Columbus day is a day of remembrance for America’s favorite rapist, kidnapper, proto-terrorist, and mass-murderer, Christopher Columbus. We all know the two stories. Christopher Columbus is looking for India, accidentally shows up on the New World, makes friends with the native people, thanksgiving, Pocahantas, then the natives started being jerks so we had to fight them, then they just started fucking dying for some reason, so we gave them land, and now we have the United States, and all that shit. Nowadays, you probably know bits and pieces of the real story, how the American Indians were the more hospitable of the two cultures while the Europeans came with a healthy amount of guns and swords to spread religion (one that made conquest okay) and acquire more wealth. You’ve probably heard about how Columbus sold Native girls into sexual slavery, put the rest of the natives into work slavery in the gold mines, mutlilating, hanging and burning native bodies and feeding the babies to attack dogs. This along with smallpox and the plague brings us to our current nation built on the domination of non-white bodies and their corpses. So in short Columbus day, slavery and colonialism, yay genocide for a Eurocentric majority who still thinks that he’s a saint. Problem is, not everyone feels that way.
That brings us to this image:
That’s not Saddam, that’s a picture of a statue of Columbus being taken down by Venezuelans in Caracas. In 2004, that statue was pulled down during celebrations of the Day of the Indigenous Resistance – which is what Hugo Chavez renamed Columbus Day in 2002 to commemorate people like Taino Chief Hatuey, who fought in guerrilla warfare against the Spaniards who were coming to conquer Cuba. Hatuey was burned alive at the stake.
Nowadays, we like to take this day off to go on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr and share images or thoughts on how fucked up Columbus was and how fucked up this day is. I used to hate that, because I would think that these people are just talking out the mouth with zero plans to do anything whatsoever to fix or change it.
And that may be true, but now I think that recognizing that someone who has been elevated to national holiday status is a genocidal maniac and using the day off to make it known is a pretty good step forward for our national consciousness. So let’s take the time today to celebrate people like Chief Hatuey and the fight of indigenous peoples against colonial imperialism, and yeah, fuck Christopher Columbus. Happy Day of Indigenous Resistance, everybody.