/tagged/genocide/page/2

Anonymous said: Hey, we just got a grant to educate people on the Doctrine of Discovery and were wanting to create this type of educational piece. Can we get your approval to use it? Yours is really good.

I’m catching up on my inbox so I’m sorry if this is totally irrelevant now, but:

To you, anon, and to anyone else who wants to use my gif of Native American land loss:

I think it’s totally awesome that people want to use the map as an educational tool and I’d definitely give you permission to use it but… I don’t actually own the rights to it! The original map belongs to Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University, who died in 2011. I just rearranged it with Photoshop, so Dr. Hilliard would be the one to credit as the map creator. And I guess you could contact LSU if you’d like official permission to use it.

But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, knock yourselves out. I made the gif in order to educate myself and others, so I figure the more people see it, the better.

harpy:

“Grandma’s Tattoo’s’: A Riveting Film About the Forgotten Women of Genocide

Khardalian is the director and producer of riveting new film called “Grandma’s Tattoos” that lifts the veil of thousands of forgotten women—survivors of the Armenian Genocide—who were forced into prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from the locals.

“As a child I thought these were devilish signs that came from a dark world. They stirred fear in me. What were these tattoos? Who had done them, and why? But the tattoos on grandma’s hands and face were a taboo. They never spoke about it,” explains Khardalian.

“Grandma’s Tattoos” is a journey into the secrets of the family. Eventually, the secret behind Grandma Khanoum’s blue marks are revealed.

Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Article and image via The Armenian Weekly

As it turns out, not only are most people unaware that 1.5 million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were killed under Turkish rule, but also that 90,000 Armenian women and children were abducted and sold into slavery and prostitution. 90,000 women and children.

(via privatethoughtsbetweenherlegs)

"How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving and Learned to Be Afraid"

takealookaroundus:

Although it’s well known to anyone who wants to know, let me summarize the argument against Thanksgiving: European invaders exterminated nearly the entire indigenous population to create the United States. Without that holocaust, the United States as we know it would not exist. The United States celebrates a Thanksgiving Day holiday dominated not by atonement for that horrendous crime against humanity but by a falsified account of the “encounter” between Europeans and American Indians. When confronted with this, most people in the United States (outside of indigenous communities) ignore the history or attack those who make the argument. This is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.

In left/radical circles, even though that basic critique is widely accepted, a relatively small number of people argue that we should renounce the holiday and refuse to celebrate it in any fashion. Most leftists who celebrate Thanksgiving claim that they can individually redefine the holiday in a politically progressive fashion in private, which is an illusory dodge: We don’t define holidays individually or privately — the idea of a holiday is rooted in its collective, shared meaning. When the dominant culture defines a holiday in a certain fashion, one can’t pretend to redefine it in private. To pretend we can do that also is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.”

(Source: commondreams.org, via glamaphonic)

In 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce asked the Wampanoags to select a speaker to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing.  Frank James “was selected, but first he had to show a copy of his speech to the white people in charge of the ceremony.  When they saw what he had written, they would not allow him to read it.” James had written:

Today is a time of celebrating for you … but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People … The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans. … Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers … little knowing that … before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags … and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. … Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. … What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important.

What the Massachusetts Department of Commerce censored was not some incediary falsehood but historical truth. Nothing James would have said, had he been allowed to speak, was false, excepting the word wheat. Most of our textbooks also omit the facts about grave robbing, Indian enslavement, and so on, even though they were common knowledge in colonial New England. Thus our popular history of the Pilgrims has not been a process of gaining perspective but of deliberate forgetting.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm; middle section is quoted from American Indian Holocaust and Survival by Russell Thornton

Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm, with the middle paragraph quoted from The Effects of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian by E. Wagner Stearn and Allen E. Stearn

extirpate = to root out and destroy completely

[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity.
Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

Regarding the two numbers s/he throws out: They’re both estimates of the pre-European-contact native population of the continental United States.  1-2 million is an old estimate that was derived through pretty shoddy estimation methods and was biased by the wish to downplay the size of the native population and shore up the myth of “No really you guys, the continent was practically empty so it’s totes okay that we stole it!”  15 million is a more recent and much more accurate estimate.

American history was for a long time written and taught as a single story, a narrative of nation building and unending progress that united the diverse participants in the country’s past in a single American “experience.” It was a national success story, celebrating the human triumphs made possible in a society based on the principles of liberty and equality. American historians tended to ignore or dismiss people whose experiences and interpretations of the past did not conform to the master narrative. The experiences of American Indians during the years of nation building told a story of decline and suffering rather than of “progress” and “the pursuit of happiness.” As a result, notes historian Frederick E. Hoxie, the authors of United States history textbooks had “great difficulty shaping the Native American experience to fit the upbeat format of their books.” The Indians’ story was not the American story; best to leave them out.

First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History by Colin G. Calloway

I had to laugh at the second-to-last sentence because wow, trying to make a centuries-long genocide seem “upbeat?”  Yeah, I imagine that’d be pretty difficult to pull off.  *headdesk*

istillaintbovvered:

Yes, this is terrible. It’s quite sad.

