them. #IndigenousPeoplesDay— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 14, 2019
On #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we recognize the resiliency of indigenous communities and celebrate their rich contributions to society—while recommitting to the work that remains to come to terms with our past as a nation, to honor our promises, and work to right our wrongs.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 14, 2019
Today on #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we celebrate Native communities and remember that this country owes them so much. I stand with them in the fight improve their quality of life and to protect their treaties and tribal rights.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 14, 2019
Indigenous People's Day is a time to recognize the suffering and oppression the Indigenous community has endured—and honor the numerous contributions they’ve made not just to the United States, but our world.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 14, 2019
It's time to reset our relationships and interactions with Tribal Nations. Today, I’m announcing a plan to promote the rights of Tribal Nations and enhance opportunities for Native people to thrive: https://t.co/XvYewYzVvN https://t.co/nHZJzBp0Ye— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 14, 2019
Happy Columbus Day!
Aside from Confederate Memorial Day, there is no public holiday in our culture which is more politically incorrect and hated by the liberal establishment than Columbus Day, which celebrates and honors the very illiberal discovery and conquest of the New World by Christopher Columbus and Spain which began an era of European settler-colonialism.
The following excerpts come Stephan Palmé and Francisco A. Scarano’s book The Caribbean: A History of the Region and Its Peoples:
“When Christopher Columbus and a mixed crew of mostly Spaniards entered the Caribbean Sea in October 1492, landing first on the island they named San Salvador, then Cuba, followed by Hispanolia, they encountered peoples and cultures unlike any they had known. Initially, they negotiated with and through the native rulers, as they would have done with any monarch. But as the number of “Indians” (an obvious misnomer; Columbus believed he had reached Asia) declined drastically and the number of Spaniards and mestizos increased, these delicately negotiated relationships began to break down. Yet, on Hispanolia from the initial “encounter era” through the 1520s, the occupiers’ violence toward the native population was accompanied by subtle and complex Spanish-Indian negotiations. These negotiations of conquest, articulated with constant violence, forged important patterns and set key precedents for the balance of Spain’s Caribbean conquests, as well as for the occupation and settlement of continental areas. …”
Poor Christopher Columbus.
He lived centuries before Europeans came up with classical liberalism during the Enlightenment. He is several more centuries removed from the liberal dogmas of multiculturalism and political correctness. In his time, international law didn’t apply to non-Christians.
“Columbus returned to Hispanolia in 1493 with 17 ships carrying some 1,500 conquistadors who were not as impressed as Columbus, particularly once they discovered that the Indians had massacred the 39 men left behind to collect gold. The faction supporting Columbus immediately clashed with the bulk of the Spaniards, who were supposedly under his command but resented him because he was a foreigner, not born to the nobility, and a poor administrator. Whereas Columbus planned to establish a trading fort on the northern shore of the island, the Spaniards’ principal goals – developed through eight long centuries of reconquest against the Moors in Iberia – were conversion of “the heathens” to Christianity and personal enrichment through conquest, settlement, and permanent domination of the entire region.”
The Spanish were a race of conquerors.
They had spent the previous several centuries reconquering their own homeland from the Moors. Both the Jews and Muslims in Spain were forced to convert to Catholicism and were ultimately expelled. The Protestants weren’t treated anymore fairly.
“Military squadrons under Columbus’s command built Fort Santo Tomás, the first of a chain of forts to protect the route between the gold-bearing mountains and the first Spanish town, La Isabella. Soldiers foraged throughout the interior, seeking food, gold, and women. …
In March 1495, Columbus and his brother Bartolomé led an all-out war to “pacify” the Tainos with the help of their ally Guacanagaríx and his approximately 3,000 warriors. Guacanagaríx appears to have been a minor cacique intent on gaining prestige and power by allying with the newcomers. His actions set the precedent for later tactics on the part of conquistadors, including Hernán Cortés, whose cultivation of similar alliances on the mainland helped them to achieve their astonishing successes. The war lasted 10 long months, but its legendary version, written by Spaniards, barely mentions the contribution of indigenous allies and makes victory sound like the work of a day, attributed to the miraculous intervention of the Our Lady of Mercy at the Battle of Santo Cerro. This Spanish tendency to take all the credit for their victories, leaving their indigenous allies out of the conquest histories, would also continue on the mainland. …
Queen Isabella of Spain officially authorized Taino labor on December 20, 1503, supposedly for the laborers’ own good. Her decree led to the encomienda system, wherein indigenous peoples were “commended” to the care of a Spaniard, their encomendero, who was obliged by royal contract to feed and clothe his Indians (though he did not buy and could not sell them). The encomendero also had to ensure that they were taught the Christian faith and “civilized” ways. In return theoretically, the commended Indians would gratefully perform whatever labor their encomendero demanded of them. …
Perhaps as justification for their exploitation, Spaniards began to refer to the Tainos in their letters and reports as “primitives” and “barbarians,” because their beliefs, values, and customs were so different from those of the Europeans. Instead of finding the natives ripe for conversion because they were “without religion,” as Columbus had initially described them, Spaniards claimed that the Tainos practiced demon worship. …
Yet the Spanish crown dominated the new lands and the new people by decree of the people, whose 1493 bull had granted said dominion so that the peoples of the new lands could be taught the holy Catholic doctrine and converted to the true faith. Caught between two cross-purposes, the crown attempted to refine and regulate the encomienda system via the Laws of Burgos (1512), to protect commended Indians with their own specified rights. In this way the crown hoped to eliminate any basis for papal complaint.”
Pope Alexander VI divided the world between Spain and Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 which was later rejected by other European powers particularly my English Protestant ancestors but also by the French who challenged the Spanish in the Caribbean.
Note: Happy Indigenous People’s Day to blue checks hate reading this blog!