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Welcome to the Coffee Hour / Open Thread. For today's suggested topic lets consider Indigenous People's Day and Columbus Day.

First landing of Columbus on the shores of the New World: at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12th 1492.
This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome. What is for dinner? How are you doing? What is on your mind. If you are new to Street Prophets please introduce yourself below in a comment. Today's Coffee Hour is brought to you by today's Federal Holiday. ... More beyond the fold.

For some Columbus Day is a day of the celebration of the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. For others it has become a day of remembrance of the history of the indigenous peoples effected by the arrival.

Christopher Columbus (c. 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was a navigator, colonizer, and explorer from the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy, whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. With his four voyages of exploration and several attempts at establishing a settlement on the island of Hispaniola, all funded by Isabella I of Castile, he initiated the process of Spanish colonization which foreshadowed general European colonization of the "New World".

Christopher Columbus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What does this Federal Holiday stand for? Indigenous People's Day or Columbus Day.

The Central Criminal Court or Old Bailey, London, UK  - From Wikipedia
What are your thoughts about this holiday? This is an Open Thread and all topics of conversation are welcome.

Originally posted to Street Prophets on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 01:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks and Native American Netroots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar .... (11+ / 0-)

    Saturday I attended a breakfast party with Congressman Mike Thompson. This small gathering was convened to present to our new Congressman the  "progressive" voice in the Southern Solano county.

    Present were a number of county supervisors, city council  members, and many other important political figures and community members.

    As a gay man I felt at ease with this group. This is important as in the future I will have to speak at meetings that these community leaders will oversee.

    For me it has been a long road from being in the closet 50 years ago to speaking out publicly about human rights applying to everyone.  I am at the right time and at the right place.  I for one am thankful for the wonderfully accepting community community I live in.

    Yes, there is work to be done.  Yes, there are large obstacles  in our path. (The influence of the New Apostolic Reformation in Vallejo)  But, I have hope because I have the backing of my community. From members of my city council to county supervisors, and my congressman, Mike Thompson.

    All Good,


    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Columbus gets too much credit and too much blame (7+ / 0-)

    It's well-known that he wasn't the first European to make it to the New World. The Vikings left settlements, they beat him here by 500 years. And while he was the one everyone remembers it was inevitable with the rise of naval technology that someone was going to go looking for new lands to exploit. At most it would've been 50 years before someone sailed far enough west from Africa to see South America. It's only about 1800 miles between the two at the closest point, compared to finding the islands in the middle of the Pacific that's nothing at all.

    If we got Mitt to be slightly less dishonest and gave him some personality he could pass as a used car salesman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 01:15:22 PM PDT

  •  I just wish to quote Howard Zinn (9+ / 0-)

    and show everyone the real Christopher Columbus:

    And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their
    necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.  
    The Indians had been given an  impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust
    garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.  

    Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.  

    When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.  

    This passage is from the People's History. A free version can be read here
  •  It's the celebration of a day off of work. (8+ / 0-)

    That's the only thing most of us celebrate today.

  •  I wish Italian-Americans (0+ / 0-)

    would find some other "hero." Certainly plenty to choose from.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:51:02 PM PDT

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