The most absolutely appalling holiday in America is today, as we celebrate one of the most evil men to ever walk the planet. Columbus Day is an embarrasment. From American Heritage:
Columbus led an expedition against the defenseless Indians that was incredibly savage in its slaughter of the naked islanders and destruction of their villages. The heavily armed Europeans were accompanied by ferocious greyhounds each of which, Las Casas wrote, “in an hour … could tear 100 Indians to pieces because all the people of this island had the custom of going … nude from head to foot.” Many people were taken alive, and five hundred were sent as slaves to be sold in Castile…Today the Arawak community of peoples, those “innocents” of Father Las Casas, who once inhabited in such numbers the larger islands of the Caribbean and who welcomed the white men to the New World, has vanished from the West Indies.
When Columbus first arrived in the West Indies, he wrote to the Queen: “So tractable, so peaceable, are these people, that I swear to your Majesties there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked, yet their manners are decorous and praiseworthy.” Within months, he was cutting off their hands if they couldn’t find him gold and killing their babies and cooking them on spits to teach these people a lesson about respect. And yet, five years ago, George W. Bush issued a presidential proclamation celebrating “Columbus’ Bold Expedition and pioneering achievements”, a presidential order to celebrate genocide, greed, and evil. Of course, with the legalization of 15th century torture techniques and “shock and awe” to teach respect as two of his administration’s legacies, maybe that shouldn’t be so surprising.
RELATED: Here’s a pretty good comparison of Columbus to Heinrich Himmler.