Native American Communities and Insights into Oppression

Kuddos to TheOoze.Tv

for their latest video dealing with questions of power, oppression and Christian complicity. I’m glad to see the conversation go beyond sugar-coated issues of spirituality and ecclesial gymnastics. 



Andrea describes how native groups and people of color used to organize themselves around common areas of oppression, but that this became an unhealthy way to connect—a sort of Oppression Olympics. Recognizing that not all groups were oppressed in the same way, Andrea says the question became not “who was most oppressed, but how were we distinctly oppressed, and how were we complicit in others’ oppression?”

She describes the three pillars of white supremacy: “slavability,” genocide, and “orientalism.” Slavability stems from anti-black racism where everyone is viewed as a commodity but with a color hierarchy. The anchor of this pillar is capitalism. The second pillar of genocide has the underlying thinking that native people’s job is to “disappear” so that the incoming colonists can claim ownership of the land. The anchor of this pillar is colonialism. The final pillar, orientalism, is the belief that there is a perpetual foreign threat that must be fought. The foreigners are not thought of as slaves; they are not dead; but a threat that must be continually rallied against. The anchor for this pillar is war. With these new understandings, oppressed communities can organize around strategic alliances and understand how they fit in the larger economy in which we live.


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