It's already been established that Christopher Columbus discovered absolutely nothing, so why is it still a federal holiday? My calendar shows October 12 is both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which seems flat out disrespectful! Are we really recognizing the oppressor of the oppressed on the exact same day? After reading Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism by John Henrik Clarke, the idea of of observing a day that represents the continuing oppression of billions of people today speaks to the very thing that this county stands on…W-H-I-T-E P-R-I-V-I-L-E-G-E
Columbus symbolizes mass murder, slavery, and conquest. His voyage marked the start of world capitalism and the beginning of European domination of the world. He was an opportunist seeking to exploit Africans and indigenous Americans. Clarke goes on to describe the colonizer as a thief, invader, and an organizer of the rape of women; a slave trader, reactionary religious fanatic, and director of a campaign for mass murder of the defenseless. I don’t know about you, but these characteristics remind me of the same person currently in charge of the free world!
We know that history repeats itself; everything that has ever happened continues to happen. Columbus set the tone for criminality, laid the basis for racism and misconceptions about people, and (this is another topic in itself) extensive use of organized religions as a rationale for the enslavement of our people. The fact that white folks believed they had the right to go into other peoples countries, simply because they had the ships and technology, to take mineral resources and their women to rape at will, in the name of a God they said was merciful and kind still plays to the attitudes that they have today: divine white right and manifest destiny.
I share this with you because it’s clear that our schools aren’t teaching our children the true history of this country and to remind you that history is reoccurring. Unless we break the cycle, we’ll always be enslaved. Gentrification is nothing more than the invasion of colonizers, European settlement; the intent is the same as it has been: to establish their own way of life! They take until there is nothing more to take, then leave us begging for our own shit in return. When are we going to stop being so naive? We can’t be as simple as they think.
My take-away from the book as it relates to October 12, is the shared view that Columbus Day is indeed the justifiable day of mourning for the millions of Africans and indigenous people who died to accommodate the spread of European control.