Christopher Columbus: father of modern-day white supremacy (part 1)

columbo

The popular mythology that has surrounded Christopher Columbus for the last five centuries, the exaltation of him as “discoverer” of the Americas a.k.a. the ‘New World’, was still being taught as part of elementary school curriculum and touted as historical fact in classrooms all across America as late as the dawn of the dawn of the 21st century, decades after many scholars had begun unmasking this lie. (*) In this version of history, not only was Columbus the first person of importance to step foot on the American continent, but he was also touted as a man of great distinction and honor. It isn’t until students enter the college-level (if they are so fortunate as to be able to attend college) that their history courses begin delving into the truth of Columbus’s alleged “discovery”, or into the truth about the rest of American history for that matter. By the time they’ve reached this point, however, students have been fed so many tales – like those of Columbus’s “great expeditions”, British Pilgrims landing on “Plymouth Rock”, and their subsequent harmonious feast of “Thanksgiving” with the less-cultivated “Indians” – so many times that they can recite them verbatim. By this time most students have already formed their basic opinions and their political ideology has all but hardened into impenetrable stone. Nevertheless, due to persistent and commendable efforts by scholars of African and Native American descent, in addition to some white and Jewish scholars who came to realize the true nature of European colonialism, the last 50-60 years have seen one blow dealt after the next to the deception that is the Columbus myth. As global populations emerged from underneath the desolate cloud of colonialism in the 20th century, so too did the truth. With that truth comes the stark reality that, if Christopher Columbus is to be recognized as the “founder” or “discoverer” of anything of consequence, it’s the unfortunate discovery that political advantages can be obtained by instilling in people a false belief in white superiority.

an artist's highly fictionalized version of Columbus's voyage to the 'New World.'
an artist’s highly fictionalized version of Columbus’s voyage to the ‘New World.’

Columbus had no part in discovering America in any way, shape or form. The Americas were discovered some 250 centuries ago by travelers from eastern Asia who likely crossed on foot across a theorized land bridge. These people relatively quickly populated the American continent from North to South, numbering anywhere from 50-75 million by the time of Columbus’s first encounter with the Arawak people of the Bahamas in 1492. [Zinn, Howard. (1980). A Peoples’ History of the United States: 1492-present. Page 18] In North and South America alike, people “were using irrigation canals, dams, were doing ceramics, weaving baskets, [and] making cloth out of cotton” for themselves. [Zinn, 19] In many Ancient American societies, as in Ancient African societies, “power was shared between the sexes and the European idea of male dominancy and female subordination in all things was conspicuously absent…” [Zinn, 20] This Ancient world, which was closer to being a truly egalitarian society than anything we can imagine today, was often referred to as the “New World” by members of the “Old World”, i.e. those living east of the Atlantic. For five-hundred years it has been taught that Christopher Columbus was the first explorer from the Old World to encounter the New World, but even this is a dubious claim. There are reports of everyone from the Ancient Egyptians to the Ancient Phoenicians and even the Vikings having traveled to the New World or at least making contact centuries ahead of Columbus’s expeditions. (**) In fact when he first set sail on a quest for gold, Columbus’s original destination was East Asia, which he believed he’d reach by traveling west and circling the world. Once he’d reached the shores of the Bahamas by way of the Canary Islands, he was certain he’d found a western route to India (thus, the reason he dubbed the islands the “West Indies” and its inhabitants “Indians”). The first time he stepped foot on Cuba he believed he’d come upon the island nation of Japan. [Clarke, John Henrik. (1993). Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: slavery and the rise of European capitalism. Page 31]  

