THE BLACK AND THE ROSE-COLORED LEGENDS -two extremes that leave us outside of history, out- side of reality. These interpretations of the conquest of America reveal a suspicious veneration of times past, of a re- splendent corpse whose'brilliance blinds us to the daily reality of our lands. The black legend invites us to visit the Museum of the Noble Savage, where wecan weep for the lost happiness of wax figures that bear no relation to the flesh- and-blood beings who live in our lands. Symmetrically, the rose-colored legend invites us to the Great Temple of the West, to add our voices to the universal chorus, intoning hymns of celebration of the great civilizing work of Europe, a Europe that has spilt blood over the world in order to save it. The black legend throws onto the shoulders of Spain, and to a lesser extent Portugal, the responsibility for the immense colonial pillage, which in reality benefited other European countries much more, and which made possible the develop- ment of modern capitalism. The much cited "Spanish cru- elty" never existed; what did exist, and exists, is an abomi- nable system that necessitated, and necessitates, cruel meth- ods to impose itself and grow. Symmetrically, the rose- colored legend lies about history, praises infamy, calls the most colossal despoliation in history -evangelization" and slanders God by attributing the command to him. No, no: neither the black nor the rose-colored legend. To recover reality, that is the challenge-to change the reality that is, to recover the reality that was, the lied about, hidden, betrayed reality of the history of America.
Tags: Eduardo Galeano, Indigenous, quincentennary, black legend