Being conquered may involve a clear national invader. It may involve a group sans nationality that wants to take the land for profit. If we look at it, the anti-cultural behavior is happening right now. A Taliban group in Afghanistan tears down 1700-year-old statues of the Buddha. The intention is to end people’s spiritual identity. The conqueror wants to eliminate religious art which holds the group together. They care nothing for art or history.
Invaders are easily driven to hate the ones they attack wh0 are labelled enemy and often feared. The message they send is surrender to me or I will destroy you. Destruction establishes ownership. Revered objects,shared language, ceremonies which give purpose and bring a group together are erased. It is like a sand castle in which you, the invader dig at its foundation until the whole thing comes crashing down.
Cultural destruction is registered by perpetrators as “doing good.” They say it to those who fund their attack. They say it to themselves to have a clean conscience. Take the removal of American Indian children from their homes soon after birth, put into schools which cut their hair, give them new names, forbid them speaking their native tongue, beat them for breaking rules, teach them a new religion. Teachers get them to hate their native culture. Light-skinned natives are favored over dark since they are most likely to fit into the white society rather than return to the tribe.
Invading troops as well as the now arriving settlers, shoot almost all the buffalo, even from passing trains. The intention of this carnage is to end the friendly inter-relationship of native man and beast. The conquerors bring alcohol to which the natives become addicted in part to escape their intolerable reality. They conqueror moves the tribe to reservations, a kind of prison for a people who ordinarily move to more agreeable areas depending on the weather. Now they are stuck in the seasonal freeze with little to eat. Culturally extinguished, militarily conquered, economically disenfranchised, the native man is reduced to a dependent incompetent.
Take the white man’s conquest of South America. First to come are the priests who get the women to cover themselves with shapeless garments, pull families into large villages which make them more accessible to mosquitoes spreading malaria. Priests instruct them to see their religion as satanic. Get them on their knees before Christ, worried about whether they’ll go to Christian heaven or hell. After the priests soften them up, soldiers come to murder the intransigent. Then come businessmen to get rubber using natives as forced labor.The sequence of conquering is planned .
Whenever a group wants to take over a foreign land, it works to erase its culture in order to institute a new one that demands subservience if not slavery. We see it happening in the United States today. Poor mostly African Americans and Latinos are put into prisons on flimsy drug charges. These prisoners work for corporations which pay a few cents a day. The corporations sell their products and services and grow wealthy. The jailed men grow increasingly indebted since there are charges for almost everything. Jail is slavery by another name.
If able to speak about the man-made plague which invaded and still invades them, the indigenous people can report it but to what end? Now that valuable minerals have been found in the soil of many reservations, there is pressure on the residents to leave. Enforced poverty is a federal weapon. Raising hemp which is a fabulous building material is declared illegal. The hemp crop approaching harvest is cut down by Federal troops; tobacco which is an aboriginal plant raised on the reservation is declared illegal if sold. Agriculture is a vital part of one’s culture. Being able to feed yourself and support a family are your aim. The conquerors needing to undermine subsistence farming and independence, work to make the conquered people into unrelated, helpless and hostile strangers.
How about the power of the voters? Do you know how few of the eligible US people voted in the most recent primary election? Seven percent. Imagine this in a “democracy.” How many voter registrations were cancelled? 125,000 qualified voters were declared unlisted and unable to vote in Brooklyn. Are such “errors” real mistakes? What are the odds of disqualification happening to an African American vs. a white? The percentages are known. How many feel that their vote counts enough to cast it?
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