We are at a crucial crossroads in the history of the United States and ultimately the world. We can choose to acknowledge and accept our past as it really was, warts and all, or we can pretend that the truth doesn’t matter and continue to believe the sanitized version of history that we have been given. Columbus did not discover anything. He invaded and despoiled land that belonged to others. And more importantly, his actions set in motion a system that has desecrated the very environment we depend on to survive and subjugated the masses of the people on the planet for profit, power and avarice.
According to some conservative estimates, when Columbus landed on the island that he renamed Hispaniola in 1492, there were 3 million native people living there. The American Holocaust had begun. Historian William Keegan, writing in his Destruction of the Taino, puts it this way: “Within twenty-five years of Columbus arrival, most of the Taíno had died from enslavement, massacre, or disease. By 1514, only 32,000 Taíno survived in Hispaniola.”
That is what you call Genocide my friend. Not to mention that the nearly total extermination of the natives on the island directly led to a 2nd Genocide, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. That is a fact. What Columbus started on the island of Hispaniola was replicated throughout the Americas like a formula. Kill off the Indians, take their land and use enslaved Africans to cultivate it. What a winning strategy. We have Columbus to thank for that. Can we, and should we, still celebrate a man that was the cause of such death, despair and destruction?