History 7/Section 71
October 24, 2010
I. Opinionated Article
[The following appeared on a full page of the Rocky Mountain News on Saturday, October 8, 1994.]
An Open Letter From the AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT of Colorado and Our Allies
When the Taino Indians saved Christopher Columbus from certain death on the fateful morning of October 12, 1492, a glorious opportunity presented itself for the cultures of both Europe and the Americas to flourish.
What occurred was neither glorious nor heroic. Just as Columbus could not, and did not, “discover” a hemisphere already inhabited by nearly 100 million people, his arrival cannot, and will not, be recognized by indigenous peoples as a heroic and festive event.
>From a Native perspective, Columbus’ arrival was a disaster from the beginning. Although his own diaries reveal that he was greeted by the Tainos with the most generous hospitality he had ever known, he immediately began the enslavement and slaughter of the Indian peoples of the Caribbean.
Defenders of Columbus and his holiday argue that critics unfairly judge Columbus, a 15th Century product, by the moral and legal standards of the late 20th century. Such a defense implies that there were no legal or moral constraints on actions such as Columbus’ in 1492. In reality, European legal and moral principles acknowledged the natural rights of Indians and prohibited their slaughter or unjust wars against them.
... are also rivers named after him, such as the Columbus River, which people today know as the Scioto River. This river runs ... college, with a scholarship. Not only do the Knights of Columbus help people in need, they also have festivities, which all ... attend. The Knights of Columbus is an organization built to help people live and grow, as did Columbus himself by discovering a 'New ...
The issue of Columbus and Columbus Day is not easily resolvable by dismissing Columbus, the man. Columbus Day is a perpetuation of racist assumptions that the Americas were a wasteland cluttered with dark skin savages awaiting the blessings of European “civilization.” Throughout this hemisphere, educational systems and the popular media perpetuate the myth that indigenous peoples have contributed nothing to the world, and, consequently, we should be grateful for our colonization, our dispossession, and our microwave ovens.
The racist Columbus legacy enables every country in this hemisphere, including the United States, to continue its destruction of Indian peoples, from the jungles of Brazil to the highlands of Guatemala, from the Chaco of Paraguay to the Western Shoshone Nation in Nevada. Indian people remain in a perpetual state of danger from the system begun by Columbus in 1492. The Columbus legacy throughout the Americas keeps Indian people at the bottom of every socio-economic indicator. We are under continuing physical, legal and political attack, and are afforded the least access to political and legal remedies. Nevertheless we continue to resist and we refuse to surrender our spirituality, to assimilate, or to disappear into Hollywood’s romantic sunset.
To dignify Columbus and his legacy with parades, holidays and other celebrations is repugnant. As the original peoples of this land, we cannot, and we will not, tolerate social and political festivities that celebrate our genocide. We are committed to the active, open, and public rejection of disrespect and racism in its various forms–including Columbus Day and Columbus Day parades.
For the past five years the American Indian Movement of Colorado and our allies have been compelled to confront and resist the continuing Columbus legacy in the streets of Denver. For every hour spent organizing non-violent opposition to the Columbus parade, we have lost an hour that we were not able to use in assisting indigenous treaty rights struggles, land recovery strategies, and the advancement of indigenous self-determination.
However, one positive benefit of our efforts was the public debate over Columbus Day that has spread into the public schools as an educational tool for students and their teachers. Overall, we view the demise of the Columbus Day Parade in Denver as a welcome opportunity to move beyond the divisive symbolism of the past.
... them to celebrate for Columbus Day (“Goodbye Columbus.”) Many people think that Columbus is great because of his discovery of the Americas. However, Columbus’s historical role ... few years, over one hundred thousand Indians died (Solomon, “Columbus Day.”) Thus, the Indians have a profound hatred of Columbus. As members of the government ...
We therefore suggest the replacement of Columbus Day with a celebration that is more inclusive and that more accurately reflects the cultural and racial richness of the Americas. We also suggest that the community support a more honest portrayal of social evolution in this hemisphere and a greater respect for all people on the margins of the dominating society. There is no more appropriate place for this transformation to occur than in Colorado, the birthplace of the Columbus Day holiday.
II. Article Summary
In this article, it explains what Christopher Columbus did to the Native Americans. Columbus writes in his diary that the Taino Indians greeted him with hospitality but soon began slaughtering and enslaving them. Some argue that people judge him with 20th century morals rather than the 15th century morals. The legacy of Columbus allows society to continue destroying land of the Native Americans and puts them on the bottom of every socio-economic indicator.
To celebrate Columbus, we have parades, holidays and other celebrations. For a while, the American Indian Movement of Colorado and supporters continue to rebel against the celebration on Columbus. A positive benefit that they have contributed is their debate against Columbus Day that spread to public schools. The organization suggests that the replacement of Columbus Day with a celebration that reflects on the cultures and richness of the Americas.
III. Article Analysis
Personally, I do agree with this article. We should know the facts about what Columbus really did and celebrate a holiday that is more appropriate for the occasion. I believe that Columbus was no hero and did not actually discover America. He took advantage of the Native Americans that were so generous to him and his crew. To repay them, what did he do? He enslaved and slaughtered them. That was clearly not a moral thing of him to do. I believe that morals have always been very similar, if not the same, ever since the beginning of civilizations. Lying and murder would never and will never be considered moral. Christopher Columbus is no hero.
... Americans celebrate Columbus Day? The answer is yes. Columbus led the European to a New World and changed the way people ... America. Some Americans think that Columbus Day should not be a national holiday. Howevcer, Columbus day should be celebrated because Columbis ... modrniation of America. Columbus is important in American history because he started to colonize the Indian people. Although he failed ...
Yes, Christopher Columbus isn’t exactly admirable, but I do admit he is an important figure in history. We shouldn’t celebrate him since he honestly didn’t discover America but he should have some recognition not only for the bad. He was a man that came from a low class family and somehow rose up to be a great sailor that served for the Queen. That is still no reason to cover up all of his negativity though. America shouldn’t have a holiday to celebrate a man that wasn’t a hero but more like a holiday that celebrates the cultural differences in the United States.
IV. Source Information
The American Indian Heritage Foundation (AIHF) was established to provide relief services to Native Americans all over the nation and also well as build an understanding and friendship between Indian and non-Indian people. The National Heritage Foundation guides the AIHF and it continued to grow. With their help, Princess Pale Moon founded the AIHF in 1973. They dedicate their selves to encourage Indian people to strive for excellence in their own life and have programs where they help American Indian people have a deeper pride in their heritage. From the funding of over 250,000 individuals and companies, they have been able to receive millions of dollars in the past thirty years. With the money they have been able to offer support to over 500 tribes nationwide.