“Don’t let anyone make you think that God chose America as His divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgement and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, ‘You’re too arrogant. If you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power and i’ll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know My name. Be still and know I am God.’ “
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ruby (via rubiferrer)
Rebloggable response to a white person demanding to know “what they have taken from POC”
Every white person is not responsible for the actions of those in the past who stole Native American’s land. Those people are not the ancestors of every single white person. Those people who stole their land are not alive today. What are you gaining by persecuting an entire demographic today for the actions of a fraction of them years ago? What is that accomplishing?
White people…. being persecuted.
It’s literally only in the Matrix of oppression that the oppressors can somehow warp and try to themselves as the victims.
OH HELL NO LET ME GET IN ON THIS. It is the same as saying that not all Native Americans were responsible for active resistance against the white men when the US government wanted to move them off the Native American’s lands. Did that stop the US government from sweeping through and displacing all those American Indians JUST so that western settlers could get stake a claim in their land? Oh, and how about let’s talk about how the white man came through and decimated not only populations of NA but also the buffalo that lived on the Plains so that they could build their fucking railroads to the West. All in the NAME OF WESTERN EXPANSION and MANIFEST DESTINY. And that as of now, many Native Americans have still not been returned the land that used to be their ancestors, some being displaced as far as 5 states away from their homeland. Also, did you know that Native Americans are STILL banned from Minnesota? That’s right, go read the fucking government laws.
Persecution? What is it to you? The Native Americans have always been described as the “savage other” when in fact they respected human life much more than the Europeans coming to America, respected women and acknowledged the part women played in the creation of life, and respected the Nature around them that white men have. Who really was the savage? The white men. We are taught about how the Pilgrims were treated hospitably by the Indians when they first landed on the East Coast, but the favor was not necessarily returned.
And yes, if you must victimize yourself, maybe your relatives were not actively involved in the persecution and heinous stereotypes that surround the Native Americans. Oh wait, what’s that? You’ve drunk Crazy Horse liquor before? Or used Argo cornstarch or smoked an American Spirit cigarette or spread a Land o Lakes butter on your bread? You’ve worn headdresses with a leather dress that has been hypersexualized to make you look like a wild Indian princess? Or cheered at a Syracuse Chiefs game, with a big nosed smiling brave grinning from ear to ear at you? And then turned around and said you were celebrating the Native American spirit when in fact your were spitting upon it?
And by not taking responsibility or at least accepting the fact that yes, WHITE MEN OF THE UNITED STATES DID IN FACT DECIMATE AND DESTROY THE WAY OF LIFE FOR ALL NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES, you become the ignorant part of history that refuses to look at the hard truths of life. Because in the long run, it happened. The more you turn away, the more you vilify your own people, “the fighting whiteys”. Go ahead, be butt hurt that we’ve lumped you all together as “white men” when in fact you’re all a scattering of different European countries and heritages. What is that? NATIVE AMERICANS HAVE OVER 562 DIFFERENT TRIBES THAT ARE CULTURALLY AND GENETICALLY DIFFERENT, WITH DIFFERENT CUSTOMS AND OPINIONS ON WHITE SETTLEMENT? But that does not stop you all from imagining an American Indian as a man dressed in a large feather head dress, or a women dressed in tight fitting buckskin dress with a feather in her braided hair. even though this image is only of the Plain Indians, disregarding the unique NA of the Pacific Northwest and the South.
You bring up a good statement: why should a whole race be persecuted for the actions of a few over the years? Did that stop Americans, even now days, from being happy when the tsunami hit Japan, yelling that it was “retribution for Pearl Harbor”? Even though the people in Japan are far from the descendants of the kamikaze pilots that bombed Pearl Harbor because that was such a small fraction?
What frustrates me is that as a white person, you feel the need to defend yourself, especially since you are American. Well, I’m American too. My friends are American as well. And the Native Americans? They do not have heritage that is not from North America. What makes you so special that you get to throw around the word “persecution” when you don’t even acknowledge the atrocities of not only a people, but an assault on their culture?
Admittedly, not all whites are responsible for what happened to the Native Americans. Just as not all Muslims were responsible for 9/11. and yet why is it okay that we vilify anyone who looks Middle Eastern and label them “suspicious”, even if they are Christian or even Buddhist? Why were the Chicago bombers drawn in such a way that they looked ethnically darker skinned and “exotic” than how they are photographed?
The United States of America is a unique place in that we have been created from so many different ethnicities and many years of immigration. To be honest, although the Europeans arrived first, they are immigrants as well. Instead of fighting and bickering amongst ourselves, we should really remember that race and your heritage does not impede you from becoming successful: you do that for yourself. And we all as Americans should be having a more open dialogue and appreciation to be given an opportunity to be open-minded about other people’s cultures. In this opportunity of learning other’s histories and customs, we’ll find that perhaps we are not all that different. And the word “other” that is used to describe someone else’s religion, race, culture can be dropped. Because unless you are a Native American, you are a foreign “other”.
All that I have ranted about I have learned from a professor at Cal who has been teaching Native American Studies for over 35 years. She is of Norwegian-Swedish descent and acknowledges what has happened in the past, and acknowledges the involvement her own family has had in the persecution of American Indians. What makes it so great learning from her is that she did not learn about the Native Americans because of any “white man’s guilt” she felt, but because she was genuinely fascinated by the cultural diversity that the Native Americans have to offer. She has many friends all over the Native American community, and she developed those friendships because she was willing to listen to their stories without letting any mainstream stereotypes cloud her opinions. The mutual respect between her and many Native Americans grew because she put aside what she was taught and listened for once to the people who had been so wrongly slandered.
So instead of getting prickly and defensive, learn to accept the historical facts with grace and move on. Why do you think we are all still arguing about this topic? Because after years of persecution and utter slander, Native Americans are still fighting ugly stereotypes that do not celebrate their culture at all. How do NA children feel growing up seeing Indians always portrayed as “bad guys” in Westerns, or seeing how sexualized NA women have become in the mainstream? Why should they have to feel shamed about their image and culture when in reality they should be allowed to be proud of their heritage? It is funny really because a majority of Americans, regardless of skin color, do have their narrow-mindedness where one’s “heritage” somehow gives permission for them to lord supremacy over another’s. And don’t give me any Nazi German crap. When have the Native Americans ever acted openly hostile to the white man. Oh, at Custer’s last stand? Oh, you mean they never taught you that at that time, the US military was taught to be forceful in displacing all Indians by any means possible, and to kill anyone who did not want to leave, regardless of age and gender? Oh you mean to tell me that you didn’t know that “Custer’s last stand” has been overly romanticized and the role of Native Americans made overly aggressive to “justify” the largest Native American massacre in the history of the US? That a majority of NAs tried to negotiate with peace, only to be gunned down and their families’ safeties threatened so that the settlers could expand westward?
/end rant… oh wait, you mean these were historical facts? Whaaaa?
Reblogging for the amazing commentary.
I OWN ALL OF THESE FILMS ………………..#DONT JUDGE ME
I freaking love him.
He also bought his horse from filming of Sleepy Hollow because he heard that it was going to be killed after filming.
He once recorded his voice asking a girl in a coma to wake up, because her doctor said it might help.
Say what you will about his recent movies or his mutually exclusive relationship with Tim Burton, You can’t say that Johnny Depp isn’t a quality human being.