Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 3-pack
The founding of the United States was based on the ideology of white supremacy, the practice of slavery, land theft and genocide. The mass murder of indigenous people by Euro-colonizers was fueled by white nationalism. From the settler colonialists down to the present, the U.S. has had a long love affair with guns. Violence is driven by racism, patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia. Worldwide, the U.S. ranks in the top tier in gun killings. From Thousand Oaks to Las Vegas, from Columbine to Sandy Hook the trail of tears and blood grows. Every massacre is followed by officials ritually saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy." A lot of good that's done. The NRA likes to say, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” How many more will die before things change?
It is difficult to overstate the ferocity of the attack on the indigenous people of North America by the settler colonizers. The genocidal campaign had its roots in New England. In the 1600s the first seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony showed a naked Native American with a bush covering his groin. A scroll came out his mouth with the words "Come over and help us.” The jihad was sanctified from the pulpit. The Reverend Cotton Mather called Indians “ravenous howling wolves” and he urged his followers to “pursue them vigorously.” Another man of the cloth, Solomon Stoddard told the colonists “to hunt Indians as they do bears.” And that they did in barbaric style. John Winthrop, a major political figure in Massachusetts, said the white settlers were "instruments of Providence, divinely appointed to claim the New World from its 'godless' peoples."
The history of the U.S. is one of settler colonialism. The state was established on the basis of white male supremacy, slavery, land theft and genocide. “From sea to shining sea” the Native nations were decimated and dispossessed. The survivors herded into concentration camps. The genocidal policy reached its peak under President Andrew Jackson. Its ruthlessness was best articulated by Army general Thomas Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.” Native people are still here. Today, there is growing support for their movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The Dakota Access Pipeline resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux was joined by many non-Native allies. The action, though unsuccessful, captured the imagination of people everywhere. The struggle for indigenous rights continues.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the indigenous movement for many years and is known for her commitment to social justice issues. She is the recipient of the Cultural Freedom Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Lannan Foundation. Her An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States was honored with the American Book Award. She is also the author of All the Real Indians Died Off, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment and Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy and a History of Erasure & Exclusion.