Hey, Cope, I guess you probably heard about the latest pandemic. It’s popping as we speak, and it makes Covid look like a soft little mushy round cheese cake with teensy red white and blue stars on it. Right now, the new one seems to be occurring mostly at rest stops along the I-5 corridor … Continue reading “email to Copeland 5/7/21”
APRIL ARRIVES BY NIGHT
–Fukushima Daiichi 2011-20??
Tohoku in snow
The daffodils collapse
Lying flat one upon the other.
From the fingernail moon you stole
A kiss, April, as you arrived
By night. Haven’t you revealed
The secret of a fox
To whom you are partial, or what
Favor the rain brings?
You laugh, thinking you can get
Away with no orientation, claiming
No dependents, like a ghost who can be
Unburdened. So where, in this deserted
Teahouse, are those who serve and gather?
Here you are, April, in the plowed furrow,
Having stolen away to the fields,
Your brow heavy with grief for Tarukawa,
Who killed himself over his row of cabbages.
THE FAR RIGHT’S CHRONIC HICCUP OVER HOWARD ZINN AND THE LOSS OF THEIR FANTASY COLUMBUS~~~“Before The West Was Won: Pre-Columbian Morality,” by David Barton, vs A Peoples’ History Of The United States,” by Howard Zinn.
“Who controls the past controls the future.” —George Orwell
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” —Unnamed senior advisor to President George W. Bush
“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”–Voltaire
LATEST NEWS FROM THE “NEW WORLD”
It seems a people having little to fall back on but the whim of their beliefs tend to make easy prey to the lies and manipulations of every charlatan that comes along, no less than sheep make easy meals for every passing wolf. Thus, many, already convinced that the Corona virus pandemic is a fraud were likewise lead to believe that Donald Trump won the election, and were thus transformed into a violent mob that can no longer distinguish reality from make-believe.
There’s more to this than simple gullibility. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges looks at the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol as “evidence of a deep despair that is gripping huge sections of the working class.” Asked to put the Capitol assault in historical perspective, Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University, speaks of the fantasy that we see ourselves in some kind of “exceptional” light—“the city on the hill” — “deluding ourselves that we’re the ones who are civilized, versus the real savages, the real barbarians—indigenous people, migrants, workers, women, black folk, queer folk, all of them viewed as less than human, degraded, other.”
This mind-set extends outward to other countries viewed as “evil” or “out to get us.” Not just Russia or China, but Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. . . It’s a very long list. Like the Roman legions of old, the U.S. military in its “War On Terror” is now spread over 80 countries—40% of the nations on the planet.
With some 800,000 dead, 37-million refugees, and a cost to taxpayers of $6.4 trillion (so far), West suggests the capitol assault represents the “chickens coming home to roost.” But he also reminds us that the mobs of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and neo-Confederates, are themselves victims:
It’s not just the notion that greed is good, but the massive shattering of families, communities, bonds, networks, so you end up with not just isolated, narcissistic persons, but you also end up with people unable to generate any kind of story to live by, unable to situate themselves in a national narrative that has any connection with reality. It is a profoundly nihilistic moment. And nihilism is a lived experience of a tremendous wound and hurt. When I looked in the eyes of the neo-Nazis (at Charlottesville), I saw deep wounds and hurts and joylessness and lovelessness, and a search for meaning. They just hated me, they wanted to kill me, but I could still understand the ways in which they were very much a product of a predatory capitalist culture that is just—money, money, money, and they’re actually being subjugated in their own distinctive ways.
The historian Howard Zinn, a long-time friend of West’s, who passed away in 2010, probably would not have been surprised by any of these events, from the rise of the proto-fascist Trump, to the misinformation campaigns and bizarre conspiracy theories leading up to the storming of the Capitol. Nor would he disagree with West’s assessment of them. Zinn’s groundbreaking book, A Peoples’ History Of The United States, actually traces the threads of this “predatory capitalism”—a system of brutality and subjugation—from its origin in the Spanish Conquest clear up to the present day. If the Latin for radical is root—literally one’s willingness to look at the origins and root causes of our social ills—then Zinn exemplifies the essence of what it is to be radical.
