The Lady Speaks

Happy Destruction and Oppression of Native Peoples Day

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Ushering in centuries of slavery, death, and destruction for the First Nations of the New World.

From Bartoleme de Las Casas, in his Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies, 1542:

And of all the infinite universe of humanity, these people are the most guileless, the most devoid of wickedness and duplicity, the most obedient and faithful to their native masters and to the Spanish Christians whom they serve. They are by nature the most humble, patient, and peaceable, holding no grudges, free from embroilments, neither excitable nor quarrelsome. These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire for vengeance of any people in the world. And because they are so weak and complaisant, they are less able to endure heavy labor and soon die of no matter what malady.

[snip]

They are very clean in their persons, with alert, intelligent minds, docile and open to doctrine, very apt to receive our holy Catholic faith …

[snip]

Yet into this sheepfold, into this land of meek outcasts there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening wild beasts, wolves, tigers, or lions that had been starved for many days. And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during tla! past forty years, down to the present time, for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples, doing all this with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty, never seen or heard of before, and to such a degree that this Island of Hispaniola once so populous (having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely two hundred persons.

[snip]

The common ways mainly employed by the Spaniards who call themselves Christian and who have gone there to extirpate those pitiful nations and wipe them off the earth is by unjustly waging cruel and bloody wars. Then, when they have slain all those who fought for their lives or to escape the tortures they would have to endure, that is to say, when they have slain all the native rulers and young men (since the Spaniards usually spare only the women and children, who are subjected to the hardest and bitterest servitude ever suffered by man or beast), they enslave any survivors. With these infernal methods of tyranny they debase and weaken countless numbers of those pitiful Indian nations.

[snip]

And never have the Indians in all the Indies committed any act against the Spanish Christians, until those Christians have first and many times committed countless cruel aggressions against them or against neighboring nations. For in the beginning the Indians regarded the Spaniards as angels from Heaven. Only after the Spaniards had used violence against them, killing, robbing, torturing, did the Indians ever rise up against them….

[snip]

And the Christians, with their horses and swords and pikes began to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them. They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!” Other infants they put to the sword along with their mothers and anyone else who happened to be nearby. They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim’s feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive. To others they attached straw or wrapped their whole bodies in straw and set them afire. With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim’s neck, saying, “Go now, carry the message,” meaning, Take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains. They usually dealt with the chieftains and nobles in the following way: they made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their souls would leave them….

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October 8, 2007 - Posted by | America, Holidays

2 Comments »

  1. yep , you said it, one of the big myths or lies we are fed. Hell this whole country is based on lies. Kind of depressing but very true.

    Thanks for honoring the memories of those that died due the fuckery of the white men. He they could be polka dotted ..that is beside the point..Oppressors i guess of any color or creed, begin first to dehumanize those who they would dominate. What is going on with ENDA on the blogs..makes me glad so many people do not know what a blog is, let alone read em. As pointed out by Dave E on fablog in his post Bus Stop – we got some mightly nasty oppressors supposedly on our side..- true colors have been shown..these “leaders” would sacrifice too many – just not their kind of “human” …truly it makes me ill.

    Comment by proudprogressive | October 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. Exactly PP. Making someone the subhuman “other” is the first step in oppression.

    And you’re right to link GLBT issues to this. The GLBT has always been treated as subhuman, and it’s being brought to a head now with the ENDA legislation.

    Absolutely sickening. Just because someone is GLBT, we’re going to allow discrimination?? My gods! Simply substitute the words “Jew” or “Negro” in some of the condemnations and everyone would be up in arms! But no, it’s happening to the “homah-sex-yulls,” so it’s okay.

    Comment by PA_Lady | October 12, 2007 | Reply


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