in Paris, and the apartment here has Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, which is good, since i wanted to blog its memorable opening yesterday (the holiday of Columbus Day in America):
…When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
They willingly traded everything they owned. . . . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. . . . 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.
And so it began. “We could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”