Zinn, who taught history at Spelman College and later at Boston University, came from a background of activism during the civil rights era of the late 1950’s and ’60’s, a period that gave rise to academics with a social conscience, out of which grew a deeper sense of fairness and justice for the underdog. These “bottom up” historians felt a duty to tell the stories often overlooked or glossed over in the traditional histories of America. And that, in essence, is what Peoples’ History sets out to do.
The fact that the book has proved through the years to be popular with students and teachers may explain why it has often been the target of propagandists on the right, who see it as a threat to the established order. One of those crusading propagandists is David Barton, whose article, “Before The West Was Won: Pre-Columbian Morality,” is intended as a smack-down of Zinn’s book.
Listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center along with other extremists and hate groups, Barton is an evangelical Christian who has made a career promoting the lie that Jefferson and the Founding Fathers intended to establish a “Christian nation,” rather than one based on separation of church and state. He is anti-gay, anti-government, a Muslim-basher. He has stated that gays should be in prison. He believes the minimum wage, unions, Environmentalism, and measures to combat global warming are all opposed to God.
In Texas, Barton, who lives in Aledo, has served as an “expert” consultant to the State Board Of Education, whose mostly far right evangelical members have been successful at rewriting textbooks to make them more conservative and Christian-friendly. Texas has a long tradition of promoting conservative or religious ideology in its schools. Looking back to the twenties, the state board, under pressure from religious conservatives and the Klan, excluded all mention of evolution in Texas school books. Nowadays, it’s the steady push to teach creationism—euphemistically described as “intelligent design”—alongside evolution in science classes.
Nor are the assaults on academia confined to Texas alone. In Arizona, for example, a notorious ban on ethnic studies in the Tucson public schools also included a ban on the following books, subsequently removed from the schools: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy Of The Oppressed, Bill Bigelow’s Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, and Howard Zinn’s Voices Of A Peoples’ History Of The United States.
Hm. . . There may be a reason why more Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin’s theory.
* * *
From Henry Kissinger’s book, A World Restored, Zinn draws this quote: “History is the memory of states.” He then relates how Kissinger proceeded to tell the history of nineteenth-century Europe from the viewpoint of the leaders of Austria and England, while ignoring “the millions who suffered from those statesmens’ policies.” Zinn continues:
. . .But for factory workers in England, farmers in France, colored people in Asia and Africa, women and children everywhere except in the upper classes, it was a world of conquest, violence, hunger, exploitation—a world not restored but disintegrated.
This is precisely Zinn’s view of the world of the native populations in his narrative of the Spanish Conquest (comprising the first chapter of Peoples’ History), a world not “restored” by civilized Christian morality, but “disintegrated” by it. Thus, he reasons, “We must not accept the memory of states as our own.” Zinn maintains that in such a world of conflict, of victims and executioners, “it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.”
Barton sticks with the fantasy. Adhering to the old “top-down” approach to history—found in most high school textbooks—he and his followers tend to see the world from the point of view of the “winners”—the heroic conquerors, the (slave-holding) Founding Fathers, the (white) pioneers who bravely carried out the divine mission of “Manifest Destiny,” by defeating the “savages,” taming the wilderness, bringing God, morals, and Free-Market Capitalism to the nascent empire.
Thus, for him, the over-arching story of American discovery and colonization was one of “progress and advancement.” Of mankind “piercing the mist of the Ocean Sea to plant the seeds of individual rights, liberty, and freedom on a faraway shore so that they could finally germinate and grow, providing its fruit to the world both Old and New.”
Barton seems obsessed with this notion of Columbus as a “planter of seeds.” The phrase turns up more than once, as when he later asserts that the great explorer “. . . planted the seeds of freedom on American shores which would eventually germinate into the nation which brought more liberty, stability, and prosperity than any other country in the history of the world.”
One can almost picture the writer penning these flatulent platitudes with a lump in his throat, his paper (or laptop) puddled from the tears dripping from his face.
If only it were true. . .
