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Official: Christopher Columbus

“Christopher Columbus was a rapist, racist, pedophile, and genocidal maniac.” That’s what activists claim today, and they have been successful in influencing many people, including schools, cities, states and Indigenous groups, against Columbus, Columbus Day and Columbus’ statues. 

Geography

As a Hispanic of Indigenous heritage I took the time to investigate, since my understanding as a kid growing in Puerto Rico was that he was a friend to our ancestors, the Tainos. Owing to the fact that my mother language is Spanish I was able to read all primary sources and documents on him. My reasoning was that I was not going to defend someone who perhaps, was not the hero we learned growing up in school.

 

The first thing to notice is that all this anti-Columbus misinformation comes from history revisionists of the 20th and 21st century, and not from any primary source from the 15th and 16th century. Many of these activists tend to be anti-Americans and anti-religious people. 

 

Their claims against Columbus are a mix of lies, fabrications, half-truths, and distortions. Some of them purposely misquote Columbus by mistranslating words, or putting sentences together of things he said, but in different timelines of history, or under different circumstances or a different context. This way they are creating false narratives to portray Columbus as they wish they want us to see him.

 

Another trick used by revisionists is to misquote from a couple of books written by Fray Bartolome de las Casas, a priest who was a friend of Columbus. Las Casas often spoke against the mistreatment that some Spaniards committed against the natives. The problem is that they are citing things that happened when Columbus was not around, or when he was already dead. In other words, they are blaming Columbus for things he did not commit, often in places he never reached or never settled. 

 

There are other tricks used by revisionists, too many to post here, but in the meantime, here are some facts about Columbus and the natives he met: 

 

Columbus’ exploration mission was not just to explore lands and to find a new route to the Indies, but to introduce to history the civilizations he would discover. It was Columbus who introduced us to the civilizations of natives he encountered, including the Tainos and the Caribs. 

 

Because of Columbus, we now know what they looked like, what some of their customs were, we know about their culture and some of their beliefs as well. We also know about their contributions to the world, like the invention of hammocks and canoes. We know about tobacco, corn, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables that were not available in the Old World. Some Taino words were also incorporated into the Spanish language. For example, words like huracan (hurricane), canoa (canoe), hamaca (hammock), are not Spanish, but Indigenous words. 

 

Though some places were renamed by Columbus, others kept, or went back, to their original native name, including Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. 

 

For myself and other Puertoricans, we called each other “Boricuas” because “Borinquen” was the Indigenous name of the island. 

 

It was Columbus who brought Christianity to the New World, which was one of his main exploration purposes. The union of Spaniards and natives brought forth Hispanics into existence. All this demonstrates that the charge of racism against Columbus is absurd. 

 

In the real story of Columbus, he made a peace treaty with one of the chiefs of Hispaniola. He also adopted an Indigenous young man who became one of his interpreters. As governor, Columbus was to protect the natives from any abuse made by any colonists, which he did and was the reason some of the colonists rebelled against him in mutiny. 

 

This is another thing revisionists use against Columbus: They claim Columbus was removed from office for mistreating the colonists, but in reality, Columbus was never tried or charged, because the king and queen of Spain did not believe the accusations. Instead, they arrested those who raised accusations against Columbus, and charged them with mutiny. Columbus also was the first person reporting those who were abusing the natives, which was by the way, against the laws of Spain.

 

Revisionists argue that we should not celebrate Columbus Day because, according to them, it represents imperialism, conquest and slavery. The problem with this fallacy is that imperialism, conquest and slavery were universal, and if that is the reason to not celebrate Columbus Day, then by the same token, we should not celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day either because they were doing the same. The other problem is that anti-Columbus activists want to celebrate Indigenous peoples by renaming Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This in spite of having two Indigenous Peoples’ Day already on the calendar: One is known as The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, observed in August, and the other is Native American Heritage Day, observed on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Not to mention November is Indigenous Peoples Month. In other words, there is no reason to rename and eliminate Columbus Day. The same activists want to rename Thanksgiving Day as “UnThanksgiving Day” but thankfully (no pun intended) they have not been successful. However, their propaganda has been the cause of vandalization of statues, not only of Columbus, but also of Washington, Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and many others. All this is designed to put people against each other, blacks against whites, Indigenous peoples against Italian Americans or Columbus Day supporters.

 

The result of all this is the opposite of what revisionists claim they are for. They claim to be in favor of “inclusion” while they exclude the most important Italian in history, Christopher Columbus. African American people’s images in products like Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima have been removed. The Indigenous person in the Land O Lakes butter was also removed, while sport teams are eradicating Indigenous names, like RedSkins and others. 

 

Revisionists are very clever with their tactics and objections against Columbus. This is why I have not one or two, but four (and a fifth in the making) books defending Christopher Columbus. Whatever I did not say here, is most certainly in one of my books, blogs or social media posts. My first book remains the most important because it debunks the claims of Columbus being a racist, rapist, pedophile and genocidal maniac. It also explains the difference between the vikings and Columbus’ explorations; the real meaning of the word “discovery”; why his discoveries are one of the greatest events in history, and why he was a hero. The book is titled “Christopher Columbus the Hero- Defending Columbus from ModernDay Revisionism.” The book is available in Spanish as well. Its second part (Christopher Columbus The Hero.2.) explains why Columbus was arrested during his third voyage, and it debunks the claims made by the mutineers who rose against him. My other book is “Columbus Day vs Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” which includes a short biography on Columbus and it debunks some of the claims revisionists have made against the Pilgrims, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Linconl, the Constitution, etc. Lastly, “Christopher Columbus and the Christian Church” tells us the story on how Columbus brought Christianity to the New World, and the missionaries who came after him, fighting  for the human rights of the Indigenous people. All these books were revised and updated in 2023, which is why I would recommend people to get them directly from Amazon or Kindle. Here is the link.

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