However, I want to remind many of you that the number one killer of Native Americans was actually disease. You see the fancy map of the old Indian tribes, but understand that by the early 1600’s (which that map obviously precedes), only about 5% of the original Native population remained in North America. Disease from the Spanish conquests traveled all the way through the continent and very quickly and efficiently wiped out over 73 million Natives. So, while the English and Europeans had a personal hand in killing and taking land away from the Indians, they didn’t actually kill all of those Natives by themselves. Too many Indians were dead that they couldn’t defend their lands by the time the English got there and the colonies began to spread.

I’m not defending the English taking their land at all. But I am clarifying that most of the Indians were already dead, so this was not accomplished through genocide. Like I said, there just weren’t enough Indians left to defend their land. Which sucks. And Americans are dicks and shouldn’t have taken it from them.

But still. Not genocide. Just shitting luck because the Indians had never been exposed to European diseases, so their immune systems were shit when it came to them. Aaaand (to make sure no one gets mad at me and don’t think I’m defending the Americans or English) dick-ish moves on the part of the Europeans. 

Okay, let’s look up the definition of genocide, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

And now let’s see if these are present in the case of the Native Americans:

(a) Killing members of the group: There are countless cases of Indians being massacred by whites.  Wounded Knee, Fort Robinson, Bear River, the Baker Massacre, and the absolutely appalling Sand Creek Massacre were all cases of racist trigger-happy US soldiers slaughtering unarmed Indian civilians.  Several thousand California Indians suffered violent deaths at the hands of the Gold Rush folks.  And these are just the massacres we have records of.  The intense racism that the whites felt towards the natives meant that settlers were often totally fine with shooting any Indians who got in their way.  After all, it’s not like the Indians were really human, right?

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: This aspect of the American genocide still continues today.  1 in 3 Native American women will be raped during her lifetime, compared to 1 in 6 American women overall, and in 80% of those cases, the rapist is a non-Native man.  However, because of stupid jurisdiction laws imposed by the US government, Indian reservations do not have the ability to prosecute non-Native offenders who commit crimes on their land, so non-Native men can come onto reservations and rape Native women without fear of punishment.  Last I checked, the US government still can’t be arsed to fix this legal loophole.

Rewind a century, and there were the Indian boarding schools.  In the late 1800s/early 1900s, thousands of native children were forcibly taken from their families and put into Caucasian-run boarding schools, where they had the Indian-ness literally beaten out of them.  The kids were forced to convert to Christianity, speak only English, adopt Western styles of dress and behavior, and were severely punished if they reverted to practicing any of their native traditions, which caused the extinction of numerous native languages.  The tales of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse from those places are absolutely horrific, and I can’t emphasize enough how badly they psychologically scarred the Native American community at large.  The aftershocks of those ordeals are still felt today, even after most of the boarding school survivors have died out.

During the same era as the boarding schools, the Native adults were also suffering “mental harm” at the hands of the US Government, in the form of the Code of Indian Offenses which banned all native religious practices, all native dances, and certain types of native gatherings, like potlatches.  The intent was to eradicate every last shred of Native culture and assimilate the Indians into Western culture.  “Kill the Indian, save the man” was the watchword of the day, and it took a huge toll on the psychological health of native people.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part: Indian reservations are notorious for being plagued by poverty and poor living conditions, and while they’ve improved somewhat in recent years, they used to be universally grim places to live.

The US government would dole out food rations to each reservation, to be distributed by the Indian agent, a white bureaucrat in charge of the reservation.  The Indian agents were a corrupt bunch who would frequently hoard the best rations and sell them to white settlers for a profit, and then give the worst and most weevil-ridden rations to their Indian charges.  Many native people starved as a result.

There’s also the method by which the Indians arrived on the reservations in the first place: They were forcibly “removed” from their aboriginal lands by the US government, and made to walk hundreds or thousands of miles.  The Trail of Tears is the most famous instance of this, but pretty much every tribe had its own “long walk” to the reservation, in which many people died from starvation, exhaustion, disease, exposure, etc.

Going back even further, there is the case of the buffalo.  The Plains tribes depended heavily on buffalo meat as their main food source, so when the buffalo were hunted to near-extinction by white hunters who only hunted for sport and often did so by riding the transcontinental trains and shooting out of the window, the Plains people starved.  The US Government approved of the over-hunting, since they correctly predicted that it would weaken the native tribes and make it easier to steal their land/move them to reservations/etc.  This phenomenon is called “ecocide” — causing genocide by destroying the environment that a group depends upon to survive.  The over-hunting of the buffalo is only one of the numerous cases of ecocide committed by the United States against the Native Americans.

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group: Two words: forced sterilization.  Native women were a target for this procedure, along with African-American women and mentally/physically disabled women.

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group: That’s covered by the boarding school debacle I mentioned earlier.  There were even court cases in which native parents tried to have their children removed from the schools, but the courts didn’t allow it, because the forced schooling was supposed to be for the kids’ own good.

And finally there’s the little matter of "intent to destroy, in whole or in part."  Personally I’d argue that intent isn’t magical and that accidental genocide is still genocide, but in this case it’s a moot point because the white Americans definitely intended to destroy, in whole or in part, the Native Americans.  Go back and read some of the relevant literature from the 1800s and you’ll hear words like “extermination” and “inferior race” and phrases like “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” and “nits make lice” as a justification for why Indian children should be killed along with their parents.  There were even pseudo-scientific studies done arguing that Indians were subhuman, thus providing a justification for the slaughter.

