Refounding America: The Truth about How America was Founded
By Cathy Overholser
Pretend for just a minute that all the history books you read in school were written by a race consisting largely of white men. Intelligence would dictate that maybe history is an opinion, maybe a viewpoint, and there are many. So whose viewpoint is right? I think they were all right, because they reported what they saw through their eyes of experience, their European value system.
But there was a flaw in the history books. Surprisingly, there was a whole race of people already living here when "Columbus" happened upon this continent. There was nothing in my history books written by Native Americans that talked about their viewpoint, with little exception. Truthfully, then, Columbus did not discover America. Columbus visited a place where many different nations of peoples were present and living a fulfilled life. Columbus, and the white men writing the history books (because blacks were not allowed to have a viewpoint when "history" was written), made sure none of those people were allowed to have an opinion about his feat. So he went back to Spain and bragged about his discovery. That is how it became about "him", "the Admiral", instead of the people already here.
That was the hour of decision, the first one. That was the part where one could picture him going back and reporting to the Queen of Spain that he had discovered a continent of people, but not gold. (Columbus was looking for gold, by the way, not people). We allegedly have no account of Columbus' journal but his biographer, Bartolome de las Casas, reported that Columbus always referred to himself in the third person, The Admiral. Columbus thought a lot of himself. Again, it became about him. Anyhow, somehow we turned him into a hero, this gold-seeking "Admiral".
One thing led to another and the end result: 26 million Native Americans are dead. I used the term "Native Americans" because they were native to this continent. It's not like there were 2 or 3 people. There were hundreds of thousands of people. But, being European (?) that gave us license to make a decision, and blame it on "God". Not being there, I can't say what "God" was thinking, but "if" God is love, I seriously doubt he said kill them all, steal the land. So, that's what we did.
Now the conquest of this country from its native inhabitants has been a cause for great celebration here in the good ol' U.S.A. We celebrate taking this continent from England, which was certainly a fairer battle, but we keep forgetting we took it from someone else originally. It didn't really belong to England either. Picture this: three rival gangs are fighting over a stolen car. Eventually they shoot each other and the last man standing celebrates over the car that doesn't belong to any of them anyway. What a holiday!
The celebration was wrought with wars, death, famine, disease. Did we win? What did we win, and what was the cost? Uh-oh. Somebody forgot about the long-term consequences again. In fact, "America" as we are now called, is known the world over for its need for "instant gratification". We demand, and we get what we want - at any cost. It seems that that was woven into our foundation.
Now we have all this land. The cost was more than we can repay. We didn't "buy" the Louisiana Purchase, we simply inherited the right to enter into diplomatic relations with the Native Americans. But that's not what the history books say. Ask Russell Means and the Lakota Sioux, that's not how it played out. So what are you saying, we don't own this country? Well, yes. That is what I'm saying in a spiritual sense. On a very deep level, something is intrinsically wrong at the foundation of this whole thing.
I'm suggesting we re-found this country in alliance with the people we still treat like dirt. In partnership with the people WE keep in concentration camps. At this point, we've screwed things up so badly at this point we're losing it anyway to another more powerful, more religious fanatical race than we are, if that's possible: the Middle East. There are some people over there that want to kill us, and we don't like it. Well, that's funny because I thought that's how it works. After all, that's what we did, wasn't it? We just showed up and started taking over! God told us to! Since God told us to, that justified whatever we had to do to get it. So we shouldn't mind if people do that to us, right? I think that's called karma.
Now we're in a war that we brought on ourselves from the foundation of this country because when we have a mentality of not respecting other people's property and stealing it because we have bigger guns, and a bigger God, we can expect that to come rolling back to us one day: and that day is here! How exciting! I can't wait to see how it ends.
Of course, now we're at another hour of decision. The hour of decision. The precious window of opportunity where we stop and look around and say, this seems awfully familiar. Haven't we done this before? OH! THAT'S RIGHT! EXCEPT THE SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT! Then, once we have this understanding (assuming you are not one of the brain-dead in America), you must choose what to do with this information.
Once one has important information that could help or hinder national security, isn't one ethically bound to do something about it?? What could we do? Hmmm. Well, we could try apologizing. No, that won't work because we've never done anything but lie to the Native Americans, so they won't believe us. I know, we could give them back the land. No, we can't do that because we're selling it to other countries. Okay, gee, we're squeezed into a corner.
The word atonement comes to mind. The word itself denotes action to change. It is a verb. "I'm sorry" is useless. How about we do something about it? I know, maybe this time, we could SHUT UP AND LISTEN to what they are saying. Maybe this time, we could consider their ideas about how to live here since they know how. Maybe we just need to stop thinking we're always right, and consider that we are in a position as a world power to do something honest and with integrity, for once.
Native American people lived here for 12,000 or more years before we showed up over these measly last few hundred with our guns-a-blazing. I suggest we put our guns down, including the ones in our heads, be quiet, and listen to the wisdom of the people that survived here for so long. I don't know, maybe not. Maybe we should just keep printing money, borrowing more money from China (who hate us by the way), and keep procrastinating the inevitable which is, everything comes back Full Circle. We brought this on ourselves. We are the only ones that can stop it. Why don't we try asking them what they suggest? At least we owe them the courtesy of that. We need their help. THEY'RE TREATED WORSE THAN SLAVES! IT'S AN ABOMINATION!
Or, maybe we can just keep letting things get worse until the whole country is one big Indian Reservation. Our life expectancy will be 41. Unemployment is 83-85% on an Indian Reservation. Infant deaths are 300% higher than the whole rest of the country. That sounds fun. I'm ready to sign up. How about all the people who think we don't need to do something about "our" country's foundation all pile in a car and see how long we can make it out on Pine Ridge Reservation with no heat in the winters of South Dakota, where the Government purposely minimizes the census so they can reduce the checks. The Government has never taken care of anything correctly in this country. Stop pushing it off on the Government. The Government hates the Native Americans because they're scared of them. We will do it. We, the people of integrity of this Nation, will take this upon ourselves. I will anyway. My friends are with me. It's similar to the draft: you're going whether you want to or not. It's better if you volunteer. I know that there are wonderful people here in this country. I think it would be better to share it with Native Americans then take it. Every day that goes by, it's still stolen. Bad karma, my friends. Very bad karma.
Columbus's journal appears in Olson, Julius, The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 (1926); Dyson, John, Columbus: for Gold, God, and Glory (1991); Morrison, Samuel Eliot, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1942);