Things I wish I did not know. But I do. So, now what?

I am heartsick.

Did not sleep last night.

Not sure how I’ll sleep tonight, though exhausted.

Have no idea what happened in classes or at work today. Just a blur. This whole day is blur. The only thing I remember is last night…

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The Columbus Myth

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure. There is no bloodshed. Columbus Day is a celebration.

happy-columbus-day

Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else…

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 3)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

columbus-wanted-for-genocide

Christopher Columbus

In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 2)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

christopher-columbus

Because of Columbus’ exaggerated report and promises [to the King & Queen of Spain, who were financing his voyages], his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men.

The aim was clear: slaves and gold.

They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives.

But as word spread of the European’s intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend.

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 1)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

columbus-ship

Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts.

[Columbus] later wrote of this in his log:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things….They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane…They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

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