Columbus Day: The Birth of Western Slavery and Colonisation
I remember when I sat in high school, in my history class with my animated teacher orating apparently important points in our history. I even remember the moment when he said that, "Columbus in search of India, accidently found and discovered the West Indies and America." My teacher told me alot of truths about our history, which I still find to be true today, but as I have grown older and discovered history myself, I have found that I have been told a few falsehoods too.
The particular fact that Columbus discovered America is one of those. Not only was he not the first person to discover America, he led the charge of the invasion of American by European imperialists, that led to racism and the genocide of the indigenous population of Native Americans and to the Slave Trade of millions of Black people.
500 years before Columbus, a Viking called Leif Erikson, has been recorded as setting foot in America. Gavin Menzies claims that the Chinese found America around 50 years before Erikson and its does not take a long stretch of the imagination, to think that it was discovered by many others before that, given whole civilisations had lived in America and Europe was certainly not the first civilisation to have great naval powers.
In Columbus's second expedition and in frustration of not being able to horde as much gold and treasure as he wanted, he gathered 1,500 men, women and children and took 500 of them to be enslaved in Spain. Half them died on the journey and many more died after being auctioned as slaves in Europe.
So he's not the epitome of adventure and discovery that we are taught in school, but rather, more the father of Western based slavery, colonisation, mass murder and imperialism, that encapsulated the sheer human misery of Africans and Asians for over half a millennia.
Even today, nations of Asia and Africa are enslaved for the end product of western consumerism, in the form of multi-national corporations.
The perpetual story telling of this lie only highlights how long ignorance can continue for. Many people whimsically state that the truth will always come out. Some even say such things to satisfy their passiveness on political issues now. European imperialists have colonised the US in very similar ways that Zionists are colonising Palestine and more now.
So when will the truth come out? After how many genocides? After how many centuries? If the apathetic had their way, perhaps, when the truth does not matter anymore.
The only really answer is to build the political consciousness of every human being, based upon the principles of justice, accountability and equality for all.
As for those who celebrated Columbus Day, you might as well celebrate the mass killing and exiling of millions of Palestinians and every other genocide, the slave trade and colonisation that we happen to be on the winning side of.