Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Response
Alexander Marriott October 7, 2003

When I wrote, “Christopher Columbus, We Salute You,” my intent was not to create controversy, as that already existed in respect to Columbus, but to defend a man who has been unfairly demonized by politically correct and Marxist historians like Howard Zinn and others.

The response that my article generated was what I expected it to be, not because I wanted such a response, but because I recognized that I’m in a small minority on this subject, especially among college students. To clear up any misunderstanding let me state once and for all, I stand by what I wrote and I believe the conclusions I drew were accurate, I was not writing simply to create a fuss.

As for the four Letters to the Editor that appeared in the October 6 edition of the Rebel Yell, I will answer as many of their points as I can now.

Rebeca Ramirez equated reading my article to me beating her up and then spitting in her face, which is an odd thing to feel when one reads opinions you don’t agree with. If I responded in this way I’d feel run over by a freight train all day long. She then says that I claimed “that Columbus didn’t do anything wrong.” I never said that, I merely said that those things that Columbus is usually accused of, like stealing land, or committing genocide, are entirely false. Columbus, like most of the men of his day, accepted the idea of slavery and so he did enslave Indians, but I never said I agreed with this or thought it wasn’t wrong. On the contrary, it was highly immoral and is a blight upon his record, but, to be fair, the Indians themselves took slaves amongst their various tribes, usually in the form of tributes.

She also goes on to compare me to Adolf Hitler and refers to my piece as a “Nazi article.” This is just a pathetic and unsupported smear against me. The only thing she uses as proof is that I think American culture is better than others, and Hitler thought his culture was better too, therefore I’m Hitler.

Also, I’m supposedly hateful, and by implication, a racist. I invite Ms. Ramirez to go through every article I’ve ever written and compare my ideas to those of Adolf Hitler, who claimed that races were inherently different by blood, something I neither believe nor have ever asserted. Then, please, show how Adolf and I are similar ideologically. Hitler was a socialist and a nature loving environmentalist which puts him closer ideologically to the Indians than to me.

Brian Broekemeier invokes a similar theme by terming my article an “Illusion of Bigotry.” He then goes on to sing the praises of Aztec and Inca culture, referring to them as “thriving civilization[s].” He also pleads, “Why is an empire reflecting the architectural, religious, and overall greatness of the Egyptians not good enough for you?!”

Here is the answer. First of all, being an atheist, “religious greatness” isn’t an achievement in my view, but a serious error that stymies civilization and caused the Aztecs to sacrifice hundreds upon hundreds of innocent people to the Sun. Sure that’s great assuming you aren’t the one being killed. Plus, I never said this was only an Indian mistake, Europeans and Americans have been hampered and stymied by the exact same phenomenon.

I also find nothing particularly special about Incan, Aztec, or Egyptian architecture. The Egyptians ran a slave system through which they directed the entire productive energy of their country towards the building of giant tombs to their god-kings. This isn’t an achievement, but a travesty and a sure sign of a tyrannical and backward society. Why do you think, aside from constructing giant stone pyramids, the Egyptians contributed nothing to philosophy or general knowledge? The whole culture was devoted towards death, how to care for the dead, house the dead, dress the dead, please the dead, etc. If cultures like this are a standard for greatness Hitler’s Nazis and the Soviet Communists must be viewed very favorably as well.

Gordon Ison kindly wished that I commit suicide and then derided me for not having any Indians in my family line or acknowledging them. I never brought that up, because any such comment would have been very racist indeed. What would it matter if I had Indians in my family tree or not? Individuals think or don’t, regardless of their superficial skin pigments or bone structures.

Christine Brown did a beautiful job critiquing my article except that she cited no examples, brought up no points, compared me to Tariq Aziz (Hitler-lite), and used clichés like “used stereotypes that are so yesterday.” This latter example isn’t even an argument. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but at least have the courtesy to form some sort of cogent argument, rather than a jumble of clichés, insults, and unsupported statements.

I see several problems recurring throughout the critiques I’ve read and heard. First of all, the unsubstantiated and illegitimate attempts to compare me to Hitler, a fact that tells me that you’ve never read any of my previous work, nor did you read the Columbus article very well.
Another problem is the glorification of the Incas and Aztecs in the face of simple historical fact. Brian made both of these cultures sound like some sort of Utopian ideal, but when Cortes and Pizzaro arrived there were tribes, held in tributary bondage to both the Aztec and Incas, that were more than willing to help in toppling theses “thriving civilization[s].”

There is an invalid perception, which cannot be drawn from my article, that I have condemned the Indians, not because they were savages, but because they weren’t white. So as to prevent this argument from coming back let me give a few other examples of savages throughout history.
Christian Europe after the fall of Rome until Thomas Aquinas was populated almost exclusively by savages, most of whom were white. They were entirely mystical and backward, much like the Indians of North and South America. Vikings, Huns, and the Germanic tribes that invaded the western half of the Roman Empire were all savages also and they were mostly or entirely white as well.

Savagery is the result of persistent individual choice to do nothing and refusing to think. It is caused by the constant individual acceptance of irrationalism and mysticism that has absolutely nothing to do with skin color, location, or ancestry. It was the state of all humans, white, black, brown, and red, for most of human history. It took the actions of individuals to reason things out consistently from one generation to the next, bringing themselves out of stone-age primitivism.

Finally, if any of the four who were printed or anyone else who think I am entirely nuts wishes to go live in these great savage cultures there are still a few left, and it requires only the cost of transportation to go and live with them. The Aborigines will welcome you, Polynesia has many primitives with open arms and for a culture of white savages, the French are looking for saps to move in with them as well.

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