Christopher Columbus: Villain

Christopher Columbus: Villain

Columbus Day, celebrating a murderer.
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When we celebrate Columbus Day we are celebrating a great man, the man who discovered America, right? Wrong. We are celebrating a barbarian. We are celebrating a grand thief, a perpetrator of genocide, a racist, a destroyer of culture, a rapist, a torturer, and a murderer of millions. Christopher Columbus was not some innocent, bright-eyed, brave mariner, he was America's first terrorist.

Native Americans discussed Columbus' Exploration.

Now, for many people, this comes as a shock. Our education system teaches children from a very young age that Columbus was a hero. Books and movies have been published showing such an idealistic version of this man. This is a continuous problem.

We have all heard “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…," a rhyme that has been passed down for generations.

We are taught that he was the first of many things, for example, he was apparently the first person to believe the world was round! Such an abstract new thought from Columbus' head, except that most if not all educated Europeans already knew this. Out of all the firsts that Columbus was known for, we are not taught about him being the first European mass murderer in America.

Columbus seemed to be in denial.

We are not taught many traits of our beloved American hero. For instance, although Columbus Day is celebrated all across the United States, Columbus never set foot in what is now the U.S.A, he instead landed in Haiti. Columbus went to sea in hopes of finding a shorter route from Spain to India, he later stumbled upon a land inhabited by millions of people yet he declared he discovered it.

After finding out these people were not from India he still decided to call them Indians, opposed to their true name, Tainos.

What later unraveled was a manic hunt for gold at whatever cost. Columbus killed 250,000 Natives, and after 50 years none were left. Disregarding the Natives true name was just the beginning of the destruction of their culture which later lead to the eradication of this truly unique tribe.

*The tale of Christopher Columbus gets more gruesome, read further at your own discretion.*

Americas First Serial Killer

Columbus was kindly greeted by the Natives who offered him gifts. He saw this as ignorance that he could make a profit off of. Although Columbus did not find the silk of India, he did find that most of the natives wore gold. And what later followed was the enslaving of the Natives.

In his own journal Columbus says, "...They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance... They would make fine servants... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."

He saw this as an opportunity to sell these men and to take advantage of them.

In order to use them for profit, he later described them as, "savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink the blood of their victims." The cannibal story is taught as a fact in some of today's schools! Columbus reported to the Queen that the land he stumbled upon was filled with Natives for slaves and mountains of gold, although this was not the case.

This idea pleased the Queen and she gave Columbus 17 ships and 1,200 men for his next expedition. His second voyage was riddled with complications and proved to be far less profitable than they were hoping.

Presenting the New Property to the Queen.

Columbus was known to work the Natives to death in the gold mines. The natives who were over 14 were required to hand Columbus a thimble of gold dust every three months. If they did not Columbus would cut their hands off and tie them around their neck until they bled out.

More than 10,000 people died handless. Columbus wanted as much gold as he could posses, he believed if you owned gold you owned everything you needed in the world.

During Columbus's first trip to the Caribbean, he left 39 men who would help themselves to Native women. When he returned with 1,200 soldiers, rape and pillaging became the norm. One of Columbus's men wrote in his journal about one of the female gifts that Columbus had given him to rape.

He documents, "having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun. But seeing that (to tell you the end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots."

Columbus would provide his men with sex slaves. He said himself that girls the age of 9-10 were in high demand. He and his men would raid villages for sex and sport. Columbus, in regards to his sex slave trade, wrote, "A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand."

This is still a simplistic version of what happened.

The sex slave industry that Columbus had created wasn't the only atrocious act he committed. Columbus and his men would test the sharpness of their blades by cutting the Natives in half. They also beheaded them and threw them into vats of boiling soap. Columbus and his men would lift infants from their mother's breasts to be thrown headfirst into large rocks.

Butcher shops were placed all around the Caribbean. Columbus and his men would use the Natives as dog food. They also would feed live babies to the fierce armored dogs.

This is just an overview of the horrendous actions our "beloved American hero" took part in. By celebrating Columbus Day what we are really celebrating is Taino Genocide Day. We are condoning this barbarians actions.

We should change what we celebrate during fall break. Instead of celebrating Columbus day we should remember the victims of Columbus's exploration. We should celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, like California does. Columbus was a villain, we should not get any days off because of this terrible, terrible man.

Cover Image Credit: Biography

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We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

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Love always,

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Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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I Want My School To Be As Diverse As Their Advertisements Claim They Are

Several campuses pride themselves on a wide range of individuals who attend their institutions, but what is the reality versus the things we see?

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When deciding on a college I wanted to know what I was going to be getting myself into for 4 years. I watched so many videos of Boise State Universities campus to find out what I had to look forward to. I was from a smaller town in Southern California so I was very used to the amount of diversity in my school and basically whole life at that point. I am a White Mexican-American female and while growing up in my city, I was a part of the minority of white individuals. I always wanted a campus who would represent me, or I could see myself at. I looked at so many ads before I did a campus tour and looked at stacks of brochures scattered across my room with my sister. I saw people who looked like the friends I had throughout my life, my family, and most importantly myself.

I took two tours of the campus and noticed that there was a lack of the people I saw on the brochures on the actual campus and city. I walked around only really seeing individuals who were white. I drove the 14 hours back home and continued to think about how I didn't see the diversity that was advertised in everything I saw from the university. It wasn't until the big move-in day that I realized the lack of diversity I was experiencing in the staff and the individuals I shared classrooms with. When you check the university's website you can see the numbers and the lack of diversity.

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The numbers I was seeing wasn't matching the things I was seeing around, and it wasn't until I conducted my own research and interviews with my peers that I noticed that I wasn't the only individual that was craving more diversity on campus. Other students wanted to more people who were like them around campus. Boise State University is not the only campus that will push diversity when its really to only meet their quota. Students who transferred from Arizona State University also mentioned to me that they face similar issues and feelings around diversity from their campus. I want to bring the topic of diversity to many of the student organizations on campus to help our voice be heard for a want for a more diverse campus.

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