Christopher Columbus is one of the most controversial figures in history. In 1492 he sailed from Spain to discover a route to Asia. What he got instead was the discovery of America. Was Columbus truly a hero for the discovery of the New World? Historical facts lead to a different conclusion.
Good Morning, this is Alaina Hahn, radio station KXPC with comments on the controversy surrounding Columbus Day.
In school textbooks, history books, and other forms of literature and media he has been portrayed as a great explorer. What Columbus should be famous for is death, slaughter, and the conquering of a land that was not his. Columbus turned the discovery of the Americas into a takeover that led to the almost complete extinction of a glorious people, the Taino.
The Taino were the very first people to make contact with Columbus and his men in 1492. They lived in a very peaceful world with their own land, language, culture and religion. They had almost no weapons and very few enemies. They were also highly self-sufficient, relying on the land for both food and shelter. Columbus wrote in his diary on October 12 1492, “They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can be easily made Christians for they seem to have no religion…they have no arms, no knowledge of arms, are very timid, and are naked. They are suitable to be governed, made to work, sow, to build villages, be taught to wear clothing, observe our customs, and to do everything else that shall be necessary.” Columbus had no regard for the culture, language, and customs the Taino had already put in place.
When Columbus returned to Spain in January 1493, he had 1,200 Taino slaves with him. They were paraded along the streets of Spain naked and sold to Spanish citizens as slaves. The priest Las Casas wrote, “From the beginning the Indians regarded the Spaniards as angels from heaven. Only after the Spaniards used violence against them, killing,...