Christopher Columbus, The, And The United States

971 WordsApr 25, 20164 Pages
Introduction In the United States, when a child is asked to think about Christopher Columbus, chances are the child will portray him as a courageous, heroic explorer who discovered America. However, when a child is asked about what they think of when they see an Indian, the child will most likely describe a half-naked human with a feather on his head. Any young American will unknowingly stereotype Indians as figures of the past. These cognitive constructs [stereotypes] are often created out of a kernel and then distorted beyond reality (Hoffmann, 1986). Without any doubt, these attributed characteristics are incorrect. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans regard Indians as “obstacles to white settlement.” However, historians, scientists, and researchers understand the fact that Indians were “one of the principle determinants of historical events.” So where does the tragic level of misinformed Americans come from? Ultimately, the overarching origin for this injustified American perspective of the Native American lies in the stereotypes perpetrated by this culture’s education and media. Five hundred years after the first recorded commentary about American Indians, minorities have struggled to overcome the pervasive effect of these impactful stereotypes. This study reveals how the first encounter between Christopher Columbus and the indigenous peoples in 1492 inspired religious racism and indentured servitude in the Americas, which responded with
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