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English: Christopher Columbus Česky: Portrét K...

English: Christopher Columbus Česky: Portrét Kryštofa Kolumba od malíře Sebastiana del Piomba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Yes, I know.

 

Most everyone else is celebrating Happy Columbus Day, but after what I read earlier, I really cannot do that today.

 

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue

 

That’s what I was always taught.

 

Good old Christopher Columbus … bravely going where no man had gone … to discover that the world was round … and finding the good old US of A.

 

Many years ago I learned that he did not hit the USA, but just an island farther south.
Then I learned that he was not the first, but more likely it was a Nordic sailor.
And then how did they explain the friendly natives who were already here?

 

More importantly how did they explain that whole pesky round earth thing the Greeks had three hundred years BC?

 

But never being one to let facts stand in the way of a good story, I dutifully parroted back whatever was fed to me by years of teachers and rhyme tellers.

 

Good Old Chris … sailor of the sea … discoverer of the discoveries.

 

Until today.

 

Today I read The Oatmeal.

 

And today I learned that Good Old Chris was a bit of a scumbag at best … a barbaric slave trader and sex marketer at worst.

 

BartolomedelascasasOne man (Bartolome) was so appalled and disgusted by all that Good Old Chris had done and was doing that he renounced being a sailor and became a Priest instead.

First denouncing the Columbus slavery … then later all slavery in general. And he spent fifty years in the pursuit of helping people.

 

So, for those of you who didn’t know, I present part of The Oatmeal here. I encourage you to go to his site to read the whole thing. Warning: It is pretty grizzly.

 

Happy Bartolome’s Day.


Told you it was grim.

If you go to the story … you will see that Bartolome was as close to a happy ending as these folks had.