Columbus_explaining_his_discovery_to_King_Ferdinand_and_Queen_IsabellaIn order to adequately tell the story of Columbus’s journey, it’s essential that we first take into account the situation Europe was in at the time he set sail on his most famous voyage – a voyage being financed by none other than Spain’s renowned royal monarchs who, not coincidentally, were the most powerful monarchs in all of Europe. The European continent at the end of the 15th century was in many ways a desolate place. It was still emerging out from under the dark cloud of the Middle-Ages and the Crusades, which had seen Europe’s population drastically reduced by nearly 1/3rd. The marriage between the two Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, breathed new life into Spain, which had for the previous 700 years been under the control of the Moors. The Royal couple’s marriage significantly brightened prospects for the future in the minds of many Europeans. For after centuries of Europeans slaughtering each other in the name of religious war between the competing ideologies of Catholicism and Protestantism (today we’d call this religious sectarian violence), Europe began setting its sights elsewhere on the globe. With these ambitions came a new era of European nationalism, nationalism not concerned with any potential havoc it might wreck on other regions of the world. Ferdinand and Isabella desired to accumulate the most gold, prestige and wealth they could obtain, and it was for this purpose that they financed Columbus’s expedition to Asia. In return for discovering and returning the wealth to the Royal House of Spain, Columbus was promised 10% of all the profits gained from the riches he found, governorship of all newfound lands, and he’d officially be knighted “Admiral of the Ocean Sea.” The tireless explorer had made plenty of promises, and for him falling short was simply not an option.

christopher-columbusslavery-clarkeThe voyage popularly known as “Columbus’s first voyage” may not have actually been his first after all. Small bands of Portuguese boats had been sailing up and down the coast of West Africa, which they unsurprisingly called the “Gold Coast”, since at least as early as 1438. Just as Columbus came to the Bahamas in search of the golden treasures of Asia, so too did the first Portuguese explorers wind up on Africa in search of a shorter route to Asia. [Clarke, 60] While it cannot be proved conclusively whether Columbus ever took part in these expeditions, which were in their infancy when Columbus himself was a child, circumstantial evidence exists that seems to suggest that he did. A primary example is an entry in his diary which reads, “As a man and boy, I sailed up and down the Guinea Coast for 23 years.” The only probable reason for him to have been repeatedly sailing back and forth the Coast of Guinea in these formative years was in all likelihood involvement in setting up what would later become the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. [Clarke, 27] And what did these sailors find when they first stepped upon the shores of Africa? Contrary to what’s been repeated and uncritically accepted as fact by some scholars for nearly five centuries, the Europeans did not come upon “savage”, “uncivilized” people who were living in some sort of “primitive” state in the jungles. Far from it, they came upon magnificent civilizations that dwarfed the size of anything found in Europe during the time. As the late highly-esteemed historian John Henrik Clarke put it, “There were, in the African past, rulers who extended kingdoms into empires, great armies that subdued entire nations, generals who advanced the technique of military science, scholars with wisdom and foresight, and priests who told of gods that were kind and strong.” It wasn’t until later, “with the bringing of the African into the New World, every effort was made to destroy his memory of having ever been part of a free and intelligent people.” [Clarke, 82-83] Not only did the people of Africa have their own technologically advanced civilizations, but also religious customs and a belief in a Higher Being that pre-date the development of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and every other major world religion by thousands of years. The justification most often cited by the powers of Europe (and still hinted at by American missionaries today) about spreading “Christian civilization” to “uncivilized” and “godless” nations and peoples are nothing but lies straight from the pits of hell. The only thing advanced about Europeans was that they had developed the gun, and without it they would never have succeeded in conquering the world. With the development of guns came mankind’s power to in effect play God; for with something as simple as pulling a trigger an entire life can be ended.

