Opinion: Don't celebrate New Mexico's birthday
"Regarding Santa Fe's cuartocentenario preparations: No amount of fanfare could ever reconcile the atrocities of the Spanish colonizers.

In retrospect, the colonization was brutal — not an intriguing experience to commemorate in front of a national and international audience as stated in the Dec. 21, 2007 editorial, "Signs of progress on our cuartocentenario."

The cuartocentenario won't address the impact of Spanish colonialism 400 years after the colonization and its ramifications on the Pueblo people today.

In 1620, by royal decree of the king of Spain, groups of pueblo governors and officials were instituted into a civil government that the Spaniards could control and assimilate into the Spanish institutions.

As pueblo people, we have never asked ourselves why we celebrate these Catholic feast days — to honor whom? Is it the legacies of Spanish colonialism? The impact of fear and brainwashing became a part of life. In order to continue to live and practice our traditional beliefs, the Spanish forced us to convert to Catholicism and gave the pueblos Spanish canes to reinforce this subjugation. A life of servitude to the Spanish sovereign and the Roman Catholic Church is still practiced today. These institutions were designed to make us servants through indoctrination, abandoning our free will for a life of servitude."

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Manuel R. Cristobal: Puebloans should not approve 400th party (The Santa Fe New Mexican 3/2)