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Darker side of Columbus taught in US classrooms
AP ^ | October 12, 2009 | Christine Armario

Posted on 10/12/2009 8:05:15 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement

TAMPA, Fla. - Jeffrey Kolowith’s kindergarten students read a poem about Christopher Columbus, take a journey to the New World on three paper ships, and place the explorer’s picture on a timeline through history.

Kolowith’s students learn about the explorer’s significance, but they also come away with a more nuanced picture of Columbus than the noble discoverer often portrayed in pop culture and legend.

“I talk about the situation where he didn’t even realize where he was,’’ Kolowith said. “And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy.’’

Columbus’s stature in US classrooms has declined somewhat through the years, and many districts will not observe his namesake holiday today. Although lessons vary, many teachers are trying to present a more balanced perspective of what happened after Columbus reached the Caribbean and the suffering of indigenous populations.

“The whole terminology has changed,’’ said James Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs in the Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development. “You don’t hear people using the world ‘discovery’ anymore like they used to. ‘Columbus discovers America.’ Because how could he discover America if there were already people living here?’’

In Texas, students start learning in the fifth grade about the “Columbian Exchange,’’ which consisted not only of gold, crops, and goods shipped back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, but also of diseases carried by settlers that decimated native populations.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: christophercolumbus; columbus; historyeducation; worldhistory
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Aw, nuanced. Nuanced. /sarc.
1 posted on 10/12/2009 8:05:15 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

Indoctrination.


2 posted on 10/12/2009 8:06:35 AM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

Killjoys have attempted to ruin everything. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, you name it. Notice, however, in no jurisdiction is the NEA lobbying to make October 12 a school day.


3 posted on 10/12/2009 8:07:43 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
The Crimes of Christopher Columbus
4 posted on 10/12/2009 8:08:04 AM PDT by Coleus (Abortion, Euthanasia & FOCA - - don't Obama and the Democrats just kill ya!)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

By this logic, how could anyone “discover” a lost tribe or unknown civilization?

Columbus had courage, something that liberals do not like and do not understand.


5 posted on 10/12/2009 8:08:05 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
Yea, and the “indigenous people” gave them syphilis, which took 500 years to find a cure.
6 posted on 10/12/2009 8:08:30 AM PDT by svcw (Legalism reinforces self-righteousness - it communicates to you the good news of your own goodness)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

“I talk about the situation where he didn’t even realize where he was,’’
_______________________________________________

Ah, did he tell the kids that when that happen Columbus PRAYED and asked God what to do ???


7 posted on 10/12/2009 8:08:57 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

Exhibit A as to why our children are completely unaware of what an American is. The NEA and the rest of these pukes will trash America at any chance. Not one of them would have the guts to get in any one of Columbus’s tiny ships and brave the Atlantic like he did. And if the NEA and these other morons think that maintaining discipline on three ships with dozens of people is easy, then they really are morons.

Get your kids out of the public screwells as fast as you can.


8 posted on 10/12/2009 8:09:04 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: laweeks

and the indiginous people didn’t have the wheel.


9 posted on 10/12/2009 8:10:46 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

How would today’s kindergarten teachers know Christopher Columbus was “mean”????

How?


10 posted on 10/12/2009 8:11:02 AM PDT by BertWheeler (Dance and the World Dances With You!)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
I hope I can get my grandson to read Samuel Eliot Morrison's Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus
11 posted on 10/12/2009 8:11:03 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
In Texas, students start learning in the fifth grade about the “Columbian Exchange,’’ which consisted not only of gold, crops, and goods shipped back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, but also of diseases carried by settlers that decimated native populations.

It's somehow never pointed out that if the Western Hemisphere had been more technologically advanced and "discovered" Europe or Asia, exactly the same thing would have happened. Eurasian diseases probably reduced the native population of the American by 90% or more by 1600, but there was absolutely no way to prevent this once contact was made.

Also, FWIW, all these diseases of which I'm aware originated in Asia or Africa, yet are routinely referred to as European diseases.

I have no objection to history being taught "warts and all," in fact that's preferrable. I do object to it being taught "warts only."

12 posted on 10/12/2009 8:12:10 AM PDT by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

When I was in Kindergarten (1981-1982), we were taught what a great man Columbus was. Of course, about 75% of the kids in my class had vowels at the end of their name, so that was a factor.


13 posted on 10/12/2009 8:12:56 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Clemenza

bttt


14 posted on 10/12/2009 8:13:15 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: svcw

Disputed due mainly to PC, but probable given the timeline.


15 posted on 10/12/2009 8:13:18 AM PDT by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

So, the Europeans DELIBERATELY brought disease over with themselves?

How on earth would 15th century sailors know they carried diseases with them? Hell, they thought they were going to India!

This is all so much bull durham.