When the men from Portugal first stepped foot on the West Coast of Africa to what is now the nation of Ghana, they were greeted very warmly by the local population and were an object of immense curiosity. The Ghanaians treated these lost travelers with the utmost respect and dignity, and sought to accommodate them as one would a guest or tourist visiting from a foreign nation. The two peoples apparently became so fond of each other that they eventually established trading relations and the Portuguese were allowed to build several small trading posts along the Guinea Coast. This trading partnership would last for more than four decades. It was also during one of these travels to and from the West Coast of Africa that in either 1441 or 1442 – less than a decade before Columbus was born – several African slaves were brought to the European continent. King Afonso V of Portugal, upon seeing these foreign slaves as they arrived at his Court, mistook them to be visiting royalty from far-away kingdoms because of the clothes they wore and the gifts they bore him, all of it of exceptionally high quality. [Clarke, 27] Indeed, these were not slaves in the modern sense of the word. Europeans however, whose minds couldn’t even begin to grasp the different traditions and customs of Africa, would later use this practice as a means of justifying their own enslavement of Africans.

A realistic artistic depiction of an ancient Asante King in what is now Ghana. painted by  Alfred Smith.
A realistic artistic depiction of an ancient Asante King in what is now Ghana. painted by Alfred Smith.

These first Africans brought to Europe by Portuguese traders were in fact prisoners-of-war who’d been taken captive after being in on the losing side of a battle between warring African families, nations or tribes. This practice was a remnant of the commonly-practiced slavery of the Ancient World, a form of involuntary servitude which, as terrible as it was, bore little resemblance to the slavery emerging with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Slavery in the ancient pre-Columbus world, while by no means ideal or necessarily even tolerable, nevertheless existed at some point in every single region of the globe; in Europe, in Asia, and even the Americas. It was akin to what we now know as “indentured servitude” and was not determined by the amount of melanin in one’s skin. In the system as it was practiced in African cultures in particular, “the slave was usually a loser in a local war. He was not enslaved separately from his family and no slave was sent outside of Africa. Some slaves with talent rose to be kings in the very house in which they had been slaves.” [Clarke, 78] If one tribe or family was on the losing side of a conflict, they were taken captive and made to work for a designated period of time, and when that time was up they were free to return home. In contrast to the European-American system of slavery that followed, one was not born into slavery, nor was he a slave for life, nor were all of his descendants predetermined to be slaves. Most importantly, slavery did not exist on account of one race of people being recognized as inferior or subservient to another race. Without the designation of racial castes the extreme dehumanizing aspect was not altogether present. [Clarke, 51] Neither was there the incessant cracking of the slave-master’s whip, the unspoken rape of the women, the separation of entire families, or the sadistic acts of mutilation and torture of the European trade that are so rarely talked about. Europeans who understood nothing about African culture decided to misrepresent African customs and use them as a tool for propaganda. [Clarke, 97-98] The justification was that “Africans are enslaving other Africans, so why can’t we just enslave them all too?” To this very day there are those who insist that Africans are at least partially responsible for their own enslavement as well as all the other atrocities that have been visited upon their continent. Those who advocate this point of view, however, often brush under the rug the most ruthless tactics Europeans used to force Africans into the slave trade. These tactics were similar to modern-day proxy wars (not coincidentally a tactic often employed by the United States, most recently in Syria), in that the Europeans would pick one side in local conflicts and supply them with arms and ammunition in order so that they would carry out raids on enemy villages, kidnap the inhabitants and trade them off to their arms-suppliers, i.e. the Europeans. This is only part of the story though, because for every tribe that jumped at the chance to capture and trade away their adversaries in exchange for this advanced weaponry, there was another tribe that expressed discomfort at the thought of sending their neighbors off into foreign lands that they knew nothing of. Some altogether refused to take part in it, but many who didn’t wish to take part in this ugly scenario were forced to choose, quite literally, at gun-point. [Clarke, 53] The choice they were given was this: ‘Either you use these weapons to round up and deliver slaves to us, or we’ll just take our guns and ammunition and trade them with the next tribe so that they might use them to capture and enslave you and your family. It’s either them or you!

