Columbus Day//Indigenous People’s Day
Another Columbus Day is coming (October 14th yall), and with it a perpetuation of the white lies (emphasis on white) we tell our children and ourselves. This year, I urge you to stop, to reconsider our practices and to start telling our children and ourselves the ugly truth. Because in the case of Columbus and other colonizers and slave owners, the truth is ugly as hell and the lies we tell do hurt.
Christopher Columbus was genocidal, racist, a rapist and a slave owner. This is not new information. Many people are aware of the actual legacy of bloodshed left behind by Columbus. Entire peoples, like the Taino in what is now known as Puerto Rico, were wiped out through the brutal practices of Columbus and his men and the diseases they brought with them. Columbus was one of the initiators of the colonization and imperialism of the Western hemisphere. It was the colonists who attacked, enslaved, raped, killed, and stole from the indigenous peoples in North and South America, as well as then created the desire to build the massive slave trade from Africa.
In Richmond, our statue of Christoper Columbus, on Boulevard, is just one of many pieces of public art that pay homage to men who don’t deserve the honor. Columbus day is just another reminder of the complexities of racism and how that current runs strong in 2013. (more…)