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Submitted to the Rocky Mountain News 12.6.04

With the court cases pending in the Columbus Day trials, it is important not to get bogged down in some of the court proceedings around the parade and focus on the issue at hand.  There is a State and National holiday that celebrates the life of a person who is responsible for the genocide of Indigenous people, who was involved in the slave trade both in Africa and in the Americas, and was removed from power and brought back to Europe in chains for managing the affairs in the "new world" poorly.  It is well documented that the Columbus mythology was largely a fabrication to give legitimacy to the theft of Indian lands.  The facts are that he never set foot in what is now the United States of America, even until his death thought that he was near Asia, and he set up the encomienda system of governance that used the rule of law to steal Indigenous land and enslave the people to mine gold.  What does it sa y about us that we annually celebrate lies about a historical figure that was never physically in the country?  What does that say about us that we annually teach our children lies about a historical figure to mask the reality of a brutal past of stolen land and millions murdered.  It takes strength to face this reality and do something about it.  That is what the protesters did on October 9th. I hope the rest of us can also do something about it.                   

Mark Freeland,  Aurora

                  

 

2004 Transform Columbus Day Alliance
12/07/2004