Unlearn Whitewashed History - Columbus Day
Still celebrating Christopher Columbus Day instead of Indigenous Peoples' Day? Yikes.
The Enslavement of Native People
On October 12, 1492 (the first day he encountered the native people of the Americas), Columbus wrote in his journal: "They should be good servants .... I, our Lord being pleased, will take hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your Highnesses." These captives were later paraded through the streets of Barcelona and Seville when Columbus returned to Spain.  From his very first contact with native people, Columbus had their domination in mind. For example, on October 14, 1492, Columbus wrote in his journal, "with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them." These were not mere words: after his second voyage, Columbus sent back a consignment of natives to be sold as slaves.  Yet in an April, 1493, letter to Luis de Santangel (a patron who helped fund the first voyage), Columbus made clear that the people he encountered had done nothing to deserve ill treatment. According to Columbus:
"they are artless and generous with what they have, to such a degree as no one would believe but him who had seen it. Of anything they have, if it be asked for, they never say no, but do rather invite the person to accept it, and show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts." 
Nonetheless, later in the letter Columbus went on to say:
"their Highnesses may see that I shall give them as much gold as they need .... and slaves as many as they shall order to be shipped." 
Read the rest of the untold story of Christopher Columbus including direct excerpts from his journals and letters at: Understanding Prejudice