And this is why I hate Christopher Columbus.
BY THE WAY….FUQ BARTOLOME DE LAS CASAS TOO…!!
Right, so I did a little digging on this Bartolomé de las Casas guy. Las Casas was one of the first people to advocate the trans-Atlantic slave trade, writing that in order to protect native peoples, the use of African slaves should be encouraged. Though he later recanted this view, the damage had been done, and Las Casas is considered by some to be one of the fathers of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
It would also seem that Las Casas supported the tribute system, though in a less violent nature. His theories of “sustainable colonization” proposed that native peoples be arranged into villages and each village pay a tribute to Spain. He claimed that this allowed the Spanish to govern the Indians more efficiently, since they were organized into recognized towns. In the following centuries, both the British and the Spanish used this logic to justify conquering and colonizing peoples all across the New World and beyond. Though aligned with Las Casas’ belief in human rights, the motivation for sustainable colonization was primarily an economic one: If you’re not killing the Indians, they can offer you more tribute. He also attempted to send Spanish peasants to the New World so that they could teach the native peoples how to engage in large scale agriculture.
This was a man who, while he may have believed that the Indians didn’t deserve to die, seemingly didn’t care about their wants, needs, and way of life.
Also, once becoming a Franciscan friar, Las Casas spent his life trying to convert the Indians to Christianity. Blinded by his white savior complex, Bartolomé was unable to see that he was attempting to eradicate ways of life and systems of belief thousands of years old.
So how about we get real and acknowledge that colonialism is something we should not be celebrating, in any form. Columbus committed atrocities, but so did Las Casas. And yet this comic attempts to “deify” him?
p.s. one final note: one of Las Casas’ greatest supporters was Christopher Columbus’ son, who saw Las Casas’ methods of colonization as much more lucrative and far-sighted than those of his father.