Power To The [Indigenous] People

In case you have not figured this out from some of my comments, becuase of my objections to any religion’s claim of exclusive access to the truth, to God, or to salvation, I do not like attempts at converting “poor benighted pagan bastards” – as whte colonialist have often referred to the indigenous people that lived in their colonies. I include the Native Americans (“Indians”), the Australian Aborigines, the Maori of New Zealand, and the various ethic groups on the African continent that were subject to European colonial rule in the last 400 years.

In each of these cases, the white colonists felt it their Christian duty to convert these “heathen savages” to the civilizing influence of Christianity. Read that as dripping with sarcarsm as possible! Since, the indigenous people tended to resist this Christianization, the colonists often resorted to more stricent measures, sometimes even if the natives\ did convert. These more stricent meansures included slavery, reservations, and genocide. All the while these colonists went around trumpeting what good Christians they were. Such hypocrisy and arrogance!

Now that we have finally ended these practices, at least the worst of them, it is interesting to see how some of these indigenous peoples have repaid their good Christian colonial masters. I found these two articles, one about the situation in Zimbabwe and one about New Zealand, that I offer for your reading pleasure and for your comments.

Ghosts of change
This is a very insightful look at the attempts of the indigenous people of Zimbabwe’s attenpts, after gaining their independence, to redress the wrongs committed against them by their colonial masters. As the article shows, political independence does not always guarantee complete freedom. The economic system put in place during the colonial period is harder to undo than the political instutions of colonialism.

The water is everyone’s
My comment to the author of this article is: what do you expect? Your people stole the Maori lands and tried to wipe out Maori culture. They are only doing to you what you did to them! Did you think they would forgive and forget? Would you forgive and forget if you were in their shoes?

Seminole Tribe Finalizes Hard Rock International Deal
In 1626, the Native Americans were tricked into selling Manhattan Island in what is now New York City for twenty-four dollars in trinkets. These indigenous people had no sense of real property ownership or capitalism. The tribes that made that sale are long gone, but other Native Americans have learned the rules of the white man’s games as this article shows.

An interesting note about the Seminoles: From the First Seminole War of 1817-1818 until the US military finally gave up its attempts to conquer the Seminole. who had retreated into the safety of the Everglades, the Seminole never surrendered to the US government. I believe they are the only Native American tribe to hold that distinction. The estimated population of the tribe in 1842 was less than 100!

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