Emina Castle Fortress
Emina Castle Fortress

This was the atmosphere the Portuguese helped usher in when they returned to the trading posts in 1482 for what Ghanaians assumed was just another one of their many visits. Something was different now, however, and at least one King – Nana Kwamena Ansa – began taking notice of what he felt was a “strange difference” in the attitudes of the Portuguese men. He implied as much when addressing the Portuguese Commander, Diego de Azambuia. On one of their last cordial meetings, Nana Ansa remarked how “a great number [of your crew], richly dressed, are anxious to be allowed to build houses, and to continue to build among us.” This Ansa believed to be an unwise decision, for “the passions that are common to us all men will therefore inevitably bring disputes and it is far preferable that both our nations should continue on the same footing as they have hitherto have done, allowing your ships to come and go as usual; the desire of seeing each other occasionally will preserve peace between us.” [Clark. 45, 60] It wasn’t long after Nana Ansa delivered this warning that the Portuguese began building a huge fortress with the help of the Africans they’d befriended, a fortress to be known as Emina Castle. The Ghanaians did not know that they were being deceived, however, or that these men who professed to be their friends would use this fortress as a warehouse to trap them and their families in cages, stripping them of everything they knew and loved, before shackling them and loading them onboard a ship bound for the West.

A view from the top of the fortress of Emina Castle in Ghana.
A view from the top of the fortress of Emina Castle in Ghana.
"The Door of No Return" in which millions of Africans passed through before being loaded on board a ship headed westward, never to see their home continent again. Goree Island, Senegal.
“The Door of No Return” in which millions of Africans passed through as they were loaded on board a ship heading westward, never to see their home continent again. Goree Island, Senegal.

Castle Emina, which had a capacity of 1,000 people at a time, would be only the largest of the more than fifty slave posts set up along the the Guinea Coast. From one slave-post alone, located on the tiny island of Goree right off the coast of Senegal, millions of Africans walked through the “Door of No Return” before being loaded onto ships and sent on the nightmarish journey of the ‘Middle Passage.’ (^) Their skins were branded as if they were nothing more than chattel, and the untold number of men, women and children were so tightly packed below the top-deck that it created the most miserably intolerable conditions. The passengers could neither stand up straight nor lie down properly, having less room to move than “a man in his coffin.” Often a captive would have his or her ankle shackled to another captive’s. This was done in order to prevent potential escapes, revolts or suicides. The extreme heat inside the lower decks would for many prove unbearable; the air “reeked of excrement and infected sores.” [Clarke, 79] When the upper deck’s door was occasionally opened for a split-second, the light of the sun shining through must have felt to the prisoners as if they were looking up at the earth’s surface from the deepest darkest pits of hell.

Although Portugal was primarily responsible for the very beginnings of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (^^), the next three centuries would see them followed and superseded by nearly every major European nation that hoped to stake a claim and capitalize off this immensely profitable enterprise. The first slaves were brought from Africa to the Americas by Portuguese and Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500’s. [Gates, Henry Louis. (2011). Life upon These Shores: looking at African American history, 1513-2008. Pages 3-11]. For one hundred years Portugal and Spain enjoyed complete monopoly over the African slave-trading business, but as the 16th century they came to a close they found themselves in an uncomfortably close competition with the Netherlands. Later Denmark and Sweden joined in the business as well, but no nations came anywhere close to rivaling France and Great Britain once they came to dominate the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. And so, after centuries of ravaging, pillaging and raping the entire continent of Africa from the west coast to the east, north coast to the south, Europe came to view Africa as essentially little more than a breeding grounds for slaves, slaves who could be easily exploited and subjugated for Europe’s own financial gain while feeling no remorse at all. What had begun as a singular country’s enterprise had grown into an entire continent’s entire means of obtaining wealth. A viewpoint was born and nurtured over time out of the need to justify these actions, and soon it would become accepted as an undisputed fact. “This is just the way things are and were always meant to be,” people would tell themselves; with Europe the world’s dominant master and Africa its subservient slave. This false reality was propagated and expanded upon until it became for many an undisputed fact. From then on history books would only speak of Africa and its people as if their history had begun only begun with slavery. In reality, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade marked the turning point when Africa’s long history of technological progress, advancements, and place of pre-eminence in the world came to an abrupt halt, submerged in a state of despondency that it’s only recently begun recovering from.

