By Jack Tomas
So, it’s Columbus Day. While we totally appreciate the fact that people get the day off today, we question the cause. I mean, Columbus was a huge a-hole. It’s like getting three days off for Pol Pot Day. When I was growing up, they told us in school that Columbus was this great hero and explorer. He discovered America and proved the world was round and a bunch of other made up crap. Right around the first grade, I started to question this assertion. The more I learned about him, the less heroic he sounded. Not to mention that we Latinos have a slightly different narrative of the conquest than our white neighbors. By all means, enjoy your day off. Just don’t forget what Columbus really was. Here is 5 reasons Christopher Columbus is a total tool.
He didn’t even know he was in America. This “great navigator” thought he was in Asia, hence why he called the native people Indians. Even when people pointed out that it couldn’t possibly be Asia, he still denied it. Also, you can’t really discover something that has a bunch of people on it. That’s like if I were to take a boat to Staten Island and tell all the guidos and members of the Wu Tang Clan that have lived there for generations that I’ve discovered it. Luckily, thanks to the next entry on this list he took care of the people living there.
It’s easy to see how the chain of events he set in motion led to the conquest and murder of millions of Native Americans. But he personally committed genocide. On the island of Cuba, he instituted a law that every Taino Indian over the age of 14 had to provide a hawk’s bell- whatever the hell that is- of gold EVERY YEAR. If they didn’t he’d cut off their hands until they bled to death. This happened a lot. He then enslaved the natives and forced them to mine for gold and work on the plantations. On Cuba alone, 500,000 Indians were dead within 30 years of the system he established.
Once he realized he was running out of Indians because of the whole genocide thing, he told the Spanish crown that the Indians were subhumans not even fit for slaves. So, he suggested they go and kidnap the people of Africa and force them into slavery. You know, because mass murdering and dehumanizing one group of brown people wasn’t enough. The entire legacy of the middle passage, and the two to four million Africans that were brought over, can be laid at Chris’ puffy pantalooned feet.
Don’t think he did any of it because of the spirit of exploration or the furthering of knowledge. He also didn’t do it to convert people to Catholicism, (He refused to baptize the Indians or Africans because you can’t enslave fellow Christians). He did it for the money. He told Ferdinand and Isabella that he wanted to be governor of that entire half of the planet and viceroy of ALL THE SEAS. He wanted control of all of the world’s oceans, so that he could be a jerk to all the fish as well. Columbus might be the greediest tool in history. How much land, money, and water do you need?
As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, he was crappy in his personal life too. He was abusive to his sons, his wives, his nephews, and his brothers. He savagely enforced draconian measures with his crews and his employees. He was such a bastard, that the people who worked for him took him to court in Spain for cruelty and mismanagement. He was sentenced to prison for ten years, but Ferdinand let him go for old times sake. Think about that. This is happening at the same time as the Spanish inquisition, and yet he was so cruel against his own people they threw him in jail.
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