Christopher Columbus: Not A Hero, But A Villain

Christopher Columbus was and always will be an arguable figure on what he accomplished and what he discovered. Christopher Columbus was known to discover the Americas known as “the new world”. During the process of “discovering” the Americas, Christopher Columbus tried to find a quicker route to Asia from Europe so he traveled on 4 different voyages in years of 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502. Growing up Christopher Columbus was seen as a great person who had discovered America, so because of it he was seen as a hero. As I researched, I found out the truth about Christopher Columbus, His truth was always covered and looked over because of his supposedly “heroism”. Continuing my research, I found out that he was a murderer, tyrant and a sick minded individual. Columbus and his men were the first Europeans to commit horrendous acts against the indigenous people. Columbus and his men had goals of finding slaves and gold. They treated slaves and the indigenous people as if they were not human beings. Columbus and his men tortured them such as feeding their children to the war dogs, sexually abusing them, and killing over 250,000 people. They also did anything they could to find gold but they didn’t find much which made them even more upset so they did everything within their power to make others struggle. Columbus and his men did most of the searching for gold and trading of slaves for the sake of having money. Anything that stood in the way of their money would be killed. 

As I continued to research, I found that most people have questioned why he did the things that he did and still to this day nobody will ever know the true reason why he was harsh to the Native Americans and indigenous people. Christopher Columbus’s voyages were based on Eurocentric Ideas, The Doctrine of Discovery, and the crimes he had committed. Christopher Columbus tried to have a specific social view of himself, but he did not do very well portraying it. Columbus had Eurocentric ideas of what the Native Americans should and should not have. Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. Eurocentrism often involved claiming cultures that were not white or European as being such or denying their existence at all. Columbus forced his culture and beliefs onto the Native American and Indigenous people and if they were to disagree with him they would have to go through serious punishments such as slavery and seeing their babies be fed to War dogs. It all began when Christopher Columbus wanted to explore the world and “discover” new places around new people. Columbus did not see the Native Americans and the Indigenous People as human beings he saw them as slaves and people that were less fortunate with less power that he could be run over because of the lack of their resources. 

Furthermore, Columbus and his men were strictly Christian and anyone that thought otherwise was to be killed or tortured. For example Christopher Columbus said, “As I saw that they were very friendly to us, and knew that they could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force, I presented them with some red caps, and strings of beads to put around their necks, and many other things of little value, with which they were much delighted, and became wonderfully attached to us, this quote means that he took the Native Americans weakness for kindness because him and his men knew they could take advantage them. This quote also explains the hate that Columbus had in his heart and how he truly believed that others had to follow his commands or he would kill them. Columbus was seen as the ideal hero in America because the world thought that he did such a great act of colonizing it but he did the opposite. As I deeply researched, I found that his Eurocentric Ideas of forcing Christianity onto the Native American people worked so well was because he had put fear into them by killing their family members, killing their babies, and torturing them with physical hurt and hate. America still celebrates Christopher Columbus by dedicating a day to him and celebrating all the “good” that he had done. As I researched, I discovered that America tries to cover up what Columbus had done for hundreds of years but the truth is slowly starting to come out as time progresses. Many families of the ancestors have stories to tell about all the bad Columbus had done to them. For example, Bartolome de las Casas said, “Endless testimonies... prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives.... But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then... The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians”, this quote explains what Columbus put the Native Americans and Indigenous people through a lot of physical abuse due to them wanting to do what they wanted to with their lives and not be ran by others. During this time period, Columbus’ Eurocentric ideas of others were strongly put together. Columbus had the goals of taking over the gold that he found and the people he could control. 