A British blueprint of a slave ship, demonstrating how they were to pack as many Africans as possible into a ship for the nightmare known as the 'Middle Passage'.
A British blueprint of a slave ship, demonstrating how they were to pack as many Africans as possible into the ship’s lower decks for the nightmare journey known as the ‘Middle Passage’.

Just how many Africans lost their lives as a result of the slave trade (and later, in Europe’s “scramble for Africa” in the 20th century) is a number too large to ever realistically calculate. The figure most often cited by historians is likely far too conservative an estimate. (*^)  20th century writer John Weatherwax wrote in a short book published in 1963 titled The Man Who Stole a Continent that, of the more than 20 million Africans who were sold into bondage, there were “ten million [sent] to the Eastern Hemisphere and ten million to the Western Hemisphere.” In addition to those millions, some 80 million others died, many in the slave raids on their villages in which “the very young and the very old and the very sick were killed.” Others died “from exposure, disease and grief during shipment abroad, and some by suicide at the water’s edge or in transit.” [Weatherwax, page 3. Also quoted on Clarke, p. 48]

Words cannot express how truly cataclysmic these events were for the future course of the world’s history. Regardless of whatever amount of prejudice and xenophobia might have existed in the world before Columbus, the seeds of modern-day racism were undoubtedly planted during the Europeans’ earliest voyages and came into full fruition with the rapid expansion of slavery. Europeans’ nationalist ambitions and their desire to use and control all of the world’s resources for their own economic benefit resulted in Africa being designated the continent where slaves were born. Henceforth the unenviable role of the slave was to be imposed only on people of African descent; a burden which was to be suffered by them alone. This posed somewhat of a problem for the European man’s conscience, however. How could he, who claimed to be the standard-bearer for everything good and just in the world, justify pillaging and destroying an entire continent, robbing it of its resources, and reducing its inhabitants to a state of eternal subservience? It would require a moral justification that could convince not only those whom he conquered that everything he did was for the cause of righteousness; he also had to convince himself. It was through the Church that this purpose was served. With uncompromising religious fervor, these colonizers set out to make the case that they had come to spread Christian civilization and word of Jesus Christ’s salvation to the meek and lowly of the world. This was the birth of racism and white supremacy.

a haunting portrayal of the nightmarish conditions on board the 'Middle Passage'.
a haunting portrayal of the inhumane treatment prisoners received en route for the Americas.

(**This is the second in a two-part series. Click here to read part 2.)

Notes:

* I can attest to this as a matter of fact as I attended public elementary school in the Southwest region of the Pelican State, Louisiana, beginning 1st grade in the second part of 1995 and finishing 5th grade in the 1st half of the year 2000.

** For the greatest and most detailed examination of the evidence of claims for pre-Columbus travel to America see the late Dr. Ivan Van Sertima’s monumental 1976 publication, They Came Before Columbus: the African Presence in Ancient America. The most fascinating of all the claims presented for pre-Columbian contact between the ‘New World’ and the Old is that surrounding an expedition taken on behalf of the Great Malian Empire during the early 14th century. Mali’s mighty emperor King Abubakari II accompanied by a large royal entourage set sail in search of the New World in 1311. That this expedition took place is undisputed fact. What remains a source of controversy, however, is whether or not they ever reached the shores of the Americas.

The 'House of Slaves' on Goree Island, Senegal.
The ‘House of Slaves’ on Goree Island, Senegal.