So yes, the genocide of the Native Americans fits every aspect of the definition established by the UN.  It’s true that 90% of the original native population was wiped out by disease, but they could have bounced back from that catastrophe if given the opportunity.  However the US government and the white settlers did everything in their power to finish the job that smallpox started, motivated primarily by greed and racism.  At every quarter, they displayed a staggering lack of basic human decency towards the native people, and the torrent of abuses and cruelty they heaped upon the natives made the epidemics of the 1600s look tame by comparison.  In fact, if you compare the tactics and policies employed by Manifest Destiny America to those employed by Nazi Germany, the similarities are striking.  This is what genocide looks like.

One more thing: You are mistaken in claiming that the Indians were too few and too weak to defend their lands.  Despite having been decimated by disease, they still outnumbered the invaders and posed a credible military threat to the settlers.  Why do you think the colonies even bothered making treaties and agreements with the natives?  Why do you think in the early days of the colonies, it was common for settlers to buy land from the tribes?  Because it was safer than risking war with them.  Most of the “conquered” tribes were never really conquered at all, nor were they decisively defeated on the battlefield.  The Indian Wars with the Plains tribes, for example, only ended because the US was sick and tired of fighting hundreds of bloody battles against the skilled and tenacious native warriors, so they offered to make a treaty to end the fighting.  The Plains tribes agreed… and then the US promptly broke the treaty and screwed them over once their guard was down.  The Indians were actually pretty capable of defending their lands militarily, which is why the US had to resort to broken treaties and legal shenanigans in order to win.

(via trangpakisagrotskylittlebyotch-)

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE

This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.

For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:

By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.

By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk

* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.

Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*

Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.

Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

Human Rights groups say at least 6,000 people have been killed by the Gaddafi regime.

thelibyanrevolution:

If you really think about the population of Libya which is six million, 6000 people is a HUGE number. HUGE. Just to put it into perspective, it would be as if:

10,000 Tunisians died, or 83,000 Egyptians died, or 307,000 Americans died.
These numbers are COLOSSAL. Gadaffi is no longer just killing people, he is committing democide.

This is in a span of 15 days…and the world just sits and watches.

(Source: thearabspringrevolutions)

French doctor in Libya: over 2000 dead

thelibyanrevolution:

A 60-year old French doctor working in Benghazi estimated the death toll to be over 2000. He says that out ambulances counted 75 bodies the first day, 200 on the second and more than 500 on the third day.

“From Tobruk to Darna, they carried out a real massacre… In total, I think there are more than 2,000 deaths,” he said.

-libyafeb17

(Source: thearabspringrevolutions)

Tell everyone, tell the whole world. Because he’s going to kill everyone, he’s going to kill Libya.
– Libyan Eyewitness, on AC360 (via jaredpadacockforlibya)

(Source: work-eat-sleep, via formerlyroxy)

Anonymous said: Hey, we just got a grant to educate people on the Doctrine of Discovery and were wanting to create this type of educational piece. Can we get your approval to use it? Yours is really good.

I’m catching up on my inbox so I’m sorry if this is totally irrelevant now, but:

To you, anon, and to anyone else who wants to use my gif of Native American land loss:

I think it’s totally awesome that people want to use the map as an educational tool and I’d definitely give you permission to use it but… I don’t actually own the rights to it! The original map belongs to Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University, who died in 2011. I just rearranged it with Photoshop, so Dr. Hilliard would be the one to credit as the map creator. And I guess you could contact LSU if you’d like official permission to use it.

But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, knock yourselves out. I made the gif in order to educate myself and others, so I figure the more people see it, the better.

harpy:

“Grandma’s Tattoo’s’: A Riveting Film About the Forgotten Women of Genocide

Khardalian is the director and producer of riveting new film called  “Grandma’s Tattoos” that lifts the veil of thousands of forgotten  women—survivors of the Armenian Genocide—who were forced into  prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from the locals.
“As a child I thought these were devilish signs that came from a dark  world. They stirred fear in me. What were these tattoos? Who had done  them, and why? But the tattoos on grandma’s hands and face were a taboo.  They never spoke about it,” explains Khardalian.
“Grandma’s Tattoos” is a journey into the secrets of the family.  Eventually, the secret behind Grandma Khanoum’s blue marks are revealed.

Trailer 1, Trailer 2.
Article and image via The Armenian Weekly


As it turns out, not only are most people unaware that 1.5 million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were killed under Turkish rule, but also that 90,000 Armenian women and children were abducted and sold into slavery and prostitution. 90,000 women and children.

harpy:

“Grandma’s Tattoo’s’: A Riveting Film About the Forgotten Women of Genocide

Khardalian is the director and producer of riveting new film called “Grandma’s Tattoos” that lifts the veil of thousands of forgotten women—survivors of the Armenian Genocide—who were forced into prostitution and tattooed to distinguish them from the locals.

“As a child I thought these were devilish signs that came from a dark world. They stirred fear in me. What were these tattoos? Who had done them, and why? But the tattoos on grandma’s hands and face were a taboo. They never spoke about it,” explains Khardalian.

“Grandma’s Tattoos” is a journey into the secrets of the family. Eventually, the secret behind Grandma Khanoum’s blue marks are revealed.

Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Article and image via The Armenian Weekly

As it turns out, not only are most people unaware that 1.5 million Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were killed under Turkish rule, but also that 90,000 Armenian women and children were abducted and sold into slavery and prostitution. 90,000 women and children.

(via privatethoughtsbetweenherlegs)

"How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving and Learned to Be Afraid"

takealookaroundus:

Although it’s well known to anyone who wants to know, let me summarize the argument against Thanksgiving: European invaders exterminated nearly the entire indigenous population to create the United States. Without that holocaust, the United States as we know it would not exist. The United States celebrates a Thanksgiving Day holiday dominated not by atonement for that horrendous crime against humanity but by a falsified account of the “encounter” between Europeans and American Indians. When confronted with this, most people in the United States (outside of indigenous communities) ignore the history or attack those who make the argument. This is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.

In left/radical circles, even though that basic critique is widely accepted, a relatively small number of people argue that we should renounce the holiday and refuse to celebrate it in any fashion. Most leftists who celebrate Thanksgiving claim that they can individually redefine the holiday in a politically progressive fashion in private, which is an illusory dodge: We don’t define holidays individually or privately — the idea of a holiday is rooted in its collective, shared meaning. When the dominant culture defines a holiday in a certain fashion, one can’t pretend to redefine it in private. To pretend we can do that also is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.”

(Source: commondreams.org, via glamaphonic)

In 1970, the Massachusetts Department of Commerce asked the Wampanoags to select a speaker to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing.  Frank James “was selected, but first he had to show a copy of his speech to the white people in charge of the ceremony.  When they saw what he had written, they would not allow him to read it.” James had written:

Today is a time of celebrating for you … but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People … The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans. … Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers … little knowing that … before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags … and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. … Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. … What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important.

What the Massachusetts Department of Commerce censored was not some incediary falsehood but historical truth. Nothing James would have said, had he been allowed to speak, was false, excepting the word wheat. Most of our textbooks also omit the facts about grave robbing, Indian enslavement, and so on, even though they were common knowledge in colonial New England. Thus our popular history of the Pilgrims has not been a process of gaining perspective but of deliberate forgetting.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm; middle section is quoted from American Indian Holocaust and Survival by Russell Thornton

Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm, with the middle paragraph quoted from The Effects of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian by E. Wagner Stearn and Allen E. Stearn

extirpate = to root out and destroy completely

[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity.
Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

Demography of Native North America by Lenore A. Stiffarm

Regarding the two numbers s/he throws out: They’re both estimates of the pre-European-contact native population of the continental United States.  1-2 million is an old estimate that was derived through pretty shoddy estimation methods and was biased by the wish to downplay the size of the native population and shore up the myth of “No really you guys, the continent was practically empty so it’s totes okay that we stole it!”  15 million is a more recent and much more accurate estimate.

American history was for a long time written and taught as a single story, a narrative of nation building and unending progress that united the diverse participants in the country’s past in a single American “experience.” It was a national success story, celebrating the human triumphs made possible in a society based on the principles of liberty and equality. American historians tended to ignore or dismiss people whose experiences and interpretations of the past did not conform to the master narrative. The experiences of American Indians during the years of nation building told a story of decline and suffering rather than of “progress” and “the pursuit of happiness.” As a result, notes historian Frederick E. Hoxie, the authors of United States history textbooks had “great difficulty shaping the Native American experience to fit the upbeat format of their books.” The Indians’ story was not the American story; best to leave them out.

First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History by Colin G. Calloway

I had to laugh at the second-to-last sentence because wow, trying to make a centuries-long genocide seem “upbeat?”  Yeah, I imagine that’d be pretty difficult to pull off.  *headdesk*

istillaintbovvered:

Yes, this is terrible. It’s quite sad.
However, I want to remind many of you that the number one killer of Native Americans was actually disease. You see the fancy map of the old Indian tribes, but understand that by the early 1600’s (which that map obviously precedes), only about 5% of the original Native population remained in North America. Disease from the Spanish conquests traveled all the way through the continent and very quickly and efficiently wiped out over 73 million Natives. So, while the English and Europeans had a personal hand in killing and taking land away from the Indians, they didn’t actually kill all of those Natives by themselves. Too many Indians were dead that they couldn’t defend their lands by the time the English got there and the colonies began to spread.
I’m not defending the English taking their land at all. But I am clarifying that most of the Indians were already dead, so this was not accomplished through genocide. Like I said, there just weren’t enough Indians left to defend their land. Which sucks. And Americans are dicks and shouldn’t have taken it from them.
But still. Not genocide. Just shitting luck because the Indians had never been exposed to European diseases, so their immune systems were shit when it came to them. Aaaand (to make sure no one gets mad at me and don’t think I’m defending the Americans or English) dick-ish moves on the part of the Europeans. 