Columbus and his men also brought diseases everywhere that they traveled before he traveled diseases in other countries were never an issue but after he had traveled to all of the different places he had explored him and his men spread diseases to the Native Americans and the Indigenous people. As I researched I found that the Indigenous Americans had never encountered deadly microbes such as smallpox, measles, typhus, and malaria, so they had no immunity. Their deaths multiplied from the hundreds to the millions quickly. I also found that the bacterium spread further into Europe as his soldiers returned to their homes with Treponema spirochetes in their blood. As time progressed syphilis had been spread from London to Moscow, with each country blaming it on another. It was referred to as “the French disease,” “the disease of Naples,” “the Bordeaux disease,” “the Spanish disease,” “the German disease,” and “the Polish disease.” As it spread beyond Europe, people in the Middle East called it “the European pustules,”. By the time the Columbus and his men spread diseases throughout different countries, there was nothing anyone could do about it. Most of the diseases were unknown and left untreated because of the lack of knowledge about the diseases. No one ever knew that this disease along with some of the other diseases was life-threatening and contagious. As mentioned earlier the spread of diseases to the Native and Indigenous people became deadly and killed lots of people all over the Americas. This ties into Eurocentric ideas because as a Caucasian males Christopher Columbus and his men had shown the Native Americans that they did not care about their wellbeing. Not only did Columbus spread syphilis but he spread over 30 diseases throughout the Americas such as Smallpox, Measles, Influenza, Bubonic plague, Diphtheria, Typhus, Cholera, Scarlet fever, Chickenpox, Yellow fever, Malaria and more. The diseases I listed were diseases that the Caucasian people and European people were known to have. Columbus and his men were so ignorant that he nonchalantly killed the millions of people. Columbus had Eurocentric Ideas but they weren’t effective due to the rage of abuse. The Doctrine of Discovery was used for the European countries to legitimize the colonization of the land in Europe, which was discovered in 1943. Besides all of the colonization and legitimizing that Christopher Columbus supposedly did he knowingly hurt people in the proceeds? 

Christopher Columbus was no ordinary man, he was an abusive man who killed or tortured anything that got in his way. As researched I found that The Doctrine of Discovery was used by European monarchies, beginning in the mid-fifteenth century, as a means of legitimizing the colonization of lands outside of Europe. It was issued in 1493, the year after Christopher Columbus arrived on the shores of what is now known as North America. The Doctrine of Discovery continues to impact Indigenous People throughout the world. The Doctrine of Discovery impacted millions of people also. I also found on that continuing to celebrate Columbus, and leaving monuments of him up is the continued act of erasure to ensure that “Americans” will never be educated on the reality of our harsh shared history. The Papal Bulls set forth a mindset and perception that Indigenous Peoples such as myself were not human therefore not equal to all other peoples. The statues depicting Columbus ignore his enslavement and massacre of Indigenous Peoples, and the promotion of sex slavery of children, as young as 9 years old. These are not merely a ‘difference of opinion,’ these are historical facts and they are taken directly from Columbus’ own diary entries and journals. This is not someone worthy of a monument or of celebration. This means that the Doctrine of Discovery was not a good thing for the Native Americans but he made it beneficial for himself. The doctrine of Discovery was solely based off of Christianity and the teachings of Christianity through the explorers. Columbus was a Christian who wanted to force his beliefs and Christianity onto every Native American and the Indigenous people. As an opinion, I feel that Columbus was seen as a man of power because of his color just like Caucasians today. Many Caucasian people like Trump, who is the president of the united states, is very controlling and tries to force his beliefs on others and the entire nation like Columbus tried to do. For example, Trump is forcing immigrants out of this country and treating them as if they are not human beings by having them tortured and forced out of America. Columbus treated the Native American people just like Trump does as if they were not human beings. As I researched I found information about Trump celebrating Christopher Columbus’s day Trump wrote, “On Columbus Day, we commemorate the achievements of this skilled Italian explorer and recognize his courage, will power, and ambition — all values we cherish as Americans,” Trump wrote in the proclamation he issued on Monday, praising Columbus’s “spirit of determination and adventure”. “Today, in that spirit, we continue to seek new horizons for greater opportunity and further discovery on land, in the sea, and in space,”, meaning Trump has no remorse on what Christopher Columbus did. Trump enjoys celebrating the wrongdoings of Columbus and he could care less about it because the characteristics of Columbus‘s were somewhat similar to his. Columbus still influences the American people even after his death because leaders like Trump still keep his negativity around. 

