Hold onto your falsies, Gothtober Pumpkin DAY 8 (courtesy of Ian MacKinnon of GayHistorgy.com) is about to OPEN YOUR MIND with a fierce and immersive bitchy witchy (PG-13, parents, pay attention please!) ritual aimed at saving the world by helping it “get more gay” while also chasing away the false pageantry surrounding Columbus Day!
Join Witches Lady Guya Magique Oshaughnessy, Lady Mary Juana and Lady Ass Majick in a comprehensive drag-magical anti-columbus observance! As spiritual muses of visibility and bravery, drag queens know a thing or two about the stinkers in high places trying to rewrite history, attempting to shut many of us into obscurity with the purpose of keeping our unequal power structure in favor of existing dominant forces. WELL SCREW THAT! There are no better experts than these three gorgeous glittery enchantresses to lead us away from the curse of complicity and toward getting off our asses to learn the truth about the world and our nation and ourselves, claiming our power and flipping Columbus Day THE BIRD.
Instead, celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, which is, coincidentally: October 8th, 2012!
George Orwell wrote:
“Who controls the past controls the future. And who controls the present controls the past.”
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This is pretty much what generations of school children, including myself, were told about Christopher Columbus. We were never told anything else about it, and we tucked it away in the back of our minds as one of those “nothing holidays” where we get to stay home from school or work.
(This ad is from Columbus Day in 2010, but it might as well be for EVERY Columbus Day)
If you haven’t already… It’s time to rethink Columbus Day. If you don’t know much about it, or never bothered to really delve into what really happened, take some time today and take a look at these resources:
A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolomé de las Casas has a very detailed eye witness account of what the Spaniards did to the Indians. Of the Arawaks, he wrote:
…of all the infinite universe of humanity, these people are the most guileless, the most devoid of wickedness and duplicity…yet into this sheepfold…there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening beasts…Their reason for killing and destroying…is that the Christians have an ultimate aim which is to acquire gold…
“Rethinking Columbus was never just about Columbus. It was part of a broader movement to surface other stories that have been silenced or distorted in the mainstream curriculum: grassroots activism against slavery and racism, struggles of workers against owners, peace movements, the long road toward women’s liberation—everything that Howard Zinn dubbed “a people’s history of the United States.”
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years – Edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson
We need to listen to a wider range of voices. We need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who “discovered” them. Their stories, too often suppressed, tell of of 500 years of courageous struggle, and the lasting wisdom of native peoples. Understanding what really happened to them in 1492 is key to understanding why people suffer the same injustices today.
In a letter he wrote to one of his Spanish patrons, (about the Arawaks, or Tainos as they were also known) Columbus said: “They are very simple and honest and exceedingly liberal with all they have, none of them refusing anything he may possess when he is asked for it. They exhibit great love toward all others in preference to themselves.” But then, in the midst of all this, in his journal, Columbus writes: “They would make fine servants. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
“In his quest for gold, Columbus, seeing bits of gold among the Indians, concluded there were huge amounts of it. He ordered the natives to find a certain amount of gold within a certain period of time. And if they did not meet their quota, their arms were hacked off. The others were to learn from this and deliver the gold.”
And that’s just the beginning, if you read Zinn’s book you’ll be rethinking all kinds of stuff, but one thing’s for sure: you will enter into a consciousness that is no longer one of “sleepwalking.” And you probably will think that Christopher Columbus was a Grade A dirtbag and tell his holiday to go suck an egg.