Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How the USA was found: Native Americans

Xochitl, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Something's Happening (KPFK, Dec. 16, 2014)

Los Angeles State Historic Park, the Native American site of corn and raves (lashp.com)

Hopi/Anasazi Native American Butterfly Dancers at reopening of Homolovi State Park, reviving a decimated population and tradition, Arizona State Parks (community.azpm.org).
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (beacon.org)
Howard Zinn, author of the massively popular A Peoples' History of the United States, recommended to his editors at Beacon Press, a Unitarian imprint, to publish a book about the indigenous history of the U.S. and he recommended they ask scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to write it. Thus began seven years of scholarship and 50 pages of citations.

This is not a history of the First Nations people, the Native Americans ("Indians"), but a history of how the United State of America was founded through settler colonialism, a new kind of brutal capitalism, chattel slavery, and genocide.
See the Pacifica Radio Los Angeles archives by date and time (archive.KPFK.org)
(Deep Green Resistance) Derrick Jensen, Resistance Radio, with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
A Book of Real History
Native Aztecs (ladayofthedead.com)
Today in the United States, there are more than 500 federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly 3,000,000 people, descendants of the 15,000,000 Native people who once inhabited this land.

The centuries-long genocidal program of the U.S. settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from the American history taught in the U.S.

Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the U.S. told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the U.S. empire.

In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the U.S. and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, dislocating or eliminating (exterminating) them.

And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military.

Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by U.S. Army General Thomas S. Jesup, who in 1836 wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”

Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes U.S. history and explodes the silence that has haunted our national narrative. More
Settler Colonial Imperialism
Shut up, redskin, I'm honorin' ya! Yr welcome.
In what condition was the USA found by invading imperialist Europeans? We are told -- in a manner analogous to modern Israeli war crimes, occupation, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine -- that British colonialists went in search of a land and found this one empty.

So they began to occupy it, make friends with the few scattered "savages" (non Christians), extract its resources back to Europe, then undertake to own the place and make war with everyone else for it. The fact is that this land had 100 million inhabitants at a time when Europe only had 50 million. It was a paradise without European innovations, technology, disease, and corruption.

Imperialism (empire building through war, rape, pillaging, mass murder, and conquest) is how the United States was founded. The Louisiana "Purchase" doubled the size of the U.S. -- all stolen land from indigenous tribes in Oklahoma, and 15 future states like Arkansas, Mississippi, North, Dakota, South Dakota, north Texas, Colorado, Louisiana and the port city of New Orleans.

From the landing sites on the East Coast to Mexico on the West Coast, the genocidal invaders did not stop until they had taken the Kingdom of Hawaii and smaller islands in the Pacific.

Native American territories were divided up into "states" then united by DC, not in the U.S.
Like Florida, LA belonged to Spain
Spanish territory was Los Angeles until the land prospector Baldwin took it after Bonaparte no longer cared. Cooper -- of Cooperstown, New York fame -- wrote The Last of the Mohicans and gave birth to the official U.S. "origin myth," a fantasy published in 1826. A 1992 movie keeps the fiction alive, masking our U.S. privileged white male Christian "landowner" genocidal reality.

Fiction: a popular novel and two movies
Our unique brand of ideological, class-based racism was brought into being as the elites told poor European settlers that they were "white" and therefore better than their neighbors. They should, therefore, join armed militias and slave patrols to keep the status quo and class divisions in place. Prior to that, as hard as it is for us to believe, the U.S. did not have conceptions and categories widely adopted today as if they were natural divisions. (Martin Luther King, Jr. makes reference to this a year before his assassination when he advocated for economic rights as more important than civil rights).

Cooper devised a fictional counterpoint to the reality of genocide that no one wanted to face or own up to. Instead, early American settlers clung to this new myth instead. Colonel Daniel Boone was lionized and used as an excuse for more illegal settlements by white Europeans and their African slaves. The fantasy?

Insult: British actor plays Native American
Indians melded, not mated, to the Nativized settlers, the last Mohican Indian handing over the country to his son Hawkeye, as if all Native Americans abdicated their ancient land to the violent new invaders by divine rite, manifest destiny, a secret covenant with God because this, not the Middle East, was the fabled "promised land" of their holy and much reinterpreted texts. Anglo "Americans" just "inherited" this land by "natural" means that God would like and approve of, and the Indians be damned. This is what we are taught, as very few know the real Indigenous History of the United States.

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