This reading offered yet another example of the false reporting of Columbus’s journey to the Americas, and truly exemplified the problems and flaws with the glorification Columbus day that we see annually. After listening to the
Podcast immediately before this, I am surely confident that the story I idolized for many years is full of banter, lies, rape, exploitation, manipulation, and many more horrid traits that would disturb the entire world should the real truth become common knowledge.
To touch on a few points that stuck me as more enlightening and interesting than others; the fact that Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in the early stages of his journey, enslaved the residents of that territory unless he was granted gold was sickening to me. It is recorded in the text that in two years that Columbus occupied that territory, modern day Haiti’s population depleted by more than 50% due to enslavement, torture, and suicide. Furthermore, when Columbus came up short on the Gold that he promised his financial supporters in Spain, he instead gave them enslaved people from the Caribbean area, which further aided the depletion of the indigenous population. Overall, the narrative of Columbus arriving in the Caribbean, and after the United States was gruesome, pitiful, and horrifying, and allowed me the opportunity to understand the deep problems rooted in the recordings of history.
To touch on one final point that was intriguing about the passage; Zinn was intelligent to mention the reasons for the celebration of Columbus Day, as well as providing a justification why. He noted that whenever historians account the past, they choose what facts emphasize the narrative that they are trying to push, and consequently people are left with a broken record of the past in which they are unable to obtain the truth without extensive research and digging. Secondly, Zinn hinted at the fact that this type of recording supports the view of governments, conquerers, leaders, and diplomats. In society, those type of people and Regimes are viewed as leaders with goals in mind, and modern day history is taught to unify a country, and celebrate the untrue accomplishments of “leaders” that were actually people of poor moral and ethical standards.
Conclusively, this reading was fascinating for me as I was able to deduct the true story of Columbus, identify the problems with reports and accounts of our countries, and world’s past, and understand the reasons behind this poor reporting.