Skip to comments.Rally Decries Crimes of Columbus; Stresses Importance of Native Cultures
Posted on 10/12/2009 12:41:29 AM PDT by Chet 99
Rally Decries Crimes of Columbus; Stresses Importance of Native Cultures
October 9, 2009 - 4:02am
By Margo Cohen Ristorucci
Propped against a podium in Ho Plaza, a poster of Christopher Columbus sat with the message Hate, Lies, Torture, Slavery and Oppression inscribed along his face. Anticipating the Oct. 12 holiday, Native American Students at Cornell organized a rally yesterday called "Indigenous Day Rally: Rethinking Columbus."
Alia Jones 10, co-chair of NASAC, explained that the event was aimed to both challenge Columbus Day and to raise awareness about present indigenous communities.
Question: why should the United States of America celebrate Columbus Day? Prof. Eric Cheyfitz, English, the first speaker and director of the American Indian Program, asked the crowd. I teach Columbuss journals as examples of the beginning of genocide in the Americas.
Four to five million people were living in the United States in 1492 compared to the 250,000 at the end of the 19th century, according to Cheyfitz. Today, 4.1 million Native Americans live in the United States, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.
Prof. Jolene Rickard, history of art and curator of Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, attributed the United States current wealth to 13th-century Native American resources.
What was 1491 like? What was this moment in time before the impact of globalization and modernity? That moment is the reason the United States is powerful because Columbus encountered land that was fecund, not pillaged, Rickard said.
Upon landing on what is now the Dominican Republic, Columbus disrupted this natural environment in his pursuit of profit. Cheyfitz described some of Columbuss colonial methods, such as cutting off Taínos hands if they failed to produce handfuls of gold.
Spaniards documented these practices like Congress today documents atrocities as if its natural, Cheyfitz said.
Cheyfitz provided a series of statistics to illuminate some of these current atrocities: the top 1 percent of Americans have 35 percent of accumulated wealth; 36.5 million to 37 million people live in poverty; the United States boasts the highest incarceration rates in the world; the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. 37th in regard to international health; and the U.S. owns 70 percent of the arms trade, making it the biggest seller of weapons of mass destruction.
Cheyfitz and Rickard, among other speakers, advised the audience to draw lessons from rich, indigenous cultures to counter contemporary problems.
My ancestors buried their weapons of war under the tree of peace, the white pine I exist as a Haudenosaunee woman because [they] gave their lives so that I can carry on the message of freedom to the next generation, Rickard said.
Looking toward the future, speakers used the upcoming holiday to initiate a discussion about ethnicity and community at Cornell. Ken Glover, current resident house director at Ujamaa, spoke about the dangers of program house consolidation. He hopes that Cornell is more adept at keeping its promise to diversity than the United States upheld its treaties to Native Americans. Benjamin García grad, a participant in the event, agreed with Glovers concerns.
Cornell likes to pretend it is more diverse than it actually is. The issue is much larger than just getting [minority students] in here its about retaining people who come from such different backgrounds, García said.
Representatives from Asian Pacific Americans for Action encouraged solidarity between minority groups on campus.
The fruits of oppression if we can call them fruits are rooted in the same, dirty soil, said Lawrence Lan 12, Sun staff writer and treasurer of the APAA. Lan drew connections between Columbuss treatment of Native Americans and Filipino resistance to Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
While the event began with 16 people, it gradually amassed a crowd of over 40. After the speeches, participants enjoyed Spoken Word poetry and falafel from the nearby Sukkah station.
I hope students use the critical thinking skills theyve learned here at Cornell and go home and continue this conversation with family and friends, said Kakwireiosta Hall, residence hall director at Akwe:kon and advisor for NASC.
Parents, this is where your $40k per year tuition money is going.
They should get down on their knees and thank God that men of the West conquered their heart-chopping, blood-drinking, cannibalistic Stone Age ancestors.
What a bunch of whiners.
I love how people claim North America was peaceful before 1492. Indian tribes were always at war with one another and often killed women and children as well.
City Of Evil ping.
“While the event began with 16 people, it gradually amassed a crowd of over 40. After the speeches, participants enjoyed Spoken Word poetry and falafel from the nearby Sukkah station.”
Wow, 40 whole people! What a groundswell of hugh manatee!
I wonder how many were there for the falafel?
They’re comparing their “rich indigenous cultures” favorably with that of Columbus’s native land?
“the top 1 percent of Americans have 35 percent of accumulated wealth; 36.5 million to 37 million people live in poverty”
What’s wrong with that?
“the top 1 percent of Americans have 35 percent of accumulated wealth”
Straight from the young democratic socialists...
the top 1 percent of Americans have 35 percent of accumulated wealth
How is everyone supposed to own a railroad?
Those fellows are certainly superior to dead white males.
Also, what about the indians elimination of the black mariners who used to populate South America? Something else to celebrate?
“Haudenosaunee woman” ...Oh really...did a two second two finger search..
Oh...no wonder she use use the term “Iroquois”, also known as the Haudenosaunee
I’m loath to post it...but just for a scan of backround reference:
The money quote:
In Reflections in Bullough’s Pond, historian Diana Muir argues that the pre-contact Iroquois were an imperialist, expansionist culture whose use of the corn/beans/squash agricultural complex enabled them to support a large population that made war against other to conquer other Algonquian peoples.
I suggest looking up the “beaver wars”....looks like the young lacy is lying about her ancestors...
They appear to have been warmongering, imperialist, capitalists...
Oh my....someone should send her a clue...
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