Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Inspiring Quotes

 

Five scary Christopher Columbus quotes that let you celebrate the holiday the right way

Katie Halper

 posted this 13 Oct 2014

You’ve probably heard lots of great things about Christopher Columbus and tons of inspiring quotes from him about hard work, god, the sea etc.

But those don’t really capture what Columbus and the colonial expansion of which he was part were all about.

So, without further ado, allow me to present these quotes that you may not have heard, from or about Christopher Columbus. 

YOUR HIGHNESSES, as Catholic Christians and Princes who love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma [Islam] and to all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristóbal Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes …

with a view that they might be converted to our holy faith ….

Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your kingdoms and lordships

your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet I should go to the said parts of India ….

I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the business of navigation, so that the service is performed.

I was right about how easy that whole subjugation thing would be!

In another letter to King Ferdinand, Columbus wrote 

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.

These Natives are so nice, we’d be crazy not to enslave them! 

This excerpt from Columbus’ diary describes the Arawak people who greeted him and his men:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. 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.

 Rape! Columbus was such a mensch, he would let his men do whatever they wanted with the natives they captured. One of his men and a childhood friend of Columbus, Michele da Cuneo, describes in a letter how he raped a native woman:

While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire.

She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears.

Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.

 But the anecdote captured above was not some isolated incident of cruelty.

Ironically, but in no way surprisingly, the Spanish who came to save the “heathens” from their idolatry, weren’t very Christ-like in their behavior.

In his book The Devastation of the IndiesBartolome de las Casas, the priest who accompanied Columbus on his conquest of Cuba, detailed the abuse and murder of the native population:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy…

And the Christians, with their horses and swords and pikes began to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them. They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house.

They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike.

They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them head first against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, “Boil there, you offspring of the devil!

Other infants they put to the sword along with their mothers and anyone else who happened to be nearby. They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim’s feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots of thirteen, in memory of Our Redeemer and His twelve Apostles, then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive. To others they attached straw or wrapped their whole bodies in straw and set them afire.

With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim’s neck, saying, “Go now, carry the message,” meaning, Take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains.

They usually dealt with the chieftains and nobles in the following way: they made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their souls would leave them….

 

 

 

Nelson Mandela’s Most Inspiring Quotes

Before his death, Nelson Mandela had already become a larger than life figure for his work ending apartheid in South Africa.

The legend often overshadowed the real Madiba: he was a guy who saw inequality in his world and worked to make it right.

Looking back at over 5 decades of his speeches and writings, we find a man who struggled to balance his duty to his family with his fight for his country, his moral drive to do what’s right with his personal pride.

The Daily Beast posted this Dec. 5, 2013

Madiba inspired people through his speeches and letters, particularly those he wrote during his 18-year imprisonment on Robben Island. Here’s a selection of his most inspiring quotes:

1. “If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.” (After being convicted to five years hard labor, November 1962)

2. “I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience.” (Statement during trial, 1962)

3. “I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.”  (At the opening of his trial, April 20, 1964)

4. “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness.”  (A letter written on August 1, 1970)

5. “Difficulties break some men but make others.” (From a letter to wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island, February 1975)

6. “I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.” (From his unpublished autobiographical manuscript, 1975)

7. “Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)

8. Without democracy there cannot be peace.” (South Africa, May 9, 1992)

9. We are fighting for a society where people will cease thinking in terms of colour.” (March 8, 1993)

10. “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”  (Interview for Mandela, 1994)

11. “Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.”  (December 16, 1995)

12. “I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

13. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

14. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

Video screenshot

Facts and figures from Nelson Mandela’s life, set to the trailer from ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.’

15. “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

16. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” (Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, April 25, 1998)

17. “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”  (South Africa, July 14, 2000)

18. “When people are determined they can overcome anything.” (Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 14, 2006)

Nelson Mandela est mort ce jeudi à 95 ans. Retour sur une vie de combat pour la liberté et l'égalité.<br /><br /><br /><br />
>> http://bit.ly/1aDQiVK
Nelson Mandela est mort ce jeudi à 95 ans. Retour sur une vie de combat pour la liberté et l’égalité. >> http://bit.ly/1aDQiVK

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