“For years, I opened my 11th-grade U.S. history classes by asking students, “What’s the name of that guy they say discovered America?” A few students might object to the word “discover,” but they all knew the fellow I was talking about. “Christopher Columbus!” several called out in unison. “Right. So who did he find when he came here?” I asked. Usually, a few students would say, “Indians,” but I asked them to be specific: “Which nationality? What are their names?” Silence. In more than 30 years of teaching U.S. history and guest-teaching in others’ classes, I’ve never had a single student say, “Taínos.” How do we explain that? We all know the name of the man who came here from Europe, but none of us knows the name of the people who were here first—and there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them. Why haven’t you heard of them? This ignorance is an artifact of historical silencing—rendering invisible the lives and stories of entire peoples. [...] In an interview with Barbara Miner, included in Rethinking Columbus, Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morning Star Institute, who is Creek and Cheyenne, said: “As Native American peoples in this red quarter of Mother Earth, we have no reason to celebrate an invasion that caused the demise of so many of our people, and is still causing destruction today.” After all, Columbus did not merely “discover,” he took over. He kidnapped Taínos, enslaved them—“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,” Columbus wrote—and “punished” them by ordering that their hands be cut off or that they be chased down by vicious attack dogs, if they failed to deliver the quota of gold that Columbus demanded. One eyewitness accompanying Columbus wrote that it “did them great damage, for a dog is the equal of 10 men against the Indians.” Corporate textbooks and children’s biographies of Columbus included none of this and were filled with misinformation and distortion. But the deeper problem was the subtext of the Columbus story: it’s OK for big nations to bully small nations, for white people to dominate people of color, to celebrate the colonialists with no attention paid to the perspectives of the colonized, to view history solely from the standpoint of the winners.”—Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Columbus: Towards a True People’s History
White women’s burden
Take up the white woman’s burden
Screech “oppression” from your neocolonial soapbox
All the world’s women are yours to save
From their own people.
Fly in on the back of a drone
Or maybe the white horse of military intervention,
Offering your “sisterhood” with one hand
As you hold the white man’s hand with the other.
Reduce them to the “veil”
And then try to yank it off.
Shower them with birth control,
Little pills of “emancipation”,
While their homelands are showered with your bombs.
Women should have the choice, right?
(But only the one’s we give them)
Whisper in their ears, the problem is your Islam
Your fathers, your brothers, your husbands,
Your country, your culture,
The problem is you.
Not this treacherous sisterhood,
This fake solidarity,
Not this “War on Terror” that liberates women
by turning their bodies into
Not violence. Not silence.
The problem is you.
Divide and conquer
The colonizers knew it well, so do the
White liberal feminists.
But in the end, even they don’t win —
“(tw:rape) The thing about white feminists and their "man vs. woman" binary that disturbs me so much is that it doesn't take into account how factors like colonialism, (which derives from white supremacy) have shaped the current gender relations in the third world. Men who perpetuate colorism by stating blatantly discriminatory practices in their dating preferences? That's residual effects of colonialism. That's whiteness infiltrated from degrading the dark and promoting the light. The simultaneous hypersexualization and desexualization of women of color? That's residual effects of colonialism. That's Sarah Baartman and being displayed as a mere prop for white men to get off to. The gender wage gap? That's western neocolonialism and corporatism, in addition to misogyny and sexism that says women of color aren't made to be paid for labor, which ultimately goes into white bank accounts and benefits white societies, both men and women. That's why I sort of just laugh hysterically when I see white feminists purport women like Chandra Mohanty and Alice Walker as "betrayals" to their cause. No, you betrayed us long ago when you allowed your white men to rape us, subjugate us, enslave us, taunt us and brutalize our communities and eradicate our traditions and cultures. We're just daring to say "hey, those things that you blatantly ignored? They've molded us as women and our experiences differently and we won't allow for those differences to be ignored in favor of upholding the "women experience", which doesn't exist, by the way". Men of color do harm women of color, but the ultimate point is, so does everyone else. The man vs. women dichotomy doesn't do anything but try to shift blame from one guilty party to another.”—My friend Khadijah
“When a Native woman suffers abuse, this abuse is an attack on her identity as a woman and an attack on her identity as a Native. The issues of colonial, race, and gender oppression cannot be separated. This fact explains why in my experience as a rape crisis counselor, every Native survivor I ever counseled said to me at one point, “I wish I was no longer Indian.”—Andrea Smith, in Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide
Before I go to sleep, I started thinking about how Thanksgiving is coming up.
So here’s your yearly reminder that Thanksgiving is a racist holiday founded on white supremacy that attempts to rewrite actual history — actual racist, colonialist, murderous, sickening history.
What you are really “giving thanks” for, every year, is the decimation of my people and the enslavement and oppression of others.
Thanksgiving and Racism: Link Roundup
The American Thanksgiving: Rejoicing in Genocide and White Supremacy
The Massacre For Which Thanksgiving is Named
What The Hell Does An Indian Do On Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving: A Day of Mourning