A Comanche Looks At Columbus
A version of this piece with fewer links was
posted earlier on
Frontpagemag.com. The difference between this
posting and that is not only in the additional links,
but in the fact that we are actually paying
Dr. Yeagley for it.]
[Previous Columbus Day
Abolishing America (contd.): Thoughts On the Guilt Lobby
On The Anniversary Of Columbus` Discovery
I wanted to lead the New York City Columbus parade
this year, October 13th, 2003. As a Comanche Indian, I
thought I could touch up our
savage image a bit, and reconcile the offenses other
caused the Italian Americans in recent years.
It would be a national reconciliation, I thought.
Admittedly, the Comanches were not
especially known for
kindness to strangers. But other Indians were,
Taino, who first met Columbus on the Caribbean
Islands, and the
saved the Pilgrims on the coast of New England.
The fact is, Comanche were hardly known to exist when
Columbus visited here. Comanche certainly have
no quarrel with Columbus.
But my efforts seemed misplaced.
Or apparently, Lawrence Auriana, President of the
Columbus Citizens Foundation, thought so. I
contacted the Foundation at the beginning of July. After
three months of numerous phone calls, letters,
submissions, and e-mails to the Foundation and to Mr.
Auriana, I met with complete silence. Not even my parade
submission was acknowledged. [Email
Instead, the Foundation is emphasizing Italy`s
cooperative relations with America in the present
world. Italian Defense Minister
Antonio Martino, who supported the U.S. invasion of
Iraq, is a special guest, along with fashion designer
Roberto Cavalli—the Grand Marshall!
It`s definitely an Italian`s parade. And
understandably so. No one else in the country puts on
Columbus parades. If the Italians didn`t make the
effort, there would
be no Columbus celebration.
But I thought the Italians would do well to open the
parade up to a more all-American image. An Indian
leading the parade would have been perfect, but the
Foundation apparently couldn`t trust me.
They didn`t know me.
I pointed out to the Foundation that in other parts
of the country, the Columbus Parade has been under
attack—by American Indians. I thought Italians should
make a preemptive strike in New York, and associate
Indians with Italians in a positive way.
The 1992 Columbus Parade in Denver was
cancelled, due to intense Indian harassment of
Italian parade planners. Illustrious Leftist champions
New Jewish Agenda, the
Nation of Islam, and the
American Friends Service Committee so intimidated
the city that the parade was cancelled.
Russell Means led out in the protest. Of course,
other representatives of AIM (American
Indian Movement) were there.
After the 1991 Parade, there was no Columbus Day
Parade in Denver.
Nine years passed before the next parade, in 2000,
and that one was
heavily protested. Then Denver Mayor
Wellington Webb spent
$100,000 on extra police for that day. Denver`s
first Negro mayor did his very best to let everyone be
part of the all-American show.
Even so, of the nearly 500 protesters, 147 were
arrested—not for violence, but for bodily impeding the
parade. Some seemed positively
anxious to be arrested, in the name of being Indian.
Yank BadHand and Greg Holder “stepped forward to be
arrested.” Now that`s an ironic form of dedication.
Most of the Indian names in the reports are Sioux,
from the north country. This is interesting, because the
Sioux had no encounter with Columbus or the Spanish
influence. Comanche encountered the Spanish culture, but
never saw Columbus.
In Denver, Sioux protesters lamented Columbus with
the standard dirges: he did not discover America; he put
Indians in slavery; he committed genocide, etc.
But they added a new one, specially made for Italian
Pansy Hawkwing (Lakota) said:
followed the American way by breaking their word. They
are becoming too American. That`s what Americans have
done, gone back on their word.”
Bunk. Columbus never went back
on his word. He never gave any word. He wasn`t a
politician, really, just a technician.
Italians as “Americans” is weirdly
flattering, but these Indians meant it in the worst way.
I think they committed a bad act of racism here.
Columbus was simply a
courageous man. Columbus was
willing to go where, as far as he knew, no man had
gone before. This is momentous. This is all I see in
Columbus. This is all I need to see.
Would that Indians were brave
enough to go where no Indian has gone before –
socially, politically, and professionally.
Comanche did it. Comanche came
out of the southern Rockies after generations of
isolation. We were naked before the world. Then we took
hold of the world with unparalleled rigor, and created
the largest single
hunting empire ever known in America.
I see the Comanche in
Columbus—courage to explore the unknown, to master it,
and to establish yourself and your people.
Evviva Columbo! Uda, Numunu!
Dr. David A. Yeagley [email
him] is an enrolled
member of the
Comanche Nation, Elgin,
Oklahoma. His articles appear in
and on his own Web site
BadEagle.com, and he is a
regular speaker for
Young America`s Foundation.
David Yeagley`s columns for
An American Indian View of Immigration,
To Deport or not to Deport.
David Yeagley is the author of Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche.