I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. –
As the holiday’s come around the corner, it is harder for me to truly be extroverted. I am compelled to repress into the whole I call my bedroom due to the blatant ignorance of history’s turmoils by Americans. Although, this occurs year round, it’s pervasiveness is definitely prevalent. Through experience, I have been shunned for bringing these issues into delightful conversations of how Indigenous Americans were savages that needed to be educated. I argue that I need to fight the good fight to re-educate the educated, and it is my destiny to popularize it – seldom am I supported. In many ways my end goal is to show how Thanksgiving is connected with the year round tragedy called racism.
Finding my identity in society has given me opportunities of being around progressive social historians, and being around people without the knowledge of history, any history at all that can be seen as progressive. That’s not to say that progressive history is the real history, it’s just the history that actually happened. Looking at events not from an objective lens, but seeing a group and understanding why they did what they did. Yeah, I know being objective is damn near impossible, and a majority of America would say you need to be a certain color to be able to be objective. By the way, a majority of America is white.
While watching the gamut through numerous hours of television, I had realised I watched many thanksgiving specials chronicling different stories on what happened during the 1621 Autumnal harvest at Plymouth. None of which mentioned the genocide which ensued, but I brushed that off as Americans being Americans. I had to question my implied assumptions at that point.
In my short life I have met not too many people with the knowledge of what really happened in the Autumn evening in 1621, but the peoples I did meet in which were aware were people of color. Why was this history eluding White Americans today – or, more specifically, the White Americans I met? I would like to point out my space in America, lower middle class, college student, in Los Angeles, with colleagues and acquaintances from many public and private universities, as well as many organic intellectuals whom found success without the embrace of universities.
I’ve had conversations with my inner circles about this issue of why aren’t White Americans learning about the true history of America (not just thanksgiving but in all)? It brings up the argument of why isn’t there a White studies, that can give a social history of America’s White people? Well, White studies is pre-school to 12th grade (and in many universities too), White studies exists outside of the classroom, just look towards the television, radio, newspapers, billboards, etc. Many a time the same answer comes up, my paraphrase of it is – White Americans have the privilege to put Whites in the past in favorable positions to normalize themselves in positions of power today. If Whites argue their ancestors weren’t savages, murderers, rapists, thieves, etc. others would not question their individual aspirations today. No one would question why they do what they do as something stereotypical because they are seen as the norm, so what they do is right – right. But if someone of color were to do something of the contrary, not only is the individual stigmatized, but more oft than not there will be a creation of a stereotype for that person’s race.
Now, it is important that we connect the two together – the knowledge of progressive histories and the stereotyping of people of color when they are doing/saying things contrary to the norm. They are connected simply put – if you are a person of color who drops knowledge on White folk or colonized people of color, you might face a debate instead of a discussion.
Everything around you teaches you what (how) you should think about the world. And this is through the lens of two blue iris. I am not trying to counter the whole culture, I cherish some things from White American culture, like the discovery of fast-food chains, and the assembly line, but I am arguing for an honest history that puts America in the light of who we actually are: colonizers. Being an Asian American man White Americans who I debate with constantly try to justify my reasoning as being “Confucianist”, so when White people try to remind me of “my” ancestral past isn’t fair I try to remind them or theirs?