As the title of his article suggests, Barton’s primary concern in his idealized concept of history seems to be morals: who has them and who doesn’t. Moreover, his tolerance for bad behavior seems to run a little higher for those who have them (morals) than for those who supposedly do not. The problem with adhering to this myopic framework is somehow getting the facts to agree.
Projecting this mindset onto Zinn, Barton has him claiming “unilaterally” that the indigenous people held a “higher moral standard than the European nations at the time.”
Zinn did not use the word “moral” or “morals.” What he actually said was that “the Arawaks of the Bahamas were much like natives on the mainland who were remarkable for their hospitality, their belief in sharing.” Nor did this assessment come out of thin air; European observers had repeatedly said the same thing. Zinn goes on to add: “These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.”
As Zinn points out, Spain at the time, much like France, England, and Portugal, was populated mostly by poor peasants who worked for the nobility, who made up 2% of the population and owned 95% of the land. If those figures seem oddly familiar, perhaps it’s because 500 years after Columbus, the top 1-percent of U.S. households owns more wealth than the bottom 90% combined.
But hold on—that’s pre-pandemic. For the moment—with vast numbers out of work, facing the end of their resources—we can only guess how many Americans are teetering on the brink of homelessness and starvation—possibly millions—owing to an entrenched leadership of oligarchs who are about as sensitive to the needs of the poor and powerless as the kings and popes of a by-gone era.
According to the Boston Globe, 60% of those charged in the Capitol riot showed prior money woes going back for years, ranging from bad debts, unpaid tax bills, and threats of eviction. At some point, 1 in 5 faced losing their homes. We do know that income inequality in the U.S. is currently the highest of all the G-7 nations.
If this is what germinated from Columbus’ seeds, then it looks like massive crop failure.
Nevertheless, Barton doubles down on his defense of Columbus, promoting the idea, in the face of scant evidence, that most of the indigenous tribes—even the peaceful Arawaks—were given over to war, slavery, and cannibalism. The problem is Barton’s moral framework, which more or less obligates him to enhance the Christian heroism of the conquerors while painting as disturbing a picture of the conquered as possible. He even goes so far as to assert “that in a primitive world of slaughter, sacrifice and cannibalism,” native enslavement under Columbus represented an improvement (!) —An “important stage of human progress.”
Perhaps Barton is justified in his thinking. In 1510, the Requerimiento [Requirement] was issued by the Council of Castile “to be read aloud as an ultimatum to conquered Indians in the Americas.” Asserting the religious authority of the Roman Catholic pope “over the entire earth,” it demanded that the conquered peoples accept Spanish rule and Christian preaching or risk subjugation, enslavement, and death.” As the National Humanities Center points out, the Requerimiento was often read in Latin to the Indians “with no interpreters present, or even delivered from shipboard to an empty beach, revealing its prime purpose as self-justification for the Spanish invaders.”
By the mid-1500’s, it became possible to consider native enslavement under the Spanish “an act of mercy” over killing them outright or leaving them free to be slaughtered (and possibly devoured) by more aggressive tribes.
So much better to be whipped and worked to death like a mule than to end up in your neighbor’s soup-pot.
One wonders if Barton would further justify the extermination of native people across the width of North America, from the burning to death of some five-hundred Pequots by Puritans in 1637 to the massacre of 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee, South Dakota by the U.S. Cavalry in 1890. Surely a fair trade-off for the triumph of Christian morality—the white version, of course!
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME. . .
In The Rediscovery Of North America, by National Book Award winner and essayist Barry Lopez, Barton’s “moral trade-off” is nowhere to be found. “The quest for personal possessions,” Lopez observes, “was to be, from the outset, a series of raids, irresponsible and criminal, a spree, in which an end to it was never visible. . .in which an end to it had no meaning.” As Lopez reminds us, in the year 1492—the same year Jews were expelled from Spain by royal edict—a process began in the Bahamas “[which] we now call an incursion. In the name of distant and abstract powers, the Spanish began an appropriation of the place, a seizure of its people, its elements, whatever could be carried off.”
