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Columbus Day is celebrated every year by Americans on October 12th when in 1492, Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo) explored the Americas. We refer to him as the "Father of the New World." Between 1492 and 1503, Columbus completed four round-trip voyages, which mark the beginning of the European exploration and colonization of the American continents. All of this sounds very humble. It's a common misconception that he was trying to prove the world was round, which everyone already knew in the 6th century. And it's a common misconception that he was the first European to explore the Americas, which he was NOT, and in fact was preceded by the Norse expedition led by Leif Ericson 500 years earlier. And actually he never set foot on the mainland of North America.
Christopher Columbus' sole intentions were to enslave people to find gold for him, which led to the genocide of the Hispaniola natives.

Before 1492, the island inhabited above 3 million Taino Indians (native population of Haiti); and within 20 years the population was reduced to 60,000 peoples, which were completely extinct within 50 years. Millions of people were killed. This prompted Columbus to begin shipping African slaves to the island, which inadvertently makes Columbus "The Father of the Transatlantic Slave trade".

Columbus sought out to expand Christian religious influence to the indigenous people. To him, the indigenous people needed Christianity because they were mere heathens, but mostly because they were not white or rich. The reason Columbus was funded for his expedition in the first place was to convert "heathens" into Christians in an effort for European governments to control them.
Columbus had to find gold so he could pay back the investors. Because he needed gold, he also needed slaves to find this gold. Because he needed slaves, he would need swords, hunting dogs, cannons, and all sorts of weaponry to force the people to work for him. This resulted in war, rape, and horrific accounts that are shared in Columbus' personal journal.
Columbus still had not enough gold to pay back the Queen, so he used tactics described in the quote below from Howard Zinn--which really portrays the narrative of Christopher Columbus:

"Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were 'naked as the day they were born,' they showed 'no more embarrassment than animals.' Columbus later wrote: 'Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.'
But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. American Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death."

Bartolome De Las Casas, one of Columbus' men, was an eye witness to the atrocities. For example in one single day, he says the Spanish soldiers dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 native people. Other stories included cutting off the legs of children; men would test if they could cut a person in half; poured people full of boiling soap; and the list goes on.

In relation to the Syrian crisis, I remember watching a recent video of a Hungarian camerawoman continually tripping Syrian refugees as they ran with their children. And I think "there is still white vs brown mentality" all over the world, and it stems from this glorification of the "white hero".
And I want to share a quote that it puts it better than I do, from Bill Bigelow of the Huffington Post, "If Black people's lives mattered in our society, it would be inconceivable that we would honor the father of the slave trade with a national holiday. The fact that we have this holiday legitimates a curriculum that is contemptuous of the lives of peoples of color".

Masked by positive Columbus myths and celebrations, the United States government and citizens avoid taking responsibility for their own mindfulness (or actions). One action they could possibly take now is STOP CELEBRATING COLUMBUS DAY, and encourage all schools to stop the justification of celebrating this day because of tradition.


Original post @ Do not celebrate "Columbus Day"



-Cassie Kinney, veganslivingofftheland.blogspot.com
 

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sillybunnns said:
Christopher Columbus' sole intentions were to enslave people to find gold for him, which led to the genocide of the Hispaniola natives.
But! But! But! Okay.

I don't celebrate any holidays anyway. They're all insane.

I mean, look at Talk Like A Pirate Day. Did you know pirates were actually thieves? Who knew, right?
 

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Thank you for sharing this information.
 

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People have done horrible things to other people since the discovery of 'other people'. Spaniards and other Europeans did not then nor do now have a monopoly on brutal behavior. Aztecs performed human sacrifice. Cannibalism has been practiced by native peoples across the Pacific and South America. There are grave yards of slaughtered innocents on every continent. It's very well documented.

My point is, no people are innocent if you look far enough back in time.

Celebrate what you want. Personally I see value in What we call Western Civilization. Medicine, modernity, technology, individual independence, Liberalism -to name a few. For the good and the bad, Columbus is part of that story.

Anyway, judging the morality of a man who lived some 600 years ago by our modern standards seems a little ridiculous.
 
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People have done horrible things to other people since the discovery of 'other people'. Spaniards and other Europeans did not then nor do now have a monopoly on brutal behavior. Aztecs performed human sacrifice. Cannibalism has been practiced by native peoples across the Pacific and South America. There are grave yards of slaughtered innocents on every continent. It's very well documented.

