Christopher Columbus Belongs on Death Row

His legacy is an 'unspeakably cruel' one, writes Eric Kasum

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2010 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's Columbus Day, kids, and that means it's time to honor a man "who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution," writes Eric Kasum for the Huffington Post. Kasum commemorates the holiday by recounting the true tale of Christopher Columbus, who set foot on a sandy Bahamian beach in 1492 and promptly enslaved the hospitable islanders (who rescued the crew and cargo of the shipwrecked Santa Maria). Within two years, half of the 250,000-strong population was dead.

He oversaw the sale of native girls into sexual slavery, killed babies to use as dog food, and had soldiers cut off the hands of workers who didn't meet their gold dust quota—prompting 100 to commit mass suicide. Why don't we learn about this in school, Kasum asks. "Columbus himself kept detailed diaries, as did some of his men. (If you don't believe me, just Google the words Columbus, sex slave, and gold mine.)" He continues, "Call me crazy, but I think holidays ought to honor people who are worthy of our admiration. Let's boycott this outrageous holiday because it honors a mass murderer." For even more horrific details, click here.

Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506), the  navigator and explorer who made four voyages to the 'New World', circa 1490. He died in poverty in Valladolid and is buried in Seville Cathedral.
Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506), the navigator and explorer who made four voyages to the 'New World', circa 1490. He died in poverty in Valladolid and is buried in Seville Cathedral.   (Getty Images)
Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who was credited with discovering America, wearing a turban, circa 1490.
Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who was credited with discovering America, wearing a turban, circa 1490.   (Getty Images)
The ship of Italian navigator Christopher Columbus (1446? - 1506) lands at Guanahani, now known as San Salvador, island of the Bahamas, 1492.
The ship of Italian navigator Christopher Columbus (1446? - 1506) lands at Guanahani, now known as San Salvador, island of the Bahamas, 1492.   (Getty Images)
Engraving depicting Christopher Columbus (circa 1451-1506), navigator, coloniser and explorer from Genoa, circa 1500.
Engraving depicting Christopher Columbus (circa 1451-1506), navigator, coloniser and explorer from Genoa, circa 1500.   (Getty Images)
Christopher Columbus landing in America with the Piuzon Brothers bearing flags and crosses, 1492.  Original Artwork: By  D Puebla (1832 - 1904)
Christopher Columbus landing in America with the Piuzon Brothers bearing flags and crosses, 1492. Original Artwork: By D Puebla (1832 - 1904)   (Getty Images)
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