• Jennifer Bates (COM’16)

    Jennifer Bates (COM’16) Profile

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There are 6 comments on What’s Doing This Columbus Day Weekend

    1. YES, finally who someone who gets it. I enthusiastically refuse to observe this “holiday”. Colombus may have been a skilled navigator- but he was also willing to commit savage acts for personal gain, unfortunately setting a precedent for explorers who followed him.

  1. I would hope we could academically, politically, ethically, historically, clearly and compassionately reconsider the ramifications of “celebrating” a man who rigorous scholarship and indigenous and other experience have defined as a progenitor of genocide. We have but to look to the work of Jan Carew, John Henrik Clarke and Steven Newcomb, along with the great journalism on Indian Country Today Media Network, out of so many more, to see the contradictions in this sort of misplaced “celebration”. Numerous cities and municipalities have progressively and resoundingly done the correct work of reprioritizing this “holiday” for Indigenous People’s Day, Seattle is one of the most noted. One must look into the heart of history to see that the continuation of this “holiday weekend” is ethically unsound and directly disrespectful to the histories, legacies and lifeways of indigenous and African peoples. The scholarship, writing and activism that is coming clearly and powerfully from these communities should be enough to give us pause at this time, to realize that being caught up in the momentum of imperialistic reverie is no longer prudent nor reflective of the call to enlightened and enlivened humanity that is in such high demand in the kind of world within which we live and struggle for justice today.

    1. The people that came with Columbus on his journeys were not the best kind of people. These men were adventurers and some criminals. These men had their own agendas and were driven by adventure, greed, and power. Yes abuses did occur. Columbus was an explorer not a conqueror. To say that Columbus is responsible for genocide against native americans is historically incorrect. Was it Columbus who placed Native people in reservations?? Many like to say that it was a tragedy for natives have encountered Spaniards. Insinuating that they lived in paradise prior to the arrival of Europeans. Now we know that no such paradise existed, and that the Great american empires were ruled by genocide and slavery and religious human sacrifices of astonishing cruelty.

      1. Actually, history does show his complicity and how he treated the indigenous peoples. He can not be separated from the genocide because we desire to call him an “explorer” (what gives a person, nations, churches, the arrogance to assume that their “exploration” is a universal good for those so “encountered”?). And even then, Europe was in such dire straits for food, cultural rejuvenation and power that most of the “explorers” were part and parcel of all the colonial endeavors that came from the powers that be. They were mercenaries, not inert people looking for nice things to write storybooks about. Indigenous peoples and Africans have a much different take on that colonial history because we are still subject to Criminal Columbus’s actions and the systems of abuse and exploitation he set in place. He did not travel to set up cultural sharing or understanding. Reference the proclamation that he and other “explorers” read to the indigenous peoples. Read the racist roman catholic papal bulls of 1095, 1452,1455, 1493 at least. He was “exploring” on behest of those arrogant papal bulls. Of course he didn’t herd the Tainos and Arawaks onto reservations, but his anti-cultural arrogance and racist, sexist violence (spoken about in HIS diaries and the writings of Bartholome Las Casas, chronicled by such historical giants as Jan Carew and Dr. John Henrik Clarke) set up a clear context of “justified” exploitation based on the christian imperialism that was given foundation by Spain and the vatican in Rome…this already a multi-national conspiracy against humanity. It was a tragedy for Natives to have “encountered” Spaniards…and that has nothing to do with what their culture was like before that “encounter”. The system of European colonialism and genocide is not made acceptable by any lack of projected template of perfection or villainy by outsiders. And this focus on “human sacrifice” is also no justification for accepting the brutality and colonial priviege that Criminal Columbus created and gave vibrant, cruel life to. It does not justify an ongoing deification of Columbus and the other “explorers” all of whom sailed in on the waters of the intrinsically racist and arrogant ideation (see Steven Newcomb, “Pagans in the Promised Land”) of the catholic papal bulls that Francis has yet to rescind even though there are powerful calls coming from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and all over the world, even from within the catholic church (see the Loretto Community, also UU and World Council of Churches statements on this) due to the persistence of oppression that is directly related to that period of “discovery” ushered in by the mercenary exploitation of Criminal Columbus. If Columbus is not directly connected in this history’s most destructive and ubiquitous wave of colonial exploitation, why is there such broad (though often ignored) outcry, scholarship and resistance to the very process that Criminal Columbus clearly figures into as a foundational character, even by the words of his champions?

        (most people acknowledge he is central and foundational in this colonial endeavor…but the voices we hear and that get allowed are the sorts that are stated above, those that would throw Columbus yearly parties and parades, mostly coming from Europeans and other privileged by that theft of land, destruction of culture and the systematized anti-culture of violence that exists even now across areas of politics, housing, land, health care, spiritual life, economy and food acquisition…if we are really interested in humanity, we must listen and respond to that segment of humanity that is directly, historically and materially and emotionally affected by the exploitative endeavors of Criminal Columbus, religious imperialism and European colonialism in general)

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