Thursday, May 14, 2020

Debunking Grunge's “The Strange and Bizarre Truth about Columbus"

Grunge should remove this embarrassing video. It should be renamed as “The Strange and Bizarre LIES about Columbus.” Grunge sources? A museum, The New York Times, Yale University, “experts,” CNN, etc. In other words, no primary sources. 

One of the tactics revisionists often use is to remove Columbus from his historical context, and that is exactly what Grunge did throughout all their video. Columbus’ errors were not his, but they were the errors of his times. For example, Columbus was not the only one who believed he was in the Indies (Asia). Everyone else did! Columbus’ cosmography was based on the best cosmographers, including Pliny, Aristotle, Marinus, Toscanelli, etc. None of them knew there was another continent between Europe and the Indies (Asia). That is (partly) why we say “Columbus discovered America.” 

During the times of Columbus, there were a lot of myths, but Columbus had the custom to go and seek what the truth was about them. One of the myths was that it was “impossible” to reach land by sailing west. But Columbus took 3 ships and proved “the professionals” of his times wrong. 

Another myth was the belief of mermaids and sirens. The reason why Columbus wrote that he saw 3 “mermaids” was to prove that they were just animals (manatees) and not a mythical creature. Columbus did not quote himself in the third person because he was a "megalomaniac" when he wrote about the “mermaids.” The reason why the quote is in the third person is because the quote is not from Columbus, but from someone else (Bartolome de las Casas) who was quoting him.

Columbus did not believe the world was a “gigantic boob” either. According to the 16th-century historian, López de Gómara, many people thought the Earth was round, but as the shape of an egg, pineapple or pear. Columbus’ actual quote was that the Earth was “of the form of a pear, which is very round except where the stalk grows, at which part it is most prominent; or like a round ball, upon one part of which is a prominence like a woman's nipple, this protrusion being the highest and nearest the sky, situated under the equinoctial line, and at the eastern extremity of this sea.” Writings of Christopher Columbus, p. 133.

This quote was partly influenced by The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a book that like most cultures back then, mixed facts with myths. Scholar Carol Delaney also tells us that the “maps of the day” placed East usually “ ‘up’ at the top, often with the Terrestrial Paradise (the Garden of Eden) somewhat raised (like a protuberance) and also often surrounded by water or flames.” In other words, Columbus was repeating the erroneous beliefs of his day, or theorizing them, while at the same time seeking the truth of it all. The reason why Columbus did not realize he was on another continent, instead of the East close to Paradise, was because he died just a few years later. However, he opened the doors to other explorers to finish what he started: That is, to solve the remaining mysteries and myths on cosmography that kept the world in darkness for centuries. Do you see how different this is to the caricature Grunge painted of Columbus?

Columbus did not go to Trinidad “to possibly enslave” their natives as Grunge asserted. Instead, Columbus traded with the natives of every place he visited. Since they did not understand each other’s language, Columbus’ men showed these natives “shiny objects” to let them know they wanted to trade with them. The natives got closer, but then they hesitated. The reason why Columbus made his men play music and dance was because the previous Indigenous tribes he had met, loved music and dancing, and it was a sign of friendship to them. Nevertheless, music and dancing to this tribe were a sign of war, which is why they shot arrows to Columbus’ men. Columbus’ men shot back, but without (intentionally) killing anyone. Then, one of Columbus’ pilots went to the natives’ canoe and gave them “some trifles that pleased them greatly” and the natives made signs that they would reciprocate by providing food for them. THEN, they left, which contradicts Grunge’s implication that they left due to the “battle.” All this information is in the primary source, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus, Chapter 69.

Among other things, Columbus did not start a reign of terror or devastation in Hispaniola, and he was not alive 20 years after 1492. Slavery, disease, and murder existed before 1492 everywhere in the world and the Indigenous peoples were killing and devastating one another long before the Discovery. Columbus was not responsible for the decimation of the natives of Hispaniola. They were doing just that by cannibalism or sacrificing each other to their gods.

Columbus has nothing to do with African slave voodoo. Besides, the natives of Hispaniola already believed in dead people walking and demonic activity long before any European contact, since it was part of their beliefs. See The Life of the Admiral, Chapter 62, De Orbe Novo by Peter Martyr, The First Decade, Book XI, pp. 167-175; The Second Decade, Book III, p. 219, and The Third Decade, Book I, p. 285 (or any other primary source of the era).

The purpose of Columbus’ fourth voyage was not to “find gold and the Garden of Eden” as Grunge claims. The purpose was to cruise down the coast of Paria, in South America, until he came to a strait he felt must be close to the area. Source: The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus, Chapter 88, p. 228. 

Columbus was not “a man of mystery.” Everyone who knew Columbus, knew he was from Genoa, Italy. Every primary source, document, and even Columbus himself said so. Here are the sources that confirm this fact: History of the Indies by Las Casas, Book One, Chapter 3, p. 15; De Orbe Novo by Peter Martyr, The First Decade, Book I, p. 57; Historia de los Reyes Católicos by Andrés Bernáldez, Tomo I, Capítulo CXVIII, p. 269; Historia General by Herrera, Década I, Libro I, Capítulo VII, p. 11; Historia General y Natural by Oviedo, Capítulo II, p. 12.

Those who think otherwise are not real historians but conspiracy theorists. 

Columbus was not a narcissist and he was not necessarily thinking he would be alive for the “Apocalypse” or the Second Coming of Christ. Rather, he believed his discoveries fulfilled Biblical Scripture since the Bible predicted the gospel would reach far lands beyond the African coast, as told in the Book of Isaiah. Many of Columbus’ eschatological theories were rooted in those of his era as well. 

In conclusion, Columbus was not the “weirdo,” “confused,” and “ignorant” person Grunge claims he was. Instead, it is Grunge who is confused, weird, ignorant, and conspiratorial.