Systemic Perpetuation: All Hail Fallacious History

This week’s Smackdown goes out to education systems which continue to teach a false history of the origins of America, thereby instilling in young minds a misplaced sense of pride, unaccountability, and hero-worship of genocidal pioneers.

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Michelle Raheja, whose daughter was a kindergarten student at a California elementary school, expressed it best: “It’s demeaning. I’m sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis) or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation’s history… There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype.”

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Bravo! to this parent for speaking out against school systems insistent upon teaching colonial fables, and perpetuating those fables with accompanying activities which imprint racist stereotypes upon impressionable young minds.

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What are your thoughts about this issue?

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Sylver’s Saturday Smackdown

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A Day in the Life: Happy Thanksgiving / Celebrating Genocide

first-thanksgivingAh, Thanksgiving.

Crunchy leaves and colors, slight chill in the air.

First Thanksgiving decorations of happy pilgrims and Indians sharing mounds of food and friendship…creating a wonderful history for a great nation.

Heartfelt prayers of gratitude over turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, butter beans, warm apple cider and sweet potato pie…stomach kept empty and ready for it all.

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Spirituality, family fun (and fights), making new memories for the photo album before all stumble from kitchen to living room to pass out like beached whales…bellies just as round.

Contented fatigue, pleasant conversation, crackling fire in the hearth…warm…cozy.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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 native-american-indian-woman

Not again.

Thanksgiving.

A chill in the air…just a touch of the terror your ancestors felt as they were poisoned and butchered by God-fearing Pilgrims.

Leaves the color of blood crunching beneath your feet like the bones of your ancestors strewn across the lands of this great nation.

A nation that once belonged to your forefathers, before it was wrenched away and re-fertilized with their blood and bones. A nation that now glorifies this massacre, and those who led it, rewriting genocide into a warm-fuzzy family fable.

A fable you must suffer through, year after year.

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The Columbus Myth

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure. There is no bloodshed. Columbus Day is a celebration.

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Past the elementary and high schools, there are only occasional hints of something else…

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 3)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

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Christopher Columbus

In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians….

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 2)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

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Because of Columbus’ exaggerated report and promises [to the King & Queen of Spain, who were financing his voyages], his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men.

The aim was clear: slaves and gold.

They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives.

But as word spread of the European’s intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend.

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Medieval Massacre: Columbus “Discovers” America (Part 1)

Excerpt: “A People’s History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

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Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts.

[Columbus] later wrote of this in his log:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things….They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane…They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

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Happy Thanksgiving: Celebrating Genocide

In honor of the first Americans who suffer each year through our autumnal celebrations of Christopher Columbus and Thanksgiving, my posts this week are dedicated to Native American Indian victims of Empire, and to the ancestors of these victims struggling to live within our revisionist history.

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My heart goes out to Native Americans on their National Day of Mourning.

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