10/8/7 The Symbol and the Reality: Past, Present and Future: Columbus Day

"Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism....
Imperialism and colonialism are not something that happened decades ago or
generations ago, but they are still happening now with the exploitation of
people. ... the kind of thing that took place long ago in which people were
dispossessed from their land and forced out of subsistence economiesand into
market economies -- those processes are still happening today."
John Mohawk, Seneca, 1992

"Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set
an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished
through perseverance and faith."
George H.W. Bush, 1989

Digest Commentary:

As John Mohawk Seneca said: Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism. Celebrating him is celebrating north america's unbroken white male supremacist history of war by terror, genocide, and slavery for global 'manifest destiny'. Today as this barbaric country kills millions in its state terrorist war for that global conquest, most in this belly of the beast oppose its crimes against humanity primarily because their precious capitalist gunfodder soldier-mercenaries are dying ... not because these 'kids' are slaughtering millions and destroying whole nations for the same thugs bleeding them dry in the name also of democracy and freedom.

Moans and groans from left and right whine about the 'loss of america', the need to 'take back' a mythical peoples' democracy they claim is now held hostage by some alien rabid rightwing republican/neocon aberration. Not only is this ridiculous, racist and revisionist history, it's a set-up for another round on the endless electoral merry-go-round to secure our consent and loyalty to the dictatorship of capital. [Western] Capitalism is a bipartisan economic-political system, united around the essential need for U.S. world supremacy, not one bunch or another of electoral politicians and policies.

The majority of the world knows, as should we, that the major enemy of the worlds' peoples and nations is the U.S. ruling class whose savage white supremacist history is painted over with putrid, patriotic, paralyzing myths of 'american exceptionalism' -- north america and white people as god's chosen -- not the racist settler state it is, grown fat on genocide, slavery, terror and war into imperialist [global] capitalism whose 'manifest destiny' crusade is, and has always been, global conquest.

The U.S. is a bipartisan dictatorship of monopoly finance capital whose crimes against humanity surpass the crimes of openly fascist dictatorships but are disguised by scientifically developed psychologically-persuasive language on top of obscene material trappings of class and "race" privilege, and enforced by open fascist terror against the oppressed. Relentless lies and crimes carried out in the name of the people, by the people, through racist U.S. history have also deformed millions of human beings who consider themselves superior into cruel, mindless, hollow ciphers without concern or curiosity for anything beyond immediate gratification of their well-programmed desires. A meticulously groomed majority so deeply seduced by white supremacy's privileges that the ruling class can count on their reliable indifference and complicity in its state genocide against Black, red, yellow and brown oppressed peoples and nations here in the "homeland" as well around "their " world. What is exceptional in this monstrous "homeland" is the stupid, smug, self-satisfied mob easily distracted and destroyed by its culture of calculated violence and vulgarity, in thrall and indebted to all dehumanizing voices of 'authority' from any industry- -- military, religious, pop 'scientific', cultural, fashion, 'entertainment'.

American white supremacist ignorance and smug arrogance is grotesque and deadly.

"Freedom" to be contained and conquered by carefully constructed patriotism and electoral politics. '"Freedom" us from our humanity, from being really alive, conscious human agents of change, passionate about the world and our responsibility for it --- "liberated" into the robotic slavery of degraded and degrading 'lifestyles' fed by exploitation and racist oppression. "Liberated" into silent accomplices of capitalist state terrorism fueled by fascist fantasies, born of U.S. capitalism's insatiable greed and now its geo-strategic weakness in a world where millions die resisting it's strangulation. "Freedom" from the heroic resistance that is defending the world and our humanity as it defeats our common enemy's fascist juggernaut.

Real freedom means understanding reality, fighting for its truth, resisting the enemy and joining the majority in this world to defeat the U.S. reign of terror and tyranny, to take history into our own hands together to shape a new reality, a future in our common interests and in the interests of the planet.

Arawak “Indians” discovered Christopher Columbus in their ancestral homeland
in 1492.

