This was the European Union of the sixteenth century. No coal, nor steel, nor LGBT, nor consumer credits—only the same arrogance of a colonizer with regard to aborigines; and the same pride and impenitence […]
The demonization of Islam cannot be accomplished no matter what as it is a religious ideology just as much as are the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Judaic ideologies but it is Muslims being demonized through terror tactics […]
The escalation of tensions between the United States, Britain and France, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, should not surprise anyone. In the last few years, the US leadership and mainstream British media have presented Russia as a major threat to global peace and the international order. Russian president Vladimir Putin in particular has been demonised as a ‘war-monger,’ an ‘aggressor,’ an ‘unscrupulous politician’ hell-bent on restoring Russia’s past glory’ at whatever cost […]
We could only hope that Saudi Arabia, which is currently suffering from defeats in the war with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, is not going to undermine the Astana talks to sabotage the peaceful settlement process […]
Our name and identity have been misappropriated, yet the US and their favourite foreign policy pupil, Greece, accuse Macedonians of cultural misappropriation for existing as who we’ve always been — Macedonians […]
When I was a schoolchild in the US a couple of short decades ago, I spent my time acquiring important life skills, ranging from how to fake a wrist fracture in order to obtain a purple cast, to how to craft a teepee replica out of a paper bag.
The latter art was perfected in accordance with the holiday of Thanksgiving, which arrived each November to great fanfare, and which, in addition to teepee replication, required my classmates and I to mass-produce turkey drawings, paper Pilgrim hats, and modified, feathered headdresses.
These materials were then incorporated into our reenactments of the “original” Thanksgiving feast: that mythologised, gastronomic encounter of 1621 between Pilgrims and Native Americans that now serves as a cornerstone of the fairytale version of US history.
On the surface, it may seem that there’s not much to criticise about a holiday based on gratitude and eating – especially when it’s accompanied by absurd spectacles like the presidential turkey pardon.
But a glance at the historical context of Thanksgiving reveals a thoroughly nauseating affair.
Land grabs and massacres
For starters, as University of Texas journalism professor Robert Jensen reminds us in a dispatch on the AlterNet website, the very term “thanksgiving” is saturated with disgrace.
By 1637, Jensen writes, Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop “was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children” – a bloody pattern that would “repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated”.
The work of historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, serves up plenty of additional food for thought, on why Thanksgiving perhaps shouldn’t inspire too many warm-and-fuzzy feelings.
In a 2015 paper on the indisputable genocide of Native Americans, Dunbar-Ortiz explained point blank that settler colonialism in general “requires a genocidal policy” and that “Euro-American colonialism, an aspect of the capitalist economic globalization, had from its beginnings a genocidal tendency.”
Among the many, obvious financial perks of land theft, Dunbar-Ortiz noted that the seizure of Native American trade routes also prompted acute shortages of food and other necessities, thereby “weaken[ing] populations and forc[ing] them into dependency on the colonisers, with European manufactured goods replacing indigenous ones.”
So much for bountiful harvests.
In his book, A People’s History of the United States, late historian Howard Zinn outlined other mechanisms of capitalist dispossession. An 1814 “treaty” with the Creek nation, for example, functioned by “splitting Indian from Indian, breaking up communal landholding, bribing some with land, leaving others out – introducing the competition and conniving that marked the spirit of Western capitalism.”
Furthermore, US “land grabs” of Native American territory “laid the basis for the cotton kingdom, the slave plantations.”
In short, with such a sinister past on their plate, it’s no wonder US mythmakers prefer to focus on pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
In recent remarks headlined “I am tired of being invisible to you all,” rural development economist and indigenous rights activist Winona LaDuke summed up the logic underpinning the United States’ vigorous campaign to whitewash its criminal history vis-a-vis the Native Americans: “If you make the victim disappear, there is no crime.”
But how, exactly, to go about making victims disappear when US crimes are far from said and done with, and the ramifications of genocidal policy are ongoing?
There are, it seems, several possible approaches. Consider the fact that, as late as the 1970s, the forced sterilisation of Native American women in the US was not uncommon.
In other, even more literal instances of physical elimination, as CNN reported earlier this month, data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention shows that “Native Americans are killed in police encounters at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group.”
