In my last Point of View I tried to explain White Privilege origins and development. Unfortunately, I ran into a firestorm of criticisms. So, let’s set the record straight. I know the native Indian people were here before the white settlers came from Europe, I did not name them as the first settlers because I considered them indigenous to the land since they had been here so long. Most dictionaries define Indigenous peoples as “ethnic groups who are the original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently”.
Some thought that the white men slaughtered the Indians but simple history tells us there was slaughter on both sides. Actual wars broke out starting with the Beaver Wars, many followed; the Powhatan wars in Virginia, the Pequot War Connecticut, war along the Hudson River and King Philip’s War, all were a series of uprisings and conflicts between various Native American tribes and the French, Dutch, and English settlements of Canada, New York, and New England.
Native American tribes would continue to be embroiled in conflicts involving England, France, and their colonists during the ensuing French and Indian Wars which were a series of conflicts that occurred in North America between 1688 and 1763. When in a war you fight to win and luckily we did win and yes the Indians did suffer but if they had won we would have been the ones suffering and like it or not that is the way wars work. Yes, the English colonies prevailed and settlements moved west.
Someone commented that America was built on the slaughter of Indians and the back of slaves so let’s talk about slavery in this country. This is not about the slaves the Indians held which they had won in battle but about the 13 colonies’ slaves. Originally, the slaves were indentures European people who had to pay off a debt, but about 1619 the first slaves from Africa arrived in Jamestown. All the colonies eventually had slaves but many northern colonies began outlawing them starting in 1783 and the last northern states to abolish slavery was in 1865. None of the southern states abolished slavery but the Civil War settled that issue.
Since slavery was abolished over 150 years ago there is little evidence that our modern country was built on either Indian wars or the backs of slavery. However, there was discrimination against both these people. This discrimination probably held our economy back because many great ideas may have been lost because these people had very little standing in our society and no one listened.
Many things have changed since the end of the Indian wars and slavery. But things do change slowly when you are dealing with discrimination. Generations must change as new ideas and beliefs creep into our civilization. That said, we are changing as was my main point in the first article. We are evolving into a merit based society but certainly not as fast as some would like but it is happening. Interesting that we are one of the few countries where this is happing at such a paced that we are experiencing.
But one other thing that is affecting all this change is the bringing in of total outsiders in huge numbers, but more about that next time.