Monday, October 13, 2008

Chris"thief"er Come-Bust-Us Day

Every year on this day, I wonder why in the world there is a holiday to celebrate Columbus and his exploits. He didn't do anything. Well, it can be argued that he did open up the West to European colonization. European colonization, in my estimation, is hardly cause for celebration. Look at all the suffering the European colonist/settler has left in his wake--near elimination of whole groups of people either by disease or the gun. And the laying of the foundation for the trans-Atlantic slave trade (the holocaust of African people).

You know, it is the gross lies and misinformation that children get in school that is one of the underlying motivating factors for why I would love to homeschool. These lies get glossed over and taught as fact and no one, it seems, is interested in questioning the accepted treatment of important/influential individuals in history textbooks. I, for one, did not learn about the "radical" Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey until I was in college and the information I did learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never once talked about his more radical turn towards the end of his life. Steve Biko? Kwame Nkrumah? Other Pan-Africanists? No, I never learned about these folks. My history lessons, unfortunately, were always overwhelmingly Eurocentric. Columbus, my friends, sailed the ocean blue in 1492 "discovering" a land that was already inhabited and "proving" that the world was round even though many people already knew that. And for that, we drop everything to celebrate him.

As long as Malcolm X is not celebrated, as long as Ida B. Wells is not celebrated, Booker T. Washington, and the list goes on--as long as these key and influential figures in American history are not celebrated, Columbus Day is something all people of color should actively decry, in my opinion.

Every year on this day, I make sure to play Columbus by Burning Spear.
I an' I all I know
I an' I all I say
I an' I reconsider
I an' I see upfully that:

Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar
Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar, yes Jah

He say 'im that he's the first one
Who discover Jamaica, I an' I say that:
What about the Awarak indians ?
And the few black man who were down here before him ?
The indians could'n hang on a long long
Here comes black man an'oman an' children
A ina Jam Dung run ya
Whole heap a mix up, mix up
Whole heap a ben up, ben up
Ha fi straighten out

Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar
Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar, yes Jah

What a long stay from home
I an' I longing to go home
Within a red, green an' gold robe
Come on, twelve tribe of Israel
Come on, twelve tribe of Israel
A outa Jam Dung land ya
A whole heap a mix up, mix up
A whole heap a ben up, ben up
Come on, twelve tribe of Israel
Come on, twelve tribe of Israel
A outa Jam Dung land ya, yes Jah

Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar
Cristopher Columbus is a damn blasted liar, yes Jah
He's a liar, yes Jah
He's a liar, yes Jah
Columbus he's a liar, yes Jah


I had hoped this post would have been a bit more eloquent to show how passionately I feel about this day but, alas, I'm tired and my brain is over-worked.

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