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RRCS: CANARY EFFECT & THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST, FRIDAY (11/22) 5PM

Hey folks!

Tomorrow, Friday 22nd we will be hosting a Day of Remembrance in anticipation of next week's historically revisionist holiday called "thanksgiving".  On the Day of Remembrance we will be breaking bread while remembering the tremendous loss of life this country was founded on and the resiliency of all native people in the face of ongoing genocide.  We will also be screening and discussing The Canary Effect and The American Holocaust.  Hope y'all can make it! :D

Where:  39 Eldridge Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10002

When:  Friday, November 22nd at 5pm

Facebook link for Day of Remembrance: LINK!
Facebook link for RRCS film screening: LINK!

 

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What Is Critical History? Myth, Propaganda, and History.

Many so-called scholars of history analyze the destruction of the American Indians by quantifying death in terms of a body count while simultaneously omitting the brutality and devastation American Indians were subjected to at the hands of white Europeans. In doing so, these “scholars” are enabling the desensitization to mass-murder and reinforcing the legitimization of genocide. As genocide incessantly persists (in many cases with the assistance of the US) scholarly analysis suppresses, in blind patriotic fashion, an account of history that might tarnish the reputation of said country and in doing so enables the continuation of such atrocities.

Upon Columbus’s first landing in the Caribbean, he successfully achieved the complete annihilation of vast population (8 million people) equal to more than fifty Hiroshimas (Stannard, x). The reason for making this comparison is not to minimize the significance of the US atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima; instead the comparison is being made to elucidate the historically obscured severity of the destruction inflicted by European explorers in relation to a modern, more intelligible (due to photographic images) although no less suppressed, example of human destruction. While it is true that disease caused more American Indian deaths than any other form of destruction, “by focusing almost entirely on disease contemporary authors increasingly have created the impression that the eradication of those tens of millions of people was inadvertent—a sad, but both inevitable and ‘unintended consequence’ of human migration and progress” (Stannard, xii). Although genocide and disease often operated independently, they are interdependent forces that together drove societies to total extermination. The legacy of American Indian genocide continues today. A recent example is the 1986 murder of 100,000 and the additional “disappearance” of 40,000 inhabitants of Guatemala, most of who were Indians, in order to expropriate their lands (Stannard, xiii).

The emphasis on disease and omission of accounts of rape, murder and theft, prevents the extermination of the American Indians from being classified as genocide or holocaust. Additionally, emphasis on a quantitative analysis of death results in desensitization to death and dissociation from the value of human life. Interestingly, the term “holocaust” is unquestionably applied in relation to the genocide of white Europeans (Jews), but the application of the term to the mass-extermination of the American Indians, a people of color, is heavily contested even though in terms of scale (A small fraction of a continent that Jews inhabited compared to two large continents and multiple island chains that American Indians inhabited; Approximately 6 million Jewish deaths compared to approximately 50 million American Indian deaths) and, arguably, even in terms of brutality the extermination of American Indians was more severe. This lack of self-criticism is problematic because it inhibits the opportunity to learn from past mistakes; in this case, from stopping the genocide that continues to occur today. For this reason, critical accounts of history are essential in uncovering an untold history from the perspective of the oppressed rather than the oppressors.