Columbus versus Indigenous Peoples by Tom Reynolds
The Left wants to eliminate Columbus Day, as he offends them because he was involved with slavery. Instead, the Left wants to honor Indigenous Peoples. It’s appropriate that Democrats want to honor Indigenous Peoples as Indigenous Peoples’ history parallels the Democrat Party’s history of slavery.
Did you know that the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery did not apply to all slaves? The “Five Civilized Tribes” of the southeast - Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole - also participated in the institution of slavery. Because these tribes were located outside the sovereignty of the United States, constitutional amendments did not apply to them. (Kinda like Kathy Hochul, who doesn’t believe the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution applies to New York State.)
According to journalist Aliana E. Roberts, by 1800, the “Five Tribes” had developed “plantations that rivaled those of their white neighbors.” She also notes that the percentage of black slaves in the population was not insignificant. In 1860:
- Cherokee Nation citizens owned 2,511 slaves (15 percent of their total population),
- Choctaw citizens owned 2,349 slaves (14 percent of their total population), and
- Creek citizens owned 1,532 slaves (10 percent of their total population).
- Chickasaw citizens owned 975 slaves, which amounted to 18 percent of their total population.
These were proportions equivalent to that of white slave owners in Tennessee, a large slaveholding state.
Most other North American tribes also practiced some form of slavery, even before Columbus. (Wait a minute – Columbus didn’t introduce slavery to America? If that’s so, could the 1619 Project also be wrong?)
In The Birth of America, William Polk writes: “Indian societies were frequently at war with one another…booty consisted in part of slaves. Slavery was as common in the New World as among Africans and Europeans. Practices were equally cruel.”
Close to home here in NY State, the Mohawks would eat their captives, which is usually referred to as cannibalism.
A special “shout out” on Indigenous Peoples Day should go to the Aztecs.
The Aztecs had religious festivities at the end of their 20-day months and human sacrifice was an essential feature of these festivities. (And you thought giving up something for Lent was hard.)
Human sacrifice also was part of the legend around the founding of the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlan, which was accompanied by the sacrifice and skinning of the daughter of the King Coxcox of Culhuacan. (By contrast, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton decided on the current site of Washington D.C. over dinner and a bottle of wine.)
Another aspect of Aztec human sacrifice was children who were made to cry before the sacrifice. The tears were thought to wet the earth and thus appease the gods. If a child did not cry, the priests would sometimes tear out the nails of the child to make him or her cry.
The Aztec practice of human sacrifice also served a political purpose. The Aztecs were small in number compared to the other subjugated tribes and, thus, there was always a danger of an alliance between these tribes against the Aztecs. To avert this, Aztecs demanded humans as a tribute from the subjugated tribes. As a result, these tribes would constantly raid each other to procure humans for sacrifice. This minimized or eliminated the chance of an alliance between the tribes. (Sounds like the current effort to keep the Left in power by dividing people over race and gender issues.)
In 1487, five years before Columbus discovered America, “Templo Mayor” was dedicated in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, with a four-day celebration. How many were sacrificed during that time is a subject of scholarly speculation with the lowest estimate at 4,000.
It is hard to know how many Aztecs died under the sacrificial knife. Many reputable scholars today put the number between 20,000 and 250,000 per year for the whole Aztec Empire. (Hitler, Mao and Stalin would have been proud of the Aztecs.)
Indigenous People Day would not be complete without mentioning the Incas of Peru. Although a little less bloodthirsty than Aztecs, the Incas had enslaved other indigenous people along the Andes.
Human sacrifices were practiced by the Incas to ward off danger, famine or an epidemic. The victims were usually children, sometimes men and virgins. (Apparently, virgins have been sacrificial favorites, everywhere.)
More recently, archaeologists have discovered a site in northern Peru of mass child sacrifice. About 550 years ago, over 140 children were probably sacrificed on a site known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas. Later, the number of sacrificed children’s remains found rose to 269, with the discovery of another nearby site.
An interesting aspect of the Inca Empire is described in the book “A Socialist Empire: The Incas of Peru” by Louis Baudin. (The Incas would make Stalin, Mao and Fidel proud.) Baudin writes that the regime imposed by the Inca rulers on the indigenous populations they had enslaved was a precursor of Marxist-style socialism. Private property and individual initiative were prohibited. Money and commerce did not exist. Private life was subject to tough state regulation: people had to dress in a similar way; marriage was allowed only following the eugenic laws of the state, to avoid “racial contamination”. Like any tyrannical system of this type, it was oppressive and didn’t work, so much so that the subjugated indigenous peoples enthusiastically helped the few Spaniards who came to get rid of it. (Sounds like the Incas deserve the Margaret Sanger Planned Parenthood award for eugenics.)
So, the Aztecs and Incas enslaved other indigenous peoples. Well, at least they weren’t racists.
It’s lucky for those Indigenous Peoples that they weren’t “White European Heritage Peoples” or the ‘Woke’ would demand that they lose their new holiday because they practiced slavery. To be fair, just about every peoples have practiced slavery; European, Asian, African and indigenous American.
If the holiday had to be renamed, again, the “woke” would demand that it honor someone who did not practice slavery or cannibalism; that, of course, would eliminate just about every race and country in the history of the world.
But if you wanted to name it for someone who did not practice human sacrifice or cannibalism, Christopher Columbus is available.