Over the last few years, and rightfully so, cities across the country have been ditching the celebration of Columbus Day. After beating it into children for over a century that Columbus discovered America, the world is finally waking up to the reality that not only did Columbus not discover America, but he was a rapist murdering tyrant that set off a massive genocide. Sadly, however, there are still schools across the country today that will celebrate this tyrant and make a powerful point—history is written by the winner—even if the winner murders and pillages their way into it.
Historical records are kept by those in power, more often than not, those in power achieved that power through unscrupulous means and will do anything to keep it—up to and including writing heroic versions of history about themselves, that never happened. Columbus having his own national holiday proves this. As Napoleon once famously said, "What is history, but a fable agreed upon?"
Christopher Columbus is celebrated because he “sailed the ocean blue in 1492” and “discovered the new world,” but in addition to the fact that he didn't actually discover anything, there is a very dark side of Columbus’ life that is still not taught in school history books—despite the fact that schools are ceasing celebration of the national holiday.
As Irish Central noted, when Columbus and his men explored the lands of present-day Dominican Republican and Haiti, they found an overwhelming abundance of gold, and Columbus’ lust for fame and fortune “set into motion a relentless wave of murder, rape, pillaging, and slavery that would forever alter the course of human history.”
Catholic Priest Bartolomé de las Casas transcribed Columbus’ journals, and testified to the violence that was chronicled in them, noting that over 3 million people died of a result of the war and slavery championed by Christopher Columbus.
"There were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines,” de las Casas wrote.
Pointing out the fact that history is written by the winners, de las Casas finished his writing by asking this question: “Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."
Indeed, it has taken decades to get people to even question the official history of Columbus. However, it seems that this information awareness is happening more and more quickly thanks to an ever expanding access to information.
When Gutenberg introduced the printing press in 1440, the world had no idea that things were about to drastically change. Prior to the release and production of the printing press, books were incredibly expensive, rare, mostly written in Latin, and reserved for royalty and clergy.
The spread of information was kept under lock and key.
However, in just a few decades after its spread throughout the world, Gutenberg's press had rolled out hundreds of millions of books. The operation of a printing press became synonymous with the enterprise of printing and lent its name to a new branch of media, the press.
The world was becoming informed.
Hailed as one of the most important inventions in human history, the printing press helped societies break free from the ignorance and bondage imposed upon them by the keepers of information. Over the next 400 years, those with access to information about peace and freedom began to rise up against their oppressors. Instead of monarchies and dictatorships, republics and democracies were born.
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The world was well on its way to becoming a Land of the Free. Unfortunately, however, with information -- comes propaganda.
Not being able to control the dissemination of information, tyrants decided to control the actual information instead. Certain books were burned, banned, and shunned. Only establishment-supporting nationalistic books were promoted which led to entire societies believing their patriotic stories about how their countries 'played the key role in the development of the modern world.'
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." -George Orwell
For decades, the world was tricked by slick establishment propagandists, who wrote their version of heroic history. Tyrants were painted as saviors; mass murderers hailed as great discoverers. The world was slipping back into a dark age of control and manipulation.
However, there was one thing that these keepers of information didn't count on -- the internet.
The internet, like the printing press of the 15th century, has revolutionized the dissemination of information. With the internet came the instant and immediate access to any information, distance was no longer a barrier to communication, and the alternative media was born. Instead of millions of people getting info, it was now billions.
Access to this ever-expanding, limitless amount of information can now all be accessed by a device that fits in your pocket.
The encouraging effects of the spread of information are materializing daily.
Thanks to the massive spread of information, people are waking up to the ridiculous and vile nature of celebrating such unspeakable acts.
Cities across the country are now ditching Columbus Day because this information has freed them from believing a lie.
As CNN reports, just this year, at least a dozen US cities -- including San Francisco and Cincinnati -- decided to stop observing Columbus Day and will instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday.
This rejection of false history marks the beginning of the end of a fairy tale shoved down the throats of school children for far too long.
The gesture of the day is not enough, however, as long as we continue to ignore the current oppression of Native Americans. The indigenous people of the North American continent are still being oppressed and killed at a higher rate than anyone else. It is time we start to push this conversation to the forefront of the public debate.
There is still a long road ahead, but a lesser ignorance is the tool by which we reach the end of that road. Please help to spread this lesser ignorance by sharing this article.