To celebrate Columbus Day this year, right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro’s website posted a video apparently excusing ethnic genocide by depicting Native Americans as cannibals and savages who weren’t tamed until white Europeans came to America and took their land.
The Daily Wire’s animated video begins with a caption that sarcastically reads, “The North American indigenous people are a noble people…” Then, a group of Native Americans are seen slaughtering and even eating each other. But alas, there is hope for these evil, murderous savages, as the clip then cuts to a very Caucasian looking Christopher Columbus arriving on the North American continent and taming the indigenous people. He does this by teaching them how to construct buildings, raise cattle, and farm crops — though, the video does not include the ethnic genocide, land-stealing, and rape that Columbus and his crew are known by many for.
The second caption reads “1492-2017” and a montage of civilizational progress is shown — suggesting that this positive progress was the sole result of white Europeans showing up in America and killing off much of the native population.
The cherry on top of this racist sundae is a text-on-screen segment in the video that reads, “List Of Contributions.” The Native American side of this list includes dreamcatchers, tomahawks, and cannibalism. On the other side of the screen, the “After Columbus” contributions include iPhones, cars, airplanes, electricity, women’s suffrage, human rights, “The Simpsons,” and about 15 other things.
While Shapiro likes to bill himself as a conservative pundit who is vehemently opposed to racism and the alt-right, with videos like these, it is hard to understand why, as white nationalist leader Richard Spencer often espouses the exact same talking points promoted in this video. Additionally, Shapiro has in the past made openly racist comments about Arabs. “Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue. #settlementsrock,” tweeted Shapiro in 2010.
Many on Twitter were quick to voice disgust over this Daily Wire video, one person calling it “the most racist thing I’ve seen in a long time”:
hmm let’s check and see how Ben Shapiro’s conservative news website is celebrating Columbus Day…
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) October 9, 2017
this is SO BAD!!!!! https://t.co/kwUXlsitY8
— libby watson 🥞 (@libbycwatson) October 9, 2017
in a just world, this would be career ending https://t.co/pe0RueewrR
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) October 9, 2017
this is the most racist thing i’ve seen in a long time and nazis call me the n-word on a regular basis. jesus christ. https://t.co/xYtHrkjipo
— joe prince (@joeprince___) October 9, 2017
Ben Shapiro is openly pro-genocide but according to the New York Times opinion page at least he’s not one of those nasty white supremacists pic.twitter.com/jwObm7EoVh
— Crab Colson (@crabcolson) October 9, 2017
Watch above via The Daily Wire.
UPDATE: After this article was initially published, Daily Wire editor-in-chief Shapiro released a statement defending the video, even though he never gave it the “greenlight.”
His full statement on the controversial video was posted by CNN’s Oliver Darcy and went as follows:
“I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, and I’m only just seeing the video now. While I didn’t greenlight it, it’s obvious to me that it’s satire and must be evaluated by those standards. Everybody needs to calm the hell down. The video is obviously a response to the Left’s decision to turn Columbus Day into a story purely about Western civilization “genociding” Native Americans rather than the great gain Western civilization brought the world via entry into the Americas, despite awful wrongs committed in the process, as I tweeted. Conservatives are allowed to make satire, too.”
[featured image via screengrab]
Follow Caleb Ecarma on Twitter.
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