Re: Off & On The Topic

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Posted by Bill R on November 01, 2000 at 07:27:48:

In Reply to: Re: Off & On The Topic posted by Christina on November 01, 2000 at 06:57:12:

: : Rich : :Columbus, readily found on the Internet, basically claiming he was nothing more than a lost sailor, fed by greed, who discovered nothing and was directly responsible for the destruction of the Eden he accidently bumped into here in the New World.

: : Annie : I have heard this before. Not only this but that Columbus ordered the killing of many indians himself. It was mentioned a couple of times in a three video documentary called "The War Against the Indians", written and produced by Harry Rasky. What shall we believe? Who's rendition of history is the truth?

: : Rich: My point [one of] exactly. Why believe an E-Mail circulating around the Internet? Unfortunately, a PHD doesn't necessarily remove one's biases. It can enable one to more cleverly disguise them, though. READ! Read all you can on any subject from as wide a variety of sources as you can ... and keep an open mind. THEN, decide what could & couldn't be ... It is sad, but true, many of us simply believe what we want to believe when it comes to history. We read an article, or worse, watch a movie ... it delivers the message we hoped for, maybe unconsciously, and so we go with it.

: : I have an excellent example, regarding Crazy Horse, to illustrate this point. Time does not permit me to get into it right at the moment. I'm supposed to be getting ready for work. First opportunity, I'll elaborate! Meanwhile, for homework :), follow this link and read this "bio" of Crazy Horse, found all over the Net, by Dr. Charles Eastman ...

: I'm not going to get into the depths of this debate because it's one I've been embroiled in hundreds of times on and off since my days at my fairly crazy and politically charged college...but here's the basic thing I've learned about reading history, something I HAVE done a lot of and am doing more of thanks to this Board...the more you read and the more you learn about HUMAN history, the more you realize that because historical figures ARE human, they almost all have failings and bad things that they have done. This comes from the basic fact that we, as humans, are fallible...start with that fact and it makes the reading and the understanding of history a little easier to deal with, even the most unpleasant things.
: Christina

Not going to get into a long debate on this subject either, but do want to make one point. It IS proven history that the Spanish treatment of the native population was first one of "friendship" and religious conversion, then slavery, and finally decimation. That was their colonial pattern. If Columbus was sailing for the Spanish crown, and a product of the mores and attitudes of his day, why would he have behaved differently? It was certainly a pattern seen in North America by the first settlers of European heritage. We make no bones about the Pilgrims and first settlers mistreating the indians and even wiping out whole tribes. Why would Columbus all of a sudden act outside the norm for the times? I could go on but think it better to stop here. I am not taking away from his bravery at all. To sail into the vast ocean away from sight of land was courageous for the times. However, often courage is driven by overwhelming forces within us. Revenge. A desire to protect our families. Or, in this case, possibly overwhelming greed and ambition.

Bill R

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