|Wooden sculpture titled “Rape of the Carib Woman” is an analogy of the European rape of the Americas.|
A STOLEN HEMISPHEREThis day above all, reminds Amerindians of the suffering from hemispheric genocide. To some non-Natives the day is one of celebration of their successful inheritance of “free” if not stolen Indian lands. Conscience of territorial theft does not matter to this latter group. Alter all, we have transferred the blame of Amerindian genocide to a distant past and massacres to anonymous “Spanish” and English “settlers”. Some even prefer to blame diseases over the wanton killing of human beings via destruction of their societies and anti-Indian policies. Currently, many Amerindians throughout the hemisphere are at risk. In the US (as it is in the Americas) suicide, poverty, alcoholism, TB and many other maladies plague the survivors. These health issues are the direct result of displacement and stolen territories.
“The Receiver Is Worse Than the Thief”This is a Jamaican saying about receiving stolen property. In this Columbus Day instance, we celebrate our fortunes inherited from holy "Saint Christopher".
I was born on a Caribbean island visited and stranded on for a year by Christopher Columbus. The island was Jamaica, that has changed the honoring of Columbus to Taíno Day.
The Yamaye (Jamaican) Taíno attacked Columbus’ ship in war canoes as it first entered Yamaye waters. He was not welcomed. Columbus retaliated by killing a number of Taíno with war dogs and crossbow fire. His intent was to not retreat from people who did not want his presence. But he forged ahead to begin the destruction of sovereign nations in the Americas' Cir-cum Caribbean..
News had traveled fast among the Taíno in the Northern Caribbean and his presence was suspect. On Kiskeya (Haiti & the DR), just in the first year of his arrival, his stranded men, not satisfied by a Taino welcome, demanded more food and women from their host, a local Kacike.(ruler) They were subsequently killed after a skirmish for breaking a code of honor. Upon his return during the Second Voyage, he randomly killed many Taíno who were not even responsible for the massacre of Spanish barbarians.
The Yamaye were right. Columbus and his crew turned out to be barbaric slavers, claiming Taíno territory under the name of foreign gods and a foreign country. As far as the Taíno were concerned the main Spanish god was Guanin, the Taíno’s 14k gold.
Hatuey a Haitian kacike said this to the Cuban Taíno after he had escaped the Spanish hanging of his queen, Anacaona in Ayti,
To paraphrase Hatuey;
“If you swallowed your Guanine trinkets to hide their god from them, they love him so much that they will cut open your bellies to retrieve him.” He advised the Cuban Taíno to gather their guanin in baskets and throw it into the rivers.
Who are the people that revere Columbus on his special day?They are the followers of a murderous, violent and racist man who also brought devastating diseases. He came through the Caribbean as a slaver collecting a people whom he said “would make good servants.” His men were the first European rapist of the Amerindians who stole entire islands.
One story recorded by his friend, Cuneo, off the coast of St. Croix, described his rape of a Carib woman.
“A captured woman from a canoe had accurately shot an arrow into the chest of one of a boatload of Spanish pursuers.”
Her Carib companions were immediately killed, while she was brought on board Columbus’ ship. The Admiral gave her to Cuneo who described in detail how he thrashed her into submission with a rope, then he raped her.
This man, Columbus, responsible for starting the Amerindian Genocide, larger than Hitter’s Jewish extermination, is given a day of honor?