As a child, there was a song that was taught to us, roughly translated its lyrics describes how Columbus arrived to Boriken (the Taino name for Puerto Rico which the Spaniards renamed rich port for its natural resources) lifted his leg, and shat upon us. It's a child's song that speaks to the irreverence of the inhabitants of an island that survived so much destruction and exploitation. My mother taught me that song. She was taught the song by her grandmother. Her grandmother before that passed it on. The song is part of a Puerto Rican cultural legacy, an underground of sorts that speaks to a truth that we sing privately. Today, I teach it to my kids and tell them the story of Columbus from the our grandmother's perspective.
That there is a national holiday to a thief who represents vulgar and massive human destruction and who is equated to Hitler for the genocide he led of Native American communities is an atrocity.
From "Howard Zinn on History." His chapter on Columbus and his henchmen:
|…of all the infinite universe of humanity, these people are the most guileless, the most devoid of wickedness and duplicity…yet into this sheepfold…there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening beasts…Their reason for killing and destroying…is that the Christians have an ultimate aim which is to acquire gold…|
To forget is to repeat history.