Yesterday yielded another round of commotion regarding the infamous Christopher Columbus, designated “discoverer” of the so-called “New World” (Leif Erikson moans from Midgard!). No doubt, the less-than-vocal majority of Statesiders were simply thrilled to get a day off from work; the more vocal, however, reheated their rancour over the late Double-C’s conquering, raping, enslaving ways, wishing instead for an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to displace the dastard. Not surprisingly, this generated a bit of an uproar from the more reactionary elements of the World Wide Web, who predictably countersignalled in favour of Columbus.
Now, on October 13th, 2015, I sit here typing this whilst high (or, rather, low) on my favourite empathy-suppressant. Clearly, it’s a shitty batch, what with me feeling somewhat sympathetic to the prog pouting over this issue. Going by several accounts of his exploits, Columbus and his crew were certified cunts, engaging in kidnapping, murder, rape, and kiddy sex slavery, amongst other fun activities; all this after being, by CC’s own account, warmly welcomed by the Amerindian tribes who would become their all-purpose prey. Taking that into account (plus the fact he never actually set foot on the North American mainland) it does seems rather grotesque of Statesiders to dedicate a day of pomp and pageantry to his “discovery”; kinda like “Good War” enthusiasts fellating Bomber Harris for raining down death on civilian populations.
That said, I find the desired (and partially realised) replacement of the occasion with an Indigenous Peoples Day to be sublimely silly and short-sighted. For all the shit suitably slung the way of Columbus, Cortez, and all the other Christians who murdered Indians, they were but the most proximate of predators on the calendar of conquest. A decade ago, I stumbled upon a rather illuminating piece of historical revisionism on the late and lamented Loompanics site; its author, Bill Wilson, made the case that those favoured by the IPD-endorsers had encountered and erased a preceding population of decidedly different descent:
Unlike contemporary Indians, these fossilized remains bear no resemblance to modern Mongoloid people. That fact is vitally important to the point of this article. Genetic and other testing long ago proved that the Cherokees, Navajo, Creek, and other tribes are descendants of Asian population groups.12 In light of recent evidence, their claims to be the “original” Americans rests on faulty ground indeed.
Even more disturbing for the PC crowd is what the rock art of these “Australian Americans” record. Cave paintings made at the same time that Asiatic people begin to appear in the region show scenes that are radically different from those made prior to their arrival. Images of serene and playful village life give way to drawings of executions, warfare and outright slaughter, scenes that only appear after the arrival of the Asiatics. These drawings correspond to discoveries of skulls in the fossil record that for the first time show Mongoloid characteristics.
The inference is clear: When the Asians began to arrive in the area, they began a bloody and violent crusade against the people already living there. This genocidal campaign continued until the aboriginal people disappeared from the fossil record. From nine thousand to seven thousand years ago the skeletal remains shifted from being exclusively Negroid to exclusively Mongoloid. Combined with the bloody scenes appearing in the cave paintings at the time, the fossil records reveal a disturbing fact: The true first Americans were wiped out by the people who now claim that title.13
Needless to say, the probability of the first Americans being Australian made the history of the “New World” all the more fascinating for me, with subsequent spotlight-shining bringing the proposed proceedings ever closer to high-definition (and much closer to an actual discovery than anything Columbus carried out). To quote Gregory Cochran’s overview of the most recent papers,
The background fact is that the earliest skeletons, especially in Brazil, look like Australo-Melanesians. Long skulls. If population Y were almost entirely standard Amerindian, with only a smidgen of Australo-Melanesian ancestry, they would have looked like Amerindians. On the other hand, if the original settlers of the Americas were mostly or entirely Australo-Melanesian (or more exactly something vaguely related to those existing populations) they would have those long, narrow skulls. This is the Paleoamerican model – and if true, it means that an Onge-like population arrived first, and that the incoming Amerinds almost completely wiped out them out later, with here and there a bit of admixture.
With this noted, it’s worth asking the pro-IPD crew: Which indigenous peoples do you seek to honour? Given the ignorance and motivated incuriosity on this topic, it’s safe to say it ain’t the Australoids!
Me being me, I can’t help but laugh at those who call out one violent, barbarous displacement by unwittingly enshrining — by way of overgeneralisation — the architects of another. I can only imagine the mass mind-mangling, in the event of the “Paleoamerican model” gaining ground in mainstream discourse.
