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Remember those who were here first

Philadelphia Family Court is closed today, ostensibly for Columbus Day.

In addition to reflecting upon the historical significance of Christopher Columbus, most notably of course his arrival to the Western Hemisphere in 1492, I urge you to also reflect upon the effects and consequences of such arrival, many of which are still long-lasting in the social structure throughout much of the Americas today.

From "Open Veins of Latin America" by Eduardo Galeano, the following three (3) paragraphs to consider today:

"Three years after the discovery Columbus personally directed the military campaign against the natives of Haiti. . . . A handful of cavalry, 200 foot soldiers, and a few specially trained dogs decimated the Indians. More than 500, shipped to Spain, were sold as slaves in Seville and died miserably."

"Before each military action the captains of the conquest were required to read to the Indians . . . a requerimiento exhorting them to adopt the holy Catholic faith:

'If you do not, or if you maliciously delay in so doing, I certify that with God's help I will advance powerfully against you and make war on you wherever and however I am able, and will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their majesties and take your women and children to be slaves, and as such I will sell and dispose of them as their majesties may order, and I will take your possessions and do you all the harm and damage that I can.'" pages 12-13.

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