Hear ye, hear ye! If you are a federal employee, mailman or banker, Columbus Day is your day to kick back, crack open a cold one and pour one out for Cristoforo Columbo, the Genoese explorer who put the C in colonialism. While Kindergarten teachers still dress up their students in headbands and reenact the last supper with the pilgrims and injuns (I've seen this with my own eyes), the 1950's called and they want their lesson plans back. But if there's one thing I've been taught by my colonial benefactors, it's to be thankful. When I was FedExed from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to the United States, I was conditioned by my well meaning adoptive family to be grateful to the U.S. military for rescuing me from the Communist heathens. Sure, they left out the fact that the same military carpet bombed my homeland with more than 50,000 tons of napalm, Agent Orange and assorted dioxins but who am I to nitpick? So, I now resolve not to make the same mistake twice and take a moment to give credit where credit is due.
Thanks to Columbus the African people were imported in chains like so many Hondas and Toyotas to make pampered and privileged land owners obscenely wealthy.
Thanks to Columbus the Japanese Americans whose ancestors helped build the infrastructure of this country were herded like cattle into internment camps without due process.
Thanks to Columbus the CIA flooded the inner cities with Colombian stamped, dirt cheap crack cocaine to fund counterinsurgencies in Central America.
Thanks to Columbus the U.S. military has fought more than 13 years of nonstop wars in predominantly brown, black and Muslim countries.
Thanks to Columbus our students are graduating with six-figure debt while other nations provide higher education for free to their citizens.
Thanks to Columbus the public schools are lab rats for neoliberal think tanks and billionaire funded foundations who view teachers as scapegoats and children as future assets or liabilities.
Thanks to Columbus our nation’s law enforcement officers are morphing into an occupying force rather than public servants entrusted to protect the public it serves.
Thanks to Columbus one of the wealthiest nations on the planet has failed to provide single payer, universal health care to it’s citizens.
Thanks to Columbus millions of Americans have lost their homes or jobs while we all get to put up with fat, white men in suits (no offense, Santa) telling us that some banks are just too big to fail.
Thanks to Columbus that stubborn, old sun just keeps on rising in the East and setting in the West. What…no love for the North or South?
Ok, that last one might have been a stretch…peace and solidarity to all readers.