^ That millions of people were shipped to the West from Goree Island was for a long time accepted as an undisputed fact. But in the 1990’s mainly white historians began challenging the notion that this was even possible and the “historical consensus”, according to them, is that of a far lower number of 30,000 slaves being exported from this port. They concede that there were about “12 million” people shipped out of Africa to the West, but that the bulk of them did not go from Goree Island. These claims have recently been repeated by almost every major American news outlet. One columnist of the Washington Post, Max Fisher, has dedicated an unusual amount of ink to this subject. The Senegalese government has dealt with these claims before, however, when in 1996 the French newspaper Le Monde claimed that “only” 200-300 slaves were sold in Goree a year. Senegal, which was by this time fed up with European attempts to diminish African history, “sponsored an international conference on the history of the island, and scholars produced for the first time original archives from the French port of Nantes that showed that between 1763 and 1775 alone one port had traded more than 103,000 slaves from Goree.” Mind you that high number represents only twelve years out of almost 300 years of slave trade on the island! This should have been the end of these claims by bogus faux historians to diminish the importance of Goree Island to the transatlantic slave trade, and it’s a pity that major news organizations continue to report as if these historians have won the day, ignoring all available historical evidence to the contrary. I will leave with a quote by the man who more than anyone else was responsible for preserving the island’s history for future generations to come, the late Joseph Ndiaye. “Those who claim today that nothing happened in Auschwitz and Dachau, will tomorrow be the same people who claim nothing happened in Gorée.”

^^ It’s worth mentioning that centuries before Christian Europeans became the main benefactors in the trade of African slaves, Arab Muslims from the Arabian peninsula were the main proprietors of this trade. For a more thorough documentation of the often neglected aspect of the slave trade in the Eastern Hemisphere, see the late historian Chancellor William’s 1971 magna opus, The Destruction of Black Civilization: great issues of a race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.

*^ See above note ^. If historians work so effortlessly to minimize the amount of people sold into slavery from Goree Island, then it’s hard to imagine that the numbers they come up with in relation to the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade would be any more accurate. It seems at times that there is a concerted effort to downplay just how immensely far-reaching this slave trade was, as is true with European colonialism in general. The “official” consensus modern historians have settled upon is that, of more than “12.5 million” Africans shipped to the Americas, about 1.5 million died en route. [Gates, 4] These numbers don’t take into account, however, how many millions of Africans died as a result of the raids upon their villages, in which the incredibly “young, old and weak” were sometimes slain.

27 thoughts

  1. I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Very powerful article. This gave even more ammunition to blow people’s heads off when they ask me why I feel the way I feel about Columbus! Lol. Thanks.

    1. Hell yea. Take the info in this article and tell ppl who question why u hate columbus to shove it up their ass! Lmao
      Thanks you for visiting Shila. You have a wonderful blog!

  2. I am a public school teacher, first grade, and I can attest too that Columbus is still venerated in classrooms by teachers who should know better. Heck, there are teachers who still reenact the feast at Plymouth Rock with little mention of the wars of attrition conducted against the indigenous tribes in the Northeast.

    1. I thought maybe the curriculum had changed somewhat since when I was a kid but I guess not. I remember when I was in 1st grade they had us dress up like either pilgrims or ‘Indians’ and “reenact” the supposed Thanksgiving dinner. of course there was no mistreatment of the Native ppl mentioned at all: it was just a big ol’ Feast.

