By David Workman
Commissioned by Mr. Caso
Letter to the Boston Globe in response to the article by Roland Merullo:
Good morning. No, not a good morning, especially on Columbus Day!
Poor Columbus! He died in anonymity—the typical announcement of one’s death was posted in the local square of the deceased. On the day of Columbus’ death, however, there was no such announcement. Thanks to Columbus, however, John W. Henry and Roland Merullo are having the time of their lives. Without Columbus, they would not be here.
In his, Columbus and Italian-Americans—a sad marriage, from his first line, “When I was a boy, my father owned a book called, ‘Columbus WAS first’. I never read it. I’m sure he never read it…” Yet, Merullo condemns “Columbus’ record of brutality or his pivotal role in the heinous practice of owning and selling human beings. Torture, punitive amputations, wholesale slaughter of the generally peaceful native peoples he encountered on his four voyages…” Columbus, was and is the worst human being on this earth. Because of his acts of repression, therefore, Columbus’ statues in our public spaces need to be removed and pulverized.
In his first voyage, wherein Columbus showed the world how to sail to “China” by going west on the unknown Atlantic, Columbus landed in the waters adjacent to two continents unknown to the world. In his Log, he called the new “Indians” and described them as handsome, primitive, and docile—a people who could easily be conquered. (Others were cannibals, he was made to understand, and so reported in his Log. They had not religion as such nor knew how to read or write). He took five of them onto his two ships (the third was grounded and the crew left behind in what was to be the first settlement of Europeans in “China”). While on board, two jumped off the ship and swam back ashore. The other three became successful icons in the Queen’s court where the Europeans saw for themselves that China had been successfully reached by his sailing westwards.
In his second voyage, wherein he hit the bull’s eye again in reaching his destination, Columbus discovered that those “docile” Indians had massacred the entire settlement. In his second Log, Columbus showed not sign of retribution against anyone. He couldn’t, even if he wanted to. The Spaniards were in charge.
In his third voyage wherein he showed the Spaniards how to successfully reach “China,” Columbus was bound in chains and sent back to Spain.
Acquitted of any charge, Queen Isabella sent Columbus back to “China”. On his return, Columbus was allowed to live the rest of his live in oblivion. His only wish: in his will, he gave money to the city of Genova, with the hope of sending crusaders to free the holy land from Muslim oppression.
So, what did Columbus do to the native “Indians”? Only indirectly, the natives did away with cannibalism. They became Christians; They learned how to read and write. They began to record their history. They became active in every aspect of modern life. They became human having the freedom to evolve into independent citizens. With the help of their church, they did away with institutionalized slavery unlike the new Christians—from Africa, to Europe and America, who exploited those poor souls captured and enslaved by their own chiefs and kings.
Mr. Merullo, you said neither your father nor you read the book. And you call yourself a spokesman for the Italian Americans!
American of Italian descent--
ready and honorably ready
to salute any statue of Columbus.
I believe every opinion deserves a rebuttal... Since I've read a number of books by the writer, Adolfo Caso, I am fully aware of the research he has done... It is a sad commentary for America that Freedom of Speech allows anybody to write for or against individuals... and claim anything they want... The history of America is murky...but it's our history... When you speak out against something or someone, be prepared with factual information, that's all we can ask for... And if rebutted, then that rebuttal must be heard as well...