Lopez goes on to describe what went on for decades as “the acts of criminals”—murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, vandalism, child molestation, acts of cruelty, torture, and humiliation.
It was the systematic rape and destruction of a culture, indeed, of many cultures, of a people living in well-ordered and well-established societies hundreds of years before Columbus “discovered” them, for whom the “New World” was not new at all. Far from stumbling into an empty wilderness, as Zinn points out, the Spanish landed in “a world which in some places was as densely populated as Europe itself.” A hundred-million people were scattered across South and North America, with hundreds of different tribal cultures speaking 2,000 different languages. The Arawak people (also called Tainos) occupied much of the Bahamas, the northern Lesser Antilles—Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, with perhaps three-million living on Hispaniola alone.
In addition to being skilled fishermen, the Arawaks had perfected the art of agriculture, raising vegetables, fruits, peanuts, chocolate, tobacco. They used irrigation, built canals and dams. They developed sophisticated art and ceramics; there were expert jewelry makers, sculptors and weavers.
Columbus described the first people he encountered as extraordinarily peaceful, gentle, happy, almost without guile—”the best in the world.” He was struck by their generosity, how, in exchange for very little, they would turn over “almost everything they had.” He also observed, with particular interest, that none of them carried weapons or even seemed to know much about them. Little surprise that he should foresee a bonanza in the slave trade: “. . .they would make fine servants,” he wrote. “With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”
In Peoples’ History, Zinn relates the observations of the Spanish priest, Bartolomé de Las Casas, who lived among the Amerindians and witnessed first-hand the genocide of the indigenous population. He estimated a death-toll for the Indians across the Caribbean at 12- to 15-million due to war, disease, and forced labor in the mines. His figure may be high. . .or low. Maybe it’s only 8-million in the initial conquest.
In Rediscovery, Lopez tells us that Las Casas was an eyewitness to what he called “the obdurate and dreadful temper” of the Spanish, which “attended [their] unlimited and close-fisted avarice,” their vicious search for wealth. One day, as the priest looked on, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded or raped three-thousand people. “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,” he says, “as no age can parallel. . . .”
Lopez continues: the Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them, poured people full of boiling soap, made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. Babies were routinely yanked from their mothers’ breasts, slammed into rocks, or hacked up and fed to the dogs. He further describes the burning alive of natives—”in honor and Reverence for our redeemer and the twelve Apostles.”
“Who, in future generations will believe this?” Las Casas wrote. Nobody—if we’re to believe people like Barton, who, oddly enough, omits any mention of Las Casas or the priest’s numerous accounts of his years in the Caribbean, from his Short Account Of The Destruction Of The Indies to his three-volume History Of The Indies. It would be hard to find an accurate narrative of the Spanish conquest that leaves out Las Casas, a significant (and heroic) figure in the history of the Amerindians.
Nevertheless, Barton proffers this spectacular lie: “Without Columbus and his efforts, we would have no records of these cultures at all.” In fact, it’s largely thanks to Las Casas that we do have a thorough first-hand account of what became of these people, a narrative that aligns with Zinn’s and most historians’ while contrasting sharply with Barton’s.
Columbus also came into contact with the Carib people, who, prior to his arrival, had been expanding their territory by driving the more peaceful Arawaks further north, leaving the southern Lesser Antilles to the Caribs, as well as the neighboring shores of South America. In contrast with the Arawaks, Columbus finds the Caribs “aggressive and warlike.” And so they may have been. On the other hand, since they initially succeeded in fending off the aggressive and warlike colonizers, it might be just as accurate to describe the Caribs as “brave.” Certainly, they were more experienced fighters than the Arawaks, whose villages they sometimes attacked, carrying off (allegedly) Arawakan women for their own use. At any rate, they, too, eventually suffered the same fate as their neighbors throughout the Caribbean, and later, South America and Mexico.
