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The deep roots of white violence

An open letter to the Empire State:

The time has come to unseat icons glorifying violent white oppression. Nevertheless, New York’s Governor Cuomo scurried out of quarantine to protect the proud heritage of an Italian Columbus. Never mind that Italy was not a country until 1861 or that the man called Columbus neither spoke nor wrote Italian.

Evidence supporting the theory of an Italian Columbus is still questionable. History is made of controversies and others posit that it is more likely that Columbus was not only a Portuguese nobleman, but also that he was possibly Jewish. It is well known that Columbus’s 1492 fleet set sail on the day Jewish ethnic cleansing within Castile and Aragon began. During this particular Jewish expulsion it was common practice to conceal religious identity as well.

Notwithstanding the popular mythologies, many indigenous people don’t care one way or the other about Columbus the man. Majorities of indigenous people, however, condemn the present-day use of the “Christian Doctrine of Discovery” which is the lingering legal legacy of Columbus’s voyage.

The reason that Columbus is significant to U.S. history at all is because in the 1800s the white Christian political class enshrined the “Christian Doctrine of Discovery” into federal law. That is why all American indigenous peoples cannot own their respective reservations. Subsequently the white violence and looting of indigenous peoples is perpetuated.

Cruel domination of non-white people built upon a 15th century white Christian hierarchy is the driving narrative behind the Columbus statue vandalism in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Minnesota.

It’s about time we move beyond the bigotry of 1492 Christendom. Maybe the United States could try “all men are created equal.”

Ross Douglass

Basalt


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