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The Christopher Columbus Genocide?

In elementary school history class Christopher Columbus was the great explorer who founded the Americas. However, in tenth grade history class I have learned that Christopher Columbus is the person who started the biggest genocide in history. Ninety-three million people were lost, over a 150 year period, because of him. He should not even be credited with the founding of the Americas because there were people that had been living there for hundreds of years already. The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recognized Christopher Columbus starting the genocide of the indigenous people.

He called it “the biggest genocide in history. ” Many people would probably agree with Chavez, seeing that even more people were killed here than Jews in World War 2. “They executed an aboriginal every 10 minutes – the biggest genocide in registered history,” Chavez said. These were innocent people that were killed because of the greed of some Europeans. Of the 24 million people currently living in Venezuela, around 350,000 are indigenous people from 28 distinct ethnic groups. That is a large percentage drop from what it was before the Spaniards came to the Americas.

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Most Venezuelans are “meztizo,” a mix of Spanish, African, and native bloodlines. October 12 is no longer called Columbus Day in Venezuela. Thanks to Chavez signing a decree to change the name, it is now called Day of Indigenous Resistance. Christopher Columbus seized 1,200 Taino Indians from the island of Hispaniola and sent them to Spain. Columbus tore families apart my taking children and husbands away to be slaves. On board Columbus’ slave ships many died and the sailors would simply throw the dead Indian bodies into the Atlantic Ocean.

Not all of these slaves were sent to Spain, some were put to work in mines and plantations he and his followers created in Caribbean islands. Christopher Columbus’ men even hunted the Indians for sport and profit. Humans should not do that to other humans because it is just not morally right. That sounds like something out of one of the Predator movies, and we are not a bunch of savages who hunt humans like they do for deer or some other animal. From a third graders point of view, Christopher Columbus is probably one of the least likely people to start genocide.

It is weird how over time your opinion on a subject can change so much. If you look at the number of deaths and how cruel the Europeans were to the Indians it is obvious that it was genocide. We never really solved discrimination until Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equal rights, and that was hundreds of years later. Indians are not prominent in population compared to other ethnicities. This was originally their country; there should be more Indians than any other ethnicity in this country. Unfortunately for them that is not the case.


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