Okay, let’s look up the definition of genocide, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:(a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

And now let’s see if these are present in the case of the Native Americans:
(a) Killing members of the group: There are countless cases of Indians being massacred by whites.  Wounded Knee, Fort Robinson, Bear River, the Baker Massacre, and the absolutely appalling Sand Creek Massacre were all cases of racist trigger-happy US soldiers slaughtering unarmed Indian civilians.  Several thousand California Indians suffered violent deaths at the hands of the Gold Rush folks.  And these are just the massacres we have records of.  The intense racism that the whites felt towards the natives meant that settlers were often totally fine with shooting any Indians who got in their way.  After all, it’s not like the Indians were really human, right?
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: This aspect of the American genocide still continues today.  1 in 3 Native American women will be raped during her lifetime, compared to 1 in 6 American women overall, and in 80% of those cases, the rapist is a non-Native man.  However, because of stupid jurisdiction laws imposed by the US government, Indian reservations do not have the ability to prosecute non-Native offenders who commit crimes on their land, so non-Native men can come onto reservations and rape Native women without fear of punishment.  Last I checked, the US government still can’t be arsed to fix this legal loophole.
Rewind a century, and there were the Indian boarding schools.  In the late 1800s/early 1900s, thousands of native children were forcibly taken from their families and put into Caucasian-run boarding schools, where they had the Indian-ness literally beaten out of them.  The kids were forced to convert to Christianity, speak only English, adopt Western styles of dress and behavior, and were severely punished if they reverted to practicing any of their native traditions, which caused the extinction of numerous native languages.  The tales of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse from those places are absolutely horrific, and I can’t emphasize enough how badly they psychologically scarred the Native American community at large.  The aftershocks of those ordeals are still felt today, even after most of the boarding school survivors have died out.
During the same era as the boarding schools, the Native adults were also suffering “mental harm” at the hands of the US Government, in the form of the Code of Indian Offenses which banned all native religious practices, all native dances, and certain types of native gatherings, like potlatches.  The intent was to eradicate every last shred of Native culture and assimilate the Indians into Western culture.  “Kill the Indian, save the man” was the watchword of the day, and it took a huge toll on the psychological health of native people.
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated  to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part: Indian reservations are notorious for being plagued by poverty and poor living conditions, and while they’ve improved somewhat in recent years, they used to be universally grim places to live.
The US government would dole out food rations to each reservation, to be distributed by the Indian agent, a white bureaucrat in charge of the reservation.  The Indian agents were a corrupt bunch who would frequently hoard the best rations and sell them to white settlers for a profit, and then give the worst and most weevil-ridden rations to their Indian charges.  Many native people starved as a result.
There’s also the method by which the Indians arrived on the reservations in the first place: They were forcibly “removed” from their aboriginal lands by the US government, and made to walk hundreds or thousands of miles.  The Trail of Tears is the most famous instance of this, but pretty much every tribe had its own “long walk” to the reservation, in which many people died from starvation, exhaustion, disease, exposure, etc.
Going back even further, there is the case of the buffalo.  The Plains tribes depended heavily on buffalo meat as their main food source, so when the buffalo were hunted to near-extinction by white hunters who only hunted for sport and often did so by riding the transcontinental trains and shooting out of the window, the Plains people starved.  The US Government approved of the over-hunting, since they correctly predicted that it would weaken the native tribes and make it easier to steal their land/move them to reservations/etc.  This phenomenon is called “ecocide” — causing genocide by destroying the environment that a group depends upon to survive.  The over-hunting of the buffalo is only one of the numerous cases of ecocide committed by the United States against the Native Americans.
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group: Two words: forced sterilization.  Native women were a target for this procedure, along with African-American women and mentally/physically disabled women.
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group: That’s covered by the boarding school debacle I mentioned earlier.  There were even court cases in which native parents tried to have their children removed from the schools, but the courts didn’t allow it, because the forced schooling was supposed to be for the kids’ own good.
And finally there’s the little matter of "intent to destroy, in whole or in part."  Personally I’d argue that intent isn’t magical and that accidental genocide is still genocide, but in this case it’s a moot point because the white Americans definitely intended to destroy, in whole or in part, the Native Americans.  Go back and read some of the relevant literature from the 1800s and you’ll hear words like “extermination” and “inferior race” and phrases like “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” and “nits make lice” as a justification for why Indian children should be killed along with their parents.  There were even pseudo-scientific studies done arguing that Indians were subhuman, thus providing a justification for the slaughter.
So yes, the genocide of the Native Americans fits every aspect of the definition established by the UN.  It’s true that 90% of the original native population was wiped out by disease, but they could have bounced back from that catastrophe if given the opportunity.  However the US government and the white settlers did everything in their power to finish the job that smallpox started, motivated primarily by greed and racism.  At every quarter, they displayed a staggering lack of basic human decency towards the native people, and the torrent of abuses and cruelty they heaped upon the natives made the epidemics of the 1600s look tame by comparison.  In fact, if you compare the tactics and policies employed by Manifest Destiny America to those employed by Nazi Germany, the similarities are striking.  This is what genocide looks like.
One more thing: You are mistaken in claiming that the Indians were too few and too weak to defend their lands.  Despite having been decimated by disease, they still outnumbered the invaders and posed a credible military threat to the settlers.  Why do you think the colonies even bothered making treaties and agreements with the natives?  Why do you think in the early days of the colonies, it was common for settlers to buy land from the tribes?  Because it was safer than risking war with them.  Most of the “conquered” tribes were never really conquered at all, nor were they decisively defeated on the battlefield.  The Indian Wars with the Plains tribes, for example, only ended because the US was sick and tired of fighting hundreds of bloody battles against the skilled and tenacious native warriors, so they offered to make a treaty to end the fighting.  The Plains tribes agreed… and then the US promptly broke the treaty and screwed them over once their guard was down.  The Indians were actually pretty capable of defending their lands militarily, which is why the US had to resort to broken treaties and legal shenanigans in order to win.

istillaintbovvered:

Yes, this is terrible. It’s quite sad.

