Tomorrow is the first democratic debate on CNN at 8:30pm. I am excited to see what happens with this debate especially considering the two leading candidates will have a chance to go head to head. The debate will feature five candidates overall. I expect to see a lot of republican bashing and hard-line democratic agenda. I hope to see if a candidate especially Hillary and Bernie to distinguish themselves.
In addition to watching the debate, I will also being taking some notes and posting my thoughts on this blog. Of course, unless a candidate blows me away I doubt they can persuade my vote. However, I will try to objective judge each candidate based what I hear in their performance. I have detailed both Bernie and Hillary quite extensively. I have made posts about many of the issues on their platforms. Other than the debate coverage, I want to cover a few more topics in this posts. Among them, I want to the national holiday that falls on October 12th.
Columbus Day has annual holiday in October usually falling on the 12th. It has been a national holiday since 1971. However, according to Wikipedia there are some states that don’t recognize it. I always in the past had liked the holiday because I got a day off from school. Once I got to college I saw that the holiday was not so great. First, I read a book called “Lies my teacher told me” by James Loewen. I recommend reading it. Its an absolutely amazing book about history and how it is taught in schools. There has always been controversy especially in Texas with the textbooks and whitewashing. If you are not familiar with whitewashing, it is basically the stripping of negatives in history teaching. In other words, its Americanism. The idea that America has never done wrong and always is right. Unfortunately, there is enough whitewashing to write a whole book on it!
One of the issues that Loewen covers and one of the most important and relevant issues is of Christopher Columbus. Columbus was an Italian born sailor. After many unsuccessful tries to set sail and find treasure and fortune. Columbus finally was given a chance to sail across the Atlantic by the King of Portugal. The story goes that Columbus set sail with three ships, the Santa maria, Pinta and Nina. Columbus had a very long trip in which his crew endure tough Atlantic storms and alleged sea monsters! Finally he landed in the Bahamas. NOT IN AMERICA. The natives in the Bahamas greeted him without knowing what was coming. Columbus was by no means a nice visitor. In reality, he was pirate. He was sent by the King of Portugal to find gold. When he didn’t find any gold, he basically killed the natives. He raped their women. Columbus and his crew gave them diseases like smallpox. Columbus made many voyages across the Atlantic. One of other famous claims is that Columbus discover the earth wasn’t flat. This might be his only real accomplishment.
The Columbus represents what many historians believe was an accidental and later purposeful genocide of native peoples throughout the Americas. In North America alone, by the turn of the century in 1900, it is estimated that 95 percent of the Native Americans were wiped out. Well over half of those were through disease. The others were decimated by war.
American History textbooks tend to whitewash these facts. Everyone is taught that Columbus was a hero for discovering America. Unfortunately the truth is that Columbus was an asshole. He did nothing good for America. I think that its ridiculous that we celebrate a murder and a rapist. Americans are so brainwashed. Schools need to stop teaching this bullshit to kids. Teach them what really happened.
Surprisingly, there has been little movement to change this awful holiday. Yet the irony is that the word “redskin” is somehow racist. It doesn’t make much sense especially when many natives see the term as something that describes their culture. My question is How can Columbus be a hero yet a stupid mascot is racists? I mean isn’t there something missing here? Do I think that Washington Redskins should change their name? My answer is maybe. Maybe if they reach a settlement and pay some type of charity to help out Native Americans on reservations. If not then change it. The Washington Redskins could at least raise awareness for the real Native Americans. Anything that shows that their not just racists. Even though all the money in the world can’t take back what happened its better than just ignoring it.
My point here is that students in schools should be educated on the reality of American History. History isn’t all great. America has done some pretty fucked up stuff. We might be a successful country but that comes with a costs. Its not just Native Americans that have been wronged. We have done wrong against almost every type of people from all origins. The combination of our manifest destiny and our democracy first mentality has led us to do some horrible things.
Some of my favorite quotes to end this post, is by Winston Churchill.
” If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.
“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”
Thanks for reading! Tune into the debate tomorrow!