“In 1492 Columbus sailed the open blue”

Whenever I think of Christopher Columbus I think of two things. First, his actual un-anglicized name “Cristoforo Columbo” as that how I learned about him and secondly this video.

I think about the woman staring at the camera, hurt in her eyes, saying “evil, pure evil” I cannot fathom her hurt. I cannot fathom the ways that his “discovery” have ruined her life.

I found this particular lecture interesting. I found this sentence particularly potent.

For the Western Hemisphere 1492, is the great dividing line between the pre-colonial, pre-Hispanic, pre-latin America and the colonial and post-colonial periods.

What is most interesting to me is that Columbo’s discovery was a pure accident, that he truly believed that he was elsewhere. But I do not think this makes him innocent, I still believe that although it was in his best interest to convert the people he met to Christianity for his king and queen. The way he went about it was indeed malicious, he still believed that he was better than those he was interacting with, he still gave them broken glass, as presents, he exploited those he interacted, responded to their kind actions with mockery. So, reading his account has not generated sympathy from me, I do not believe him to be blameless because of his time, his self-importance paved the way for the generational propriety of European self-importance, that led Europe to “conquer” the world under the same guise of Christianity that he did. He may not necessarily be a villain, but I see validity in the fact that he is “evil, pure evil”.


4 thoughts on “WEEK TWO

  1. I completely agree with your point about Columbus not being blameless and having no sympathy for him due to the countless cruelties. I think you make a very important point about how he “paved the way for the generational propriety of European self-importance, that led Europe to “conquer” the world under the same guise of Christianity that he did”. Even though this particular event could have had no long-term effect since previous colonization efforts such as the Vikings did not (as mentioned in the video), it is clear that Columbus’ actions set the narrative for the colonization efforts that followed. The notion that he is evil does not seem too far from the truth considering his utter lack of empathy towards the Indigenous peoples that lead to great exploitation and genocide of them.

  2. Really interesting video. I do agree with what you mean when you mention that his voyage was pure accident, but this does not make him innocent. Yes, the fact he landed in the Americas was accidental, but his actions following this event are totally unforgivable.

  3. Thank you for sharing this video. What a powerful summary of the residual effects of Columbo’s “discovery” of the western hemisphere. I agree with your sentiments completely. I think that Columbo was a master of deception and trickery and not much more.

  4. It was interesting to add the video in your blog as it clearly showed the other side of the story through the eyes of indigenous people. This was very helpful for me to get a better insight of what have truly happened.

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