Columbus Trafficked Kids and Doesn't Deserve a Day

by Chad Hankins

While we thank the collective ghosts of FDR and Christopher Columbus for the long weekend, it’s important to acknowledge who Columbus actually was. In short; a genocidal child sex trafficker with laughable navigational skills.

Now, before you admonish me for disparaging the “man who discovered America,” let's discuss who this guy was in reality.

It’s widely believed and accepted at this point that Columbus never actually stepped foot on what is now known as North American soil, but he did set foot on Hispaniola, which is now a part of the Americas as a whole. So, it’s fair to concede that some participation on the part of Columbus did occur.

It struck me as a child that it seemed curious that one could “discover” an already inhabited country, and that curiosity has yet to be satisfied. It’s a ballsy claim that you discovered a land that was already heavily populated, but it definitely speaks to the mentality of Columbus himself. You see, if you don’t consider them people at all, then you can regard these native inhabitants as just another local species on your newly discovered plot.

After bungling an expedition to the West Indies so badly that he should have gotten a pink slip the length of Martin Luther’s ‘Ninety Five Theses’, Columbus made sure to bring some “companions” (‘read slaves’) back home with him to show the inherent value of his colossal fuck up. Fortunately for Columbus, the ruling class of the time wasn’t about to smudge their pearls by clutching them at the mere sight of a godless savage in a cage, and he won them over. Word of his successful navigational bumbling soon spread throughout Europe. He was the elites favorite little lost boy, and this ensured the financing of many future trips.

As he inched his way closer and closer to that meth-lab with statehood we now call Florida, Columbus noticed a trend in the market when it came to selling human beings to other human beings against their will. Being the astute businessman that he was, he redesigned his business model to satisfy this trend. “Wow! Nine to ten-year-old girls sure are a hot seller!” he probably shrieked to himself while peeling a stolen orange. “I can get almost as much selling them as I can for selling a whole farm! I’d better write a more eloquent version of this in a letter to my friend Dona Juana de la Torre! I’m sure she’ll be interested in this insight for some reason.”

To be fair, the claim that Columbus completely knowingly sold children to be sex slaves is a matter of some dispute. While he absolutely traded in and sold children as young as nine-years-old as the fruit of his alleged labor, Columbus himself never said “I’m giving this island girl to Captain Bill so he may make her his child bride!” But, he was selling children as slaves either way, so fuck him. Pretending to discover a whole country is certainly no redemption for that act, nor is he absolved of the genocide that followed that claim.

The absolute unimpeachable fact of the matter is that Captain Christopher Columbus sold kids and adults into slavery. At that stage, whether or not he knew these children were going to be raped becomes far less consequential. They were treated and regarded as property. The best argument to be made is that maybe, since he was too dense to even sail to the right place (which was his main job at that time), he was also too dumb to know what would likely happen to the kids that he sold off. I won’t insult the intelligence of anyone reading this by explaining what a shit argument that is, or how much ethical gymnastics it would take to stand by it.

Christopher Columbus left a flaming dumpster’s worth of letters and diaries to give us every bit of information we should ever need to change every history book in the US, remove every statue of his likeness, and rename a whole entire city in Ohio. There is nothing in his own accounts of his travels that’s worthy of the acclaim that his spectre has enjoyed for centuries, and I would posit that our morality is not a fair price for government workers to get a three-day weekend.

It’s far past time for us to give up this feeble and grossly misrepresented ghost of presumed patriotism once and for all.

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