Christopher Columbus & His Crimes Against Humanity

(NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2006, as Columbus Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of Christopher Columbus.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


– promoted by winter rabbit

Christopher Columbus:

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The Christian Crusades had ended in 1291, the Black Death had been deliberately blamed on innocent Jews who said what their Christian torturers forced them to, that they poisoned water wells, causing the Black Death. Of course, the real cause was in the stomachs of fleas, not planetary alignment, earthquakes, or God’s Judgment. Nonetheless, the extermination of European Jews began in 1348 again, along with a key notorious origin of Manifest Destiny.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots


But no sooner had the plague ceased than we saw the contrary . . . [People] gave themselves up to a more shameful and disordered life than they had led before…. Men thought that, by reason of the fewness of mankind, there should be abundance of all produce of the land; yet, on the contrary, by reason of men’s ingratitude, everything came to unwonted scarcity and remained long thus; nay, in certain countries . .

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451, barely over a century later in the city – state of Genoa, Italy after the newest Christian Campaign to exterminate the European Jews. Columbus educated himself, and his father was a wool merchant (3). Columbus was a map maker and a sailor in his forties; consequently, he knew that the world was round. What were three of the motivations that led him to set sail on August 3, 1492 on the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria from the “Southern Spanish port of Palos?” Greed for gold, capitalistic greed through the potential of wealth through the slave trade, and the religious beliefs of Apocalyptic Christianity were three primary motivations Columbus had for setting sail; consequently, which fueled genocide against tens of millions of Indigenous People.

One of Columbus’s motivations was greed for gold, which he acquired on the Gold Coast in the Portuguese colony (3).

Christopher Columbus: The Untold Story

Christopher Columbus:

“Gold is most excellent; gold is treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world.” [2]

Another of Columbus’s motives for making the journey was his capitalistic greed through the potential of wealth through the slave trade, which resulted in more and more slavery because of the desire for sugar and led to the atrocities of the Middle Passage.


Sugar cane was the number one crop that produced the growth for Europe. It was brought to the New World from Spain by Christopher Columbus, later shipped to the rest of Europe. The growing sugar industry called for the usage of African slaves. Also the African slave labor and the plantations are what formed the Americas. The work that was performed on the plantations which, produced large quantities of sugar, created an even greater need for slaves, by the enslaved Africans brought to the Atlantic World by the Middle Passage.

Here is a map that provides a good overview.

The religious beliefs of Apocalyptic Christianity were yet another one of Columbus’ motivations for setting sail; consequently, it was the most illogical motivation he possessed. For his greed for gold could be coldly construed as a more practical reason, except for all of the Indigenous People he would in the future have to exterminate to get it, which he probally did not yet know of at the time. He had only ventured to the Gold Coast. His use of the slave trade for monetary gain was illogical enough, for it denied the very humanity of the African People and the Indigenous People that he would force into slavery; however, his beliefs regarding Apocalyptic Christianity were projected outwards towards the entire world.


During those same long centuries they had further expressed their ruthless intolerance of all persons and thugs that were non-Christian by conducting pogroms against the Jews who lived among them and whom they regarded as the embodiment of the Antichrist imposing torture exile and mass destruction on those who refused to succumb to evangelical persuasion.

Columbus was possessed with the obsession that Christ would return only if the Gospel was spread far and wide. Apocalyptic Christianity taught him: that either a savior in human form would prepare the way for Christ to return in the midst of a war between good and evil and history would end; or, that after the earth suffers dire consequences, evil would increase while love would decrease, then Christ would return with the Final Judgment and end history; or, that a period of peace would precede the Final Judgment. During this “period of peace,” the Jews would be converted, while “the heathens would be either converted or annihilated.” I think the latter best reflects Columbus’s personal view of Apocalyptic Christianity. I will state why after a couple less known facts in order to set up a contrast.

The Indigenous People very well may have had a much better future then and history now if  Christopher Columbus had perished in the Atlantic on February 14, 1493. For the first European to land in America was Leif Ericson, a Viking seaman from Greenland (see Ericson). The ancient sagas give different accounts of this voyage made in the year 1000.

As for contacts of New World peoples with Europe, the sole early ones involved the Norse who occupied Greenland in very small numbers between A.D. 986 and about 1500. But these Norse visits had no discernible impact on Native American societies. (2)

The Norse left “no discernable impact.” I cannot answer why that is, except to note that Viking voyages decreased and ended during the slow process of the Christianization of Scandinavia. So by contrast, Columbus had an enormous impact that is more far reaching than he could have imagined. Ironic indeed, since he grossly underestimated the earth’s size prior to setting sail. For example, “He thought that Japan lay only three thousand miles from the southern European Coast (3).”  He may then have also grossly underestimated the sheer mass numbers of Indigenous Population in the lands he did not first discover in the Americas. No matter though, for such “heathens” would either have to be “converted or annihilated.”

To be sure, the real annihilations did not start until the beginning of Columbus’ second voyage to the Americas in 1493 (1).  For while he had expressed admiration for the overall  generosity of Indigenous People (1) and considered the Tainos to be “Very handsome, gentle, and friendly,” he interpreted all these positive traits as signs of weakness and vulnerability, saying “if devout religious persons knew the Indian Language well, all these people would soon become Christians (3).” As a consequence, he kidnapped some of the Tainos and took them back to Spain.

It would be easy, he asserted, to “subject everyone and make them do what you wished (3).”

Indeed, he did subject everyone he had the power to subject.


On his second voyage, in December 1494, Columbus captured 1,500 Tainos on the island of Hispaniola and herded them to Isabela, where 550 of ”the best males and females” were forced aboard ships bound for the slave markets of Seville.

Under Columbus’s leadership, the Spanish attacked the Taino, sparing neither men, women nor children. Warfare, forced labor, starvation and disease reduced Hispaniola’s Taino population (estimated at one million to two million in 1492) to extinction within 30 years.

Furthermore, Columbus wrote a letter to the Spanish governor of the island, Hispaniola. Columbus asked the governor the cut off the ears and the noses of any of the slaves who resisted being subjugated to slavery.

…It is estimated that 100 million Indians from the Caribbean, Central, South, and North America perished at the hands of the European invaders. Sadly, unbelievably, really, much of that wholesale destruction was sanctioned and carried out by the Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations. (1: p.37)

Greed for gold, capitalistic greed through the potential of wealth through the slave trade, and the religious beliefs of Apocalyptic Christianity were three primary motivations Columbus had for setting sail. He was successful in his aims, which fueled genocide against tens of millions of Indigenous People.  He was successful in promoting and aiding in establishing slavery by bringing sugar to Europe and to the New World from Spain, which created the evil necessity in the eyes of some of humanity’s greatest criminals for the Middle Passage, where slaves packed like cargo between decks often had to lie in each other’s feces, urine, and blood.

Columbus’ “successes,” all crimes against humanity, are now more so in these modern times. A day is now in his honor since 1971 (4). That’s one success.  Here are more of Columbus’ “successes” from a book I highly recommend buying.

Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America (Paperback) by Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs) (Editor). p. 237.

As Moyers pointed out, this “mentality” and blind acceptance of biblical inerrancy, which contributed to the genocide of American Indians during Columbus’ time, has, in many ways, continued and continues to inform U.S. foreign policy, including its dealings with its own sovereign Indian Nations.

Christopher Columbus :

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(Bold mine)

Christopher Columbus: The Untold Story

“We shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do all the harm and damage that we can.” [11]


Mark Twain:

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Indigenous peoples from the Arctic have long argued that global warming was having a dramatic effect on their environment.

Native Alaska Villages will probably have to relocate, because the ice is melting underneath them.

Opinion: Why Natives must reject Columbus Day

If Native people do not challenge the fundamental premise of the ”doctrine of discovery,” as celebrated every year through Columbus Day, then the racist foundation upon which all federal Indian law and policy is constructed will remain intact. We see the ideology of domination carried to this hemisphere by Columbus playing out every year all over Indian country. We see it in the level of Indian incarceration, in the loss of religious freedom cases, in Indian child welfare cases where non-Indian courts ignore the law, in treaty cases where the United States ignores international standards, in international practice where the United States voted against the adoption of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in the Cobell trust fund case where the United States refuses to account for tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars that are owed to Individual Indian Money trust accounts.”


(1): Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. “American Indian Prophecies.” pp. 49-57.

(2): Jared Diamond. “Guns, Germs, And Steel.” pp. 67, 79.

(3): Norton. Katzman. Escott. Chudacoff. Paterson. Tuttle. “A People & A Nation.” pp. 20 – 23.

(4): Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs). “Unlearning the Language of Conquest.” pp. 20, 236, 31, 275.


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  1. Magnifico

    Perhaps, the two most significant differences between the Norse in North America and Columbus were motivation.

    First, I recall Erik the Red came mostly out of curiosity, while Columbus had financial motivations.

    Second, the technology of the Norse and the North Americans were similar. By, the time Columbus came, he had gunpowder.

    The question I have is could the meeting between the Old World and the New World have happened any other way? Would it have made the difference if the Norse were not wiped out at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland?

    The two world were destined to meet. And, repeatedly the indigenous people wind up on the losing end. Could it have happened a different way?

  2. winter rabbit

    Some love.

  3. stonemason

    Excellent, compelling research as always, Winter Rabbit.

    I hope you don’t mind, since the tags include slavery, if I put down a little about the “coffin boat Irish” who were my forebears (Butte Montana mines/railroads).  Because no one ever asks where the white blood in so many African Americans was found:

    Under Cromwell’s policy known as “To Hell or Connaught” Irish landowners were driven off millions of acres of fertile land. Those found east of the river Shannon after May l,1654, faced the death penalty or slavery in the West Indies. Cromwell rewarded his soldiers and loyal Scottish Presbyterians by “planting” them on large estates. The British set up similar “plantations” in Barbados, St. Kitts and Trinidad. The demand for labor on these distant plantations prompted mass kidnappings in Ireland. A pamphlet published in 1660 accused the British of sending soldiers to grab any Irish people they could in order to sell them to Barbados for profit:

    “It was the usual practice with Colonel Strubber, Governor of Galway, and other commanders in the said country, to take people out of their beds at night and sell them for slaves to the Indies, and by computations sold out of the said country about a thousand souls.”

    In Black Folk Then and Now, Du Bois concurs: “Even young Irish peasants were hunted down as men hunt down game, and were forcibly put aboard ship, and sold to plantations in Barbados”.  source

    Diggs points out that “Planters sometimes married white women servants to Blacks in order to transform these servants and their children into slaves.” This was the case with “Irish Nell”, a servant woman brought to Maryland and sold to a planter when her former owner returned to England. Whether her children by a Black slave husband were to be slave or free, occupied the courts of Maryland for a number of years. Petition was finally granted, and the children freed.

    The “custom” of marrying white servants to Black slaves in order to produce slave offspring was legislated against in 1681. How many half Irish children became slaves through this custom? How many Black Americans have Irish ancestors because of it? If a servant is forced to mate with a slave in order to produce slave children for her slave master, is she not a slave?

    In 1698 British Parliament acted under pressure and allowed private English merchants to participate in the slave trade. The statute declared the slave trade “highly Beneficial and Advantageous to this Kingdom, and to the Plantations and Colonies thereunto belonging,” according to Du Bois.  source

    The English stole the Irish land, reduced the Irish to nothing with all kinds of genocidal malice, and sold untold numbers into slavery:

    In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

    In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland and attacked Drogheda, slaughtering some 30,000 Irish living in the city. Cromwell reported: “I do not think 30 of their whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did are in safe custody in the Barbados.” A few months later, in 1650, 25,000 Irish were sold to planters in St. Kitt. During the 1650s decade of Cromwell’s Reign of Terror, over 100,000 Irish children, generally from 10 to 14 years old, were taken from Catholic parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas!  source

    This is the untold story behind the people backing the last US president to hold worldwide respect:  Irish Catholic JFK, whose family were the first Irish to be admitted to Harvard.

