It's another Columbus Day. And I submit it's a day to tell the truth about what Columbus actually did. Here is an excerpt from an article entitled "The Legacy of Columbus":
Failure to produce tribute to the Spanish brought swift and terrible punishment. Those that did not comply were given an "attitude adjustment" that consisted of removal of their nose, ear, hand or foot. Those that actively resisted were burned alive. The Taino People were even forced to carry their oppressors, to spare the Spanish the drudgery of walking.
The Spanish under Columbus hunted the Taino People for sport and for dog-food for their attack hounds.
So great were the cruelties and horrible the degradations that the Taino People suffered at the hands of Columbus and his men, that entire villages would bolt in panic at the sight of a single Spaniard. The whole populations of some villages would, upon the approach of Spanish soldiers, hurl themselves from cliffs, hang themselves, shoot one another with arrows, or take poison to avoid life under the boot of Spanish oppression. Others abandoned their cultivated fields and homes to hide in the forested hills where many thousands starved to death.
Pedro de Cordoba in a letter to King Ferdinand wrote in 1517, "As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen suicide.....Many when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery."
The Spanish priest, Bartolome de Las Casas (who sailed with Columbus on this third voyage in 1498) wrote the following:
How much damage, how many calamities, disruptions and devastations of kingdoms have there been? How many souls have perished in the West Indies over the years and how unjustly? How many unforgivable sins have been committed? ...... What we committed in the West Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind....
There is an alternative to celebrating Columbus Day. We can celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead. And we can vow never to let the truth be hidden about the European invasion of the Americas.