Feb 19, 2014
Yesterday right wing talk show host and revisionist historian Rush Limbaugh had an incredibly disturbing conversation with a 12 year-old boy.
Limbaugh first praised the child's parents for allowing him to stay home from school in order to call in, saying they had "great priorities." He then agreed with the child's parents, who had explained to him that his teacher was lying when he said that Christopher Columbus was greedy and killed Native Americans:
RUSH: I was just telling people that you called yesterday but you didn't get on the air, and your parents let you stay home from school today --
RUSH: -- just so you could try to call back and appear on the program, right?
RUSH: And here you are. You've got great parents, Isaac. You've got parents with great priorities.
CALLER: Yes, I do. (chuckles)
RUSH: They're absolutely right. How are you?
CALLER: Good. Good, sir. (sneezes)
RUSH: That's great to hear. What else is going on?
CALLER: Well, I was actually kind of angry when I came home from school knowing that -- well, thinking that -- Christopher Columbus was evil, money-hungry, greedy, Native American-killing person, which was a total lie.
RUSH: That's what they taught you?
CALLER: Yes, in my school.
RUSH: And you were mad?
CALLER: Yeah, and it took my parents probably about an hour on the computer to tell me that he wasn't, that he was actually a hero.
RUSH: When you came home mad, were you mad at Christopher Columbus or were you mad at the teachers for telling you things that weren't true?
CALLER: I was mad at Christopher Columbus.
RUSH: See? That's how it works, folks. You came home mad because you thought Christopher Columbus was this evil guy who came and killed people.
RUSH: Native American people. He killed them and he took what they had and he established his own place and the heck with them. He killed them.
CALLER: Yeah, that's what I thought. (chuckles)
RUSH: And your parents told you that that was not true?
CALLER: Yep. They said he was a hero.
RUSH: Well, he was a courageous man. Everybody back then thought the world was flat and if you sailed too far, you would fall off the edge.
After the break, Limbaugh went on:
One of the things they teach about Columbus is that he brought racism and he brought sexism. He brought sexually transmitted diseases. They actually even lay syphilis on Columbus. I kid you not. And they also blame -- I'm not making this up -- the multi-culturalists blame Columbus and other white Europeans for bringing horses. There were no horses here. And without horses there was no way of conquering the Indians. And of course that was a bad thing, because the Indians were at one with this land. They were at one with nature. The white Europeans, led off by Columbus, came here and basically plundered, raped, pillaged and brought racism, sexism, bigotry, and homophobia, too. And sexually transmitted diseases.
This is what these people, young people are taught. He's telling us he's going home from school one day mad, hating Christopher Columbus, and fortunately he got home and told his parents and they were able to show him where that was wrong and part of an agenda curriculum.
First of all, as far as syphilis goes, El Rushbo's "fact checkers" were apparently still out celebrating President's Day, because Limbaugh has the story exactly backwards.
Columbus didn't introduce syphilis to the "New World," he brought it back with him and introduced it to Europe.
A comprehensive study by researchers at Emory University systematically disproved every case of syphilis in the "Old World" with a pre-Columbian date. The commonly accepted theory is now that syphilis was brought back to Europe on the Niņa, the only ship to survive Columbus's first trip to the Americas.
As to the larger issue of Limbaugh claiming that Columbus wasn't an evil guy who killed Native Americans, consider a few substantiated historical anecdotes and decide for yourself.
Columbus first came ashore at what is now the Bahamas in October, 1492. He and his men were greeted by the native Arawaks, and Columbus later wrote this about them in his log:
They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
Columbus expected to find spices, silk, and gold on his voyage to "Asia," and he pursued the same goals in the Caribbean. On Haiti, he developed a quota system whereby slaves were required to bring him a certain amount of gold every 3 months or suffer the consequences. According to Columbus's son Fernando,
In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.
Columbus and his men also instituted sexual slavery, sometimes dealing in girls as young as nine years old. In a letter he wrote in 1500, Columbus said
A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.
In the Dominican Republic, Columbus successfully put down a rebellion, then had the natives' bodies dismembered and paraded through the streets to discourage others from resisting.
Within two years of his arrival, approximately 250,000 Indians on Haiti alone were dead as a direct result of Columbus's actions.
And Rush Limbaugh would have you know that he was a "courageous man."
hat tip to Patrick and Lily for the scoop