Monday, February 1, 2010

Second post for this week

Native Americans. Everyone knows about their history, even just a little bit. Here’s a brief summary of their history. Columbus and some other adventurers came over to the New World. They killed the Natives. Ships full of colonists came over. They drove the Natives off the land. The Indians tried to fight back. They were not successful. Whenever the Americans made deals with Natives, the Americans backstabbed them and gave blankets with smallpox. The Natives made treaties with other countries to survive. The Americans beat them up. The Natives tried to stay alive in the West. The Americans chased after them and killed them. The Americans killed the buffalo herds to mess with the Natives, and they rounded up the Natives and threw them in the reservations. By 1890, the Natives were pretty much done with.

That’s a pretty sad history. Of course, we should not constantly beat ourselves up about it. Therefore, we should just try and remedy their situation, right? Well, there was a proposal to help Natives get lawyers. There were some cases where Americans came into the reservations, raped some women, and then left. There was nothing that they could do about it without lawyers. That’s why there has been a call for some justice in the Native reservations. The proposal also gives back the Natives some of the power from the federal government, helping them with their self-determination efforts. On-face, this all sounds great. However, there is a darker meaning behind this proposal. Throughout the history of the Americans slaughter of the Natives, they tried to assimilate the Natives into what they called normal communities. They gave the Native Americans a spot of lands and some seeds and told them to be normal. This was definitely bad. While mass slaughter of the Native Americans was definitely an evil thing, this act of giving the Native the plow might arguably be worse. It’s a type of control over the Native, and it ruins their pride. It kills their culture, and while the Natives might live on, they are not themselves. They have been normalized.

That’s what the proposal would do. It would give the Natives the plow. The American court system is seen as the only thing that can truly administer justice. This mere idea spits on the face of Native American culture. The Natives had a different idea of what justice was altogether. To say that we’re the ones that are correct, and that the Natives should just try to do what we do, is a horrendous form of political control. However, the worst part still has not been mentioned. It wasn’t the Americans that were pushing for this legal reform in the Native lands. It was the Natives themselves. Some might wonder why that’s so bad. After all, we would not be doing anything, right? We would just be helping the Natives reach their goal. That’s completely wrong. It just means that we have controlled them so much that we have altered their thinking. They have already become normalized. We have already destroyed them forever.

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