Every year in October, Columbus Day is celebrated in several countries in The Americas as well as in Spain and Italy. However, in more recent decades there’s been increasing opposition to Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. According to the Left’s narrative, Christopher Columbus arrival in the New World marked the beginning of one the largest genocides in human history. But was it really? The major problem with this assertion is that the vast majority of natives, some 75 to 95 percent, were killed by Old World diseases to which they had no immunity. While no less a tragedy, it does not qualify as a genocide. A genocide requires a calculated deliberate intent to exterminate a whole group of people. The Europeans were unaware that the natives had no immunity to Old World diseases, let alone how infectious diseases even worked. Germ Theory was not fully understood until the late nineteenth century. It should also be noted that in the United States, at least, there was never a government policy for extermination. On the contrary, you don’t set up reservations and inoculate the people you are trying to exterminate.

With the call to abolish Columbus Day in favor Indigenous People’s Day, there is an implication that Native Americans are more virtuous, deserving, and noble than their European counterparts. But is that true? The Left tends to romanticize Native Americans when highlighting acts of barbarism committed by Europeans. It’s true there were atrocities done to Native Americans, but that is only one side of the story. Guess what? Nothing the Europeans did was any different from what the natives themselves did. For instance, Native Americans conquered and enslaved other native peoples. Slavery was widely practiced in pre-Columbian America, just as it was universally practiced everywhere at the time. According to the Standard Cross-Cultural Files, at least thirty-nine pre-Columbian societies in North America alone practiced slavery, and it was no different from slavery practiced elsewhere. Indian slave masters had complete control to kill their slaves if they desired. A little known fact is that in the nineteenth century Native Americas also began to acquire black slaves. In fact, the Cherokee Indians took a number of black slaves with them when they were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma “Indian” Territory. In short, Native Americans had the same sins and vices as the Europeans, and even some they didn’t have. None more highlights this than the Aztec Indians. 

The Aztecs had an occultic bloodlust that was unparalleled. Some historians estimate the Aztecs ritually sacrificed 50,000 people per year in a population area of four to five million. That equates to sacrificing one percent of their total population annually. These people were usually captives taken from neighboring Indian tribes. The manner in which these human sacrifices were done were particularly barbaric. Captives were taken to the top of a temple and laid upon a stone slab. The priest would then take a knife, plunge it into their chest, and pull out their still-beating heart. The bodies would then be dismembered, the torso kicked down the temple steps, and the limbs eaten. Their heads would be placed on a pole, and their skulls kept as trophies. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who accompanied Cortés, witnessed more than one hundred thousand skulls stacked meticulously on top of each other, to which Aztec texts, frescoes, and archeology have confirmed. Most of the victims were men, but women and children were also sacrificed. Women would also have their hearts ripped out, but more often they were slowly beheaded and then skinned. The priests would often wear the skins while the sacrifices continued. In one event, during the coronation of a new temple, an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 people were sacrificed over a four-day period. 

After the arrival of the Spanish and the ensuing conflicts, the Spanish witnessed some of their own being taken captive by the Aztecs. The Spanish prisoners were stripped naked, brought to the temple, and forced to dance naked for an hour. Afterwards, the Aztec high priest sacrificed them alive, ripped out their hearts and dismembered them. Up until that point the Spanish had been fairly mercifully towards the Aztecs, but after witnessing those horrific events the gloves came off. When Cortés finally conquered the Aztecs, much of the slaughter that ensued was done by their Indian allies who hated the Aztecs. Say what you will about the conquistadors, but not even the worst among them engaged in human sacrifice and cannibalism. If there ever were a civilization that deserved to be conquered, it was the Aztecs. The Aztecs were not alone when it came to human sacrifice. The Mayans, Incas, and other tribes also practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice, including sacrificing children and infants. 

When Columbus discovered The Americas he encountered good natives, but he also encountered bad natives. Upon his second trip to The Americans, he encountered the Caribs (from which the word “cannibal” is derived, as in Caribbean). According to historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in deserted huts the Spaniards found human limbs and cuts of human flesh partly consumed, as well as young boys who were being fattened to eat. The French explorer Florentine Giovanni da Verrazzano was said to have been eaten on the beaches of Guadeloupe by Caribs while his companions looked on from their ship in horror. 

To preface, not all Native Americans were cannibals and practiced human sacrifice. There were good and bad natives just like there are good and bad people in every society. The purpose of this article is not to vilify Native Americans, but to point out the one-sided arguments made by the Left. They paint with a broad bush when vilifying Europeans of that era. Meanwhile, they ignore atrocities committed by the Native Americans themselves. Not once will you hear about the genocides committed by the Aztecs or a condemnation of the Mayans for their human sacrifices. These details do not fit their narratives. Nor will you hear about attacks upon white civilian settlers. During Pontiac’s War, for example, Indian warriors entered a schoolhouse, killed the schoolmaster then tomahawked and scalped eight children. Contrary to popular belief, Europeans did not teach scalping to the Native Americans. Archeological evidence indicates that scalping existed in pre-Columbian America. 

Ultimately, the attack on Columbus Day is by association an attack on Western civilization. But rather anyone likes it or not, Columbus did discover America and it did change the course of world history. Ignoring this fact will not change events, nor does it make it any less of an historic event. But let’s suppose Columbus never discovered America. It would be naïve to believe it would remain undiscovered forever. Sooner or later it would be discovered, if not by the Europeans then by somebody else, probably the Chinese. And the outcome would have been the same. The Native Americans would still have died by the scores from diseases which they had no immunity to, there still would have been conflicts, and they still would have lost. It is an unfortunate outcome, but a predicable one. When a more technologically advanced civilization comes into contact with a primitive stone-aged civilization, it never fares well for the latter.

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Comment by Jerseygal on October 12, 2018 at 6:56pm

Excellent post, Watchman!  I barely peeked in here for over a week, and I missed it!

Throughout history, a more efficient society overcame a less efficient one, and often it was by war.  Liberals choose not to recognize that native tribes in North America tough each other for centuries before Columbus arrived here, followed by other traders who offered them, in exchange for furs, pelts, minerals, or shells, things they could not make themselves. Once they saw those things, the majority wanted them.  It’s human nature. They wanted to trade.  They valued those things the traders brought, for their own reasons.  Otherwise, they would have simply ambushed them whenever they came ashore, and mostly, they didn’t. 

The native Americans gave us tobacco, and peyote.  How many people were killed by tobacco?  

Comment by Watchman on October 15, 2018 at 12:51am

Thank you JG! Human nature is the same everywhere, and no one is perfect. It's just that Liberals like to hold one particular group of people up to impossible standards.

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