  3. Hey Caleb—Strong and disturbing documentary work here (in the unique photos also) on what “Columbus Day” meant for the Western Hemisphere once the Europeans had cut their teeth on the richness and beauties of African civilizations. These were the true modern beginnings of capitalism: “invest” in a few well-armed ships and men already brutalized by their “crusades” into Muslim countries, and reap the wealth of others while conveniently ignoring their obvious humanity. It makes me remember a line of Paul Tillich’s in “Growing Up Absurd” that “We are not even able to grasp the behavior at the cutting edge” of this—a ruthlessness beyond imagination. You may also know Francis Jennings’ landmark “The Invasion of America” in which he presents the Papal Bull of Nicholas V circa 1451, in which this Pope adjudicated disputes among Portuguese and Spanish “explorers” by giving them all the right and duty to sail over the Western horizon and, in his words, to “reduce” any “unknown” peoples there “to perpetual slavery and profit.” Imagine—the #1 follower of Jesus Christ telling these brutal mercenaries/would be “gentlemen” that any peoples they found were fair game for enriching themselves by violence (provided of course that the Pope and Church got their cut of the action, and we can still see Columbus’ and others’ stolen American gold in the ceilings of St. Peter’s). And that was the mentality and those were the rewards to which Western Europe became utterly addicted as it “settled” into North and South America—a mentality and violence that still goes on and on under the world-destroying rubric of Profit At Any Cost. Meanwhile, for a staggering example of the wealth, sophistication and beauties of pre-contact American cultures you might enjoy William Carlos Williams’ essay “Tenochtitlan” in his great work “In The American Grain.” Keep up this stand-out work! Your friend, Jack Dempsey (ANCIENTLIGHTS.org).

    1. Thank you so much for leaving this well-thought and very insightful comment. It’s amazing how so much of the greed in the world today stems from this era. I’m about to take a look at this website as I have not seen a lot of the ancient artifacts.

            1. I have a whole second part of this article I haven’t got to finish typing up yet but it deals mainly with Columbus’s encounters with the Arawaks on the Bahamas and the Taino people of ‘Hispaniola’. It’s crazy that this guy is responsible for the murder of literally Millions of indigenous people on just the West Indies alone and yet he still has monuments all over the world. Not to sound too cliche with the Hitler comparisons, but could you imagine any government in the entire world today allowing a monument of Hitler to stand?! It would never happen, but yet when it comes to Columbus everyone is supposed to forget all that genocidal stuff and be think of all the “good stuff” he did… which in reality is absolutely nothing.

              1. I agree with you. With his landing. Millions of my Native brothers and sisters ancestors. Were killed with as much Atrocities as Hitler did. America likes to cover up there sins. I guess lying is better than facing the truth.

              2. Yep. That always makes me think of Reverend Wright during the 2008 presidential campaign when those clips emerged of him preaching the truth about American hypocrisy, and everyone reacted by saying his remarks were “offensive.” I guess the truth hurts.

              3. I have read many articles explaining how white supremacy started and the role the Christian church played a role in accepting and agreeing with the conquering and enslavement beginnings of Africans and the complete destruction of the West Indies, and all of the Caribbean nations, along with the Native people of North American, commonly referred to as Indians. As a retired IT Manager, I now work as a substitute teacher in the Newark NJ school system, and do my best to explain the lies and untruth taught these young minds. I welcome in addition video or books(Children like videos) that I can use. I am also a Reverend in the A.M.E. Church, I call myself a rebel for the truth, which sometimes times have folks looking at me with one eye open, not my problem.. Please continue to write articles like these. I would be interested on any material that could clearly speak to the life and history of the Native People of North America.

              4. Thank you Reverend Jones, a “rebel for truth” and a Reverend for truth you most certainly are!
                I think that you would be interested in reading/ teaching An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, published last year. It was written by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. http://www.beacon.org/An-Indigenous-Peoples-History-of-the-United-States-P1041.aspx
                “In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.””

                There’s also a really good documentary series that PBS put out a few years ago called “We Shall Remain: America through Native eyes”. https://zinnedproject.org/materials/we-shall-remain/
                It’s 5 episodes long and each episode deals with a different period during the colonization of America.
                ep. 1 – After the Mayflower
                ep. 2 – Tecumseh’s Vision
                ep. 3 – Trail of Tears
                ep. 4 – Geronimo
                ep. 5 – Wounded Knee

