Critical History, Myth,Propaganda and History
Published 15 Mar 2017
Critical history is history that is carefully and fairly judged, portrayed and presented so that it’s bad and good attributes are clearly seen. Myths can be said to be a fallacy, something that people believe that does not exit or did not happen. Propaganda on the other hand, is statements that may have been exaggerated or falsified so as to gain political millage.
“The American Holocaust” a book by David Stannard is a critical history of the act of genocide committed against the indigenous American population from the time Christopher Columbus set foot in the island he renamed Hispaniola to date. It dispels some of the myths that were associated with the forced extermination of the “Indians” as Columbus chose to call them.
Stannard estimates that about eight million indigenous Americans were butchered by ‘violence, disease, and despair’ in a span of a single human generation. Within this time the vast majority of the Western Hemisphere’s native peoples had been exterminated. The pace and magnitude of their extermination varied from place to place and from time to time. Historical demographers analyzing the change of population then have uncovered ‘post-Columbian depopulation rates of between 90 and 98 percent’ (Stannard, 1992)
According to Stannard, the comparison, if it is to be made in ratio of the native survivorship in the Americas following European contact has been found to be less than half of what the human survivorship ratio would be in the United States today if every single white person and every single black person died. Making the destruction of the Indians of the Americas by far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.
He argues that even today there is a continuation of genocide in the Americas, and in other places where the world’s indigenous peoples survive. A Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States released a research in 1986 that observed that ‘40,000 people had simply “disappeared” in Guatemala during the preceding fifteen years. Another 100,000 had been openly murdered (Stannard, 1992)
the propaganda that ‘the American holocaust’ ended ages ago he says is false because even as late as 1980s there has been reports (by a survivor) of “Children, two years, four years old, being grabbed and torn into two. This was the case in Guatemala in 1982 of a military massacre as witnessed by a victim.
Some more grisly cases are recounted of the assault on the Indian encampment. A victim”s confession recorded portrays the pain undergone by such people. ‘With tourniquets they killed the children, of two years, of nine months, of six months. They killed and burned them all…. What they did [to my father] was put a machete in here (pointing to his chest) and they cut open his heart, and they left him all burned up. This is the pain we shall never forget … Better to die here with a bullet and not die in that way, like my father did “(Stannard, 1992)
The reports state that almost 10,000 unarmed people were killed in the assault on the 440 Indian encampments in Guatemala.
- Stannard. D. E ( 1992). American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press US.