That rhyme has long been how American students were introduced to Christopher Columbus in elementary school.
Students learn that Columbus is the one who discovered America and sailed across the Atlantic in its three ships: Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. The Italian explorer is even celebrated every October during a federal holiday named after him.
But the man credited with discovering the “new world” has long been considered a controversial figure in US history for his treatment of the indigenous communities he encountered and for his role in the violent colonization at their expense.
Dozens of cities and states – for example, Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont and Oregon ̵
So what did Columbus really do and why is he labeled as a “tyrant” rather than the hero we were taught to believe?
He was not the first to discover America
He enslaved the natives
During his travels through the Caribbean and the Central and South American coast, Columbus came across the indigenous people he labeled “Indians.”
Throughout his years in America, the Columbus natives forced to work for profit. Later, he sent thousands of Taino Indians to Spain for sale, and many of them died during the trip. The natives who were not sold into slavery were forced to look for gold in mines and work on plantations.
While he was governor of the current Dominican Republic, Columbus killed many natives in response to their uprising, according to History.com. To prevent further rebellion, he would have the dead bodies paraded through the streets.
He brought new diseases with him
Indigenous communities in America “were decimated by exposure to old world diseases, crumbling under the weight of the epidemic,” Perry wrote in his CNN update.
Some historians believe that the effects of European and African settlers in the New World may have killed as much as 90% of the native population and were more deadly than the black deaths were in medieval Europe, OMRF said.