The conquering of the American Hemisphere and Indian Country~Thoughts on Columbus Day 2010

 

Found in Wikimedia Commons- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_progress.JPG

"Spirit of the Frontier" portraying the idea of manifest destiny, the holy duty to expand west in the name of God.

 

The American Indians were defeated because their time was spent arguing amongst themselves instead of uniting to overcome the Europeans.

The Europeans came on a mission.  The American Indians never quite understood “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The conquering of the American Hemisphere and Indian Country is a topic that has come up often in personal discussions, particularly around this time of year.  The comments above are representative of what I commonly hear from non-NdN folk when discussing Thanksgiving Day, Columbus Day, Independence Day or even the “special” status afforded natives when it comes to casinos, taxes and what have you.  It never ceases to amaze me how limited in scope the information is that supports these “enlightened” opinions, and how little people seek to educate themselves beyond that which they have been spoon fed as truth.  But it breaks my heart when the above mentioned opinion is shared by a person claiming native or indigenous identity.  The reason for this is that the above quoted comments are nothing but the parroting of Euro-centric propaganda that has been circulating for centuries.  Misinformation propagated to support manifest destiny, a modern rerun of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and right-by-might, rehashed.  It also justifies how and why natives deserve their lot, then and now, by “proving” the inferiority in native thought and action (or lack thereof).  The fact is that there were many elements involved in the conquest of our people, our relations and our lands.   Maybe this opinion, shared above, is not expressed to foster these anti-indigenous thoughts, in NdN or non-NdN, but it is nonetheless the idea conveyed by both the words and the attitudes behind them. Continue reading