It is utter insanity that America on a national scale does not recognize these tragedies with ceremonies of remembrance, flags lowered to half-staff or with programs of reconciliation for healing the wounds that are still open from the colossal tragedies. Most of the places that we frequent right here in the New York City are named for the very people that many of us owe our survival to. There are many reading this article who are from Canarsie, The Rockaways and Manhattan. These names are either of indigenous groups or are indigenous words. How can we have the names of the people without giving them credit or remembering the tragedy that caused their demise? Seventy percent of the foods we eat in the world can be traced to the domestication of crops by the indigenous of the Americas. The tomatoes, corn and mangoes that many of us could not live without can be traced to these shores.
Mike Ely on the eve of the 500th anniversary, 25 years ago, wrote in the Revolutionary Worker, “The U.S. imperialists love Columbus. They have named cities, counties, towns, rivers, colleges, parks, streets and even their capitol after him. Yet, to the people, the facts are plain: Columbus was a thief, an invader, an organizer of the rape of Indian women, a slave trader, a reactionary religious fanatic, and the personal director of a campaign for mass murder of defenseless peoples. The bourgeoisie hides these truths as they insist on celebrating him.”
Ely continued, “Any reading of his diaries reveals that he was filled, not with a lofty courage or adventurous curiosity, but only the most extreme craving to plunder and enslave unarmed people.” These facts are evidence that point to the insanity that we see in mass shootings, senseless police killings of unarmed Black men, rape culture on college campuses, a tone of racial hatred across the board, the rogue criminal business practices of Wall Street and the insensitivity of the president of these United States toward the colony of Puerto Rico.
Let us, the victims of these past and current atrocities take this time of year to not only mourn but also become active in this nation under our feet to create a better future than the one that the descendants of the mass murderer have in store for us. It is only through activity and agitation that a true democracy can rise. Let us not forget the real history as we strive toward a better tomorrow. So please take some time this “Columbus Day” to support people who truly need your help, love and loyalty, but most of all resist the wave of tyranny that still extends to today. Alluta continua—The struggle continues.