Again, Barton makes much of native aggression as well as numerous reports of cannibalism by Columbus and other colonizers, accusations which fall heaviest on the Caribs. Relying exclusively, as Barton does, on the primary sources of Spanish witnesses leaves unasked some pertinent questions. To begin with, we know that Europeans were almost certainly predisposed to expect wild, fanciful tales told by their heroic explorers. Such stories originating from Africa and Asia were widely read and repeated. One such story involved certain native people who got around by hopping on one leg. Some were described as “Cyclopes” – ”one-eyed giants of a surly nature.” Walter Raleigh discusses men whose heads are in their chests and people whose feet pointed backwards, making them “very difficult to track”! Still other weird encounters included the Cynocephali—a race of people with “dogs’ heads and human bodies.”
That feeding on human flesh was almost a commonplace no matter where explorers went should at least raise some questions. Not to say that it did not occur. Accounts differ. It may have been practiced by the Caribs. If so, it was mostly confined to initiation and funerary rights, or to strike fear in their enemies. Or it was a myth—promoted to justify various and sundry atrocities including enslavement. It’s at least worth noting that Columbus described the Caribs as “mythical beings with snouts of dogs, who ate men.”
There’s little archaeological evidence the practice was wide-spread, even less that it occurred among the Arawaks. Certainly nothing on the level asserted by Barton, who defines “the complete and deliberate depopulation of entire islands and communities as “genocide through cannibalism.” An assertion so ludicrous as to have us believe that natives were chowing down on on each other at every opportunity.
Here’s what we do know: that from the beginning, Columbus began taking native people for slaves, even shipping them back to Spain. Others he put to work in the mines. His son, Fernando, witnessed the punishment natives could receive when failing to return from three month’s toil without his or her “hawk’s bell full of gold”: his father—calling himself “Christo Ferens” (Bearer of Christ)—lopped off their hands.
Slavery initially did not sit well with Queen Isabella who had strictly forbidden the practice for any of her subjects, which now included native people. But after some cajoling and arm-twisting, Columbus persuaded her to change her mind. Conditioning it in the interest of “protecting the colonies,” she allowed an exception for those natives—specifically Caribs—captured in war or who—on the word of Columbus—were practitioners of cannibalism.
It’s not long after that that charges of the revolting habit begin spreading throughout the Caribbean. The glowing reports of a gentle, peaceful people described by the explorer in his first encounter undergo a change. And since Caribs were initially more resistant, the Spanish naturally took the easy ones first. After all, any native people, even Arawaks, could be called “Caribs” to satisfy the Queen’s delicate requirement. From there, the practice was replicated through succeeding decades to include groups all over South America. In the Bahamas, Carib cannibalism became something like official dogma in routine government reports. To this day the word caribe persists in Castilian-Spanish as standard figurative for perana or savage. But in the age of conquest, the word cannibal applied to any native no matter what tribe or where found functioned much the same as terrorist does in today’s world when applied to anyone we don’t like and wish to destroy.
Apologists for Columbus will say about anything, I suppose: “The record is clear,” Barton writes, “that the original evangelistic-centered plan for colonization presented by Columbus, commissioned by the Sovereigns, and confirmed by the Pope, planted the seeds of a more progressive moral society.”
His further assertion that, “. . .Columbus was engaged in the widespread liberation of enslaved women,” is laughable. In fact, the sailors and other men under him took many Arawak women and girls (as young as nine years) for sexual slaves. Which, come to think of it, may account for all those seeds drifting in Barton’s day-dreams.
Reading Zinn’s narrative, or any of substance, should make clear the kind of “morals” the evangelical Europeans planted in the new world. Columbus was no more interested in “morals” than any modern-day venture-capitalist. What he and other Conquistadors were after, besides empire, was gold—what Lakota shaman Black Elk called, “the metal that makes white men crazy.” To that end, they adhered to what was expedient: a program of domination—economic and military—that continues to this day.
On his return to Spain, Las Casas continued his appeals to the authorities to stop the destruction in the Americas, including the process of evangelizing through the use of force and slavery. Even as he moved up in the church, and to the end of his days, the priest remained committed in his role as defender of native people. If there’s a hero in this story, it is surely not Columbus, but Las Casas. Contrasting the Spanish Empire, which he described as morally corrupt and violent, he argued that—even “without the light of faith,” the indigenous cultures of the Americas were as civilized as the Roman, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations, surpassing not only his own, but even the English and French.
