Friday, April 21, 2006

"Fighting Terrorism Since 1492"

Recently, I was researching and reading articles related to social justice, political, and religious issues, and came across an article that I think all must read. The article is entitled “Fighting Terrorism Since 1492”, written by Nickole Fox, and addresses terrorism, politics, and religious issues that most Americans (both Christian and non-Christian) have either ignored or not addressed.

Nickole Fox states…"Since the 9/11 attacks, there has been uproar of patriotism and fear in the minds of many Americans. To many, this is a new fear, a fear that stems from being powerless at the hands of the enemy, that we no longer have control over our own destinies, and that at any given moment the terrorists could come in and challenge our sovereignty. With this fear, founded or unfounded, we fight the enemy, we defend the land. However, this fear and resistance is far from new to many people in the United States. The indigenous Nations and people of this continent have been fighting to regain control of our destinies and for an end to terrorism on our communities and identities for many years. The beginning of terrorism in America for us, Native American People, was 1492.

This terrorism has taken many forms throughout the last 500 years on this continent. From slavery and physical genocide to land theft and cultural genocide, colonial powers would stop at nothing to eliminate Native people, and to exploit the resources of this continent. The Allotment Act sectioned off Native communities and led to significant land loss to white farmers. During removal, thousands of Native people died while being taken away from their ancestral homelands, where their traditions are based. Smallpox blankets were just one of the many attempts to plague communities with deadly diseases. extermination allowed the federal government to renege on its treaty responsibilities to Native nations and to remove tribal rights to self-govern. Relocation policies promised economic opportunities in urban areas instead of supporting sovereignty by promoting economic self-sufficiency. Native American women have been sterilized against their will, a form of eugenics and population control. Currently, Uranium mines, weapons testing sites, and dumping contaminate our communities. By marginalizing the indigenous people of this nation through genocidal and assimilationist policy the United States has attempted to eradicate us through the destruction of our identities by killing us or "making us like them."

Christian boarding schools were another one of the genocidal methods used. Assimilation policy sought to "Kill the Indian, save the man" and make Indian people hate everything Indian, including themselves. Children were often stolen from their families at very young ages to attend schools across the country, far from their families and communities. Christianizing practices taught Indian children that they were sinful and that their traditions were heathen. Native languages were forbidden; children who dared to speak their language were scolded, beaten or had pins stuck into their tongues. Sexual and physical abuse also plagued these Christian run government sanctioned boarding schools. The detrimental effects of boarding schools continue today; it is rare to find a Native person today whose family has not been affected by these schools.

There is still much healing to be done…"

So, what do you think?
1. As Christ believing citizens, do we have a responsibility to be a voice to the voiceless, powerless, oppressed, and so forth…how so in this case?

2. What types of oppressions and injustices are taking place in your own community? How are/or can you be a voice to those in your own community?

3. Specifically speaking about Americans, do you think we have succumbed both politically and theologically to the greatest temptation of all: recreating God in our own image?

4. Are we created to be a unity and a diversity, designed to serve and honor one another in relational oneness, bringing about restoration?

*If you are interested in reading the complete article, you can check it out at:

(some info. taken from nickole fox and “living in color” by randy woodley)

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Wow, has it been over a month since I posted any memoir, anecdote, paper, article, expose, commentary, or any other depiction of thought or reason (or the lack there of)?

The last month or so, I have been traveling, visiting three Katrina sites (Bayou Le Batre, Alabama, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Kenner/New Orleans, Louisiana)…which I will be sharing in upcoming postings. We also visited friends and family in the great metropolitan towns of Marion and Noblesville, Indiana, and like always, the time spent with them was rejuvenating. In addition to traveling, all of my classes this semester have been back loaded; therefore, much of my spare time has been filled with reading, writing papers, and studying for exams. Nevertheless, it has all been good stuff, and I am really enjoying the challenges and rewards.

Well, that is a very brief snippet of what has been consuming my life for the last couple of weeks! Until next time…