The importance of multicultural
education is a struggle against white racism,
rather than multiculturalism as a way to appreciate diversity. Both historically
and in contemporary society, the relationships between racial and ethnic
groups in this country are framed within a context of unequal power. People
of European descent generally assume the power to claim the land, claim
the resources, claim the language. They even claim the right to frame
the culture and identity of who we are as Americans. That has been the
case ever since Columbus landed on the North American continent.The Indigenous
Peoples of the Americas sacred homelands were stolen from them, they were
enslaved and killed by diseases, wars and alcohol. And those who survived
this Roman Catholic Church instigated and promoted genocide were forced
onto reservations (concentration camps) where they are now being assimilated.
And on these reservations they are dying from alcohol abuse, hard drug
abuse, tobacco abuse, poor diets etc.. And most white Christian leaders
do not even care enough to do anything about this terrible situation.
It's like when the Jews in white European Catholic nations were forced
into slums where they were dying of malnutrition and diseases until Hitler
decided not to prolong the genocide and exterminated them in his gas chambers.
Christianity came to the Americas nearly five centuries ago. Spirituality
had been here long before that, and while
Christians often disregard the principles of Christianity, nowhere has it done more damage than to the people native to the Americas. Traditionally, Native Americans recognized the presence of the Creator in all of His Creation...living and inert. Dating back centuries Native Americans are credited with respecting this creation: The lakes, which today are poisoned or have died. The earth, now cursed with pesticides and dotted with overcrowded landfills. The sky, today sporting holes in its unseen ozone and sporting too, thick layers of visible smog. European setters denied Native Americans their rights...to land, to life, to religion. Much was lost. And while there is little effort to retrieve that which was lost, something can be learned from it, even today.
Racism is often the reason why indigenous territories are targeted for invasion by other groups; racism is also often the reason why indigenous peoples are denied access to effective remedies. In this way, racism leads to a vicious circle of dispossession, inaction on the part of public authorities and further dispossession. Dispossession results in extreme poverty amongst indigenous peoples, which in turn intensifies the racism directed against them. The land problem and the problem of racism must be addressed together; they are the same problem.
Compiled by: Glenn Welker
This site has been accessed 10,000,000 times since February 8, 1996.