Genocide and History
Throughout time, humans have shown their strength by killing other humans because they feel superior. The term ‘genocide’ means the mass killing of a race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. One of the first major genocides was when the Spaniards committed atrocities against the Caribbean Indians and killed them, which lasted from 1429 until 1600. Genocide closer to home is that of the White Americans killing the Native Americans because they wanted land that the Indians had. Some humans believe that their religion or race gives them dominion over other humans and that justifies killing the people they believe to be inferior. Many people assumed that Christopher Columbus was a hero for discovering the New World, though he was quite the opposite. Anyone familiar with Columbus’s treatment of Indians should see he is not a hero. When he arrived in the Caribbean, he bilked the Indians. He believed that because he was an educated rich white man from Spain, he has superiority over the Indians. He thought of the Indians of animals as Howard Zinn states by saying, “…then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships” (2). Columbus refers to the Indians as ‘specimens,’ therefore implying that they are not human, but something else. Columbus suggests that his religion gives him the ability to kill the Indians because he writes, as stated in the Zinn article, “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold” (2) A few hundred years later, President Andrew Johnson felt that Native Americans “…neither [have] the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement…” (Diamond 308) So the American people felt that Native Americans were savages and the verdict was that they have to go. So began the long process of driving Native Americans from their homelands and either placing them on reservations or forcing them to assimilate into American Society. When assimilation didn’t work, the...
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