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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/5/10

RUSSELL MEANS: Parallels between the Destruction of the American Indian and the Destruction of the Palestinian People

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(Bodies of Sioux men, women and children massacred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in December 29,1890) (source)

You do not have to be a history major to see the obvious parallels between America's centuries of invasions, massacres, land-thefts and dehumanization of the indigenous peoples, the Indians, of America, of broken treaty after broken treaty, of reducing most of the American Indian population to open-air prisons so to speak, the reservations, and to what has been happening to Palestine since 1948. At least these days the cavalry isn't patrolling reservation boundaries to ensure no Indians escape, which cannot be said for the IDF patrolling Gaza, where death awaits beyond everywhere.

All you have to do is watch old "Cowboys and Indians" B-movies from the 30s through the 50s, even beyond, on TV to see how American culture, ever servile to the prejudices of the powers at the top, had degenerated into a myopic, racist miasma of contempt and hatred for Indians, commonly known as "savages" for decades dating back to the 1800s. It was not until the 60s, really, that the counter-culture in America began to reveal that the Indians were as human as the rest of us, that they had an advanced and enlightened culture in as many ways as we claim to have, that indeed they are more spiritually advanced in relationship to Nature.

The fundamental lesson to learn here is that colonialists always stereotype and demonize an indigenous culture that they want to dominate and displace. It is the only way you can live with yourself if you are a Conquistador, a Blue Coat, a Buffalo Soldier, or an Israeli settler or member of the IDF. It is pretty hard to get up in the morning, if you are one of the above, look yourself in the mirror and say, "Well, today I am going to go out again and screw my fellow human beings!"

So you have to swallow mythologies to be able to carry on daily, mythologies that paint your victim as a threat, even demon, or an inferior, a substandard being somehow not made in God's image (if you follow the teachings of the Bible) which subtly infers that God f*cked up.

So it is not surprising that we have seen these same phenomena at work in Palestine: the dehumanization, the demonization, the mythology of the Eternal Islamic Terrorist, the erasing of the history, culture and beauty of the Palestinian people prior to 1948, when the state of Israel was founded.

If you want a quick look at who the Palestinians really were before 1948, not as they are depicted in propaganda hits and Hollywood movies, just take a good look at these two videos:

None of this is lost on Russell Means, leading American Indian political figure and Lakota Sioux spiritual leader, intellectual and philosopher. His awareness and sensitivities about colonialism, imperialism and the destruction of indigenous peoples are always fully engaged, especially since he realizes that it is an ongoing cultural psychosis in patriarchal cultures to this day!

The parallels as to what has been happening to Palestine and Gaza and what happened to his own people are readily apparent. In fact, when Israel launched its ghastly 22-day assault on the people of Gaza over the Christmas and New Year of late December 2008 into January 2009, he was aroused enough to create the following two videos in direct response to what was going on before the world's eyes in both the media and in the newspapers, to point out the historical parallels between Israeli colonialism and American colonialism, as you will now see, for the message then is as equally applicable now:

Indeed these videos mention that what America is doing in Iraq and in Afghanistan, with more targeted countries in our sights, is but a continuation of the paradigm underlying our Indian Wars. Is it little wonder, then, that Washington and Tel Aviv are joined at the hip on almost all foreign policy issues?

To visit one of the articles Russell posted on the Republic of Lakotah website in January of 2009, click here.

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
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