Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Matt Silberstein (
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 16:42:58 GMT

Markus Figel <> wrote:

>Matt Silberstein wrote:
>> (Paula Sanch) wrote:
>> >The thing that most whites refuse to see is that your ancestors (your
>> >spiritual ancestors, if your family immigrated more recently, but you
>> >are a part of the dominant white American culture) have "sown the
>> >wind," and you (or maybe your descendants, if you're as incredibly
>> >fortunate as your ancestors) will "reap the whirlwind." Whatever
>> >worth anyone may assign or deny to the Christian Bible as a religious
>> >document, it contains tremendous wisdom about sowing and reaping, and
>> >about how your descendants pay, in due season, for what you do, in the
>> >event that you do not, personally, "reap what you sow."
>> I truely do not understand how my "spiritual ancestors" are the White
>> Americans Who Destroyed The Indians when not one person in my family
>> stepped foot on this hemisphere until 1903. And they left the
>> countries they came from because the people there were killing my
>> physical ancestors' families. Could you explain why I should take on
>> that particular burden of guilt?
>> [snip]

>When do Americans like you learn to deal with your history? Closing your
>eyes and not thinking about the American history or thinking about the
>responsibility your culture (where you are belonging to now , Matt) has
>for the indian culture. Just saying that none of your ancestors had
>anything to do with the destruction of the indian culture is no excuse.
>This destruction is not a thing that only took part more than 100 years
>ago, it is a process still going on! You are are a member of the american
>culture now think about it and face the history of your society. I
>can not believe how ignorant your are.

But you have no idea what I or my family have done since we came here,
you have no idea what causes we have supported and worked for. All you
know is that I have "white" skin and my ancestors come from Europe,
therefore you know I am guilty. If I am responsible just on the basis
of my skin color, then every Native American is equally responsible,
just on the basis that they are born in the U.S.

>With The German history on my shoulders (beeing a German), it would also
>be easy for me to say my ancestors were all farmers, none of them was
>in the army in WWII, none of them in the NSDAP so there is no reason for
>me to _take on any particular burden of guilt_ (taking your words) in the
>genozide . This is too easy and inhuman. Your society and culture has a
>similar responsibilty for the destruction of the indians and their culture
>as my culture has for the genozide in the 3rd Reich! Therefore you have
>to take the burden, deal with it and learn of it.

But I don't think you should take on that burden. There is a new book
out (I forget the title) showing that the participation and awareness
of the Holocaust was more wide spread than normally acknowledged. Does
that make it the responsibility of every German everywhere? NO! It is
the responsibility of each of the people who did what they did. If you
participated in the Holocaust, or knowing let it happen, you have a
responsibility to deal with. If your parents took the property of Jews
and gave it to you, you have the responsibility to deal with. But if
they did none of this, or they lived in the U.S. then you do not
become responsible just on the basis of your cultural heritage.

>A few years ago I meet an American student, studying american history.
>She was not able to tell me anything about indian history. I am sure she
>was able to tell me every American president, the name of every congress
>man since 200 years and recite several speeches of Lincoln,...

Sounds like a poor education.

>I hate such ignorance and bigotry and this misionary thinking you can
>see in a lot of posts to this subject!
Are you trying to imply that I have shown these qualities? If so say
so, and point out examples.

>I'm sorry for all Americans who try to take their burden, learn from
>history and work for a better future - you all, forgive my words.

It seems that you want to apply the blame to everyone, and just get
forgiven when you are wrong, rather than make the judgement first.
I would sooner believe a yankee professor would lie
than stones would fall from the heavens.

Thomas Jefferson