More From Alder's Ledge

May 4, 2010

Our Black Death...

-
Your father did it...
Your mother supported it...
Your ancestors lived by it...
-
As Americans it is impossible to escape the history of "manifest destiny" in this country. Our forefathers spread this nation from "sea to shining sea" only to push the natives below the waves of whites. So it is understandable to an extent that our nation to this day looks at the end result and not how we got here. Denial is and has always been more prevalent after genocide than readily admitting our past sins.
-
In Darfur the Janjaweed spread their version of Islam by the sword... their very name hints at their intent (soldier upon horseback... loosely interpreted). An estimated 450,000 have been "converted" by the sword of the Koran since 2003. And yet the United States still exercises refrain in their descriptions of these "humanitarian crises". Even with good ol' boy Barrack Obama in the White House, the United States remains unwilling to put an end to the genocide in Darfur.
-
A look into our own past shows why.
-
Landing along the coast of Virgina we took immediately to the familiar tools of "subjugation". Even when the Native Americans out numbered us by the hundreds, we found ways to destroy them and their culture. Disease, deprivation of food and water, slaughter of their women, butchering of their men... we knew how to perpetrate the "white man's burden".
-
Eventually we pushed the natives out of our thirteen colonies. Any that remained only did so because we hadn't found a "need" for their land just yet.
-
Then came the French and Indian War. Both sides used the native peoples to carry out the dirty work of the Europeans. Like pit bulls in a ring, we watched as the "loyal allies" went to work on one another. And when the war was over, the English came out victors and their "allies" were pushed out onto the plains or exterminated.
-
Now I'm sure I have lost many of you by this point. Any that are left must think that I don't understand United States History all that well. But the fact of the matter is, no matter how you justify it, we committed genocide to get where we are today.
-
Pushing across the plains we put our trust in racist bigots like Custer. Oh if only the Battle of Little Big Horn (Custer's folly) had been his last.
-
Where the white man fell a dozen more arose like the grasses upon which they bleed. At the time our country called the natives "savages" and yet here we were butchering them like animals. And for what?
-
Farm land.
-
Onward we went. Finally the Pacific was in sight. We could rid ourselves of these "savages". All we had to do was push them into the ocean or kill any that didn't want to leave.
-
And that we did.
-
So it stands to reason that a country so divided on how they define the killing of natives would only find it harder to define any genocide. Sure we got it right when we called the mass killings of World War Two by their rightful names. Nazis were tried and put to death (all be it in far fewer numbers than those they killed). Japanese were occupied so as to see to it that they didn't rise again.
-
However, when it comes to Turkey (the Ottomans), Darfur, and a dozen others we find it impossible to condemn those acts as genocide.
-
We find it even harder to call our own past by what it was. We hide behind terms like "manifest destiny" and "westward expansion" so as to make it a little more rosy in appearance.
-
So what do we do about it?
-
Tell our government to recognize genocide whenever and wherever it happens. We should never forget the ones that happened before we knew what to call them. And we should never allow this crime against humanity to occur again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment, just keep it on topic.