Case in point: just a few days prior to the CNN report, a 14-year-old Native American boywas gunned down by a US law enforcement official on a reservation in the state of Wisconsin.
Last year, meanwhile, the Independent observed that, of 29 Native Americans killed by US police between 1 May 2014 and 31 October 2015, “27 of those deaths received no coverage” in the media.
Talk about disappearing acts.
As it turns out, many of those killed suffered from mental illness. And indeed, one can easily argue that the prevalence of mental health conditions among Native American groups isn’t enormously surprising in light of continuous antagonism by US authorities and society, often in the form of socioeconomic ostracisation and environmental destruction – not to mention food insecurity.
It’s pretty clear, then, that a lot of people in the United States won’t have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. But at least there’s Black Friday to look forward to: the ode to gross overconsumption that directly follows the supposed day of gratitude (and that has been known to result in news headlines like “Wal-Mart worker killed in Black Friday shopping stampede”).
To be sure, the Black Friday phenomenon only befits a nation built on predatory capitalism – where material excess is rendered sacred, obscene inequality is the name of the game, and communal bonds are systematically obliterated along with any remaining potential for human symbiosis with the physical environment.
In the end, you don’t need to gorge yourself on turkey and stuffing to see that the United States itself is positively sick.
Originally published on 2017-11-23
About the author: Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine.
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In late November 2013, the ‘Euromaidan’ in Kiev began as a popular protest against a generalized state of corruption and cronyism in Ukraine. The spark that ostensibly ignited the protests was the inability of then President Yanukovych to sign an EU Association Agreement that would cut Ukraine’s economic and military ties to Russia in favor of a closer relationship with the EU and NATO.
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There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India - as horrible as it may have been - was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long - the story goes - was a gesture of Britain's benevolence.New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik - just published by Columbia University Press - deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik ...
In early 1944, Mirjana Babunovic-Dimitrijevic, a 22-year-old middle-class woman living in Sarajevo, was arrested by the Ustasa police. After she was arrested along with her mother and aunt, they were all deported to the Jasenovac concentration camp, for refusing to convert to Catholicism. All three women died there in late 1944.These women were among more than 80,000 victims who perished at Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945. While we don’t know precisely how they died nor what happened during their short lives in the camp, two things are certain.First, their deaths were the direct result of deliberate political decisions. Second, they ...
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For well over a thousand years prior to 1929, Popes exercised absolute civil authority over central Italy, a region known as the “Papal States.” Their power was based on a document called the “Donation of Constantine,” in which the 4th century Roman emperor Constantine was supposed to have granted the successors of St. Peter control ...
Compare Donald Trump and Barack Obama: Trump bans people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia but Obama bombed people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia! The question is: Who is a bigger racist?Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
"In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…."Today, Christopher Columbus is celebrated as a mythical hero by some – complete with songs, poems, and fictional tales about his great adventure across the Atlantic to explore the majestic land that would eventually be known as the Americas. There are fifty-four communities named after the explorer in the United States, including the District of Columbia. “Hail, Columbia” was the United States’ unofficial national anthem until 1931. A federal holiday, “Columbus Day,” is celebrated every second Monday in October.Despite all of this, historians have begun to tear down the Columbus myth: ...
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Source: VPN MentorOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.
How incredible is this...
The United States is technically not at war with any country right now but dropped more than 26,000 bombs in just 2016 and this under an "anti-war" President.
We have an entire generation of Americans who have lived only under a system of "perpetual war".
The time is long overdue to redefine these issues.
Map of the US bombed states in 2016 with the number of dropped bombs
Originally published on 2017-01-06
Author: Ben Swann
Source: Ben Swann FB
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It is coming clear these days that many university professors are increasingly fat-cat and lazy, not doing any research once they get tenure. It is a system-wide corruption of the academy, so entrenched that central administrations have only led the corruption in multiplying salaries and offices with no committed function to advancement of learning and dissemination of knowledge – the constitutional and statutory objective of the academy the best are devoted to everywhere.This deep-structural degeneration is not confined to any one place or region. Regular contacts from other universities report a similar decadence. The solution is straightforward, but unspoken: (1) ...
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Transcript of presentation by the author at the Conference of Independent Journalists’ Association for Peace, Vienna, Austria, May 2015.
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I propose to deal with some aspects of the Srebrenica narrative from the standpoint ...
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