Before Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean, hundreds of indigenous cultures and societies flourished throughout the Americas. Made up of more than 100 million individuals, the native populations of the western hemisphere were not here to be ‘discovered’–they were here to live their lives.
The historical evidence of the ridiculously negative impact of Columbus and his successors in colonizing these lands can only bear witness to the rape and pillage of entire societies and the extermination of tens of millions of people. We cannot know how those people felt to see their way of life and their very existence destroyed in the name of gold and empire.
To continue to glorify Columbus’ brutality with a mural in an institution of both higher learning AND supposedly compassionate religion is a slap in the face to the memories of the indigenous peoples of not only THIS area, but to all indigenous peoples who have suffered at the hands of colonial oppressors.
Recognizing this, we stand in solidarity with any and all who oppose the glorification of Christopher Columbus and the colonial destruction of indigenous society. It is time to bring an end to this whitewashing of history and recognize the disastrous results of imperial colonialism. More importantly, it is time to recognize the great contributions and sacrifices that indigenous peoples have made to our society.
Thank you, GDC Local 26!