FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Not All Italians Love Columbus

 

America is a nation built upon myth (starting with its “discovery”) but the greatest myth of all is that the land of the free is gonna last forever. But, alas, my History Channel-watching brethren, all genocidal empires must fall. Just ask Italy. Once the proud birthplace of DaVinci, Verdi, and my father; Italy must now bear the blame for producing Buttafuoco, Guiliani, and Janice Soprano. While the children of old Italia once rose up in defense of Sacco and Vanzetti, today’s paisan is busy trying to explain Fabio.

Indeed, when the mighty fall, they do tend to go for the gusto.

I ponder this irony as we approach yet another Columbus Day…24 hours set aside to revere Italy’s version of the Terminator. Upon encountering the Arawak people in 1492, Columbus noted that they “would make fine servants,” adding, “with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” Yeah, Governor Arnold’s got nothing on Chris “The Continent Cleanser” Columbus.

Below the elevated platform at the Astoria Boulevard N/W train station, my neighborhood plays host to Columbus Square…which is actually shaped like a warped triangle. Let Manhattan have its rather simplistic circle…we in Queens are far more geometrically sophisticated. It’s a square triangle for us. Naturally, a statue of Christopher Columbus adorns this triangular square. If one were to believe this sculptor’s rendition, Chris the Capo spent plenty of time in the Santa Maria Tennis and Fitness Club. This statue is pumped. He’s got biceps to die for and a set of pecs that are literally bursting out of his manly shirt.

Yes, Columbus is buffed and ready for genocide. An engraved plate on the ground under the statue reads: “But not for Columbus, there would be no America.” As I stomp on those intolerable words with my dirt-infested sneakers, I envision that first conversation:

COLUMBUS: Red man, we want your land and everything on it.

INDIAN: Okay, muscular paleface, but what will you offer in return?

COLUMBUS: Venereal disease, small pox, the destruction of your culture, genocide, Christianity, and a really bad image in John Wayne flicks.

INDIAN: Can you toss in a few casinos?

COLUMBUS: Sure, but you’ll have to wait about 500 years.

INDIAN: Okay, Chris, you’ve got a deal. With that conversation in mind, I ascend the stairs to the train.

Happy Indigenous People’s Day…

MICKEY Z. is the author of Saving Private Power: The Hidden History of “The Good War”. He can be reached at mzx2@earthlink.net.

 

More articles by:

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here. This piece first appeared at World Trust News.  

August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
Binoy Kampmark
Mealy-Mouthed Universities: Academic Freedom and the Pavlou Problem Down Under
Mike Garrity
Emperor Trump Loses Again in the Northern Rockies in Big Win for Bull Trout, Rivers and the ESA
Alex Lawson
34 Attorneys General Call to Bust Gilead’s Pharma Monopoly on COVID Treatment Remdesivir
August 10, 2020
Gerald Sussman
Biden’s Ukrainegate Problem
Vijay Prashad – Érika Ortega Sanoja
How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
Daniel Warner
Geneva: The Home of Lost Causes
Mike Hastie
The Police Force Stampede in Portland on August 8, 2020 
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s Executive Orders: EOs as PR and FUs
Rev. William Alberts
Cognitive Without Conscience
David Altheide
Politicizing Fear Through the News Media
F. Douglas Stephenson
Is Big Pharma More Interested in Profiteering Than Protecting Us From Coronavirus?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Money Plague
Howard Lisnoff
Revolutionaries Living in a System of Growing Fascism
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump is Defeating Himself
Lynnette Grey Bull
The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Human Rights Emergency is Not a Photo-Op for Ivanka Trump
Victor Grossman
Some Come, Others Go
Binoy Kampmark
Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities
The Stop Golden Rice Network
Why We Oppose Golden Rice
Michael D. Knox
After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace
Elliot Sperber
A Tomos 
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail