Daniel Shoer Roth’s ethnic posturing in his Jan. 24 column, Rethinking a forgotten chapter, is self-serving and deeply offensive. He describes the atrocities inflicted upon the native population of Florida by the Spanish in one sentence, simply calling it the bloody side of colonization. He then commends Hispanic missionaries for teaching the native inhabitants innovative farming techniques.
Indians lived in Florida for more than 10,000 years before the arrival of the Spanish and somehow survived quite well without them. Within 250 years of the European invasion, these thriving cultures were extinct. Any discussion of the Spanish occupation of colonial Florida is incomplete without fully addressing this sad, brutal truth.
I hope that when the king and queen of Spain arrive in May, they issue sincere, heartfelt apologies for the annihilation of the original inhabitants of Florida.
Ernest Lent, Cutler Bay