My point is, no people are innocent if you look far enough back in time.

Celebrate what you want. Personally I see value in What we call Western Civilization. Medicine, modernity, technology, individual independence, Liberalism -to name a few. For the good and the bad, Columbus is part of that story.

Anyway, judging the morality of a man who lived some 600 years ago by our modern standards seems a little ridiculous.
Small pox blankets? Rape? Torture? Threats to murder them if they don't believe in "god"? (Then murder them because they refused to).
Yeah Idunno...
 

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AFAIK, Columbus Day is "celebrated" by the fact that governmental offices, the USPO and banks are closed. Stores also use the day as a theme for whatever promotion they have going on at the moment. I've never experienced any other "celebration" of the day in my six decades on the planet, although I guess there might be Christopher Columbus celebrations in some Italian-American communities.

For those who find the day objectionable, the recourse is to get it removed as a formal national holiday, which is the only celebration going on (i.e., the closing of government offices, USPO and banks mentioned above). I'll be happy to sign a petition to that effect, if someone ones to provide a link to an existing one or draw one up themselves.

Oh, and rape, torture and murder for religious and other reasons are still ongoing, in massive numbers.
 

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People have done horrible things to other people since the discovery of 'other people'. Spaniards and other Europeans did not then nor do now have a monopoly on brutal behavior. Aztecs performed human sacrifice. Cannibalism has been practiced by native peoples across the Pacific and South America. There are grave yards of slaughtered innocents on every continent. It's very well documented.

My point is, no people are innocent if you look far enough back in time.

Celebrate what you want. Personally I see value in What we call Western Civilization. Medicine, modernity, technology, individual independence, Liberalism -to name a few. For the good and the bad, Columbus is part of that story.
This is why I have become so misanthropic and why I believe no amount of redemption can save the human species from itself. Even if veganism becomes a dominant part of culture in the future, the path society will have taken to get there is one that has vile ugliness at every possible turn.

Considering that racism and hatred are still as strong as ever and haven't been eliminated, but merely driven underground by political correctness, I don't see a future in which animals are actually respected as individuals, just like minorities aren't respected as individuals in many circles today. It's not possible to legislate morality, and it's not even possible to shame people into forming moral beliefs. All you can do is achieve compliance, not agreement. And with compulsory forced compliance that conflicts with individual autonomy, the resulting bitterness, resentment, and violent rebellion becomes inevitable. 134 school shootings since Newtown prove this.

I believe one day all humans on this planet will eat a vegan diet, wear vegan clothing, and will no longer be free to openly express thoughts and feelings of speciesism. That day may not be as far off into the future as a lot of vegans think. Undoubtedly, it will be easy to argue that transitioning to such a world is a huge accomplishment, but is that really a world in which we want to live? How we get there and why we get there are important. It's not going to be out of compassion, understanding, and empathy for the animals, but about our selfish desire for survival. Animal agriculture is not sustainable for over seven billion humans on this planet. The planet simply isn't big enough. Ultimately, what will propel humanity into widespread veganism will tragically be more of the same human self indulgence, callousness, and hypocrisy that our species has been demonstrating rather consistently since Adam and Eve.

And so I disagree with the value in what you call western civilization. I see an organized society, but I do not see a civilization, because I see nothing civilized in the culture of carnism1 carnism2 that dominates all industrialized nations in this world.

There are redeeming qualities in certain areas of society and that are exhibited by certain individuals who try to promote good things that cause no harm. But these redemptive efforts do not exist in a vacuum and must be viewed in the context of the vile, repugnant, detestable concrete jungle of a world we have created for ourselves, collectively speaking, as well as the world of enslavement we have created for animals who we use for food, clothing, entertainment, companionship, and biomedical research. Humans are a cancer to each other and to this planet. Columbus, Vlad the Impaler, and Hitler are just a few of the many, many examples of this throughout history.
 

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Please don't think I'm into Columbus the hero or anyything. I grew up with lots of second/third generation Italian Americans, and there were parades and school holiday on Columbus Day through I guess the late 1970s as I remember?

It was more a celebration of Italy, though, with all the food and music and wine.

