Monday, October 13, 2014

If you love rape, slaughter and slavery: Happy Columbus Day.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM

  • Screenshot via Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Happy Columbus Day, ya'll, the day old Cristóbal Colón discovered ... uh, well ... Anyway, to understand how this very reasonable holiday came about, consider the history. (Speaking of, Wikipedia says Colorado became the first state to recognize Columbus Day in 1906.)

First, I want you to imagine that you're trying to find a house in Denver which you heard had an iPhone buried in the basement. With this goal in mind, you unknowingly drive to Pueblo, stop at the first house you find, break into it, kidnap the wife as a slave; cut the head, arms and legs off the husband and parade them through Pueblo; and watch all the children die from the flu you brought. (But hey, you actually found an Android phone, so that's pretty great.)

Then somebody else moves into the house to help you sell the phones you found, and you say, "Welcome to Denver!" Then they honor you with a day recognizing that time you were the first person to discover Pueblo.

Er ...

Actually, to be more accurate, the Pueblo family would've first had to have welcome you by giving you everything you wanted: "They took anything, and gave willingly whatever they had," Columbus says in his journal.

Naturally, he kidnapped some as slaves. "I believe they would readily become Christians; it appeared to me that they have no religion," the Italian wrote. "With God’s will, I will take six of them with me for Your Majesties when I leave this place. ..."

Then there's this fun bit of history: "Later, Columbus sent thousands of peaceful Taino 'Indians' from the island of Hispaniola to Spain to be sold," writes the History Channel. "Many died en route. Those left behind were forced to search for gold in mines and on plantations. Within 60 years after Columbus landed, only a few hundred of what may have been 250,000 Taino were left on their island."

Or consider Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's take on the explorer: "In school, American children learn about Christopher Columbus' life," says a voiceover. "Of course, what they tend not to learn are the parts of Columbus' life where he kidnapped Native Americans and sold them into slavery; had his men slice them to pieces; and, through disease and warfare, killed roughly half the population of Haiti.

"But, in fairness, none of that rhymes with 'In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two.'"

So do the right thing, Colorado Springs, and follow Seattle's example — unless you're into that sort of thing. (Which, considering the conservative comments here, you might be). I mean, hey, you can't make a golden God omelet without committing a few genocides, amirite?

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