The assumption was – because Europeans had the ships and the basic technology – they had the right to go into other people’s country and exploit their mineral resources, take their women, and rape them at will. They did all of this in the name of a God that they said was merciful and kind. All of them, including the Arabs, used Western-oriented religions, which made their God ungodly.
Now, the role of religions in the domination and destruction of African civilizations was ruthless. There is no exception; Islam was as guilty as the rest of them. The role of religion in this matter is so shameful that no matter how you look at it, the picture is negative. All of them did more harm than good.
– pg. 22, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND THE AFRIKAN HOLOCAUST, John Henrik Clarke, EWorld Inc., 1993
Last week Ya Ya Marin Coleman told me of a religious high school here which was still seeking to glorify the man Christopher Columbus. My first reaction was to become a bit angry, but after all these years I understand my country and I have to accept my country the way my country is. After all, I am a minority. Belize is a heavily Christian country.
Institutionalized Christianity basically began moving from European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, England, France and the Netherlands beginning in the middle of the fifteenth century when the Portuguese began to sail along the West African coast. Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas took place in the latter part of that fifteenth century, in 1492. And it was on October 12, 1492 when Columbus, an Italian in the employ of the king and queen of Spain, first landed in the so-called New World, what we now know as the Caribbean but what Columbus completely mistakenly believed to be the Indies – lands to the east of Europe which featured silks and spices and teas and precious jewels.
The two most powerful religions on planet earth today, Christianity and Islam, both originated in parts of the world someone decided to call the Middle East. Christianity’s Holy Land, the territory which includes present day Israel and Palestine, may actually be considered as being in North Africa, or Northeastern Africa. And Saudi Arabia, where Islam began with the Prophet Muhammad some six centuries after the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, is just to the east of Israel and Palestine across the Red Sea. I am not a cartographer, or a geographer. I only wish to have you understand that Christianity did not begin in Europe: Christianity was adopted by Europe.
Europe waved the banner of Christianity in the fifteenth century as an excuse to invade, ravish, and ravage Africa and the Americas. Africans and Indigenous Americans had been living for many millennia on their respective continents, and they practised many native religions which became branded as pagan and inferior once the Europeans conquered Africa and the Americas with the sword and the gun.
The people who run Belize’s schools decide what is truth. They decide what is acceptable, what is desirable for our children to learn, and what is not. The schools of Belize have never been run by the masses of the Belizean people. The schools are mostly managed by the various Christian denominations and those who are their adherents. The schools are European and neo-European in their thinking. Belizean children of African and Indigenous parents come, then, to Christian schools in order to absorb a knowledge which is considered European in origin. In Belize, what is European and neo-European is considered acceptable and desirable.
Until 1964, Belizeans were a people colonized by the British. Until 1950, we had mostly tried to emulate the British, but after 1950, like people of color all over planet earth, we began to fight for self-rule. Belize attained political independence in 1981. But nothing much changed in the schools. The educational fundamentals and truths of colonial British Honduras remained the educational fundamentals and truths of independent Belize.
Personally, I respect Columbus for having made his way back to Spain after reaching the Caribbean. I think there were people from Europe and Africa who had reached South America, Central America and the Caribbean before Columbus, but I don’t know of any who made their way back to the east before him. Between March and June, the winds which blow in our part of the world come from the east and southeast. Such winds would blow you from Europe and Africa to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Remember, in the days of Columbus and before, it was all about sailboats. You went where the winds blew you. I think we in the Western Hemisphere start to experience northerly and westerly winds between October and February. It would be easier to return to Europe and Africa during those months. I don’t know about the tides and currents in the Atlantic Ocean. These would play an important role in how one was able to travel in the days of sail. I give Columbus credit for making his way back to the east.
But there are religious people who still feel they have to give Columbus credit for bringing Christianity to us African and Indigenous people. Overall, I don’t understand why human beings feel this urge to impose their religious beliefs on other human beings. I do understand why people seek to conquer other people: it is because they seek to enrich themselves, at the expense of those they intend to conquer.
The children of Belize are not taught in our schools that the bodies of Christian beliefs which dominate their school curricula were the corollary of a very violent conquest. In the case of Europe’s invasions of Africa and America, religious belief walked hand in hand with violent conquest. Our children have never been taught the truth of that. And the reason is that white supremacy, that white supremacy which is in place in Belize, must be protected from exposure at all cost. The descendants of those Africans and Indigenous Americans who were conquered and thereby converted, must never know that the religions we practice today in Belize were imposed by force.
The thing is that there were African and Indigenous American civilizations which were far superior to the Europeans two, three, and four millennia ago where pure knowledge was concerned. This white supremacy which rules planet earth today is a relatively recent phenomenon, just five centuries old.
Even though it appears that way today, the European is not intellectually superior to the African and the Indigenous American in DNA. At the point of initial contact five centuries ago between Europe, on the one hand, and Africa and America on the other, Europe was not the world ruler it is today.
There is a five-century history which took place, during which history the European rose to fame and we Africans and Indigenous Americans became his serfs and footstools. This was not the work of God. Where conscious Africans and Indigenous Americans are concerned, our subjugation was the work of the devil.
To a certain extent, it was Christopher Columbus who began that process of subjugation where the European became king and we became his subjects. What is there about this which has anything to do with the Christ? Tell me.
Power to the people. Remember Danny. Fight for Belize.