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American Genocides: Is Haiti Next?

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American Genocides: Is Haiti Next? - by Stephen Lendman

Distinguished historian, scholar and activist Gabriel Kolko studied "the nature and purpose of (American) power (since) the 1870s," calling it "violen(t), racis(t), repressi(ve) at home and abroad (and) cultural(ly) mendaci(ous)." It's been the same since inception, historian Howard Zinn calling colonial America:

"a class society from the beginning. America started off as a society of rich and poor, people with enormous grants of land and people with no land. And there were riots, there were bread riots in Boston, and riots and rebellions all over the colonies, of poor against rich, of tenants breaking into jails to release people who were in prison for nonpayment of debt. There was class conflict. We try to" portray a benevolent nation. We weren't then. We're not now.

We waged war against Native Americans, African-Americans, ordinary Americans, the poor, disadvantaged and women. Since inception, we committed "genocide," according to Zinn: "brutally and purposefully....by our rulers in the name of progress, (who then buried ugly truths) in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."

At home, profit over human lives and welfare took millions of working American lives. Abroad it was far worse, the result of direct or proxy wars, death squads, torture, occupations, alliances with despots, and neglect. Against indigenous and black Americans, it was worst of all. More on that below.

America's Genocidal Legacy

In his many books, scholar/activist Ward Churchill documented genocide in America. In "A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present," he wrote:

After four centuries of systematic slaughter from 1492 - 1892, "the US Census Bureau concluded that there were fewer than a quarter-million indigenous people surviving," in America, reduced to at most 3% of their original numbers.

Millions were "hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meathooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic diseases."

Shockingly, "every one of these practices (still continues in new forms). The American holocaust was and remains unparalleled, in terms of its scope, ferocity and continuance over time," thereafter suppressed by denial or silence.

Consider the grimness of the African holocaust, the result of 500 years of colonialization, oppression, exploitation, and slavery, much of it trafficked to America. Black Africans were captured, branded, chained, force-marched to ports, beaten, kept in cages, stripped of their humanity, and often their lives.

Around 100 million or more humans were sold like cattle, many millions perishing during the Middle Passage, a horrifying experience packing human cargo under deplorable conditions in spaces the size of a coffin, in some cases one atop another, in extreme discomfort, with poor ventilation, and so little sanitation that dysentery, smallpox, ophthalmia (causing blindness) and other diseases became epidemics. Conditions below deck were dark, filthy, slimy, full of blood, vomit, and human excrement.

Women were beaten and raped. For some, claustrophobia caused insanity. Others were flogged or clubbed to death. Anyone thought to be diseased was dumped overboard like garbage. Arrivals with three-fourths of departing cargos were considered successful voyages. The Middle Passage claimed as many as half of those trafficked, estimated by some up to 50 million.

Howard Zinn called American slavery "the most cruel form in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, black was slave." Is it any different today?

In this environment, blacks were helpless, mistreatment common. Slavery grew with the plantation system. It was "psychological and physical. Slaves were taught discipline....the idea of their own inferiority to 'know their place,' to see blackness as a sign of subordination, to be awed by (their master's) power," to subordinate their will to his.

Zinn described "a complex web of historical threads to ensnare blacks for slavery in America:" poor settlers needing labor, the profit motive, racism, status, and human exploitation to get them - elements today affecting wage slaves and others in agriculture, domestic service, restaurant and hotel work, sweatshop factories, prostitution and sex services, and on US offshore military bases employing forced labor under horrific conditions.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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Unfortunately we as Americans need to own these ho... by Starla Immak on Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 3:47:51 PM