However, I want to remind many of you that the number one killer of Native Americans was actually disease. You see the fancy map of the old Indian tribes, but understand that by the early 1600’s (which that map obviously precedes), only about 5% of the original Native population remained in North America. Disease from the Spanish conquests traveled all the way through the continent and very quickly and efficiently wiped out over 73 million Natives. So, while the English and Europeans had a personal hand in killing and taking land away from the Indians, they didn’t actually kill all of those Natives by themselves. Too many Indians were dead that they couldn’t defend their lands by the time the English got there and the colonies began to spread.

I’m not defending the English taking their land at all. But I am clarifying that most of the Indians were already dead, so this was not accomplished through genocide. Like I said, there just weren’t enough Indians left to defend their land. Which sucks. And Americans are dicks and shouldn’t have taken it from them.

But still. Not genocide. Just shitting luck because the Indians had never been exposed to European diseases, so their immune systems were shit when it came to them. Aaaand (to make sure no one gets mad at me and don’t think I’m defending the Americans or English) dick-ish moves on the part of the Europeans. 

Okay, let’s look up the definition of genocide, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

And now let’s see if these are present in the case of the Native Americans:

(a) Killing members of the group: There are countless cases of Indians being massacred by whites.  Wounded Knee, Fort Robinson, Bear River, the Baker Massacre, and the absolutely appalling Sand Creek Massacre were all cases of racist trigger-happy US soldiers slaughtering unarmed Indian civilians.  Several thousand California Indians suffered violent deaths at the hands of the Gold Rush folks.  And these are just the massacres we have records of.  The intense racism that the whites felt towards the natives meant that settlers were often totally fine with shooting any Indians who got in their way.  After all, it’s not like the Indians were really human, right?

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group: This aspect of the American genocide still continues today.  1 in 3 Native American women will be raped during her lifetime, compared to 1 in 6 American women overall, and in 80% of those cases, the rapist is a non-Native man.  However, because of stupid jurisdiction laws imposed by the US government, Indian reservations do not have the ability to prosecute non-Native offenders who commit crimes on their land, so non-Native men can come onto reservations and rape Native women without fear of punishment.  Last I checked, the US government still can’t be arsed to fix this legal loophole.

Rewind a century, and there were the Indian boarding schools.  In the late 1800s/early 1900s, thousands of native children were forcibly taken from their families and put into Caucasian-run boarding schools, where they had the Indian-ness literally beaten out of them.  The kids were forced to convert to Christianity, speak only English, adopt Western styles of dress and behavior, and were severely punished if they reverted to practicing any of their native traditions, which caused the extinction of numerous native languages.  The tales of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse from those places are absolutely horrific, and I can’t emphasize enough how badly they psychologically scarred the Native American community at large.  The aftershocks of those ordeals are still felt today, even after most of the boarding school survivors have died out.

During the same era as the boarding schools, the Native adults were also suffering “mental harm” at the hands of the US Government, in the form of the Code of Indian Offenses which banned all native religious practices, all native dances, and certain types of native gatherings, like potlatches.  The intent was to eradicate every last shred of Native culture and assimilate the Indians into Western culture.  “Kill the Indian, save the man” was the watchword of the day, and it took a huge toll on the psychological health of native people.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part: Indian reservations are notorious for being plagued by poverty and poor living conditions, and while they’ve improved somewhat in recent years, they used to be universally grim places to live.

The US government would dole out food rations to each reservation, to be distributed by the Indian agent, a white bureaucrat in charge of the reservation.  The Indian agents were a corrupt bunch who would frequently hoard the best rations and sell them to white settlers for a profit, and then give the worst and most weevil-ridden rations to their Indian charges.  Many native people starved as a result.

There’s also the method by which the Indians arrived on the reservations in the first place: They were forcibly “removed” from their aboriginal lands by the US government, and made to walk hundreds or thousands of miles.  The Trail of Tears is the most famous instance of this, but pretty much every tribe had its own “long walk” to the reservation, in which many people died from starvation, exhaustion, disease, exposure, etc.

Going back even further, there is the case of the buffalo.  The Plains tribes depended heavily on buffalo meat as their main food source, so when the buffalo were hunted to near-extinction by white hunters who only hunted for sport and often did so by riding the transcontinental trains and shooting out of the window, the Plains people starved.  The US Government approved of the over-hunting, since they correctly predicted that it would weaken the native tribes and make it easier to steal their land/move them to reservations/etc.  This phenomenon is called “ecocide” — causing genocide by destroying the environment that a group depends upon to survive.  The over-hunting of the buffalo is only one of the numerous cases of ecocide committed by the United States against the Native Americans.

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group: Two words: forced sterilization.  Native women were a target for this procedure, along with African-American women and mentally/physically disabled women.

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group: That’s covered by the boarding school debacle I mentioned earlier.  There were even court cases in which native parents tried to have their children removed from the schools, but the courts didn’t allow it, because the forced schooling was supposed to be for the kids’ own good.

