June 22, 2015

Natives react to Charleston shootings

Some Natives reacting to the Charleston shootings noted our long history of racial violence:

A day of lament...

By Mark CharlesI lament the words of our political candidates who promise to lead America back to its former "greatness", ignorant of the fact that much of America's "greatness" was built on the exploitation and dehumanization of its people of color.

I lament that today the dominant culture in America is in shock because in the city of Charleston South Carolina one individual committed a single evil and heinous act of violence, while minority communities throughout the country are bracing themselves because the horrors of the past 500 years are continuing into their lifetime.

I lament with every person and community, throughout the history of this nation, who, due to the color of their skin, had to endure marginalization, silence, discrimination, beatings, lynching, cultural genocide, boarding schools, internment camps, mass incarceration, broken treaties, stolen lands, murder, slavery and discovery.

Today I lament that the United States of America does not share a common memory and therefore is incapable of experiencing true community.

Opinion / Making Sense of the Senseless

By Sherri MitchellIn the last 24 hours, I have seen posts that have blamed the NRA for their overbearing insistence that access to guns does not contribute to gun violence; the NRA in turn blamed one of the victims, claiming that his vote against guns in church made the victims less safe; another group blamed mental illness; while their opponents claimed that mental illness had simply become the catch-phrase for avoiding the larger problem, which was clearly psychotropic drugs. We blame, and blame, and blame, because it relieves us of taking any responsibility. The truth is that we are all complicit in the current state of affairs. By some unspoken, common agreement, Americans have chosen to overlook the fact that this country was founded on blood, and that it continues to thrive in blood. War has been the most significant and sustained truth guiding this country since its inception. And, despite all of the “progress” that has been made, American school children continue to be taught that genocide, slavery, and all other forms of subjugation and oppression, though terrible, are acceptable means to achieve noble ends. This is the true root of the problem. Until we are able to enter into meaningful dialogue about this truth, healing will not take place. And, we will all be doomed to repeat these devastating cycles over and over again.White America is complicit: Charleston, Dylann Roof and the country’s real race war

Questioning the motivations of the Charleston shooter is worse than obtuse. It is itself an act of violence

By Kali Holloway
At 21-years-old, Roof had fully absorbed the message his country has taught him, just like terrorists in every other country, in every other part of the world. He clung to the old American idea that white women are our most precious resource to be protected by any means, and felt it was his right as a white man to protect his birthright—this country and his privilege within it—which he saw as being taken from him. We are guns and violence and race hatred and systemic, codified, state-sanctioned terrorism against people of color and that is who we have always been. While our media is certain to attribute Roof’s heinous acts to mental illness (and the cops were careful to take him alive, which even the most innocent of black folks cannot count on), I consider him a particularly apt pupil. Just the latest of many. Though certainly not the last.Even President Obama had an opinion:

Obama rejects mass shootings as 'new normal' in America

"How can anyone call shootings the new normal," Obama might've explained, "when they go back to the Mystic Massacre of 1637?"

For more on the subject, see Conservatives Can't Handle Roof's Racism and Conservatives Make Excuses for Roof.

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