Most people in America only know about the false good things that Columbus had done but nothing about the truth of what he has done. As mentioned earlier, Columbus’s ideas tie into the Doctrine of the discovery because the laws he had broken, but as a causation male, there was and is nothing you couldn’t do and not get away with it. Laws meant nothing to the European people but they meant a lot to the Native American people. Columbus knew that all the wrong he had done was never going to catch up with him because of the power he had. Columbus had convinced all of the people from the other countries that he was such a great person and he discovered the Americas but in reality, he was a horrible leader and human being. Columbus was never a hero and never will be in my opinion, because I feel that you can never say you love someone or a country and treat them as if they were dogs and torture them into death. The importance of lawmaking and the Doctrine of Discovery was to help keep the leaders that are in charge in line but as a result, they never could abide by the rules and laws that were created and they should have been penalized for every wrongdoing that they had done. Columbus is not what a hero stands for but America still celebrates him as if he was a great person. Columbus and his men should have had to suffer the consequences for all their wrong doings but they never did. 

The crimes that Columbus and his men committed were tremendously horrific and they should not have been looked over due to privilege. Columbus and his men took advantage of men, children, and women. For example, Christopher Colombus said, “While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me, and with whom, having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived a desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her fingernails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun”. This quote means Columbus overstepped his boundary with women that did not want to be touched in such of a manner. As stated above, Columbus did not care about treating humans properly nevertheless women. Colombus abused, sexually assulted, and killed women for not agreeing to do everything that Colombus wanted them to do. As a young woman, I personally could never imagine having my dignity took away from me by someone so careless and harsh. In comparison, for decades women have been treated horrible and treated as if they are objects or robots. Since the 14th-century women have always been looked down upon and seen as a “wife” that should cook, clean, nurture, and do whatever a man wants them to do. As an opinion, I do not agree with the traditional life that a man would want his wife to live because a woman should never do everything on their own and the roles should be evenly split between the couple. With that being said I know that Columbus and his men controlled women and everything that they did in the 14th century but as of today in the 20th Columbus and his men would not last long.

 Columbus and his men committed the crimes because they knew the average woman dying the 14th century would never have a say-so in anything pertaining to a man and they saw women as a weaker individual that could not do what a man could do. Committing crimes in the 14th century was easily looked over. especially if you were a Caucasian male with power. For example, Columbus and his men preformed many illegal acts on the native Americans alike the colonizers did to the African American people. Both races were enslaved, raped, abused, and tortured because of hatred and skin color. For thousands of years slavery was legal almost in every state and still is in some parts of the country. The act of slavery was wrong and should have never been legal anywhere, the main reason of slavery was money. Once slavery was abolished colonizers knew that they would lose money and the pleasures of being wealthy like columbus. Slavery had not been abolished before Columbus died so there would not be any type of consequences that he like have had to suffer. Columbus's wrong doings/crimes were seen as myths also. Til this day, some people believe that Columbus did nothing wrong and that he was such a great leader but in reality he did not have the qualities of a leader, treat others with respect, or accomplish any goals. Committing crimes to Columbus was second nature and as an opinion I feel that he should have been punished for everything he did wrong. 

In conclusion, Columbus was seen as a great hero that did great things such as discovering America, finding gold, and being a great leader. Columbus did none of those thing, Columbus was not a hero because of all of his wrong doings that lead him to become a bad leader. Columbus did not find gold in America, for the most part Columbus was a failure to not only the Americans but a failure to himself and he should not be celebrated for all the “good” he has done. As and opinion, Columbus should not be celebrated at all. Columbus was involved in Eurocentric Ideas, Doctrine of Discovery and committing crimes. Columbus knew thirst what he did was wrong but he decided not make the correct decisions because he knew that he would never suffer the consequences for what he had done. Columbus is no ordinary man, he’s vicious villain and he should not be celebrated. 

16 December 2021
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