The right likes to complain that Wikipedia is a misinformation, propaganda and brainwashing tool of the socialist, liberalist left. Ha! Wrong again Capital-istas! The description in the Wikipedia article of Cristoffa Corombo (yes, that was his real name in his native Genoese language) states that he was an “navigator, colonizer and explorer”.
If Wikipedia was so lefty, they would have added “terrorist” to the list, don’t you think?
No offense to all my Italian, Genoese, Spanish and Portuguese friends who celebrate Corombo as a great explorer and Columbus Day in his honor.
While the U.S. is presently engaged in its “War on Terror” and we recently observed the day when terrorists attacked us “for our freedoms”, many may take offense at my use of that word, but Wikipedia’s Wiktionary has two definitions for “terrorist”: “One who governs by terrorism or intimidation…” and “Any one who uses terror as a weapon in a political struggle…”
Wiktionary’s usage notes for “terrorist” adds, “The use of the label "terrorist" is often controversial or subjective, since one person's terrorist may be another's freedom fighter, and vice versa.”
And there you have it. Those who won, celebrate Corombo as a hero, but those who lost, namely between 9 and 20 million native inhabitants of the New World see him as something else. And their vision of him is based on his actions, not on the propaganda of the victor.
Would you believe it was more than mere coincidence if I told you that the origin of the word “genocide” is “Genoacide” to honor Corombo’s origins?
Just kidding! But what a wonderfully ironic, almost fateful, coincidence it is.
Islamic terrorists refer to us as “unbelievers”. That is exactly how Corombo and the Spanish Crown saw the Taino and Arawak. We rightly condemn the beheadings of American contractors in Iraq, but we revere a man like Corombo even though he and those under his command have done far worse.
Many Columbus apologists like to say that’s just the way it was back then, expecting humanitarianism 500 years ago is ludicrous. It would be if 1500 years before Christoffa Corombo there wasn’t another man who embodied humanitarianism and who Corombo’s first name derives from? You know who I mean. But more than that, Corombo came from that religion and yet his actions suggest he was the unbeliever.
If you think this is harsh, wait until you read my Thanksgiving post. The sooner we de-mythologize people and our history which does not reflect the most sacred, truly sacred, of American ideals like pursuit of happiness and everyone created equal, the sooner we can rebuild America into a country where free health care for all is a reality. If not, George Bush may one day be Saint George.
The right claims the media in America has a liberal bias. But if the media had a liberal bias would we not see more stories about issues in Indian communities on CNN and MSNBC? Not necessarily. Why? Because most liberals don’t care and aren’t aware of the realities in Indian Country.
This seems to me to be the power of Corombo in America. Human rights abuses in foreign lands are high on liberal agendas, but human rights abuses with regard to Indians in America are not.
It’s obvious that conservatives have bought the bullshit. The sad, tragic reality is that even many liberals have been brainwashed not to think outside this little box. As the Anarchist of Ann Arbor will tell you, many libs are just knee-jerk reactionaries, people playing on the other team with no real desire for change, just difference.
I used to work as a dishwasher in a Beverly Hills hotel. We had a Mexican cook who would tease me about being American by accusing me of having stolen land that once belonged to Mexico. Instead of guilt and an apology, my response was, “Yeah? And who did Mexico steal it from? Do you even know the name of the people to who this land really belonged?”
He couldn’t answer. But I’m sure he’d heard of Christoffa Corombo.