Category: Unit 3

Response about Columbus’s letter, the “Destruction of the Indies” and the video “Lost History of the Taino People”

When reading the “Destruction of the Indies” and Christopher Columbus’s letter, I was disturbed. I didn’t carry that much knowledge about Columbus, in middle school all the kids would praise him because we had a day off dedicated to him, so I assumed that he was good person. Then when I came into high school, my teachers wouldn’t really focus a lesson on him, but they told us the contrary, that the only impressive thing he had done was discovering the new world. It was horrible when he really had the guts to state in his letter that, “I took by force some Indians from the first island, in order that they might learn from us.” In my opinion, it seems like there were no regrets on what he did, I don’t even think he realizes how much destruction he caused to these indigenous people. Instead he tries to sugar coat it by saying oh we just took “some” Indians by force which we all now know is a lie. Furthermore, what helped me really understand all the things that happened to the Taino people was the video we had to watch, it was extremely informative, there were a few things that stuck out and really shocked me. For an example, in the video Professor Arlene mentioned the fact that Queen Isabella issued an order that if the Taino didn’t except Christianity, they would have to be a slave, the concept of having to work in horrible conditions until you basically die just because you didn’t want to accept a religion is insane to me. Another disturbing part from the video is when they went into detail on how the Spaniards used any type of excuse to mutilate the Taino people, for an example it was stated how a Spaniard accused a Taino of theft, therefore cutting the Taino’s ear off. Unfortunately there wasn’t much that the Taino could do, the Spaniards were way advanced when it came to weapons, and it was stated how the worst weapon that they had were diseases, it was stated how the Caribbean didn’t have small pox or syphilis until the Spaniards came because it was more of European disease, and because of this, it wiped out a lot inhabitants. Overall, history is being taught by the wrong people, I think its time to start telling the truth instead of praising these evil people that only bought terror to a lot of peoples ancestors.