Selective Vision

I just published the following as a comment to this post and decided to share it with my readers.

In my Hispanic Civilization class, we read A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolome de Las Casas and discussed the atrocities committed by the Spanish conquerors against the indigenous people (or at least I tried to discuss the atrocities). The students, however, were completely stuck on the novel idea that Columbus was not a great hero and a wonderful guy. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t steer the conversation back to the indigenous people. It was all about the students’ disappointment in Columbus.

Forget about all those slaughtered brown folks. A white guy turned out to be not exactly perfect. There is real tragedy for you.

Even as we are sitting in the Americas, I still can’t get this Eurocentric perspective out of the students’ heads.

10 thoughts on “Selective Vision”

  1. I wonder if this is why I am so steamed about the post, about envy of “golden boys” (white guys of a certain stripe), that got me to write my current stream of rebellious ones. Is it the Xtreme focus on these guys that so bothers me, I wonder.

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    1. Whatever the inspiration for all these great posts of yours might have been, I’m glad you did get inspired because I’ve been reading your blog breathlessly in the recent weeks. It’s a good thing that the golden boys and their detractors served such a useful purpose. 🙂

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        1. You should. I am Mictlantecuhtli so I am rising from the grave by definition, practically. (Mictlan being the land of the dead; I was renamed by the Northern Gaijin.) I think another thing is, I see myself as one of the golden people no matter what, and don’t relate to the envy — and see unfairness as a reason to organize rather than complain.

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          1. Mictlantecuhtli perhaps you can help me. I’m looking for some bits of my husband that his jerkoff brother cut up and scattered all over the universe. I’ve got most of him but I’m still missing a nose and a penis, so if you find one of those just lying around under your couch or wherever could you drop me a papyrus scroll with some birds and things on it to let me know?

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  2. I think you have to ask yourself, “What is more relevant to these children?” Is it some massacred “brown” people with no names who lived/died over 500 years ago? Or is it a white “legend” who gives them a Monday in October off from school each year?

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  3. Jeez. How are they going to take the news about Santa Claus, or that nobody in the Fifties actually lived like in Dick Van Dyke reruns? Have their American History profs got to the part about how Thomas Jefferson was a slave-owning philanderer? Or how “Gone With the Wind” is just a teensy bit mythologizing? Or how the Tooth Fairy is a total pervert?

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    1. Helena, I would love to hear tour story about the Tooth Fairy as a pervert! I guess there’ s something I missed about this character that we don’t have in my culture! We have a freaking mouse doing her job!)

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