Monday, May 16, 2016

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz — Yes, Native Americans Were the Victims of Genocide

The form of colonialism that the Indigenous peoples of North America have experienced was modern from the beginning: the expansion of European corporations, backed by government armies, into foreign areas, with subsequent expropriation of lands and resources. Settler colonialism requires a genocidal policy. Native nations and communities, while struggling to maintain fundamental values and collectivity, have from the beginning resisted modern colonialism using both defensive and offensive techniques, including the modern forms of armed resistance of national liberation movements and what now is called terrorism. In every instance they have fought and continue to fight for survival as peoples. The objective of US authorities was to terminate their existence as peoples—not as random individuals. This is the very definition of modern genocide.

The objective of US colonialist authorities was to terminate their existence as peoples—not as random individuals. This is the very definition of modern genocide as contrasted with premodern instances of extreme violence that did not have the goal of extinction. The United States as a socioeconomic and political entity is a result of this centuries-long and ongoing colonial process. Modern Indigenous nations and communities are societies formed by their resistance to colonialism, through which they have carried their practices and histories. It is breathtaking, but no miracle, that they have survived as peoples.
Settler-colonialism requires violence or the threat of violence to attain its goals, which then forms the foundation of the United States’ system. People do not hand over their land, resources, children, and futures without a fight, and that fight is met with violence. In employing the force necessary to accomplish its expansionist goals, a colonizing regime institutionalizes violence. The notion that settler-indigenous conflict is an inevitable product of cultural differences and misunderstandings, or that violence was committed equally by the colonized and the colonizer, blurs the nature of the historical processes. Euro-American colonialism, an aspect of the capitalist economic globalization, had from its beginnings a genocidal tendency….
History News Network


Ryan Harris said...

On the east coast, it is ancient history. On the west coast, our great-grand parents were the victims. And the land that was stolen is still "owned" by the two-party government that controls Washington DC, so it remains possible to fix some of the wrongs. It's an uphill battle though given the legal system and politics.

Kaivey said...

Somewhere on my Kindle is a book on this subject. It's a free sample and I have hundreds of them so I can't find it, or I have removed it, as I sometimes do. You can't buy every good book you come across, and I have loads lined up to read.

Anyway, there is apparently handwritten accounts of guys who hunted down native Americans for sport. One guys chased a load of women and children into some bushes and shot them all. One little boy ran from the bush and the guy went after him on his horse and he shot him in the back. He was very pleased with himself and logged down the details in his diary.

It's hard to get used to how cruel some people can be. When I was a young any mainstream films that that I watched which would show this kind of cruelty could depress me for weeks afterwards.

Tom Hickey said...

Keven, hunting natives was OK in the some places in the western US even in the early 20th century. IIRC, it was not suppressed until about the 1920's. Non-natives are generally not aware of this. Natives still are.

Ryan Harris said...
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