I agree with Professor Acuna and his historical statement. Along with Linda Tuhiwai Smith, their interpretations of the colonization of the Americas has long since been scene as the rape of a country for it’s riches, resourced and land is evident. The impact of the Catholic Church (I am catholic) at this time in history was one of the most devastating blows to the indigenous peoples of America, and the beginning an effort to wipe their cultures and history form the global historical record.
The pillage of gold and the exploitation of the indigenous people clearly funded the beginning of Europe’s rapid expansion leading up to the Industrial Revolution. Without the vast amount of gold and wealth taken from the continent, Europe would have taken much more time to amass its wealth and the economical ability to pursue colonization around the globe. It is the perspective of the authors from both readings that our history from the perspective of currently accepted research is flawed.
They claim, from an ethnocentric focus, any research conducted by a non-indigenous researcher is to re-inscribe a Western view. I agree that to legitimate and be considered “real” knowledge as they term it, such research should be from the perspective of an indigenous author. In addition, my perspective is that any non-indigenous researcher has to immerse themselves into the culture being studied. Smith especially argues that western research and critiques’ are but the cultural assumptions by a dominant culture, namely non-indigenous Americans.
I think that Acuna’s adamant declarations asserting his self professed socialist views; that there is “insidious ethnic prejudice woven into the fabric of American culture”, and that minorities with an emphasis on Chicano and African culture are in fact victims of American society seems to be eccentric, but it does have the indication of validity to it. It was interesting to note that Professor Acuna actually had to go to court, in order to in order to obtain a position at an Institute of American Higher Education.
Perhaps this is one of the best examples of his view on ethnic prejudice. I does seem to me that our current views on the history of the Americas should be expressed from the view of the ethnic culture that experienced it. What we read in grade school history books, does not tell us the perspective of the people who actually experienced colonization and its effects. The Mesoamerican’s were nearly wiped out and their cultures were devastated. These interpretations are clearly lacking.
We are taught our history through rose-colored glasses that obstruct our vision of the destruction, enslavement, and rape of the early Americas through colonization of South and Central America. We are not taught that the cultures were largely wiped out by disease spread be their conquerors, or that the entire history of their culture was put to torch by catholic priests. Very few of the documents written by scribes of those cultures survived and exist today. What does exist is an enigma.
Courtney from Study Moose
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