FW: Awesome letter from STARS-re Chasco

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Wed Apr 11 12:57:22 MDT 2001






-----Original Message-----
From: Aimfl at aol.com [mailto:Aimfl at aol.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 11:39 AM
To: SGMAIMFL at aol.com
Subject: Awesome letter from STARS-re Chasco


The Chasco Festival is a yearly event in Florida that includes a play that 
celebrates a legend of the origins of the Chasco River.  This legend is not 
only heavily peppered with words such as "heathens" ,  "barbaric", and 
"savages" but also is historically untrue. The depictions of murder and 
torture denies many of the finer qualities Native people were known to 
possess at that time and attributes vulnerability to the Spaniards who are 
world renowned for the cruelty they inflicted on the original gentler
people. 
 

"So tractable, so peaceable, are these people that I swear to your Majesties

there is not in the world a better nation. They love their neighbors as 
themselves, and their discourse is ever sweet and gentle, and accompanied 
with a smile; and though it is true that they are naked,  yet their manners 
are decorous and praiseworthy."   
"The King [the leader or "chief"] observes such a wonderful estate in such a

dignified manner that it is a pleasure to see.  Neither better people nor 
land can there be.  The houses and villages are so pretty.  They love their 
neighbors as themselves and they have the sweetest speech in the world and 
they are gentle and they are always laughing"   -The Old Navigator,  
Christopher Columbus-

"So great were the cruelties and horrible the degradations that the Native 
people suffered at the hands of Columbus and his men, that entire villages 
would bolt in panic at the sight of a single Spaniard. The whole populations

of some villages would, upon the approach of Spanish soldiers, hurl 
themselves from cliffs, hang themselves, shoot one another with arrows, or 
take poison to avoid life under the boot of Spanish oppression. Others 
abandoned their cultivated fields and homes to hide in the forested hills 
where many thousands starved to death."

Estimates of the Native population of Haiti in 1492 range up to 8 
million people. In 1496, according to the results of a Spanish census, 
the Native populace had dropped to approximately 3 million. By 1516 only 
12,000 remained.  In 1542, 200 remained alive. By 1555, nearly all 8 million

were gone. 

"How much damage,  how many calamities,  disruptions and devastations of 
kingdoms have there been?   How many souls have perished in the West Indies 
over the years and how unjustly?  How many unforgivible sins have been 
committed? ......  What we committed in the  West Indies stands out among
the 
most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and 
mankind...." 
   -Bartolome de Las Casas-  Spanish priest and compatriot of 
Christopher Columbus "
(from the website:  
International Brotherhood Days, Your Heroes are Not our Heroes)
http://kato.theramp.net/kohr4/

These are the writings of a true missionary, not the musings of a fiction 
writer!

Other historical errors abound such as the Spaniards taught the Native
people 
to grow corn and other vegetables.  Further insinuations of the backwardness

of the first people are shown by the need to elect the Spaniards as heads of

their tribe.  There is also the constant reference to the practice of their 
religion as "heathenish".  The Native people were constantly urged to adopt 
the "only right and true religion of Christianity".  And to top the whole 
thing off, in the Chasco Parade, the people that rode the float wore Plains 
style War bonnets!!  And to make matters even worse, even though the
festival 
organizers had been contacted about the offensiveness of this play and the 
float, and was protested by at least 20 members of AIM, this float won first

place in the float competition.  A fairly direct slap in the face.

The story puts forth in one’s mind all of the cliches, fears, stereotypes
and 
misunderstandings about Native people.  Within the story is no mention of
its 
mythical origins  and one can immediately see the impact a story like this 
could have on impressionable young minds, creating the same kind of 
groundless fears suffered by early immigrants to this land.  There can be no

progress in the relations between Native and non-native people people in a 
town that celebrates horrible stories such as this.  It is time to let the 
true stories be told, how in fact it was the Spaniards that were barbarous 
and slaughtered millions of Native people, not the other way around.  The 
only way to bring truth and understanding to the this country is to
eliminate 
the fictitious displays such as these!  
To read the legend for yourself, go to AIM FL website at 
http://hometown.aol.com/aimfl/index.html and see the listing at the bottom 
for the Chasco Alert.  For photos of the float and the protest, download 
files.  To e-mail responses to the chairman who will then share those 
comments with the Board of Directors of the Festival of states, send e-mails

to
lane at festivalofstates.com.


NOTICE: This e-mail message and any attachment to this e-mail message 
contains confidential information that may be legally privileged. This  
message is intended solely for the purview and dissemination of the  
recipient(s) and the recipient(s) directly affiliated organization(s) If you

are not the intended recipient, you must not review, retransmit, convert to 
hard copy, copy, print, use or disseminate this e-mail or any attachments to

it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify us immediately 
by return e-mail or by telephone at 727-826-6960 and delete this message. 
Please  note that if this e-mail message contains a forwarded message or is
a 
reply to a prior message, some or all of the contents of this message or any

attachments may not have been produced by the American Indian Movement of  
Florida, Inc., its membership, affiliates, or support groups.
The Chasco Festival is a yearly event in Florida that includes a play that 
celebrates a legend of the origins of the Chasco River.  This legend is not 
only heavily peppered with words such as "heathens" ,  "barbaric", and 
"savages" but also is historically untrue. The depictions of murder and 
torture denies many of the finer qualities Native people were known to 
possess at that time and attributes vulnerability to the Spaniards who are 
world renowned for the cruelty they inflicted on the original gentler
people. 
 



More information about the Marxism mailing list