Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Standing Tall...Affirms Ignorance

The years pass and the stories of his travels and discoveries are fed into our minds as those that we should continue to celebrate. Our educational system as faulted us and continues to do so in the telling of Christopher Columbus' story. We should continuously be asking ourselves not only of his supposed discoveries but of his transgressions toward the indigenous people once he settled beyond their shores with an offer of false friendships. In a society that champions the freedoms of nations across the globe it should be of no surprise to know it hypocrisy. One of its hypocrisies lies not too far from its own shores. That hypocrisy is in the form of a colony called a commonwealth to disguise the truth that befell it back in 1898.

It is quite puzzling, the level of ignorance, that a colonized people have been so cleverly misguided to believe that a man's supposed discovery should be so celebrated. We can sit and argue whether this was a discovery or not. The focus here isn't about discovery but rather the celebratory nature by which we approach the life of a man based on those highlights that praise his life. The truths omitted would make any civil human being cringe and quickly change views. Realistically, his supposed discovery was a premise to the near extinction of indigenous societies. For this reason, Columbus initial voyages can be viewed more like a surveillance process.

Again, it is then safe to say that history is told from the viewpoint of the conqueror. Was there little or no history prior to Columbus voyages to these lands inhabited by the indigenous? Well, there obviously was. The problem isn't necessarily in the teachings of history but rather the omissions of negative truths and the addition of text that makes what is taught so outstanding. 

Photo: FoxNewsLatino
A statue of Christopher Columbus has been making a voyage since roughly 1994. This statue, created by Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli and selected by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, was created to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Western Hemisphere. It has made its way through Florida, New York, Ohio, Maryland and finally Mayagüez, Puerto Rico (where it sits in a warehouse awaiting to be erected in Arecibo). Once again, Columbus shall rise in the very land he arrived on back in 1493.

Indeed, if it were up to history, it would say otherwise.

From History to Statue

For the record, a discovery is defined as that which one gets knowledge of, learns of or gains sight of such as something previously unseen¹. Hence, Columbus did gain sight of that which HE had previously unseen, at the same time, to say Columbus discovered America is in itself saying that history is indeed one-sided. Thus, the lands Columbus' supposedly discovered were very well know to the indigenous people of that time, the real discoverers.

“History is written by the victors.” -Winston Churchill


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