Yesterday yielded another round of commotion regarding the infamous Christopher Columbus, designated “discoverer” of the so-called “New World” (Leif Erikson moans from Midgard!). No doubt, the less-than-vocal majority of Statesiders were simply thrilled to get a day off from work; the more vocal, however, reheated their rancour over the late Double-C’s conquering, raping, enslaving ways, wishing instead for an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to displace the dastard. Not surprisingly, this generated a bit of an uproar from the more reactionary elements of the World Wide Web, who predictably countersignalled in favour of Columbus.
Now, on October 13th, 2015, I sit here typing this whilst high (or, rather, low) on my favourite empathy-suppressant. Clearly, it’s a shitty batch, what with me feeling somewhat sympathetic to the prog pouting over this issue. Going by several accounts of his exploits, Columbus and his crew were certified cunts, engaging in kidnapping, murder, rape, and kiddy sex slavery, amongst other fun activities; all this after being, by CC’s own account, warmly welcomed by the Amerindian tribes who would become their all-purpose prey. Taking that into account (plus the fact he never actually set foot on the North American mainland) it does seems rather grotesque of Statesiders to dedicate a day of pomp and pageantry to his “discovery”; kinda like “Good War” enthusiasts fellating Bomber Harris for raining down death on civilian populations.
That said, I find the desired (and partially realised) replacement of the occasion with an Indigenous Peoples Day to be sublimely silly and short-sighted. For all the shit suitably slung the way of Columbus, Cortez, and all the other Christians who murdered Indians, they were but the most proximate of predators on the calendar of conquest. A decade ago, I stumbled upon a rather illuminating piece of historical revisionism on the late and lamented Loompanics site; its author, Bill Wilson, made the case that those favoured by the IPD-endorsers had encountered and erased a preceding population of decidedly different descent: