We Americans love a good holiday, especially if we can take a day off of work, barbecue something and raise a flag for the occasion. And we have many great and fine holidays that are worth our celebration, however, Columbus Day ain’t one of ‘em. It is a profanity and an insult to both Native Peoples and African Americans to continue a celebration of America’s First Terrorist and the Father of the Slave Trade. Christopher_Columbus6

Let there be no mistake that Christoffa Corombo, Cristóbal Colón or Christopher Columbus – whichever of his names we choose to call him – is synonymous with murderer.

Below you will find actual excerpts from Columbus’ own journal, as well as the words of fellow shipmates to shed a little light on exactly what kind of person we are honoring on this day. 

Columbus himself attested to the peaceful nature and beauty of the Arawak Natives he found on the island of Hispaniola:

“So tractable, so peaceable are these people that I swear to your Majesties there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle and accompanied with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy.”

Although he was admittedly in awe of these people, he was quick to evaluate their “worth” in the slave trade:

“They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force… and they have been very serviceable.”

Columbus and his men kidnapped thousands of Arawak men, women and children to force into slavery – and then imported and enslaved Africans:

Many of the slaves he sent back to his homeland died in the restraints and horrors of captivity. Columbus quickly became desperate to repay the debt he owed his investors and utilized slaves on the island of Haiti to mine for gold. Every native person 14 years and older had a quota to fill each month. Those who did were rewarded with a token, those who didn’t were forced to wear their hands (which had been cut off of their bodies) around their necks until they bled to death.

“They suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help.” (Bartolome de las Casas)

Half of the 250,000 Haitian Natives were dead in two years after Columbus’ arrival. They died by murder, starvation, mutilation and suicide. After destroying the island’s native population, he began mercilessly importing African slaves. Thereby Christopher Columbus came to create the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, thus was the first, and most likely the largest, slave trader in history. The consequences of his barbarism can still be felt today.

Rape was common, brutal and accepted. Here is an excerpt from a letter written by one of Columbus’ men, Michele da Cuneo:

“While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.”

Columbus raided villages for sex and routinely sold sex slaves to his men – not just grown women, but he routinely captured and used children as well. In fact, Columbus wrote that girls “from nine to ten are now in demand.”

Columbus’ Priest, Bartolome de las Casas, eventually spoke out against him:

“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!” Other infants they put to the sword along with their mothers and anyone else who happened to be nearby…”

Christopher_Columbus'_Soldiers_Chop_the_Hands_off_of_Arawak_Indians_who_Failed_to_Meet_the_Mining_QuotaMothers, out of desperation, were known to drown their own newborns to keep them from the evil hands of the Spaniards.

There are written accounts of Columbus’ men using babies for dog food. They would then send the flesh-hungry animals after the people who dared try to escape – and of course the dogs were trained to tear them limb from limb when they captured their prize. There were also incidences of the Spaniards cutting off the legs of children, the ears and noses of adults and removing the genitals from men and then forcing them to eat their own flesh.

“Indeed they invented so many new methods of murder that it would be quite impossible to set them all down on paper.” (Bartolome de las Casas)

He did it all in the name of God:

Columbus wrote: “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

“They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim’s feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer {Jesus} and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive. To others they attached straw or wrapped their whole bodies in straw and set them afire. With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim’s neck, saying, “Go now, carry the message,” meaning, take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains…

“I saw here cruelty on a scale no living being has ever seen or expects to see… Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel. My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write…” (Bartolome de las Casas)

Columbus carried out one of the largest genocides in the history of our world. 50 years after Columbus’ arrival to Hispaniola, the native population was completely extinct. This was also the fate of many other Caribbean Nations that Columbus came in “contact” with.

The above accounts are only a small glimpse into the horrors that Christopher Columbus inflicted on our world. Why then are we still celebrating him as a man of honor in this Country? Why are we still letting schools teach children that he was a heroic explorer? How dare we continue to honor a legacy so vile and evil as that of Christopher Columbus – it makes a person ill to even utter the name of such a horrid creature.

A handful of cities in the United States have abandoned Columbus Day and instead honor Indigenous People’s Day. I hope that the rest of the Country will open their eyes, see the truth and follow their lead. Now.

“What we committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind, and this trade as one of the most unjust Evil and cruel among them.” (Bartolome De Las Casas)


Source: In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverened Lord, Don Fray Bartolome De Las Casas, of the order of Preachers, Late Bishops of Chiapa, Against the persecutors and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered Across the Seas.

Photos: Library of Congress and Theodoor de Bry 1598

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