Saturday, April 2, 2011

Foundation to the first step in colonizer initiated revolution

             In understanding the first step in colonizer based revolution, one must then be led to the foundation of this step which is the mark of the plural. The mark of the plural may be defined as an individual that looks upon a particular group of people as a whole and not as several individuals. In doing this the practice proliferates and induces the mindset of creating dehumanization. Dehumanization encourages the onlooker to see an individual as less than human and more animalistic. In utilizing the mark of the plural, one dehumanizes the individual to lower than being worthy to be seen as an individual which individuality intones people as equal. When someone performs in important role in society they become an individual and personalized, but to dehumanize them would be take that away from them. When the colonizer capitalizes on the mark of the plural, orientalism takes shape. Orientalism may be defined as one who stereotypes in taking one aspect from one or two members of a group and categorizing the entire group under that persona, in essence taking away individuality. Orientalism in its full growth gives place to racism. These ideologies coalesce to form the foundation in the first stage of rebellion.
            Jackson believed the Indians did not own their land just roamed and because they did not advance and develop in the land, the Native Americans were savages and uncivilized. The white American lived in faith to the idea that these lands should be used as “God intended,” which is market based, mono-crop agriculture, and mining in order to advance bullionism, the amount of gold a country possesses which was the basis to mercantilism in Europe; the primary economic system of the time. Civilization and savagery could not coexist in the eyes of the white-American settlers or as the French might call them the “pied noir.” President Andrew Jackson, the signer of the Indian Removal Act, stated, “The philanthropist will rejoice that the remnant of that ill-fated race has been at length place beyond the reach…”[1] Jackson showed his ideas of racism in his phrase “that ill-fated race.” In doing this, Jackson utilized several aspects of the foundation to the first step of which rebellion emerges. He expresses obvious racist ideas which spurn from orientalism, and orientalism has seated ideologies in the mark of the plural which is a form of dehumanization. Once the colonized start to accept their usurpers authority the colonizer’s laws and ideologies become more important and considered worthy to be regarded as truth and the colonized start to internalize the negative orientalism as truth because in their mind they may be able to see some aspects of the negative stereotype in their native society. Rarely does an orientalized stereotype develop from nothing, but the ideas are gleaned from a few and assigned to the whole. In seeing the few examples that the colonizer may be deriving his orientalism from and exploiting the occurrences as more common place than reality would allow, the colonized internalize the racism as the truth. Sadly, numerous Native Americans internalized the racism as truth and thought their life and society worthy to be a protectorate of the American government.

[1] Dr. Katherine Osburn, Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal, handout in class (11 November, 2010).


At April 4, 2011 at 4:14 PM , Blogger Debbie Barnard said...

I recommend making your use of "orientalism" a bit clearer. You can draw a few more parallels between how the same underlying strategies used in Orientalism were/are applied to Native Americans. Perhaps Dr. Osborn can suggest a similar term to use.
The parallel is definitely there, and you're on the right track. Just be sure that your definition is crystal clear. Kids do grow up playing "Cowboys and Indians"--and which group is usually the good guys?


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