And finally there’s the little matter of "intent to destroy, in whole or in part."  Personally I’d argue that intent isn’t magical and that accidental genocide is still genocide, but in this case it’s a moot point because the white Americans definitely intended to destroy, in whole or in part, the Native Americans.  Go back and read some of the relevant literature from the 1800s and you’ll hear words like “extermination” and “inferior race” and phrases like “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” and “nits make lice” as a justification for why Indian children should be killed along with their parents.  There were even pseudo-scientific studies done arguing that Indians were subhuman, thus providing a justification for the slaughter.

So yes, the genocide of the Native Americans fits every aspect of the definition established by the UN.  It’s true that 90% of the original native population was wiped out by disease, but they could have bounced back from that catastrophe if given the opportunity.  However the US government and the white settlers did everything in their power to finish the job that smallpox started, motivated primarily by greed and racism.  At every quarter, they displayed a staggering lack of basic human decency towards the native people, and the torrent of abuses and cruelty they heaped upon the natives made the epidemics of the 1600s look tame by comparison.  In fact, if you compare the tactics and policies employed by Manifest Destiny America to those employed by Nazi Germany, the similarities are striking.  This is what genocide looks like.

One more thing: You are mistaken in claiming that the Indians were too few and too weak to defend their lands.  Despite having been decimated by disease, they still outnumbered the invaders and posed a credible military threat to the settlers.  Why do you think the colonies even bothered making treaties and agreements with the natives?  Why do you think in the early days of the colonies, it was common for settlers to buy land from the tribes?  Because it was safer than risking war with them.  Most of the “conquered” tribes were never really conquered at all, nor were they decisively defeated on the battlefield.  The Indian Wars with the Plains tribes, for example, only ended because the US was sick and tired of fighting hundreds of bloody battles against the skilled and tenacious native warriors, so they offered to make a treaty to end the fighting.  The Plains tribes agreed… and then the US promptly broke the treaty and screwed them over once their guard was down.  The Indians were actually pretty capable of defending their lands militarily, which is why the US had to resort to broken treaties and legal shenanigans in order to win.

(via trangpakisagrotskylittlebyotch-)

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE
This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.
For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:





By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.
By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.





—In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk
* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.
Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*
Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.
Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE

This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.

For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:

By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.

By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk

* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.

Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*

Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.

Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

Human Rights groups say at least 6,000 people have been killed by the Gaddafi regime.

thelibyanrevolution:

If you really think about the population of Libya which is six million, 6000 people is a HUGE number. HUGE. Just to put it into perspective, it would be as if:

10,000 Tunisians died, or 83,000 Egyptians died, or 307,000 Americans died.
These numbers are COLOSSAL. Gadaffi is no longer just killing people, he is committing democide.

This is in a span of 15 days…and the world just sits and watches.

(Source: thearabspringrevolutions)

French doctor in Libya: over 2000 dead

thelibyanrevolution:

A 60-year old French doctor working in Benghazi estimated the death toll to be over 2000. He says that out ambulances counted 75 bodies the first day, 200 on the second and more than 500 on the third day.

“From Tobruk to Darna, they carried out a real massacre… In total, I think there are more than 2,000 deaths,” he said.

-libyafeb17

(Source: thearabspringrevolutions)

Tell everyone, tell the whole world. Because he’s going to kill everyone, he’s going to kill Libya.
– Libyan Eyewitness, on AC360 (via jaredpadacockforlibya)

(Source: work-eat-sleep, via formerlyroxy)

"How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving and Learned to Be Afraid"
"

In California and Oregon, things were much worse. As Mooney acknowledged in 1910, “the enormous decrease [in California’s native population] from about a quarter-million to less than 20,000 is due chiefly to the cruelties and wholesale massacres perpetrated by the miners and early settlers.” Actually, the original indigenous population of California was probably three times Mooney’s estimate and still numbered about 300,000 in 1800. Sherburn F. Cook has compiled an excruciatingly detailed chronology of the actions of self-organized white “militias” in northern California, mostly along the Mad and Eel Rivers, for the years 1855-65. The standard technique was to surround an Indian village… in the dead of night, set it ablaze and, if possible, kill everyone inside.

"Much of the killing in California and southern Oregon Territory resulted, directly and indirectly, from the discovery of gold in 1849 and the subsequent influx of miners and settlers. Newspaper accounts document the atrocities, as do oral histories of the California Indians today. It was not uncommon for small groups or villages to be attacked by immigrants… and virtually wiped out overnight."

…Thornton has observed that, “Primarily because of the killings — which some scholars say had been… over 700,000 — [the population] decreased almost by two-thirds in a single decade: from 100,000 in 1849 to 35,000 in 1860.” By 1900, the combined native population of California numbered only 15,377.

