Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Mantle of Patriarchy and the Dome of Dominion

DISMANTLING the Doctrine of Discovery: The Statue of Freedom on the US Capitol

"More than that, however, it implies a break with modern Europe with its monarchies and despots while still claiming the MANTLE of Western Civilization."

As you can see from the picture she looks nothing like the Statue of Liberty outside New York which was created by the French over twenty years later; the Statue of Freedom is a completely American design.  This means we should look and see what symbols she has, and what that says about mid-nineteenth century America.  She is wearing a toga, a common feature in American statues, but why?  What is it about togas that was and is so popular in American art and architecture?  Obviously togas hearken back to Roman and ancient Greek ideals, so that implies an attachment to a Republic.  More than that, however, it implies a break with modern Europe with its monarchies and despots while still claiming the mantle of Western Civilization.

However, she is wearing more clothing on top of the toga.  A Native American fur coat covers most of the toga.  And on her head she is wearing a military helmet with a headdress of eagle feathers going down her back.  This makes her look very Native American indeed, though she is not.  So why this symbolism?  Many parts of Native American culture were appropriated by the United States as Americans attempted to create their own culture separate from that of Britain and Europe.  This does not mean that they were emulating Native Americans, far from it.  Rather the designers of the statue (and most Americans) saw themselves as having displaced the American Indian and bringing true civilization to a savage and uncultivated land. 

Framework of Dominance:

UN Preliminary Study on the Doctrine of Discovery

This preliminary study establishes that the Doctrine of Discovery has been institutionalized in law and policy, on national and international levels, and lies at the root of the violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights, both individual and collective. This has resulted in State claims to and the mass appropriation of the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples. Both the Doctrine of Discovery and a holistic structure that we term the Framework of Dominance have resulted in centuries of virtually unlimited resource extraction from the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. This, in turn, has resulted in the dispossession and impoverishment of indigenous peoples, and the host of problems that they face today on a daily basis.



Sovereignty of the Soul:

Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America

Sexual violence perpetrated most against Native Americans

The current national conversation about sexual assault is incomplete without discussing violence against Native American women. Often in Native communities, a mother will teach her child what to do when she is raped, not if she is raped. This reflects the harsh reality that is affecting Native American women in their fight against sexual assault.

The Policy Insights Brief of the National Congress of American Indians reveals the extraordinarily high rate of victimization of Native women:
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives are at least two times more likely compared with all other races to experience rape or sexual assault.
  • Three out of five American Indian and Alaskan Native women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.
  •  One in three Native American women have reported being raped in their lifetimes. 

A report found 94 per cent of Native American women living in Seattle say they have been raped or coerced into sex at least once in their lifetime.

The damning new report – from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – is believed to be one of the first to examine the experience of native women living in an urban environment instead of on reservations.

Colonization and Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women and Children 
A Crime in Progress

No Truth, No Power

"The systemic violence against women in the societies of the Americas, especially against Indigenous Women and children, is a direct, measurable, and inevitable result of a patriarchal culture of violence that has normalized and profiteered from the colonization of Mother Earth.

For 526 years the mothers and daughters, the sons and fathers of the Original Nations of Indigneous Peoples of the Great Turtle Island Abya Yala have suffered the most extreme pogrom of  genocide and cultural annihilation that has included systematic sexual violence against our communities as an essential weapon of conquest and domination.”

Colonization must not be affirmed, nor confirmed.

Colonization must not only be investigated, it must be brought to an end.