This story was printed
from Oregon Daily Emerald.
Site URL: http://www.dailyemerald.com.
Day celebrates lies, corporate greed
October 10, 2003
One reason crimes against humanity continue is because some countries
rationalize similar acts in their past that brought them to power. On
Monday, October 13, the United States celebrates Columbus Day with
parades and sales on consumer goods: Many people will honor one of
history's most infamous mass murderers while they give their money to
the corporations that continue his legacy of atrocity.
According to Howard Zinn -- selections from whose book "A
People's History of the United States" will be featured in a
reading Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the EMU's Ben Linder Room --
Columbus is not worthy. He didn't find Asia, and if the Americas had not
been in his way the expedition would have failed. He lied to Madrid
about his finds and was willing to commit any act of barbarism to
satisfy his greed. He instituted genocide: He caused men, women and
children to be raped, burned, maimed, tortured, enslaved, mutilated and
murdered. The day dedicated to him should be one of mourning, not
Bartolome de las Casas was a young Catholic priest initially
participating in the ravage let loose upon the Indies. Eventually
rebelling against the cruelty he witnessed, he transcribed the admiral's
journal and began a multi-volume work titled, "History of the
Indies." He relates how the Spaniards "thought nothing of
knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to
test the sharpness of their blades," going on to describe how
"two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day,
each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the
boys." According to la Casas, between 1494 and 1508, over 3 million
people died from war, slavery and the mines. As he writes, "Who in
future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a
knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it..."
How is it that our people today can celebrate this guy? Is it because
Americans like those who facilitate the death of over 7,000 children in
three months on Cuba alone, as reported by la Casas? I don't believe so.
People continue to participate because the corporations who control the
country's media tell them it is okay to do so; the ease of rationalizing
wrong is directly related to the number of those participating. Our
population has been subjected to the longest and most sophisticated
program of brainwashing ever attempted: We are living in a constructed
society -- our own Matrix -- a bubble of unreality not shared by the
rest of the world. But, as Lincoln may have said, "... You can't
fool all the people all the time ..."
Good character is not derived from simply not doing wrong, but rather
from actively doing right. Fight back: Pop the bubble. Tear down the
construct: Destroy the Matrix. Refuse to spend money that day except in
local, non-corporate businesses. Regain your power, help expose a wrong,
support your indigenous sisters and brothers, and save the world for our
Kayanow and peace to all.
Bob Kezer is a junior in the international studies and religious