Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 3-pack
Genocide is the most heinous of crimes and it connects to settler colonialism. Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz says, “Settler colonialism requires genocidal violence to attain its goal” of acquiring land. In North America and elsewhere this meant the Indigenous population was targeted for mass murder. North America’s huge landmass and resources drove the policy. In Germany, there was the Nazi desire for lebensraum, living space, in Eastern Europe. It’s interesting to see the parallels. The U.S. General William Sherman said in 1873, "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children.” Seventy years later in 1943, Heinrich Himmler, the notorious SS commander, said, “I want to mention a very difficult subject with complete candor. I am talking about the extermination of the Jewish people.”
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."
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. A distinguished scholar, she has been active in the international Indigenous movement for many years and is known for her commitment to social justice issues. She is the recipient of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first UN conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas. She is the author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, winner of the 2015 American Book Award, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, All the Real Indians Died Off and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans and Not a Nation of Immigrants.
“Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a one-woman wrecking ball against the tower of lies erected by ‘official’ historians.”- Ishmael Reed