It’s worth noting that whatever ideals of liberty and freedom ended up in our Constitution did not spring from Columbus, but from the philosophers of the Enlightenment, most of whom—ironically—would have referred to those native people who were obliterated as the source of their ideas.
”When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
With streams of effluent spewing daily from FOX News, bizarre conspiracies loosed on the wind, schools under assault, pirated textbooks, and rampaging villagers acting on the irrational inducements of a deranged con man, one could almost believe we are witnessing the triumph of make-believe.
Historians like Zinn would remind us that the fate of our country rests on our willingness to confront the truth about ourselves. But we must first renounce the myths.
Undoubtedly, the propagandist’s success relies on his or her ability to chip away or erode the realms of enlightenment: education, knowledge, faith in reason and science over delusion and make-believe. Such has been the case since Galileo was summoned before the Inquisition for the crime of seeing what he should not have seen through his telescope.
If hatred and prejudice are the fetid fruits of ignorance, the purveyors of fables and lies may justly count themselves the handmaids of bigotry. The tragedy of the white supremacists in D.C. and elsewhere is their failure to perceive who their real enemies are, while also failing to recognize their deeper connection to those hungering and thirsting millions here and around the world with whom they should be making common cause.
But to see that connection would require, at the least, an awakening, first to the putting away of childish things—namely, an adolescent gun fetish—then, renouncing the irrational hatred and bigotry that prevents them from perceiving their own subjugation and victimhood as just another bite off the same rotted fruit experienced by the poor and the working class, regardless of race, the world over—native and LGBTQ included. It is the failure to see clearly those with whom their fate is inextricably bound: to those mothers and fathers treated like animals on our southern border, locked away, separated from their children, carelessly, even routinely, exposed to the plague as if their lives counted for nothing; to the tortured and imprisoned of Guantanamo, and the tortured, condemned, and imprisoned everywhere; to the dead, the dying, the walking wounded, victims and refugees of our “forever wars,” of cruel sanctions and crippling economic policies inflicted not only on our own people, but in other countries and other lands—policies not of some Iran-Russia-China, or any “other” branded as “evil,” but of this one—this America, the “Exceptional”—whose greed and determination to dominate at all costs, has made life impossible for millions, and driven them from their homes. Without that awakening, the frustration and powerlessness felt by the mobs will only deepen and widen, with consequences not only for them, but for us all.
Reflecting on this, it’s hard not to think of Tom Joad’s parting words to his “Ma”—and by extension, perhaps, his “mother” country—in the The Grapes Of Wrath, a book as relevant today as when it came out in 1939:
. . .a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but on’y a piece of a big one— an’ then. . .Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. . .I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build— why, I’ll be there.
Yes, it’s nice to think Tom Joad may still be out there, somewhere, wandering in the dark night of our forlorn country, in spirit at least. . .
Meanwhile, the purveyors of lies, the tin-foil con men, will sally forth. A year before his failed presidential run, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, referring to the folksy, smooth-talking Barton, declared:
I don’t know anyone in America who is a more effective communicator. I just wish that every single young person in America would be able to be under his tutelage and understand something about who we really are as a nation. I almost wish there would be something like a simultaneous telecast and all Americans would be forced, forced—at gunpoint no less—to listen to every David Barton message.
Barton, David. “Before The West Was Won: Pre-Columbian Morality.” Essay on Barton’s website, Wallbuilders
Churchill, Ward. (1994). “History Not Taught Is History Forgot: Columbus’ Legacy of Genocide,” from Indians Are Us? Culture And Genocide In Native North America. Minnesota Institute of Technology Archive. Excellent account excerpted in a legal brief from Ward Churchill’s book. The paper explains: “The defendants in the brief are leaders of the American Indian Movement who are charged with stopping a Columbus Day celebratory parade near the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado, on October 12, 1991.” Found Here: 9.11- Columbus’ History Of Genocide – MIT
Coogan, Timothy, Assistant Professor, Social Science. (2005). “History From The Bottom Up.” Laguardia College/City University Of New York. https://www.laguardia.edu/maus/bottomup.htm
Corbett, Bob, Dept. of Philosophy, Webster University. Online courses on Haitian history, pre-Columbian to the present. Interesting commentary on Las Casas, and so on. See his “Haitian History Page.”
