By Sarai Carpio-Au
Introduction to Overlooked American History
Hello! My name is Sarai Carpio-Au and I’m a sophomore currently attending Summit Shasta. Throughout quarantine I’ve become greatly educated on our government and the experiences of minorities throughout America’s past. As students and the future I believe that we have the right to learn and to be aware of the imperfections and lies of this country. I’ll be doing so in a series on Summit News throughout the year.
The American school system is where American children have learned about the man who found this land from Italy and how America loves and expresses all races and cultures. The American school system also hides the fact that they’re teaching and celebrating false information and how many historical events have never been taught such as Juneteenth, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and the Wounded Knee Massacre. I’m here to tell you two overlooked moments in American history that the school system fails to teach you in this column.
The false myth of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer known for his finding of the United States of America. He’s celebrated on October 12 across the country for his greed and land-hungry actions, but the reality of Christopher Columbus, that has been untelevised for centuries, is his history of various crimes such as conducting a sex slave trade and a genocide to the indigenous peoples.
Columbus’s sex trade… by Demetreos Spanos, educated writer for social economy, states, “…Columbus additionally offered sex slaves to his men — some as early as 9. Columbus along with his guys also raided villages for sport and sex.” Not only was this sex slave trade conducted of the stolen Native people but with children who haven’t fully developed or gone through anything so horrifying all for the sake of fun for these European men.
The source continues, quoting Columbus saying, “”A hundred castellanoes [a Spanish habitational surname] are since easily obtained for a female in terms of a farm, which is extremely basic and there are many dealers who begin to locate girls; those from nine to ten are actually in need.”” Columbus states how stolen females in the region of Castile are “extremely basic” but stolen Native children are what’s in demand to dealers. Columbus uncovers the fact that he is what is called a pedophile and his crime of prostitution.
Going deeper into the crimes of Christopher Columbus, evidence becomes more disturbing as we go into the traumatic experiences of the Native people.
In the book Indians are Us by Ward Churchill, an American author who focuses on treatment of the Native Americans communicates, “It is entirely likely that upwards of 10,000 Indians were killed in this fashion alone, on Espa–ola [land controlled by the Spaniards] alone, as a matter of policy, during Columbus’s tenure as governor.” 10,000 Native Americans were killed in old fashion but through research eight millon Native Americans would be killed at the power of Columbus.
To elaborate on more of the dreadful, torturing acts from the Europeans the book also says, ”… with accounts of Spanish colonists (hidalgos) hanging Tainos en masse [in large groups], roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed and so forth..” How could America continue to celebrate a man? Why do they brainwash us into thinking this man is the symbol of our land? How could they not educate us on such a matter?
America hides its past and sugar coats the reality of what this country is truly built on. The land seems to be built on oppression and still continues to centuries later.
Imperialism to the Native Americans
In school from a young age they teach that the Native’s land was taken from them in a few wars and disagreements. In reality, this isn’t the case with the Europeans who would force them into “civilized” culture and take them away from their land.
According to REFORMING AMERICAN INDIAN STANDARDS OF EDUCATION ACT OF 2016, a Senate Report on Congress.gov Congress passed the Indian Civilization Act in 1819, “which authorized an annual “civilization fund” of $10,000 per year, to convert Indians from hunters to agriculturalists.” The US government used $206,000, in modern day money, to change the original ways of living for these children so that they could fit the European standard of “hunters to agriculturalists”.
Congress also elaborates on boarding schools, “…boarding schools were often run in a military fashion and forced many Native American children to abstain from speaking in their traditional languages.” The government took rights away from the Natives forcing them into acts that dismiss their culture, language, and their way of life. This act was not only a law passed against the Natives but a tactic to imperialize them by washing away their roots.
Another act passed twenty years later removed Native Americans from their land. As stated by the Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents in American History by the library of Congress, “The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830 […] During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government.” The government forced the Native to move west on their own with no supply, aid, or even an exact location. The Cherokees native to the states Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, etc. had to leave for the reasons of pure racism and an unjust system.
The document also states, “Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the “Trail of Tears.” The deaths of these Natives reveals America’s dark past once again and uncovers the mistreatment and lack of human rights.
As we become more aware of America’s past, the good and bad, we can see a consistent pattern with racism and oppression to minorities. The American school system continues to teach students white washed history and hide important events as if America is a great nation with the love of all colors, cultures, and communities. Being in a social climate where fighting for equality is still an issue are schools to the blame? As students and the future of this country, through educating ourselves and others there’s a way to defeat the system for the sake of our people and America.
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