Saturday, September 15, 2007

Columbus Day Tribunal grabs world attention

Workers World, that is, which beats the major dailies with an account of the "Truth Commission" on Columbus held at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver last weekend:

Colorado AIM and the Transform Columbus Day Alliance held a two-day Truth Commission in Denver on Sept. 8-9 as Colorado gears up for the 100th year since it began celebrating Columbus Day and as activists mobilized to oppose to the iconization of the slave trader and mass murderer.

Colorado held its first statewide celebration in 1907. The Transform Columbus Day Alliance has been protesting the holiday since 1989 and won a slight reprieve from further injury of Indigenous people through the celebration in 1992, some 500 years after Columbus led the European invasion of the Western Hemisphere.

Further injury of Indigenous people. How did warrior peoples become so bloody delicate, anyway?
However, the fete’s organizers have continued to rebuff a dialogue with community leaders.
Actually, they had an exchange of views only last year:

What some see as a possible warm-up for this [2006 Columbus Day] weekend's annual showdown between Italian Americans and Indian activists took place Monday at a news conference in north Denver called by parade organizers.

Three American Indian activists, who slipped in to watch the event, eventually were invited to join the discussion. Suddenly, though, the two sides began exchanging insults.

Pro-parade forces had brought in an American Indian, David Yeagley, of Oklahoma City, a classical-music composer with a Ph.D. in history, to explain why Columbus should not be considered a racist icon. But before the event was over, Yeagley, who identifies himself as a Comanche, called one of the activists a "commie."

Each side accused the other of racism.

And with David Yeagley around, they were both right. The Woikas Woild piece continues:

George E. (Tink) Tinker, an Indigenous professor [sic--of the Prolix tribe] at the Iliff School of Theology [and member of both AIM's Leadership and Elders' councils], testified about the actual population of the Caribbean and the long history of undercounting, so as to make colonization seem less brutal than it was. . . .

Larry Hales of FIST testified about Christopher Columbus and his legacy’s impact on African people brought to the Americas. . . .

Glenn Morris testified about the legacy of Columbus on Indigenous people and what it means today, as U.S. imperialism aggressively targets poor workers around the world for highly exploitable labor and to steal the resources underneath their feet.

Man. How could I have chosen, yes, chosen, not to attend?

When they even managed to cram it, yes, cram it, into 17 short hours?

The WW piece concludes with a traditional commie delusion:
The Truth Commission, just like the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, provided the true history of people. As the struggle to stop imperialist wars abroad and the war against the oppressed and workers in the U.S. intensifies, this truth becomes increasingly more important and provides the history that will inundate the lies of the oppressors.
Uh-huh. Chutchologists will note that Ward Churchill frau Natsu "Truthforce" Saito, while pictured, is not quoted. Even more tellingly, her name is misspelled. My cryptic communication skillz say: purge a'comin'.

One other thing. The five speakers pictured couldn't have taken more than, say, nine hours to give their talks, right? What did attendees (if any) do for the remaining eight hours? Probably the usual: Myers-Briggs test, breakout groups and workshops, encounter sessions. Maybe they even had the money for a corporate comedian (clean only) to lighten things up. Guess we'll have to wait for the DVD.

(via El Presidente at Slapstick Politics).

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