      1. Agreed! My kids faces were dumbstruck when I told them about the Christopher Columbus and Thanksgiving lies. I was repulsed to find them dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians on more than one occasion, and still making arts and crafts every single year to commemorate these lies. I live in Texas where it is sacrilege to make such accusations about Christopher Jesus Columbus and the religion that perpetuates this and so many other lies. My daughter is still in elementary school while my son is in 6th, and I am reminded by your article that I have much to teach or re-teach (reverse indoctrinate) my children. Luckily, they know to take most of it with a grain of salt, and to ask me if they ever feel conflicted about what I tell them versus what they learn in school. I tell them if they feel compelled to speak out to do so in the form of an informed question rather than an accusation so they don’t offend anyone or make anyone mad (I hate that they have to censor themselves in this way though.) It is a fine line because you don’t want them to be treated differently or make poor grades because they understand more about their country than most of their teachers and peers, but it is important nonetheless. My husband is one who doesn’t like to cause any problems, but I think his version of “problems” are my version of “a worthy cause” so I have just learned to stick with finding people like you to help me learn these things.

        I am fairly new to some of the things you mentioned because, and I mean no offense if you are a religious man, but I only left Christianity about 4-5 years ago. That of course led to other inquiries such as the “Chris Columbus Myth”. I am still very much learning about the history/facts about my religion and my American heritage, etc., on a more scholarly level. It has sort of become an obsession actually. I guess I just feel betrayed for wasting 30 years of my life believing something I no longer find to be true, and of course feel as though my real world education was tainted which to me is even worse! There is definitely some guilt thrown on top of that though. I most definitely judged other people for not believing the way I did albeit mostly in my own head. I never felt comfortable treating or speaking about people the way many of my family and church members did because I always tried to see the positive. That is a whole other issue of my naivety as well, but I won’t go into that in this long-winded rant (sorry about that btw).

        Like many in my position, I never even thought to question any of it because why would my church, educators and family lie to me? I guess that is why Christians try to implement the “4/14 Aim Lower Movement”. They are more vulnerable and naive during those formative years. As far as my family goes, I don’t think it was intentional (maybe I am giving them too much credit though bc I am from a very religiously strict home comprised of pastors and church staffers.)

        I am inspired by your article to look into these lines of teaching further because I want to know why or how they get away with lying to my children! I want to, at the very least, get the dialogue started. Baby steps in the bible belt. Great article by the way! This is my first visit to your blog. Funny enough, I came across someone blabbering on about “white” Jesus and Saint Christopher Columbus, and it got my blood boiling so I typed in something to the effect of “chris columbus myth” and found you! Thanks for posting! Sorry for the novel! LOL Cheers!

        1. Hello, and thank you for your heartfelt comment! I know exactly what you mean about conservative Texas, as I’m neighboring Texas’s eastern border in Louisiana (-;. You and I have a great deal in common with each other in how we were both indoctrinated at a young age and had to unlearn what we’d been taught all on our own. And it is difficult to see young ones who we love being taught the same lies and half-truths in school meant to support and justify U.S. imperialism. I have people I’m close to who are very much like your husband and feel it’s perhaps better to not “rock the boat” or “stir the pot” too much as they don’t think you will change anyone else’s mind, but I can’t help but feel there are also times when it can be more detrimental to not challenge untruths that continue to be perpetuated and are in fact very harmful to society.

          Like you, I was raised in a very Christian home and brought up going to church twice a week, and when I was a teenager I became very hostile to Christianity after having been a “believer” for so long because I noticed the absurd amount of hypocrisy in it all. In recent years however, I have come to believe that it’s not Christianity per se which has so thoroughly corrupted many of these people’s minds and values. Rather, Christianity has been utilized as a vehicle they’ve latched on to in order to spread their doctrine of greed and perpetual warfare. After all, many modern Christians have conveniently excoriated biblical passages that instruct them to share equally their earthly belongings with the poorest members of society, and they ignore those sections of the bible which castigate the rich in the harshest of terms. Like all religions, Christianity can be utilized by its adherents for good and/or evil, though at times it certainly seems as if more of the latter is occurring.

          And no need for you to apologize for writing “the novel” Lol. Feel free to do so anytime. I really enjoy hearing from my readers.

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