Monday, October 14, 2013

Not My Holiday

Did you know I am a high school dropout?  It is certainly not something I am proud of, but it is a fact and one I have learned to stop hiding from.  I’ve managed okay since then with hard work, determination and amazing people in my life. 

I’m the classic case you’ve heard about; a kid who couldn’t manage to conform to public school standards.  I had my own ideas and that really ticked off the teachers and administrators in my school.

The last report I turned in was on Christopher Columbus.  I got a big fat red F, was called into the principal’s office and my Mom was called and also reprimanded for allowing me to “speak my mind”. 

I ripped the pages up and dumped them on his desk just before I walked out.  I returned two days later to pick up stuff from my locker and never returned.  I did go to a vocational school, but that didn’t pan out very well either.  While I had the height and build, I did not have the tenacity for modeling.  Those girls are ruthless!  LOL

Anywho, on to why I hate Columbus Day and refuse to celebrate it as a holiday. 
These are facts; you can look them up if you don’t believe me.

Columbus did not “discover” the new world.  Leif Ericson found it about 500 years before Columbus got lost looking for the East Indies and stumbled onto the shores of a group of islands off the coast of Florida that we now refer to as the Bahamas. 

His greed when he saw the native inhabitants wearing gold was the impetus for his highly funded return trip.  The original voyage was meant to establish a better trade route to Asia.  Instead he returned to Spain with 25 native Lucayan aboard his ship.  Of them only 7 survived.  Columbus noted in his journal, “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I please”.

When the queen was made aware of the prospect of that much gold, she sent Columbus back with an arsenal of ships, weapons and 1,500 men.  Sounds like a friendly approach, eh?

Columbus returned with a renewed vigor to “conquer”, and set up horrible forms of treatment of the indigenous people raping and killing their women and children and setting up a token system whereby they would supply him with what he wanted (gold) or face a horrible torturous death.   

Another excerpt from his journal: "A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand."

Columbus' acts of cruelty were so unspeakable and so legendary, even during that age of debauchery,  that Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, put them in chains, and sent them back Spain to answer for their crimes against the Arawaks. But the King and Queen of Spain, their treasury filling up with gold, pardoned Columbus and let him go free.

It is estimated that the final death toll from post-Columbian disease and starvation was between 3-5 million. 


So, the next time you’re disgruntled that the post office is closed to celebrate our federal holiday of Columbus Day consider what took place in our history to bring that about.

Oh….and also consider that it was FDR who established this day as a holiday.  I’ll save you from hearing my tirade about that! 


Laurey G said...

I knew we were sisters! I left High School under much different circumstances at the end of my Sophomore year. I have since had specific technical training, and management skills training, and held upper management positions over my career. The lack of a diploma was a dark secret. In 2009, I played hooky from work, went to the local community college, and took all 5 tests back to back to obtain my GED. I 'graduated' in the top 10% of my class. I had long contended that the High School teachers were recycling info that I had learned from VERY good teachers in middle school. Nice blog, Beki.

The bad Liz said...

Hurray!! Another believer! As a person with Norwegian heritage, I also don't believe in Columbus day.

Go Scandinavia!!!

Nancy Sopp said...

You have certainly proven yourself to be an independent learner. You did not let that bad experience stop you!