This month’s National Geographic Magazine reveals a shocking truth about the American “paradise” before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
In Peru in 2011, American Michael Spano noticed bones surfacing on a vacant lot across from his home. The bones were clearly evidence of an ancient burial site, but the skeletons had similar cuts across the sternums. To make sense of these lesions, samples were sent to Prof. John Verano at Tulane University. Verano is a forensic expert whose experience includes identifying a massacre of 200 men and boys by the Chimu people, dated to 1350.
Prof. Verano concluded that the new find was another Chimu sacrifice, but of its own children. Thus far, 269 children, 3 adults, and 466 llamas have been uncovered – all ritually killed around A.D. 1470. Until this gruesome discovery, the world record for child sacrifice stood at 42 found in Mexico City, the Aztec capital. Indigenous peoples who claim that Columbus ruined their earthly paradise have lots of splainin’ to do with the mounting evidence of these ghoulish rites.
Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-CA) said this month she wants to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day on the federal level, something not yet attempted. A multicultural icon – half South Asian, half Jamaican, with a Jewish husband – Harris has no reason to defend the Italian navigator. In fact, the new multicultural political landscape will continue to deconstruct our Italian legacy. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we are the soft underbelly of Euro-America.
If you don’t believe that, this month’s widely circulated Associated Press Almanac continues to expunge Italian American victims of the 1942 Executive Order that interned Japanese Americans. That illegal order, proclaimed on February 6th and later declared unconstitutional, has become the shield for all immigrants who fear mistreatment by our government. The Japanese community, which suffered severely, received $1.6 billion in reparations and endless apologies. Meanwhile, our community which suffered mass eviction from the West Coast, loss of jobs, confiscation of fishing boats, and four suicides, received zip – not even an apology, to this day.
Also of note in the AP Almanac was February 18th, the anniversary of the Wah Mee Massacre – the 1983 slaughter of fourteen Chinese Americans by “Willie” Mak and “Tony” Ng, at a secret gambling club in Seattle’s Chinatown. It is still that city’s worse mass murder. It may be politically incorrect to compare this little-remembered massacre with the seven hoods gunned down on another February in 1929 – on St. Valentine’s Day – but Mak & Ng will never replace Scarface. Capone’s reputed hitmen, recruited from the Jewish Purple Gang, will also never achieve top billing.
On the opposite scale was February 11th, also in 1929, when Italy and the Catholic Church signed the accords that created Vatican City ending fifteen hundred years of papal rule on the peninsula. That treaty was the work of another Italian vilified by the ages – Benito Mussolini. Now ninety years old, that arrangement seems to be working – surviving Allied bombings, a Nazi occupation, a civil war, Communist terrorism in the 1970s, and recurring Church scandals.
Finally, the Academy Awards last night reaffirmed our lovable goombah image with three Oscars for Green Book, including Best Picture. The film is a caricatured retelling of a 1962 road trip through the Jim Crow South starring a “mentally challenged” (so described in a Saturday Night Live skit) Italian American chauffeur. I predicted back in December that the script was top notch and “Oscar material.” But the movie has been denounced by many Blacks, including rabid anti-Italic filmmaker Spike Lee, who resent the portrayal of a goombah as the defender of their Black hero. Lee’s own film Blackkklansman lost to Green Book, which could also account for the sour grapes.
One surprise was that Viggo Mortensen, who played the goombah, did not receive Best Supporting Actor award. That honor went, not surprisingly, to his Black co-star. But even bigot Spike Lee would have to admit that Mortensen’s goombah made the movie a “wopping” success. In fact, I suggest the Academy add a new award category for future ceremonies, “Best Goombah in a Drama,” to standardize the role.
It was an interesting month. -JLM