Ferguson, #ChangeTheName, and White Supremacy Entangled
By Miguel Garcia
This creation and maintaining of difference manifest itself in Native Americans portrayed as mascots on football helmets, and young black men seen as “demons” by White police officers. The “other” is not viewed by white society as a human being. The “other” is viewed as non-living, a caricature, a mythical devil or demon.
This dehumanization is a product of White Supremacy and Colonialism. White Supremacy is the political ideology that believes white people (Europeans) are superior over people of color. White supremacy is upheld and reinforced through political, economic, social, cultural, educational, legal, and military systems of power. Colonialism can be defined as the subjugation or domination of a group of people and/or culture over the other through the establishments of settlements in a distant territory.
In the white imagination, Native Americans don’t exist anymore but only as artifacts of the past, in the form of mascots. Not only did European settlers commit the biggest genocide in human history when Columbus landed in 1492, Native Americans never existed in the white psyche to begin with. This Thanksgiving let’s not forget that fairy tale of manifest destiny. European colonial settlers as the great discovery states, discovered a land unoccupied by no one. God had made them the chosen people, who had the right to this uninhibited land. So how would white society even treat Native Americans as humans, when they didn’t exist in the first place?