Christopher Columbus was/is not an aberration in American history/present.
His criminally minded actions did (still does) represent the rule among
'white' Americans not the exception. He is still revered by them as a 'hero'
who discovered the 'savages', the 'uncivilized', the 'heathen', the
'pagans', etc. All these names were invoked to justify the ongoing genocide
and plunder...just as the terms 'terrorists', 'extremists', 'islamists'...
are invoked now to justify the genocide and plunder taking place in
Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. as we speak. It is the same sick abnormal
criminal mind-set at work in a continuum...

In 1492 the Spanish criminal Christopher Columbus, posing as an Italian
immigrant, headed west in search of a more efficient route to India. Schools
teach us that Columbus introduced the idea of a “round Earth” to Europeans
in the late 1400’s. In reality it was already accepted in Europe by most of
the population. This same awareness of the Earth being a sphere, and not a
horizontal plane floating in the middle of nowhere, came to the Mayans and
other indigenous “American” groups between 3,000 and 4,500 years prior to

Although it is possible that Christopher Columbus was an underprivileged
Italian immigrant, it is even more likely that he hid his identity to escape
his past as a Catalonian nobleman. (Charles Merrill) Catalonia, a distinct
region of Spain, had engaged in a civil war with King Fernando. Queen Isabel
later made it clear that she wanted the Catalonians punished to prevent them
from uprising. If Columbus was of Catalonian descent, he had good reason to
hide his identity. 

The image above was written by Christopher Columbus in Castillian Spanish.
In fact, all of the letters he wrote were in Castillian Spanish, even those
he sent to his brother and the Bank of Genoa in Italy. According to Merrill,
the style in which the letters are formed is consistent with Catalonian
lettering. And based on the manner in which the words are fashioned it can
be deduced that Columbus began to write at an early age, which discredits
the theory that he was an uneducated peasant. (Discovery Channel)
Christopher Columbus most likely belonged to a Catalonian noble family who
went by the name of Colom. The Colom family members were of noble birth,
educated and many were mariners. For more information on the topic visit

Arawak “Indians” discovered Christopher Columbus on their ancestral homeland
in 1492. They were intrigued by these light-skinned men who had come in on
“floating islands,” for the Arawak were a simple and peaceful tribe that was
never conquered by the highly civilized indigenous societies that resided on
the mainland. They offered the Spaniards gifts and allowed them shelter on
their land. But the greed of the Spanish invaders would not allow them to
begin a relationship without substantial profit involved.

The gifts of gold and other previous metals and stones offered by the Arawak
were not enough to quench their thirst for wealth. The Spanish soon used
their weapons to subdue the Arawak people, forcing them into slavery. What
commenced was the biggest case of genocide in the history of mankind, the
American Holocaust.

You will most likely never learn about the American Holocaust in schools or
hear about it on television or in the news, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t
happen. When all was said and done, over 50 million indigenous people, over
95% of the population of Ixachilan (Western Hemisphere), were dead.
Approximately 1 out of every 3 Indians who came in contact with smallpox
died. The rest were murdered or worked to death by Spanish invaders, and
most notably by the Adolph Hitler of the American Holocaust, Christopher

The atrocities of this poor excuse for a human being are well-documented in
his own writings and in the works of those who surrounded him. The most
evident proof of this massacre of the Arawak Indians is the millions of dead
bodies that piled on the land after just a few years. Christopher Columbus
will go down in OUR history as the initiator of the American Holocaust that
left over 95% of Indians dead. Do not celebrate Columbus Day! Do not
celebrate the American Holocaust!

You can learn more about the madman who went by the name of Christopher
Columbus here:


On yet another USA manufactured “holiday” where schools close to honor the
savage conquistador, Christopher Columbus, who ushered into history the
holocaust of approximately 11 million native north American “Indians” I
propose a mandate for indigenous holocaust education, K-12. Like the new
federal legislation introduced in congress to mandate education of the
Jewish holocaust, I also propose we replace not only senior citizens arts
and crafts but pre-school arts and crafts with education workshops developed
to examine the denial of Indian genocide and removal; the denial of African
Diaspora genocide and slavery, past and present; and, the genocide of Arabs
and Muslims occurring in Palestine today.

