Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, October 11, 2021
Columbus used to be a hero because he brought white people and Western Civilization to the New Word, but now that makes him a great villain. During the George Floyd riots, no fewer than 32 statues and memorials to Columbus came down — either destroyed by mobs or taken away by terrified bureaucrats.
The holiday will probably be renamed Indigenous Peoples Day. The District of Columbia and 13 states already call it that: California, Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina.
I have a better name for the holiday, which preserves the tradition of giving credit to a single man, in this case, an “indigenous person” named Opechancanough. He became chief of the Jamestown colony’s Indian neighbors when his older brother, Powhatan, died in 1618. Under Powhatan, whose favorite daughter had married an Englishman, there was an only sporadically violent peace.
Opechancanough was different. In 1622, he hatched a plot to exterminate every white man, woman, and child. By then, there were about 1,200 colonists, and many had Indian helpers and employees. On March 22, the Indians came to work with weapons hidden under their clothes, and rose up and massacred the whites. Fortunately for the colony, the main population at Jamestown got wind of the plot. Men kept weapons handy, and the Indians did not attack.
Even so, Opechancanough’s men managed to kill about 400 whites, or one-third of the colonists. The Indians had special consideration for George Thorpe, who had tried harder than any other colonial leader to be kind to Indians. In the words of a contemporary, they “did so many barbarous despights and foule scornes after to his dead corpse, as are unbefitting to be heard by any civill eare.”
The slaughter began a year-long war with the Indians, but Opechancanough sued for peace, and whites and Indians slowly started mingling again. Amazingly, in 1644, Opechancanough ordered an identical sneak attack, and managed to kill between 400 and 500 English. This time, the colonists went on to kill so many Indians, including Opechancanough, that two years later, the Virginia General Assembly noted with satisfaction that the natives were “so routed and dispersed that they are no longer a nation, and we now suffer only from robbery by a few starved outlaws.”
Opechancanough was a patriot and freedom fighter, a defender of his people against the rapacious white man. Rather than celebrating a tame abstraction — indigenous people — let us celebrate a hero who, not just once but twice, tried to save his tribe, his land, and his way of live by exterminating the hated white man. And Opechancanough is exactly the kind of alien, unpronounceable name that best stands for the America of the future.