16 posted on 10/12/2009 8:14:10 AM PDT by RexBeach
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

“The indigenous population was kind of waiting expectantly, almost with smiles on their faces,’’ Kracht said. “ ‘I wonder what this guy is bringing us?’ Well, he’s bringing us smallpox, for one thing, and none of us are going to live very long.’’

They are probably being taught that Columbus gave the natives death blankets and hacked them to death with a sabre.

sigh...


17 posted on 10/12/2009 8:15:26 AM PDT by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
"..a more nuanced picture.."

IOW make him look like a villian.

18 posted on 10/12/2009 8:16:35 AM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
Kindergarten?? That teacher needs horse whipped.
19 posted on 10/12/2009 8:17:00 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: Kansas58

Columbus clearly discovered America in the sense that almost no maps or atlases or catalogs on the world island comprising Europe, Asia and Africa had any hint of the existence of land between Asia and Europe in 1492 but by 1510, almost all new maps and atlases reflect the knowledge of America.

“Viking Maps” and sagas, to the extent they actually existed are at best ephemera, not part of mankind’s base of knowledge. That information had almost no influence on the wider world’s perception, unlike Columbus.


20 posted on 10/12/2009 8:17:38 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
Because how could he discover America if there were already people living here?’’

That's the problem with these people, they don't understand the American concept or appreciate the opportunities of what a truly free country offers.

We're not special, in fact we're the problem in the world, I am so sick of this.

21 posted on 10/12/2009 8:19:37 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Obama's Blackberry, who's on the other end?)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

“He was very mean, very bossy”

There can be only ONE captain of a ship.

This kid will be a very poor employee. He thinks no one should be the boss.


22 posted on 10/12/2009 8:19:51 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

Who cares about the Indians? Not me. They were a group of barbarians, in some cases cannibals, who constantly fought against competing tribes well before the Europeans showed up. Lefty weasels and fruits attempt to portray these barbarians as ‘peace-loving, spiritual people’ when in actuality they killed and mutilated each other while battling for the same turf they ultimately lost to the Europeans. They have contributed very little to the world, in any way, and it’s an overall positive that this great land was settled by people with more ability and virtue.


23 posted on 10/12/2009 8:20:25 AM PDT by raptor29
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

You’ll never see these libs mess with “Arbor Day”! :)


24 posted on 10/12/2009 8:20:27 AM PDT by albie
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To: massgopguy

“and the indiginous people didn’t have the wheel.”
And since I was born in the U.S.A. (of European descent), I’m indiginous too, right. And indignant!


25 posted on 10/12/2009 8:21:35 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
It occurs to me (not for the first time) that the large Hispanic immigration which is now happening is almost payback for Columbus. The folks crossing our southern border do not look like fairskinned Spaniards. The folks in Mexico and Central America today have genetically very mixed, and in large part Native American. They are coming up north, and they are very receptive to the idea that Columbus was an evil man.

Let's go back many, many centuries. A lot of folks think that the Barbarian Invasions which toppled Rome were a series of military campaigns. Not so. Yes, there were battles, but mostly it was a mass migration of peoples with a different culture. The Mediterranean culture of Caesar, Cicero, and Vergil was overwhelmed by an outside culture that had different values.

This is what we see happening to us today.

26 posted on 10/12/2009 8:21:44 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

One moment in the movie 1492 that I liked...

Columbus confronts his persecutor and says, what you can never change is the fact that I did it. And you didn’t.


27 posted on 10/12/2009 8:22:55 AM PDT by marron
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To: Clemenza

We went to school not very far apart. When I was in kindergarten in PS 45 in South Ozone Park in 1955-56, about 90% of my classmates were descendants of slaves and I cannot recall how Columbus Day was covered. When I moved on to Christ the King in Springfield Gardens a couple years later, we had a high “last name ending in vowel” factor, though most of the sisters were Irish. Columbus was, nonetheless, a good Catholic and not in the least bit a Protestant and therefore a good person.


28 posted on 10/12/2009 8:23:39 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: Cheetahcat

Kindergarten?? That teacher needs horse whipped.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

He would likely enjoy that.


29 posted on 10/12/2009 8:25:06 AM PDT by wintertime (People are not stupid! Good ideas win!)
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To: raptor29

Gee....Sounds just like what I told my grandchildren...And I have indian friends...


30 posted on 10/12/2009 8:25:59 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: laweeks

The NEA and TEACHERS SHOULD LOVE COLUMBUS...

Columbus was the PERFECT DEMOCRAT!
He did not know where he was Going.
When he got back, he could NOT SAY where he’d been.
And He did it ALL with a GOVERNMENT GRANT!


31 posted on 10/12/2009 8:27:30 AM PDT by gwilhelm56 (I will DIE with Israel BY MY SIDE, rather than LIVE with the CHAINS of ISLAM on my Back!)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

They might want to teach the darker side of the Obamaloon.

(And libs, please don’t try the racist stuff...this is not referring to his color. Your guy is a commie idiot, pure and simple.)


32 posted on 10/12/2009 8:28:38 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
I talk about the situation where he didn’t even realize where he was,

Ah, maybe that's because of the limited capability of navigation, measuring, and mapping equipment of the day.

Columbus, a brilliant thinker and mathematician had calculated from all equipment and observations available to him, that the Earth was spherical, but calculated a circumference about 30% smaller than the actual circumference. It was an astounding accomplishment for the day.

Arriving after a difficult voyage and expecting Asia, nothing matched, but it only took a couple days, still in his exhausted state, to figure out that he had DISCOVERED an unknown continent and recalculate with 95% accuracy.

33 posted on 10/12/2009 8:29:01 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

My daughter thought Columbus was a pirate. That’s what her teacher told her, she said.


34 posted on 10/12/2009 8:29:55 AM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
“Viking Maps” and sagas, to the extent they actually existed are at best ephemera, not part of mankind’s base of knowledge. That information had almost no influence on the wider world’s perception, unlike Columbus.

I always phrase it as Columbus opened the trade routes to the new world. Sure the clovis (sp?) people walked here, but they never walked back. The Vikings came, looked around and went home. Once Columbus showed up there was a steady stream of ships in both directions that has never stopped.

If the insistence is on the word discover, just point out that if a something is discovered, then forgotten, it is possible to rediscover it. Evidence statements in the press like "Scientists discovered how Ancient Sumerians made batteries from clay jars".

Columbus was a great explorer, and a lousy administrator. He was removed as governor of Hispaniola because of his poor management that resulted in the deaths of much of the local population. Columbus is definitely a man with an asterisk after his name. Great explorer and navigator, but an nasty piece of work if you were not someone he needed something from. But most of the great explorers were odd in one way or another. Hudson was mutinied, Magellan lost almost his entire fleet, Lewis and Clark were both emotionally troubled individuals. Only Cook was generally a decent person from almost every angle. And his decency and concern for his crews made him an odd ball in his day and age. People who are drawn to exploration are usually different in some way. Probably because "Normal" people don't sail off the end of the map.
35 posted on 10/12/2009 8:30:22 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world, and they are all out to get me.)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy.

Yeah, the Captain of an expedition into the absolute unknown, with zero recon, needs to be a Nancy Pants.

36 posted on 10/12/2009 8:32:51 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
“And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy.’’

As admiral of the fleet, with a royal appointment, no doubt he should have taken a vote every day as to what they should do next.

"Ay, caramba, Capitano! Turn back! We is about to fall off the edge of the world!"

37 posted on 10/12/2009 8:33:43 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan

An exchange Sunday with my eldest son got me to thinking (a rare feat, indeed).

He asked if tomorrow was a holiday. I responded that it’s Columbus Day. Sensitive and bright guy that he is, he came back – half joking — with “Don’t you mean Oppression of Indigenous Peoples Day?”

He and I have debated the matter of the government’s treatment of the American Indian many times. He takes the position that we badly mistreated these original and mostly warrior inhabitants of what we now call America. I agree with him that, sadly, by violating treaties, marching them off to barren reservations, etc. we have done that, but I also reminded him that throughout history, with precious few exceptions, when two cultures have clashed, the one with the superior and more advanced technology usually prevailed.

That brought to mind a warning Mr. Jefferson issued over 2 centuries ago that “Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not.”

And THAT brought to my alleged mind Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

“Peace” has several definitions:
1. The absence of war or conflict and the necessary presence of justive. (A desirable but, according to Scripture practically unattainable goal.)
2. The absence of RESISTANCE to efforts by utopian elitists to destroy traditional national sovereignty and blend all the nations of the world into some bizarre socialistic New World Order where all will be equal – but SOME will be more equal than others.

Obama received the nomination after less than two weeks in office. The Nobel socialists apparently listened to his campaign speeches more intently than the American electorate. It seems they understood what he was well before the election.

I’m 100% convinced that the Nobel was his reward for promoting a “peace” meeting not the first definition — but the second.

Obama’s constant apologies, his repeated remarks about our unexceptionalism coupled with his rapid moves to weaken – indeed, CRIPPLE – the United States in an increasingly dangerous and envious world more than confirmed the Nobel socialists’ fond hopes. And if anyone still thinks he’s simply a naïve fool, you’ve not been paying attention. He – and his global elitist handlers – know PRECISELY what they are doing.

Which brings me back to the clash between native Americans and the technologically superior Europeans who ultimately overwhelmed them.

At what point will WE assume the role of those early natives when some technologically superior culture – made so by endless streams of “foreign aid,” technology transfers and outright theft of that technology from the global corporations who site plants in those would-be foes for the cheap labor — determines that we are ripe for conquest?

What’s even sadder is the probability that America’s obituary – if anyone who cares is around then to even write one — will declare the death of our culture a suicide.

“Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and the Republic
for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail,
there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
Daniel Webster

Get ready, folks, because that’s where we’re headed.


38 posted on 10/12/2009 8:34:53 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
I wondered how Jeffrey Kolowith’s union would put up with this, but then I remembered that the NEA is run by the International Communist Party, not La Cosa Nostra, that's the Teamsters.
39 posted on 10/12/2009 8:39:04 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Of course.

We used to read in all our history books that the Spanish Conquistadores were evil men who killed off all the Indians. Whereas the American Puritans were good men.

Catholics were evil, Protestants were good & noble. That was the basic story line, inherited from England and what has been called The Black Legend of the evil Spanish Catholics, the Inquisition, and so forth.

A couple of years ago someone, usually an intelligent guy, said as much to me at dinner one day. His assumption was that the Spanish enslaved and slaughtered their Indians whereas we were nice to ours.

Then how come, I asked, the Spanish intermarried with the Indians, and most of the inhabitants of Latin America are mostly of Indian ancestry? Whereas in North America there are relatively few Indians, and there has been relatively little intermarriage?

In actual fact, the Pope outlawed slavery, and after the earliest days the Conquistadores reluctantly complied. And most of the Indians later converted—largely by the influence of Our Lady of Guadalupe—and became at least nominal Catholics, giving up human sacrifice and other similar customs they used to practice. So, yes, there are a few relatively pure-bred hispanics still left at the top of the social food chain, but not really very many. Most are more Indian than Hispanic.


40 posted on 10/12/2009 8:43:56 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Thanks for that. Waiting for incoming...


41 posted on 10/12/2009 8:55:38 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.)
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To: GonzoGOP

Morrison esteems Columbus the best dead-reckoning navigator that ever lived.


42 posted on 10/12/2009 9:03:05 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
“And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy.’’

OHMIGAWD!

43 posted on 10/12/2009 9:09:34 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Maybe they won’t see it.


44 posted on 10/12/2009 9:10:55 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MassRepublicanFlyersFan
You want politically incorrect?
Why is it never mentioned why Columbus wanted to go West into the unknown to find a route to Asia?

It was because the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks meant Muslims now cut off Europe from Asia. All the known trade routes now went through Muslim controlled areas.
1492 was the year the last Berbers were expelled from Spain.

Interesting editorial on this at www.thequietconservative.com “Happy Columbus day” but the main points are above.

Columbus discovered America because of Islam. Over 500 years later it is still a threat to civilization.

45 posted on 10/12/2009 9:17:39 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Cicero

Ever looked at Mexican TV? The politicians running Mexico? Almost all appear to be of European descent... no Indian mixed in them.


46 posted on 10/12/2009 9:22:18 AM PDT by Chet 99
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To: Cicero

History is always a bit more complex than the Cliff Notes version.

And the history of latin america a lot more interesting than what most of us get in high school.

Slavery hung on quite late in Brazil, but throughout the rest of the continent, under pressure from the church, it died out.

You are right. Except in Argentina and that region, catholic settlers always intermarried rather freely with the indigenous, and their kids were brought up catholic.

Just as an aside, in Ecuador the blacks seem to fall generally into two cultural groups. One group, living in the highlands, are descended from a group protected by the jesuits. They tend to be very catholic and proper. The second group, descended from shipwrecked slaves who swam ashore and lived independently, have preserved some of their african roots. In Venezuela, something similar occurred; the africans didn’t remain slaves, but took off for the interior where they built their own communities back in the bush and lived independently.


47 posted on 10/12/2009 9:27:53 AM PDT by marron
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To: Chet 99

Yes, it tends to be an elitist society. The guys at the top stay at the top. Mexico has quite a few billionaires and a lot of very poor people.

There used to be a similar social structure in Haiti, where the lightest skinned inhabitants with the most French blood formed an elite. I think the last revolution may have changed that, but I’m not really sure.

Very politically incorrect from the currently accepted American point of view. But so it is.


48 posted on 10/12/2009 9:29:29 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: marron

Yes, and as you say, in some parts, especially around the Carribean, blacks were imported from Africa to be slaves, since the Indians weren’t supposed to be enslaved.

You can find a picture of some of the consequences in V. S. Naipaul’s excellent autobiographical novel, “A House for Mr. Biswas.” Maybe his best book.


49 posted on 10/12/2009 9:33:07 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Sorry, in that Naipaul book there’s also the Indian Indians, imported by the Brits from India. My bad for citing it.


50 posted on 10/12/2009 9:34:41 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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