Monday, October 8, 2007
Red-Hot Racism for Columbus Day
I haven't liked Columbus Day for a long time, and the whole "500 Years of Oppression" is just a secondary reason for me -- even given Denver's annual Columbus parade, complete with American Indian Movement civil disobedience. Those who think there was something positive in Columbus coming to the North American continent, have to overlook his very genocidal tendencies in helping Ferdinand and Isabella chase the Jews and Moors out of Spain (Housley, The Later Crusades, pg. 311). In his later years, Columbus was becoming a messianic racist nutcase, spouting about how God had chosen him to eradicate the Jews of Europe. This is someone to celebrate?
Well, I guess so, given the way people are responding to recent hoopla about an African-American teenage girl being pepper-sprayed and punched in Fort Pierce, Fla. Admittedly, the facts in this case can be as controversial as those in the Jena Seven events, and the cops in Fort Pierce arguably used restraint. But when I saw the user comments regarding the YouTube video in question, I was dumbfounded (they might have been removed by the time you read this). Users, some giving full names, bandied about the word "nigger" as though it's commonplace and OK to use as a white person, which several YouTube observers obviously are. Now, the Fort Pierce brutality case is a borderline event, because the 15-year-old wasn't doing the slightest thing to comply with a cop's request. But to use a discussion as an excuse to dredge out racist terms that should have died a century ago, shows how far we have to go to eradicate racism in this country. 515 years of white folk eradicating everyone else in North America, ain't ya proud?