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Over the next two centuries [after 1540], wars of outright extermination had been fought by British colonists against “the Indians of Virginia” and nations such as the Pequot (who were among those who had fed the Plymouth Colony on the first “Thanksgiving” in 1620). […]

By the mid-19th century, U.S. policymakers and military commanders were stating — openly, frequently, and in plain English — that their objective was no less than the “complete extermination” of any native people who resisted being dispossessed of their lands, subordinated to federal authority, and assimilated into the colonizing culture. The country was as good as its word on the matter, perpetrating literally hundreds of massacres of Indians by military and paramilitary formations at points all over the West. A bare sampling of some of the worst must include the 1854 massacre of perhaps 150 Lakotas at Blue River (Nebraska), the 1863 Bear River (Idaho) Massacre of some 500 Western Shoshones, the 1864 Sand Creek (Colorado) Massacre of as many as 250 Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the 1868 massacre of another 300 Cheyennes at the Washita River (Oklahoma), the 1875 massacre of about seventy-five Cheyennes along the Sappa Creek (Kansas), the 1878 massacre of still another 100 Cheyennes at Camp Robinson (Nebraska), and the 1890 massacre of more than 300 Lakotas at Wounded Knee (South Dakota). As the U.S. Bureau of the Census put it in 1894:

"It has been estimated that since 1775, more than [8,500 Indians] have been killed in individual affairs with [whites]… The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of… about 30,000 Indians… The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much greater than the number given, as they conceal, where possible, their actual loss in battle… Fifty percent additional would be a safe number to add to the numbers given."

This comes to a minimum of 56,750 Indians killed outright by Euroamericans militarily pushing into native lands during a period roughly conforming to the century spanning the years 1775-1875. Thornton, who has examined the matter closely, suggests that the official number is far too low and might “easily” be doubled.

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During 1763, while striving to defeat Pontiac’s confederation of Ottowas and other peoples:

Sir Jeffrey Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces, wrote in a postscript of a letter to Bouquet [a subordinate] that smallpox be sent among the disaffected tribes. Bouquet replied, also in a postscript, “I will try to [contaminate] them with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself” … To Bouquet’s postscript Amherst replied, “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means to blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this exorable race.” On June 24, Captain Ecuyer, of the Royal Americans, noted in his journal: “…we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.”

It did. The disease spread rapidly among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and other nations of the Ohio River Valley, killing perhaps 100,000 people and bringing about the collapse of Pontiac’s military alliance.

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"[Regarding the ordeal of the Navajo during 1864-68]: This occurred as a result of the Kit Carson Campaign to destroy Navajo agricultural capacity, at the conclusion of which some 9,000 Navajos surrendered. After being gathered together at Fort Defiance, Arizona, the prisoners were then force-marched more than 300 miles — an ordeal called “The Long Walk” in Navajo tradition — to be interred at the Bosque Redondo, adjacent to Fort Sumner, southeast of Santa Fe. The site had been selected as the location for “concentration and maintenance of all captive Indians [in] New Mexico Territory,” but no preparations had been made to accommodate them. Over the next four years, the Indians were forced to live under guard, in holes in the ground, on perpetually short rations, and with a paucity of medical attention. As many as 3,500 of them died during their captivity."
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The issue goes to the concept of the “Norman Yoke,” an element of juridical philosophy arising among medieval Anglo-Saxons and subsequently incorporated into the British variants of the Doctrine of Discovery and Rights of Conquest. In simplest terms, the concept, as it was eventually articulated in John Locke’s philosophy of Natural Law, held that any “Christian” (read: European) happening upon “waste land” — most particularly land that was vacant or virtually vacant of human inhabitants — assumed not only a “natural right,” but indeed an obligation to put such land to “productive use.” Having thus performed “God’s will” by “cultivating” and thereby “conquering” the former “wilderness,” its “discoverer” can be said to “own” it. It was upon this peculiar doctrine that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, in his 1823 opinion in the Johnson v. McIntosh case, based the notion that the U.S. holds “inherent and preeminent rights” over Indian lands.

For Marshall’s utilization of the idea of the Norman Yoke to work out for the United States, it was/is necessary to believe that there were very few native people prior to the onset of the European invasion of North America. A substantial precontact native population would imply that the land was for all intents and purposes not vacant. […]

For Eurosupremecists, either historical or contemporary, to admit that the precontact Native North American population had been fifteen million rather than one or two million would compel their admission of a number of other uncomfortable facts. For instance, the larger population figure could only have been sustained by a primary reliance upon extensive agriculture rather than hunting and gathering. This, in turn, means that precontact American Indians were primarily “sedentary” rather than “nomadic,” cultivators of the land, and residents of permanent towns rather than wandering occupants of a “barren wilderness.”

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"American history was for a long time written and taught as a single story, a narrative of nation building and unending progress that united the diverse participants in the country’s past in a single American “experience.” It was a national success story, celebrating the human triumphs made possible in a society based on the principles of liberty and equality. American historians tended to ignore or dismiss people whose experiences and interpretations of the past did not conform to the master narrative. The experiences of American Indians during the years of nation building told a story of decline and suffering rather than of “progress” and “the pursuit of happiness.” As a result, notes historian Frederick E. Hoxie, the authors of United States history textbooks had “great difficulty shaping the Native American experience to fit the upbeat format of their books.” The Indians’ story was not the American story; best to leave them out."
French doctor in Libya: over 2000 dead
"Tell everyone, tell the whole world. Because he’s going to kill everyone, he’s going to kill Libya."

About:

Female, bi, cis, white, USAmerican, recent college grad, animu/mango fangirl. Posts an odd mixture of social justice srs bizness, incoherent fandom squee, and Zero Punctuation screencaps. See also: the_sun_is_up@LJ.

Also runs @fuckyeahfemslash and @magicalgirlproject. *self-pimp self-pimp*

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lesbians! = femslash, yuri, etc
homo homo ghei ghei = slash, yaoi, boysex, etc
bizarre love triangle = OT3, threesomes, etc
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