Frankel, Todd C. (Feb. 10, 2021). A Majority Of The People Arrested For Capitol Riot Had A History Of Financial Trouble. The Boston Globe
Graeber, David, and Wengrow, David, “Hiding In Plain Sight.” Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume XIII, No. 3: p. 175. Lewis H. Lapham, editor, American Agora Foundation: NY.
Lopez, Barry. (1990). The Rediscovery Of North America. Vintage Books, Random House: New York.
Morgan, Edmund S. (Oct., 2009). “Columbus’ Confusion About The New World.” Smithsonian Magazine.
Rothera, Evan C. (2009). “’Since This Is A Horrible Thing To Think About’: European Perceptions Of Native American Cannibalism.” The Gettysburg Historical Journal, Vol. 8, Article 3. See: Gettysburg.
The Spanish and New World Slavery, The Low Country Digital Library, College of Charleston, South Carolina.
West, Cornel. Interview with Chris Hedges. “America’s Existential Crisis.” On Contact, Jan. 10, 2021. See: On Contact
Zinn, Howard. (1980). A Peoples’ History Of The United States. Harper/Collins: New York.
PLANET IN RED
Going to Mars in grim slow-motion
Building the grandest pavilion there;
Collecting seashells dried up ocean–
The pale, the unrepentant somewhere.
Couplets and haunted sonnets I write
Of petrified nests, of starlight, moons
With scary monikers: Fear and Panic.
Children of chaos: Phobos and Deimos
Calling this pale pink sky to mind
Are banishing birds of any kind–
Whispering over their unknown tomb
Where bones concealed for ages resume
Irregular shapes in the deepest barrow:
Sister nightingale, brother sparrow.
The Beach at Sainte-Adresse
Something in the landscape keeps him alive.
Boats and sea subside: sightseers, fishermen.
The tactile sand, hallucination, fever
And that Monet; a chill has compromised it.
The wall behind it undulates. Inscrutable
Clouds pretend to move; arrested headwind
Brushes Sainte-Adresse, dark hull and steeple.
He shivers, sweats, the mainsheet over him;
Residue of salt turns sketch to brushstroke,
Plaintive skyline, umbilicus, fragile cloud,
Monet’s Normandy, fingertips touching land.
East of Bedlam, my friends read the paper
At the reception in my honor.
I myself have come early, hoping to taste
The blush of laughter, your sweet wine.
Accepting pardon, I am like the moon
That rises before dark.
The moonlit desert abides,
Worried that you praise me too much.
The party breaks up and some are convinced
That I was a sacred desert, perhaps a moon
Too exalted to mourn.
In Memorium: Tia Padorr Black
tia black Swallowtails
Two swallowtails spiral
over cypress at the mountain’s crest.
Gypsies, one black, one gold,
trace an invisible path.
In mid-air they touch then vanish
as if changed
into the trance
of our own light breath.
Far below red light burns the field,
high summer’s intolerable heat,
while above the swallowtails reappear
fluid, glittering, weightless in the sky.
For a moment, they lift us
from this pool of earth,
and we emerge, our skin
shimmering, light as air.
The roof and wall subsided with storm
For a miracle in your grasp, still being alive.
Prepare then a way for me by cloud
And by rain. The new light. It enters
The broken half of a house. You won’t
Give up on me too soon, I hope,
By way of Jordan, pale jasmine.
This is how you enter a sacred place
On brittle stalks, the soothsayer’s white
Miniatures. This is how you have prolonged
Your embrace, beckoning to me: absorbed
In the perfumed letter that took so long
To catch my attention. The crease in the envelope
Turning my eye to the long curve of your fingers.
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