Last week, I came across this video talking about Columbus. I shouted at the television through the entire thing. Though I'm far from a historian, the blatant misinformation and conclusions bother me to no end.
So, let's dive in:
"Columbus Day. The day where progressives indoctrinate your children into believing Columbus to be Satan incarnate, the USA to be his evil spawn, and the Native Americans to be pacifists."
Documents detail that Columbus was not an excellent person. This great country has done plenty of bad things, and few people say every Native American was angelic. But, let's keep going with the false absolutes.
Goes through the different possible or past names for Indigenous Peoples Day. He will do this multiple times in five minutes.
Yes, he's acting aggrieved because language and terminology changes. Think of how childish this is. He even uses two-spirited, which doesn't mean what he thinks. But, why research anything?
"This whole charade has become an exercise in hating Western civilization."
Not all of it. Maybe just the negative parts. You know, slavery and genocide. They aren't confined to the West, but we shouldn't celebrate our atrocities.
"...he was the greatest navigator of his age."
Hmmm... are you sure about that? Because he thought he was finding a shortcut to India (which is why Native Americans were called "Indians"). Sounds like a boo-boo, not a stroke of stellar genius.
"...the first person [Columbus] to cross the Atlantic from the continent of Europe."
Leif Erikson sends his love.
Asks people to comment below if you know Columbus' ships. Says professors can't.
He's a sarcastic little beezum. I'd wager professors are no different in that particular fact than most other people but... ignorant liberals, amirite?
"There was never a government policy for Indian extermination [genocide]."
I can't say for certain if he's wrong. But, there were plenty of other acts: Forced removal, forced integration, etc. These would ultimately get rid of them in one form or another. So, while there might have been no document somewhere with "KILL THEM ALL" stamped on the cover, the end result would be similar. Again though, I'm not a historian.
"The Native Americans were mostly wiped out through infectious diseases that the settlers had inadvertently brought with them."
Some of it was inadvertent, some was intentional. And, even though there is dispute over whether smallpox blankets were given, there is still enough evidence to suggest certain instances of disease were intentionally spread. Government-sanctioned illness.
Brings up the death toll at Wounded Knee for Natives and settlers. Says it's not genocide.
It wasn't a battle. It was a massacre. Mass graves. Full stop.
Funnily enough, the US military was trying to disarm them and the Native Americans didn't want to be disarmed! You'd think our gun-loving host would have agreed with them. But, nope. He now reframes it as a battle.
Says the Natives often gave as good as they got. When saying this, he then uses the word "massacre". Says it's not the way genocide is supposed to work.
Native Americans fought because they saw what was happening. Just because there were battles, doesn't mean the end goal wasn't annihilation. War is often part of extermination. So, if you fight for your land and your people and actually kill some of the interlopers, it's impossible for said interlopers to plan genocide? What?
Says Native Americans killed each other.
And? People do crappy things. No one has cornered the market on evil.
Native Americans burned down forests.
Sure! To clear land for building, to promote new growth, etc. Many of those were controlled burns. Shame on them! They definitely hated their environment.
"...and hunted species to extinction." Shows cartoon of a buffalo hunt.
When I was young, I remember seeing piles of dead buffalo in grainy, black and white photographs along railroad tracks. Because of commercial hunting. Because the military was trying to starve out the Plains Tribes. I thought it was a disgusting waste. But, since I'm not a historian, perhaps this Smithsonian article will give better insight. Indigenous people were careful not to deplete their resources.
Mentions a tribe killing seals.
No one is saying Native Americans were vegans. No one says they didn't kill animals. Quite disingenuous to add this to "animals Natives almost killed to extinction". Certain species of seal are extinct because of humans. True. The killing of hundreds of seals at a crack came from people like plantation owners in the Caribbean (who weren't Indigenous). Is there a biologist in the house?
Says there were two tribes on the islands where Columbus first stopped. One was peaceful and lived in fear of the other. The other tribe practiced cannibalism.
It's almost as if there are/were good and bad Native Americans! This... blew... my... mind. I didn't know that a specific race can be good and bad!
Some tribes sided with settlers to rid themselves of threats. Mentions Cortez.
First, didn't some of the Natives think Cortez was an actual, living God? If someone came up to you and presented like Jesus or Mohammed or your God/prophet of choice wouldn't you follow? I mean, if everything about them was spot-on and life hadn't jaded you, the strong possibility is there.
As far as certain tribes banding together with settlers to defeat an opposing tribe, it happened. Because you believe yourself to be an ally with the winning team, you also think being treated as an equal and sharing in the spoils is part of that. After WWII, we didn't shove people from England onto Wales and build our cabins in London.
"This whole Indigenous Peoples Day charade is about teaching your children to despise Western civilization."
Or to, you know, grant people an opportunity to shed some light on dark things. To honor people nearly wiped out by war and not-inadvertent genocide. To tell our kids: We're a great nation built on some very shitty decisions. To show our kids what greed does, what not seeing other people as human because of our differences can do.
Saying negative things about America doesn't mean you don't love it. Pointing out its flaws doesn't mean you don't think its great. But, we must always strive to be better. Part of that is remembering what we once were.