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This is why I have become so misanthropic and why I believe no amount of redemption can save the human species from itself. Even if veganism becomes a dominant part of culture in the future, the path society will have taken to get there is one that has vile ugliness at every possible turn.
I don't believe humans need redemption. That implies awareness of sin. I do not believe humans evolved with any particular moral awareness beyond a sense of self-preservation and species preservation, rather morality as we know it has been developed over time -with preservation as the foundation. A learned lesson, if you will, to improve civilization incrementally. I imagine 500 years from now we will be looked at in much the same way we look at those living in the 15th century. As it should be, for how can we possibly be held responsible for moral terpitudes we cannot perceive?
Fortunately for our species, misanthropy doesn't get much traction in successful civilizations. If it did, there wouldn't be any.

Considering that racism and hatred are still as strong as ever and haven't been eliminated, but merely driven underground by political correctness, I don't see a future in which animals are actually respected as individuals, just like minorities aren't respected as individuals in many circles today. It's not possible to legislate morality, and it's not even possible to shame people into forming moral beliefs. All you can do is achieve compliance, not agreement. And with compulsory forced compliance that conflicts with individual autonomy, the resulting bitterness, resentment, and violent rebellion becomes inevitable. 134 school shootings since Newtown prove this.
We legislate morality all the time. In fact, the basis of virtually every system of law on the planet begins with defining what is moral and what is not. I can't think of a single successful civilization in human history that did not legislate morality. I suspect there isn't one.
Shaming is also a powerful tool that has been used since humans lived in groups of three or more. Ask any catholic about how effective shame can be.

Every grouping, society, civilization of humans engage so based on formal or informal agreement. Behavior is determined, in large part by this agreement. Other than the smallest of children, every human has choice to stay or go. A good example of this right now are the hundreds of thousands of humans making the choice to leave Syria and separate from that group. Many choose to stay, but they all have the choice, barring incarceration.

I don't know where you live, but where I live, my city/town, we all agree on thousands of things. 99.9% agree to obey traffic signals, standing in line and the supermarket in an orderly fashion, we open doors for each other, we agree not to murder or steal from one another, we agree to pool our resources and build schools, parks, and roads and other public
improvements. We agree all the time.

Sometime we disagree, but we agree to air our differences in forums we call courts, city councils, and town meetings. And it works.

I believe one day all humans on this planet will eat a vegan diet, wear vegan clothing, and will no longer be free to openly express thoughts and feelings of speciesism. That day may not be as far off into the future as a lot of vegans think. Undoubtedly, it will be easy to argue that transitioning to such a world is a huge accomplishment, but is that really a world in which we want to live? How we get there and why we get there are important. It's not going to be out of compassion, understanding, and empathy for the animals, but about our selfish desire for survival. Animal agriculture is not sustainable for over seven billion humans on this planet. The planet simply isn't big enough. Ultimately, what will propel humanity into widespread veganism will tragically be more of the same human self indulgence, callousness, and hypocrisy that our species has been demonstrating rather consistently since Adam and Eve.
While I share your belief that current agriculture practices are not sustainable, especially if everyone ate like an American, I recognize that there is no species on this planet that acts beyond its own self interest or in the interest of it's immediate group. In this regard, humans really aren't doing anything that much different from any other organism. Surviving, multiplying-to the limit of the surrounding environment. After that they either contract or seek new environments to expand into. It's not human -it is biology.

The human population will embrace veganism when they have to and no sooner -and it won't be because we care about the welfare of animals. You are correct on this point. But this isn't hypocracy. It is just another organism adapting to a changing environment in order to survive and possibly thrive.

And so I disagree with the value in what you call western civilization. I see an organized society, but I do not see a civilization, because I see nothing civilized in the culture of carnism1 carnism2 that dominates all industrialized nations in this world.
It is your right to disagree, of course, and I can at least respect the zeal of your conviction. Many industrialized Western nations have even codified this right to disagree in their formal documents.
I might point out, however, that this conversation (or any other conversation on the entire internet) would not be happening without industrialization.

Indeed, that TED Talk you have linked there in your post wouldn't exist, carnism would never be defined, nor would that woman giving it have a degree in psychology -a thoroughly Western academic discipline.

For the record,
As far as Columbus day is concerned, I couldn't care less if it is a holiday or not. I'm not Italian, catholic, or 100% white. If people want to celebrate this day it's fine by me. It costs me nothing.
 
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