Denver, CO -- Oct. 7 - 10, 2005

Rocky Mountain News
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Letters to the Editor, October 8

October 8, 2003

Reading could change view of Columbus

As the annual Columbus Day holiday is approaching, I have an idea for people on both sides of the debate: Educate yourself about just what Columbus did or did not do when he "discovered" the "New World."

Reading is a great way to learn, and I have been studying two books on the subject of what happened when the Europeans came over in 1492: American Holocaust by David Stannard, and A Little Matter of Genocide by Ward Churchill (and there are many others, as well).

If you think Columbus was a great man and explorer, perhaps you will feel differently after you read about his treatment of the Taino Indians under his governorship. And, if you still feel he was a great man after you read about what he did, then I would have to ask why? And, if you don't really know the facts, you owe it to yourself to find out.

You might also want to dig a bit deeper into the history of the founding of America, and ask yourself why Indians are on reservations today. Did they voluntarily move there? It's obvious that they were living on this land long before the Europeans arrived; so why are the descendants of the Europeans (us) now the dominant race? Do you really know what transpired here in the last 500 years?

Go to a bookstore or library and study the facts about Columbus and what followed. Then perhaps you can speak with confidence about his real place in the world. And then you may also understand why so many Indians are not happy about a holiday that celebrates such a man.

Neil Haverstick

Copyright 2003, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.