The Winners write history

Posted: October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
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This Monday October 14th will be, here in the United States, Columbus day. A federal holiday here in the US many citizens of the United States will take the day off enjoy time with friends and families and celebrate the discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus, a Spanish explorer that many Americans were taught was intrepid bold and honorable. The truth is perhaps not as noble.

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The legacy of Christopher Columbus  , is a dark one. Columbus landed in the islands now known as the Bahamas. He encountered the Arawak Indians and in an effort to find gold arrested and enslaved a small group.  Columbus convinced the Queen of Spain that there was gold and more slaves on the islands and sailed back. Columbus basically started the trans – Atlantic slave trade.  This was left out of the narrative I was taught as a child about Christopher Columbus. The greed. lack of respect for human live are aspects and stories that did not filter down to me my children or my parents.

I was a little shocked to hear of the true legacy of Christopher Columbus, then I remembered my US history teacher and a statement he made. “The winners write the history.” This statement rings true more often than not. The most powerful forces win the wars and write the history.

I think of WWII and really consider how there were many winners and many stories.The Russians call it “The Great Patriotic War”  and the while many of the stories from The Great Patriotic War match the stories from WW II there are some differences. If you ever find yourself with some free time you should dive into the some of the Russian stories from The Great Patriotic War. A pretty good book on the subject is “8000 Days on the Eastern Front” by Nikolai Litvin.  I can’t help but think if Russia and the United States had lost this war, many of these stories would be lost. The winners would write history, and the allies would be the villains while the Axis came out on the moral high ground. I am unsure how someone could spin the holocaust as something good but I am sure it would have been. I simply base my assumptions on the known legacy of Christopher Columbus versus the actual legacy of Christopher Columbus.

On July 10 1973 The Bahamas gained full Independence, appointed a prime minister and a parliament.  I am a true believer in the power of democracy and seeing it alive and well in the Bahamas is a promising thing. I can not help but thing the nation is winning and as such I think there may be a re write of some history coming up. I am in love with some of the narratives coming to light about this tropical Paradise and it’s diverse and amazing people.






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