    And people wonder why the Irish have had a war going with the English for about 500 years!!!

    The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as laborers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

    Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave tradesource

  4. OPOL

    revealing the true history.  You do us all a great service!

  5. Lasthorseman

    by this most excellent essay given me the reasons for Boston’s own right wing blowhard Michael Graham’s tirade against a Colorado protest of Columbus Day parade.
    Yes our past is highly misunderstood as is our future, or lack of it.

  6. lezlie

    for bringing this to our attention on this day… it is not a day to celebrate or sell linens, furniture, or cars 20% off… it is a day to mourn man’s inhumanity to man… and greed… that eternal greed

  7. snud

    Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of The United States, I learned that we sure were lied to in grade school about the guy. He wasn’t some sea-going Mr. Rogers, that’s for sure.

  8. xaxado

    The book by Gavin Menzies, named 1421, theorizes about Columbus.  Menzies traces the Chinese voyages of exploration in the early 1400’s and believes that he has discovered a pathway by which their accurate maps of the world were passed to the Pope, who awarded them to Portugal (secretly) for expelling Islam.

    Columbus and his brother were affiliated with the court in Portugal in such a way that they could of have gained access to these maps and made copies.  It amounts to historical CT, but it is interesting to speculate that the spread of Catholicism was certainly a key motivation in the wave of exploration that swept the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

    It also is curious that the first voyage of Columbus, sponsored by Spain, coincided with the Spanish expulsion of the Jews.  Was the wealth to be found in the Americas already known, and the idea behind the expulsion to prevent Jewish bankers from controlling it?

  9. winter rabbit

    I wish William Penn’s had been the spirit projected.

    Penn treated the native Americans (“Indians”) with respect. He came among them without guards or weapons. He learned their dialects so he could negotiate with them without interpreters. His peaceful policies prevailed for several decades, after which those who opposed these policies came into control of the Pennsylvania legislature.

    Penn’s interest in peace extended beyond his own proprietorship. In 1693, he wrote a plan for the Present and Future Peace of Europe which included settling disputes between nations by arbitration instead of war.

    Sure the others would probally  have come, but maybe Penn could have warned them? Don’t know.  “If only’s” don’t ever seem to provide solutions when they are needed. I think it may have been different if Penn had discovered the Americas, and that’s all I can really say.

  10. winter rabbit

    The correlations are so similiar, it’s striking. Words can’t capture what I’m trying to say.

      I hope that people get to the point where they reconize that genocide is genocide and there never is any justification for it, period.

  11. winter rabbit

    Columbus Day does need to be protested and done away with. South Dakota has renamed it “Native American Day.” I wish that example would follow everywhere.

  12. winter rabbit

    and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a day for deep mourning.

  13. winter rabbit

    I often wonder, children are educated about Dr. Martin Luther King and slavery, why not this?

    Anyway, here’s a good read related to this.

    A Basic Call
    to Consciousness

    Today the species of Man is facing a question of the very survival of the species. The way of life known as Western Civilization is on a death path on which their own culture has no viable answers. When faced with the reality of their own destructiveness, they can only go forward into areas of more efficient destruction. The appearance of Plutonium on this planet is the clearest of signals our species is in trouble. It is a signal which most Westerners have chosen to ignore.

    Air is foul, waters poisoned, trees dying, animals disappearing. We think even the systems of weather are changing. Our ancient teaching warned us if Man interfered with Natural Laws, these things would come to be. When the last of the Natural Way of Life is gone, all hope for human survival will be gone with it. And our Way of Life is fast disappearing, a victim of these destructive processes.

    The other position papers of the Haudenosaunee outline our analysis of economic and legal oppression. But our essential message to the world is a basic call to consciousness. Destruction of Native cultures and people is the same process which has destroyed and is destroying life on this planet. Technologies and social systems which have destroyed animal and plant life area also destroying Native people. And that process is Western Civilization

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