In his journal he wrote of them, "It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion." He also wrote of them, two days after landing, "I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased."
While Columbus had always given the conversion of non-believers as one reason for his explorations, he grew increasingly religious in his later years. He claimed to hear divine voices, lobbied for a new crusade to capture Jerusalem, often wore Franciscan habit, and described his explorations to the "paradise" as part of God's plan which would soon result in the Last Judgment and the end of the world.
Why are we still celebrating this first trans Atlantic slave trader? This failed captain? This delusional religious zealot? Hugo Chavez has came out against the continuation of celebrating Columbus Day. He has blamed Columbus for leading the way in the mass genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish. It is amazing how many issues I agree with Chavez about.
The continued celebration of Columbus Day must end. It is nothing more than a reminder of genocide and slavery.
Culpability is sometimes placed on contemporary governments and their citizens for the hardship suffered by Native Americans during the time of Christopher Columbus. Columbus myths and celebrations are generally a positive affair, making less room for this concept in history books. Ward Churchill, an associate professor of Native American Studies at the University of Colorado and a leader of the American Indian Movement of Colorado, has argued that"Very high on the list of those expressions of non-indigenous sensibility which contribute to the perpetuation of genocidal policies against Indians are the annual Columbus Day celebration, events in which it is baldly asserted that the process, events, and circumstances described above are, at best, either acceptable or unimportant. More often, the sentiments expressed by the participants are, quite frankly, that the fate of Native America embodied in Columbus and the Columbian legacy is a matter to be openly and enthusiastically applauded as an unrivaled "boon to all mankind." Undeniably, the situation of American Indians will not—in fact cannot—change for the better so long as such attitudes are deemed socially acceptable by the mainstream populace. Hence, such celebrations as Columbus Day must be stopped."