Monday, October 12, 2009

Christopher Columbus: The One Who Stayed

Today is Columbus Day, a day that should not even be celebrated according to the politically correct multicultural crowd in this country. 517 years ago Christopher Columbus landed at an island in the Caribbean known as Guanahani by it's native population then dubbed San Salvador by Columbus. This island was inhabited by a group of people known as the Arawaks and were described as a peaceful people by the Spanish explorers. The Arawaks were often raided and enslaved by a tribe known as the Caribs, who were an aggressive tribe known to practice cannibalism. Columbus noted that the Arawaks were ill-prepared for conflict of any type and remarked, "With 50 men I could conquer the whole of them and govern them as I please." One of Columbus' search parties on the archipelago of Guadeloupe made the gruesome discovery of Carib cannibalism described as, "Large cuts and joints of human flesh, hung up in houses as if curing for provisions; human body parts being roasted over fires." The stench of dead bodies was everywhere, horrifying and sickening Columbus' men. Columbus wrote in his personal journal that he found, "Caponized young Arawak boys being fattened for the griddle, captured girls were used mainly to produce babies, which the Caribs regarded as a particularly toothsome morsel." So much for the romanticizing of Indian life. In this politically correct, multicultural world we live in, it's become fashionable to bash Christopher Columbus because he supposedly enslaved and brought genocide to the New World, along with diseases and plagues. (What about how syphilis was brought to Europe from the New World?) The indigenous tribes were living a pristine island existence at peace with each other and in harmony with nature with not a care in the world until the evil Columbus conquered them and deliberately spread disease and committed genocide. (Caribs literally feasting on the Arawaks and another tribe known as the Ciboney, sounds like they were living in peace and harmony with each other and nature to me.) We all know that the Vikings were the first Europeans to find America long before Columbus, but Columbus was the first to bring the New World to the attention of all Europe, and the first to initiate widespread contact between indigenous Americans and Europeans. Historian Martin Dugard has said, "Columbus' claim to fame isn't that he got there first, it's that he stayed." For these reasons, Columbus should be praised, not vilified because if not for Christopher Columbus, many of us would not be here today. October 12, 1492 is a date that should be celebrated, not mourned.

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