Every year, we’re treated to the same routine. Those on the left bash Columbus and white people. Those on the right defend Columbus and white people.
Today’s Amren homepage features 4 headlines related to Columbus day:
To the extent that bashing Columbus (day) is largely the equivalent of bashing whites, and their historical achievement, I agree that we should not take such attacks passively. We should definitely defend Western civilization.
But, with all due respect, I must disagree with my friends at American Renaissance. If we are to reject Martin Luther King, and his associated “day,” due to his moral failings, then we should definitely reject Christopher Columbus, and his associated “day” due to his moral failings. If we are to condemn Mohammad for marrying a six-year-old girl, and keeping sex-slaves, then we must also condemn Columbus for similar crimes.
King was guilty of plagiary, disrespecting women (possibly including rape), associating with Communists and promoting racial favoritism.
According to the accounts we have at our disposal, Columbus committed the following crimes:
1.He cut off the hands of roughly 10,000 Natives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus mandated every indigenous Taino over the age of 14 provide him with a “hawk’s bell” of gold every three months. Those who failed to meet orders were “punished by having their hands cut off” and were “left to bleed to death,” Columbus’s son Fernando reported.
2.Columbus punished minor offenses by cutting off Natives’ noses and ears.
3.Columbus combatted resistance by releasing hunting dogs to rip Indians apart. People were “eaten (alive)” and “20 hunting dogs … were turned loose and immediately tore the Indians apart,” wrote Spanish historian and Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas, who witnessed much of the carnage.
4.Columbus and his crew hunted Natives for sport and used their bodies for dog food. If their dogs grew hungry, “Arawak babies were killed for dog food,” Bartolome de las Casas reported.
5.Columbus spearheaded the transatlantic slave trade. When he essentially massacred a whole race in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, he began enlisting Natives from other islands. He would also ship these people to Europe as slaves. When so many of these people died on the journey, the Spanish turned to Africa for slaves. Columbus’ son carried out the first Africa-to-Caribbean slave trade in 1505.
6.Columbus encouraged his men to rape Native women as young as 9 or 10.
In one particular documented example, Columbus shipmate Miguel Cuneo took a teenage “Caribbean girl as a gift from Columbus” when they embarked back to Spain. She “resisted with all her strength” his attempts to have sex with her, so he “thrashed her mercilessly and raped her.”
7.Columbus ordered his men “to cut off the legs of children who ran from them (in order) to test the sharpness of their blades,” according to Bartolome de las Casas. The invaders also reportedly “roasted” children “on spits,” and “hack(ed) the … children into pieces.”
Some of these accusations may be exaggerated. I hope so; it’s the stuff of nightmares. I have yet to see any contemporary accounts that describe Columbus as being benevolent.
We can do nothing to change the past, and I am not advocating for the destruction of monuments honoring Columbus, or the renaming of places that bear his name. But if anybody should honor Christopher Columbus, it would be the Pakistani rape gangs of Britain; they are his spiritual descendants.
The fact that Columbus was condemned, even in his own day, reflects well on Western civilization. Though he was never punished adequately for his crimes, at least he was held accountable to some extent:
Eventually, his methods and actions caught up with Columbus. A number of settlers lobbied against him at the Spanish court, accusing Columbus of mismanagement. In 1500, the king and queen sent in a royal administrator, who detained Columbus and his brothers and had them shipped home. Although Columbus regained his freedom and made a fourth and final voyage to the New World, he had lost his governorship and much of his prestige.
The fact that his excesses, against the natives, were recorded is testimony to the fact that some of his compatriots had a conscience.
At the same time, and up until recently, such savagery was commonplace in the non-Western world. Do we have any accounts of Mongols condemning the atrocities of Genghis Khan? Were there Zulu scholars who tried to reign in the barbaric practices of Chief Shaka? Do we have records of Aztec priests protesting the massive numbers of human sacrifices, whose hearts were torn out on the pyramids?
The fact that Columbus was condemned, and even punished, by his superiors – even though he was a national hero at the height of Spain’s glory – is something to be proud of. It shows that Europeans, flaws and all, at least strive toward a higher standard of morality.
This is what we should be proud of, and it’s necessary to make the distinction that so many of our leftist enemies refuse to make: Christopher Columbus does not equal white people or Western Civilization. We can condemn one, and defend the other.