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How Leftists Mislead Indians By: David Yeagley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, December 19, 2003

Liberal leaders tell Indians like Russell Means to go around the country saying American Indians are spiritually superior to whites. They say Columbus was so impressed with the spirituality of the American natives he found that he called them, “una gente en dios” (a people in God).  Indigenous Americans today love the grandeur of this phrase, and it’s quoted on many American Indian websites. But I’m afraid it isn’t quite accurate. 

Though “una gente en dios” is referenced even by quasi-scientific sources like Genealogical Research Using FBI Files, the story behind this faddish phrase involves error and deceit, and indicates anything but spirituality in those Liberals who created it and promote it.   It’s anti-White chauvinism for liberal Indian talk, and nothing more. 


The journals of Christopher Columbus (Cristόbal Colόn) in 1492 record his thoughts about the first human beings he encountered in the Americas.  There’s no phrase, “una gente en dios.” Kirkpatrick Sale, quoting the journal extensively in The Conquest of Paradise (1991) makes no mention of it, nor does the Athena Review (1996-2001), which cites more journal passages than Sale.  The absence of such a phrase in these research works is our first clue of fraud.


Furthermore, what Columbus first wrote about the native people October 12 was this: “They all go around as naked as their mothers bore them.”  In the same entry he wrote, “I believe that they would easily be made Christians, because it seemed to me that they had no religion.”  The spirituality of these indigenous folk was not something Columbus initially noted, but rather the lack of it. (Of course, to him, spirituality comprised ritualistic Catholicism, so he certainly didn’t associate nakedness with spirituality.) 


The Spanish language itself offers more clues. One Spanish word for poor or naked is indigente, like the English words “indigent” and “indigenous.”  (This is curious, because a colloquial Spanish word for “great wealth” or “plenty” is india.   But, there’s no india gente, or rather, gente india, so indigente for Columbus meant poor and naked.) 


It’s true that gente, by itself, means “people,” and Dios of course means “God,” but if “una gente en dios” was ever a meaningful Spanish phrase, Columbus’ supposed use of it never survived as a idiomatic phrase in Spanish.  Even if being “in God” was a late 15th century idiom for ‘naked,’ or ‘birthday suit,’ (a point of knowledge in historical linguistics beyond my range), it was short-lived, and wasn’t used as such before or since. 


But liberal American Indian leaders now believe the name “Indian” was not used by Columbus because he thought he had reached India, but because he called the native people “en dios,” instead of indios as the records show.  Thus the word “Indian,” according to the spiritual malfeasance of liberal linguists, is believed to have derived from “en dios,” or, in “God. ” 


To bolster their erroneous superfluity, liberals say no country was called “India” in 1492, but instead it was “Hindustan.”  Thus error compounds.  India was never called Hindustan in Spanish, but India (or China).  A northern Aryan province of India was once called in Persian “Hindustan,” from the Persian word hindu.  Of course, that derives from indus, the Sanskrit word for “river.”  The great Indus (river) was well known in early English writing.  As early as 893 A.D., in his De consolatione philosophiae, Boethius Æfred uses the words India, Indus, and Indea, but not Hindustan. 


The Tartar Relation manuscript (ca.1247), written in Latin, regarding the Mongolian invasions toward Eastern Europe, uses the words Indos and Indiam (Latin for “Indians” and “India”), and never Hindu, or Hindustan.


In 1662 John Davies (of Kidwell) translated into English The Travels of J.A. de Mandelslo from Persia into the East-Indies.  “Hindou” is used for the first time in English.   The words Hindou, Indian, and Pagan appear synonymous.  


What did European officials later call the docile natives Columbus first encountered? “Taíno”―good or noble. (Taino is not some tribal name; Later, violent Indians were called Carib, as in Caribbean.). Columbus’ first accounts call them all “Indians.” The fact is he believed he’d reached India. 


So American Indian leaders have simply been misled and once again play the fool for deceitful, leftist social architects. Columbus did not use the phrase “una gente en Dios” in the Journal of the first voyage. But he did write (December 16) that the people “love their neighbors as themselves.”  Now we’re talking spirituality! But let’s stick to the text, and drop the homonymic, transnational linguistic manipulation. 

Dr. David A. Yeagley is a published scholar, professionally recorded composer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. He's on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation. E-mail him at badeagle2000@yahoo.com. View his website at http://www.badeagle.com.

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