Christopher Columbus

I’m like 80% of Mexican/American Native descent – got the DNA test and all. From both sides of my family there is a strong Native American MesoAmerican blood line, and with a DNA tests I was able to see how much of that I got from my parents. Without sounding too cheesy, I always felt it in my heart and soul. I knew it before I knew it. I had that intuition and sense of connectedness. Fun fact: Peanut’s name was actually going to be Yolotli. An Aztec name meaning Heart. But I don’t have much to go on with my family tree beyond my DNA results and the few bits and pieces I get from my parents. They have always leaned toward embracing our Spanish side. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized it was because of colorism within our own Mexican culture, and racism when moving to the United States. The whiter we could seem on all levels, the better off we were (according to them). As an adult I have grown far more invested in learning about my culture and my roots. Celebrating Mexican customs, learning origins of things. I’ve even been researching the best way to learn Nahuatl.

So Spain not only colonized the United States but invaded Mexico as well. Many Natives met the same fate at the hands of the Spaniards. This also ultimately lead to a mix of Mexicans with both Native and Spanish bloodlines. Mexican Independence day is actually a celebration of independence from Spain. Within my family there is Spaniard ancestry. My parents seem to feel connected to that and they now live in Spain. In one of our recent conversations, my mom was telling me about all of the celebrations going on for Christopher Columbus over there; in his honor.

Mom: “the celebrations last all month long! All for Christopher Columbus. It’s a lot of fun.”

Me: “He murdered, raped, stole, and spread disease to Natives. Some of our ancestors.”

Mom: “Yes, but for some of our ancestors he was a hero who brought back gold…”

Look, I get it. Standpoint theory – to Spain I am sure he was a hero, and he did find new land and gold. But let me put it this way: if I needed a cup of sugar, I could go to my next door neighbor and ask for some. Maybe offer something I have an abundance of in exchange. But I surely do not need to rape or murder anyone. Just saying. He’s no hero and I’m glad people (at least in the US) are finally realizing it.

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