If the proverbial Sins of the Father apply to those who share Columbus’ continental descent, do today’s Amerindians need to be walking and wailing an eternal Trail of Tears for the actions of ancestors long dead? Hell, if one subscribes to the concepts of intergenerational guilt and collective blame, wouldn’t it make sense to see the rape, murder, and enslavement of Columbus’ hosts as just deserts for the massacre of the Melanesians?
Not subscribing to such sentiments, I’d prefer to see October the 12th commemorated as ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead Day’, with the descendants of both displacements figuring out less acrimoniously atavistic ways to coexist on this planet. I’d also tell those caught up in such concepts to wash the blood and spooge off their well-wrung hands, but that presupposes such being on them in the first place.
In any case, I suspect this sorry series will run for a few more seasons yet. Tune in for next year’s aggravating episode, I guess….
I think the whole reason America started celebrating Columbus Day was to highlight the contributions of Catholics to the US in an age when the Irish and Italians were seen as problematic outsiders in a largely Protestant country. So Columbus Day is tokenistic hero-worship for Catholics. Now that Catholics aren’t an oppressed minority, Columbus isn’t popular anymore.
If they started this holiday to combat bigotry and allay fears, I’m not sure a bloke who comes across the sea to subjugate the locals is such a great reassurance or endorsement.
Question: Where/how does the Solutrean Theory fit into this revised timeline, if at all?
Sure. Why not? Everything we supposedly know about ancient civilizations anywhere is way too politicized to be beyond a little data-fudging. I’ve also heard that the Cherokee may have Middle Eastern roots and besides were slavers themselves. Any evidence yet of the Mormon story?
Ever since I saw a presentation at Jet Propulsion Laboratories on the determination (due to Satellite imaging) that the base of the Egyptian Sphinx was thousands of years older than the statue itself, I don’t take any of these notions as beyond reproach. And then there’s “the megalithic yard”. If we can’t even trust the origins of measuring systems to be beyond politicization never mind the origin of things like whether a circle has 360 degrees (easier for math) or 366 degrees (same number as sidereal days of the year), even time itself can be politicized. Maybe the various biblical figures really did live for 500, 600, whatever years. I doubt it but perhaps life is merely a carnival act designed to preserve the authority of whoever writes the history.
As for black coffee, I can say from my own observation, that some of the cruelest men drink it. I therefore make sure to always have plenty on hand. 🙂
People have always made heroes of killers and conquerors. In Mongolia, Genghis Khan is widely revered as a god. The first thing Uzbekistan did upon breaking with the Soviet Union was to erect statues to Tamerlane, its ancestral hero. Kings, almost mass murderers by definition, have always and everywhere been valorized. Columbus is no different.
The criticisms made of the European empires is always from the slave morality. For one, it ignores that Europeans conquered vast tracts of territory because the people inhabiting them were fucking savages incapable of defending themselves, or unwilling. Azteks would have loved to have conquered Europe and sacrifice virgins to the blood god, only we broke their necks and put their heads up their asses because they thought gold smelting was the height of metallurgy. So, in that sense, liberal guilt about white imperialism is just complaining that your civilization was less-gay than its competitors.
There is also a distinctly non-leftist critique of Empire, i.e. it was fucking pathetic for Anglo-Saxons to go expending their blood and treasure to raise ungrateful savages up and put on some perverted play where we pretend Hind00z are Englishmen – and then get all butthurt when they don’t appreciate it! Likewise, whereas the left criticizes the American Empire for murdering people and spreading raysist capitalism I see the empire as a crankish attempt to make a bunch of people who have nothing in common – and are mostly morons – live together in some sort of crypto-socialistic world state.
These critiques aren’t all incompatible (the USA does, indeed, murder lots of M00zlims on very dubious grounds, i.e. being outside in a group when a drone is near) but the focus on the sad-sap Evil Europeans story, rather than the Millstone theory of Empire, is telling.
And then there are the NeoCons and Limeys who want to defend their imperial ambitions, on the grounds of uplifting the savages (liberal imperialism), but you’ll never hear them defend their empire on grounds of military superiority and the need to exploit lands the natives were too stupid to use properly. Again, even in the ‘conservative’ or imperialist circles it’s the slave morality that is appealed to.