For our progressive countrymen, nothing historical is more abhorrent than Western colonialism. Especially when it happened to the ‘noble’ peoples in the Americas. They see this episode of Western history as oppressive, evil and something all people of European descent should feel guilty about. I want to take you on a second tour of what the native peoples of the Americas were doing before and while we arrived. This time we will focus on cannibalism.
When the Spanish arrived in the new world on the islands of the Caribs, they were horrified. The Caribs used the flesh of their fellow humans as food. They had the tendency to eat captives of war or one of their tribesman in ritual slaughter. To give you a small account on how this happened, Vespucio said the following:
“We are about two leagues from the coast. In the pirogue there were four young men, they were not from the same group as the others, but had been taken prisoner in another land : and they had been castrated and all were without the male member and with fresh wounds, at which we marveled much. They said to us that they had been castrated in order to eat them and we supposed that these were the people called cannibals, very fierce, that eat human flesh”
Gomora explained it somewhat more compactly:
“They eat human flesh and wage continual war against each other, the victors eating the vanquished.”
Now I must admit, many liberal and progressive historians want you to discard the historical sources on this topic. They cry out that this narrative serves the conquistadors very conveniently. That the natives only ate humans for ritual & war purposes, not as a serious way of subsistence. The Spanish, however, were less accepting while witnessing this great evil and tried to end it swiftly.
Saving the Cannibals
The Church supported this intervention against evil, Innocent IV argued that cannibalism and human sacrifice provided a pretext for human intervention, all the while trying to save the souls of the innocent native peoples. A French Jesuit priest experienced the following while doing the latter:
“One Arot came to me one day, very kindly, in a NEIGHBORING village where I was preparing the baptism of a Carib cacique, wishing to make me a presentation, which I took to be a personal gift, he passed me a basket, in which there was the hand and foot of an Arawak, and then invited me to eat. I was horrified and told him that God is angered at those who eat their enemies, the obstacle of this basked and its contents was eventually overcome and i will say no more”
You might think I cherry-picked the worst tribe engaging in cannibalism to showcase, you are deeply wrong. We have evidence of cannibalism being done by many native American tribes like the Nourages, Aztecs, Cholulan, Mayas and even the Eskimos.
Making Colonialism Great Again
When you are told you should feel guilty by what was done to the noble native peoples of the Americas. Remember this: If we hadn’t shown up, these people would have probably practised cannibalism for decades or even centuries to come. They were not purely innocent or decent people, many were savage cannibalistic beasts who needed to be brought to civilized justice. Europeans did just that. People like Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes deserve to be honoured by every person in Europe and America. While their initial motivation might not have been to serve justice, they stopped one of the greatest evils on this planet. In these times when some want to topple statues of these great men, I propose we built hundreds more across Europe and the Americas. Stopping brutal cannibals, that is something that makes colonialism great!