Communique "Oppressing The Oppressors?" 5-13-2021
I find it most curious indeed that the question of who discovered America has been making the rounds lately. It’s not that I am opposed to any individual who wants to study history and gain a better understanding of “who we are” by investigating “where did we come from” and “who we were” to glean some insight into “where we might be going” as individuals and as a nation.
I do have a problem when our supposed history is not based on any pretense of scholarly accuracy based upon true, verifiable past events or given any context for purposes of any cause and effect analysis.
You might employ “garbage in garbage out” as your starting point and continuing yardstick for likelihood of validity much less authority for any number of lies based on a grain of truth talking points that have little more going for them than the ability to generate memes that placate a certain percentage of a predetermined segment of the American political spectrum.
You know, the right-wing nut “base” of the now almost completely assimilated by the openly racist, misogynist, and don’t believe your eyes propaganda at its finest if it gets the job done, truth be damned leadership and rank and file Republican Party.
In this manner, those in power seek to assure those various lunatics they call constituents have some historical “cover” to explain both the “righteousness” of their cause/position and for instance, to explain why the Capitol Insurrection was not the act of domestic terrorists, but indicative of the type of actions of bravery and valor we should expect from a true “patriot” dedicated to restoring the “greatness” of America, unfortunately based on a supposed “historically accurate” American past that indeed, never existed.
Without the benefit of a solid foundation of truth, real facts, not alternative because it’s what I want to hear facts, hence if I don’t agree, it must be fake news. What if the lies are getting bigger and bolder? The whatever works method of providing misinformation to maintain power, at all costs including at the expense of truth and justice, has led to a world where a significant part of America believes a verified by facts presidential election was “stolen” for no legitimate reason except “my candidate didn’t win”.
This grand misunderstanding of democracy through representative government has led to a serious deterioration in our democratic values while actively asserting the proper “American” way of the elective process and subsequent governance is best represented by installing an authoritarian dictator of little to no morality or good character who has repeatedly shown his disrespect if not outright scorn for the tenets of the US Constitution and his duties and obligations thereunder to insure for the most part, we are safe from foreign intervention while maintaining domestic tranquility, neither of which happened in any meaningful way and often to the contrary, during our former president’s miserable watch.
How is it possible to posit as “reality” a scenario under which the Founding Fathers had no interest in a nation of free persons free from the crushing grip and ill effects of tyranny from both State and Church, mind you, the Church part almost entirely left out of their current narrative, where the rights of gun owners and the unborn have more rights than the overwhelming majority of Americans who are both in existence, possibly in if nothing else economic need and not of their own fault and yes, unarmed.
What I find alarming is the recent proliferation of accusations that the GQP is suffering from the effects of what they call “colonization”. While it is true there was a period of British colonization of North America, roughly, from the early part of the 17th Century until the end of the 18th Century with the true battle for American Independence settled in 1783 with the signing of the Paris treaty that officially ended British rule, it is hard to see how any of the negative effects perpetrated against the American Colonists by King George III would have any relevance to today’s non-indigenous, Caucasian GQP cult members.
But, when the truth is “malleable” and self-serving lies are fed to those who believe any lie they are told by their leader as it presents an argument, or perhaps even acknowledgment of reverse discrimination and the erosion of white privilege and systematic racism, or as they like to call it, “cultural identity” and when threatened, “cancel-culture” through of all things the practice of European “colonialism”.
Where do I recommend we start the process? Not in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or in 1791 with the ratification by the States of the US Constitution, both events representing not colonization, but decolonization, but rather in the 15th Century, beginning with the Age of Discovery.
In 1453, the Western World was forced to seek new trade routes and partners to replace those lost, including silk, spices and slaves after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire. The Age of Discovery, also referred interchangeably as the Age of Exploration began in earnest in the late 15th Century in Portugal when its monarch Henry the Navigator began sending out ships to continue exploring and mapping the still mostly unknown West Coast of Africa.
Further exploration plans beyond Africa began to take shape in 1488, when the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to navigate beyond the southern tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean. This opened-up the possibility of finding accessible by sea trade routes to the Far East.
By 1492 Christopher Columbus having failed to secure funds from Portugal for his attempt to reach China via the Atlantic Ocean, had managed to acquire financial backing for his expedition from Spain. Columbus never did reach China, or North America for that matter, but he did manage to run right into a couple of islands that today we call the Bahamas and Cuba.
From there, with a little help from Pope Clement VII, Spain and Portugal agreed to the Treaty of Tordesillas, essentially dividing the New World, including most of the Americas to Spain while Portugal got and let’s and be honest here, not so much trading, more like plundering, or let’s be straight forward as possible colonization rights in Brazil, Asia and India.
Colonization of the New World was well under way when in 1607 King James I authorized the first permanent British colony in North America. Located in Virginia, it was a plantation style colony established for purposes of growing and shipping tobacco back to England.
The English later found similar success in cotton plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. This type of colonization is often referred to as Settler colonialism and remained in practice in America until the end of the US Civil War.
One of the more onerous features of Settler/Plantation version of colonialism was the need to acquire, large parcels of previously inhabited native land often by whatever needs necessary keeping in mind economically favorable methods, including displacement if not outright termination, and assimilation when thought possible, with the best scenario being a systematic “end-product” eventually granted citizenship and bestowed with ultimate gift of all, Christianity.
If anything, the American Revolution resulted in the end of the colonization process and the still ongoing “decolonization” process in North America. The now newly minted Americans gaining their independence and freedom from the oppressive British colonization process.
The decolonization process centering on returning rights to indigenous persons continues around the world with Gandhi’s post WWII liberation of India and more recently with Nelson Mandala’s ouster of the originally Dutch Afrikaner’s in South Africa.
So, what does any of our plantation history, that being our real historical past, have anything to do with our current polarized political situation in America, with the GQP claiming to be victims of colonization and accusations of the “far radical left” itself a characterization of progressive democrats, as modern day colonizers? You got me.
However, in Part II we will explore some of the I imagine it would be fair to say revisionist and wholly self-serving positions of political and religious grievances being posited as the result of well, the original invaders of North America as the victims of a system their ancestors created and they themselves, still perpetuate? Should be fun. Till next time, I remain, incredulous.
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