Columbus Day

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As today is still celebrated as Columbus Day, this excerpt from An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States is especially appropriate, particularly the statement that "Any true history of the United States must focus on what has happened to (and with) Indigenous peoples--and what still happens:"

In the United States the legacy of settler colonialism can be seen in the endless wars of aggression and occupations; the trillions spent on war machinery, military bases, and personnel instead of social services and quality public education; the gross profits of corporations, each of which has greater resources and funds than more than half the countries in the world yet pay minimal taxes and provide few jobs for US citizens; the repression of generation after generation of activists who seek to change the system; the incarceration of the poor, particularly descendants of enslaved Africans; the individualism, carefully inculcated, that on the one hand produces self-blame for personal failure and on the other exalts ruthless dog-eat-dog competition for possible success, even though it rarely results; and high rates of suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual violence against women and children, homelessness, dropping out of school, and gun violence.

This excerpt from Lies My Teacher Told Me About Christopher Columbus: What Your History Books Got Wrong points out that "Our history books not only imply that few people lived here, they also picture most of those who did as primitive," and ThinkProgress examines Columbus' real legacy:

Columbus, while remembered as a hero by many, was brutal to the native people. In his quest to find gold, he enslaved them, working thousands to death; brutalized them; and murdered them. [...]

Native Americans in what is now the United States would continue to be killed by later settlers in enormous numbers, have their land stolen by the government, and see their rights trampled on. This is Columbus's legacy, and the effects of his violent campaign and the decades of oppression afterward can still be seen today in the huge disparities between the Native American population and the population in general.

In a slightly more humorous vein, see this:

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 13, 2014 12:57 PM.

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