Appalled Reaction to Reading

27 10 2009

As I read the “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress” Chapter of H. Zinn’s A People’s History of the U.S. I was blown away by how many terrible details the author sheds light on that are so commonly left out of all the children books and school history books I read as an American kid.  But saying this is even letting those authors off easy because they did not simply leave out/mask important facts and other’s perspectives but made a hero out of Christopher Columbus.  I feel as though by doing this they have stated that it is not the means but only the end that matters.  That dishonesty, horrific treatment of human beings, and overall evil acts are ok to perform if it gets you to a good end.  I feel as though I have been manipulated and lied to as a child when so many times teachers read my classmates and I exciting children stories of the adventurous and brave Christopher Columbus who found our wonderful “land of the free, home of the brave.”  I was most disgusted with the quotes (hard evidence) that so clearly contrasted between the pure goodness and kindness of the natives (especially the Arawaks) from the pure evil of Columbus and the men he brought.  It is appalling how awful their actions were toward the native peoples especially after the natives welcomed them not only with open arms but with gifts (of their possessions)!

-Bobbie

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