Why Does American Still Celebrate Columbus?

By Beverly Rubio

Who was Christopher Columbus and why does America celebrate a special day in his honor? Christopher Columbus has a very dubious background. We all think that he is of Spanish descent. However, the truth is much more colorful. He was originally thought to be the son of a weaver from Genoa, Italy. At the time of his birth, many Croatians lived near the northern part of Italy. They were a seafaring people and therefore it is said he was a Croatian pirate who rose to become an admiral. Every known fact supports the theory of him being a Croatian soldier of fortune.

It is inferred that Columbus created a vague history of himself so that he alone would collect all the glory for the discovery of America. He never mentioned the man who told him about the islands he saw. This man's name was Alonzo Sanchez de Huelva. It is said that Sanchez gave the information to Columbus before he died because he thought someone should know. Columbus used the information for his own advantage without even mentioning Alonzo Sanchez, who supposedly discovered American in the year 1484.

Could anyone have truly discovered America if there were people already living here? Could I go to Europe and discover Germany or France or any other country there? No, of course not, because people already inhabit those lands. Columbus also never mentioned the man who furnished the ships and crews to navigate them for his second trip. All of these successes were credited to Spain. Actually, it was one of those seafaring Croatians who furnished these things. Another reason to believe he was of Croatian descent. Still no credit goes to the Croatians.

columbus painting

Columbus landed in Hispaniola, now the Antilles, where he killed almost all of the inhabitants except the ones he kept for slaves. Later he got a better idea. Wherever he went, instead of killing all of the Natives, he'd take them back to Spain and sell them as slaves. Queen Isabella was very upset and warned him about mistreating her new subjects. However he ignored her instructions. When she heard from other sources the he was killing all the Natives wherever he went, he was order home in chains.

The truth of who “discovered” America should be taught. These continents were already inhabited before any Spanish, Italian or Croatian men arrived here. We all know Native Americans were here and had been here thousands of years before anyone else. Now because of the efforts of some people who understand the inadequacies of our history, the truth is finally being revealed. In the United States, there are at least seventeen states that don't celebrate Columbus Day. Some have changed the name to honor different things. Here the Indians celebrate "Indigenous People Day". In Venezuela they honor "Day of Indigenous Resistance". Some people celebrate “Dia del Raza" and so forth. Although this is progress, when will the truth about Columbus be taught in our schools?

Why do most kids only know the nice stories? Why are they still being taught to be proud of him and believe all the lies? Why aren't we taught that he was a lying, greedy, cheating, murderer? Why do we celebrate Columbus Day at all? He never even landed in this part of the continent, and he barely set foot on what is now the state of Florida. Most Indian people don't realize he killed so many of their own ancestors. But who can blame them? You know how they teach American Indian history. Still, there is a reason we celebrate Columbus Day in the United States. Albeit, a political one.

Since Spain has become the discoverer of the New World, it has become the object of widespread attacks, both physical and propagandistic in a conspiracy that rival nations mounted against her to keep Spain out of the New World; this is called the "Black Legend". Formed by the English speaking nations to protect what is called Americanism, it is still propagated today. Truth must be kept alive to effectively execute the fact of Americanism.

So it seems to me, we celebrate Columbus Day to support Americanism and our children do not know the truth. In my opinion it is all politically instigated, and that’s why many still don't know who Christopher Columbus was.

Beverly Archiquette Rubio is an enrolled Oneida tribal member living in the Milwaukee area.