Currently being reviewed by committees in the U.S. House of Representatives
and Senate, the Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Assistance Act – if
passed – would provide select organizations nationwide with competitive
grants to be used to develop Holocaust curriculum guides as well as training
for teachers. . (http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=3&ar=97

Never Forget

A common expression of white men and women in the USA regarding their
barbaric history towards Africans and Native Americans is for “them to just
get over it”! The sloganeering of remembering history in order to avoid
extermination, removal, kidnapping, enslaving, lynching does not apply to
non-Jews. Yet the history of Europe’s program of extermination of the Jews
is now introduced in the US Congress to be mandated education in public
schools with an official curriculum written and sponsored by Jewish
historians. Mandated education on all holocausts only seems fair and right
in the “democratic, truth loving land of equality”. Everyone should know the
history of the mass murders and removals of Native Americans and the
countless Africans killed through the middle passage and their slavery and
savage treatment by the Euro-Americans. The truth about all genocides
should be mandated education for everyone everywhere.

Students in colleges and universities in the USA typically do not know the
history of the indigenous people of North America. They believe a lie told
to them in the mandated public education programs that Columbus “discovered”
America! They never heard of the Arawak, the Taino, the Algonquin, the
Huron, or any of the tribes of the First Nation People. They are horrified
to read the first source documents, the letters of Columbus, the letters of
Bartolomeo Las Casas wherein the descriptions of the genocide, torture and
terrorism of the natives is described.

For example, upon Columbus’ invasion, the Arawaks, regrettably, greeted the
savage Europeans, bringing them food, water, and gifts. Columbus wrote in
his log:

"As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I
took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might
give me information of whatever there is in these parts…They... brought us
parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they
exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded
everything they owned.... They were well-built, with good bodies and
handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I
showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of
ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.... They would
make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make
them do whatever we want." (http://www.newhumanist.com/md2.html)

When Bartolomme Las Casa arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, he writes, "how
"two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each
carrying a parrot; the soldiers took the parrots and for fun beheaded the
boys…they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate
silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for
help…there were 60,000 people living on this island including the Indians;
from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery
and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing
it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it...." (Source:
Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies,

Most of my college students know nothing about the terrorism that led to
extermination and removal of the American Indians. They are unaware of the
conservative estimates that the indigenous population of the United States
prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later,
the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.

Students in the USA are provided with a cursory history of Euro-American
genocide and slavery of African people but not to any extent that includes
the hundreds of Hollywood films, after-school specials, or school projects
that prioritize the Jewish holocaust. Millions of black Americans were
killed during the trans-Atlantic slave trade and during their servitude.
They were systematically tortured, killed and enslaved. Forty thousand
slaves were transported each year to the occupied territories called
colonies. These were blatant and overt acts of terrorism for political gain.
Yet African Americans are consistently told to “get over” their history of
slavery and genocide at the hands of Euro-Americans.

Patents on Holocaust

Who holds a patent on holocaust histories? Tragically, the genocides of
history are a condemnation of human beings capabilities of human goodness,
mercy and decency towards each other. Moreover, the victor’s insanity
extends to a mythical patent on the very words of holocaust and genocide,
terrorism and barbarism. Those who write the definitions, histories, make
the movies, and develop the propaganda claim intellectual property rights to
even the words and stories as they codify their stories and erase the
stories of their victims.

Those who dare to use the word, “holocaust” when speaking of the genocides
and the wars of terrorism against the First People of North, Central and
South America; the natives of Africa in the past; and the Iraqi and
Palestinians presently are accused of “anti-Semitism. Jobs are lost,
tenured denied, and rendition and prison if they are a Semitic Arab. Thus,
even the history of the Arab people as Semites has been erased and now only
applies only to the Jews. He who writes the rules, rules.

Who benefits?

The conquerors, the imperialists, the state terrorists of today are US, UK
and Israel. Therein resides the majority of 4% of the class who own the
biggest weapons of mass destruction, the most nukes, and the control of the
media and who directly benefit from which peoples stories are mandated and
those whose stories are erased and denied. Today, it is the stories of the
genocide and holocausts of the Iraqi and Palestinian people being erased in
the corporate media of the USA. When the stories are told, they, like the
indigenous peoples of Africa and North America, are painted as savages and
terrorists deserving of a program of extermination. After all, if one does
the crime of resistance by fighting the imperialists, one will do the time.
Their story will be erased if not mandated by their advocates and lobbyists.
Without a mandated history they are invisible, they do not exist. No
Hollywood films for indigenous oppressed people unless it includes a white
hero who tells their story and comes to rescue them in the super power’s
super hero fairy tale.

Sankofa and Rights to Return

I teach the concept of Sankofa in my classes on Race and Ethnic Relations.
Sankofa is derived from the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa literally
translated means "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot."
The word Sankofa is used today across the pan-African world to promote the
idea that African people must go back to their roots in order to move
forward. Whether oppressed or oppressor, all people must go back to their
roots in order to change domination paradigm.

The term Right of Return refers to the principle in international lawthat
members of an ethnic or national group have a right to their lands whether
through immigration and naturalization into the country that they, the
destination country, or both consider to be that group's homeland
independent of prior personal citizenship in that country. This belief is
sometimes reflected in special consideration in a country's immigration laws
(called "repatriation") which facilitates or encourages the reunion of a
Diaspora or dispersed ethnic population. When will the land be returned to
the indigenous of North, Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle
East? When will they have a right to have what was theirs, returned?


History repeats itself in horrifying patterns mirroring past tragedies.
During the Cold War the imperialists of the USA sponsored covert terrorism
that killed millions of people. These wars were called WWIII by CIA
officials. Today, the same rabid greed that fueled the Europeans of the past
fuels the US, UK and Israeli imperialists today as they conduct genocidal
programs similar to those of their Europeans ancestors. Replete with walls,
Jim Crow separation of latrines in Iraq, no voting or land rights for Arabs,
puppet regimes, and the killing of over a million men, women, and children
in Iraq and Palestine, recently including a little girl with backpack at a
checkpoint in Gaza, the terrorism of the super power goes unchecked and

As the greedy imperialists veto healthcare for children in the USA they
simultaneously give the orders to rendition, torture and terrify Arabs and
Muslims all over the world. They enslave the poor with IMF debt while
giving them “equal opportunities” to work in their sweatshops, oil fields,
diamond, copper and gold mines. Clearly, they do not remember their
genocidal history and need the Red, Black, and Brown indigenous peoples
mandated education curriculum before millions more people are erased in
their latest extermination program.

Alan Ronkin, deputy director of the Jewish Community Relations Council says
that teaching about the Holocaust is "critical to shape the next
generation…Holocaust education not only teaches about the past but it also
uses the lessons of the past to help shape students' decisions to become
future leaders [who fight] against racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism." .
) I agree,
lets teach all the holocausts of history including Native American, African,
and the genocide of the Arabs of Palestine and Iraq)

I remember a song taught to me in elementary school whose words said, “Red
and yellow, black and white, we are precious in his sight”… a more truthful
version would be “red, and yellow, black and brown, no matter where they’ll
mow you down”. Perhaps a true history of holocausts will benefit all
humanity and not just the victors, their lobbyists, advocates and scribes.

June Scorza Terpstra, Ph.D. is an activist educator and university lecturer
in Justice Studies, Criminal Justice and Sociology. She has founded
numerous programs for homeless, abused, youth and oppressed people in the
USA. She is presently teaching courses on Law and Terrorism, Social
Justice, Resistance, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice. She is a former
Community Research Fellow and doctoral graduate of Loyola University

Dr. June Terpstra Faculty Justice Studies Northeastern Ilinois University

If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you
to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law: Henry
David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849