New blog entry.
Okay. I have decided that for now this blog will have a new focus. I am learning about systemic racism and poverty, colonialism and even climate change and how all of these things are interwoven with each other. I am also learning about antiracism. I will share this journey in this blog and you are welcome to join me if you like.
In reading and in “attending” numerous webinars I have discovered some new ways that I am looking at the United States, North and South America, and even Europe. Just this minute, as I started typing on this subject, I realized that I must put in a disclaimer. I am continuing to learn and I recognize that I am totally a student in these matters. I also understand that teaching is something that appears to come naturally to me in the sense that it is something I enjoy very much. I suppose that I can be both a student and a teacher at the same time, however, I must emphasize that as I am still learning, I may need to make corrections to what I write. As I make new, or different discoveries, I will do my best to share those with you and make my best attempt to share what has been corrected.
In the United States the currently dominant people group is white, caucasion, of European descent. This is how this group of people seems to be defined in questions on all kinds of forms these days. As the Han are dominant in China….so it goes. It seems to me that the dominant people groups in a country are usually descendants from the people that invaded a country in the past. This would mean that people who were colonizers in the past, settled in the country that had been invaded, and grew in population size to become a larger group than the original inhabitants.
In the North American United States of America (also known as Turtle Island by indigenous people) we have Native Americans who were the first people on this continent as far as I have read. Christopher Columbus thought that he had found India (he was way lost) and named the people he found here Indians…..but that really is not a correct name. Indians are from India.
Then we have black Americans, currently known as African Americans. Primarily these are descendants of enslaved people that were taken by force, and without choice, from the continent of Africa, starting about 400 years ago. They were brought to the Eastern shores of the North American continent and also taken to many other places along the way. When I taught Theology and Bible at the Nile Theological College in Sudan and South Sudan I had students ask me why there are black people in Haiti. I really dislike having to explain about the colonial and enslaving history of the United States to other people. It causes me to be ashamed. And I was. However, those students launched me on the path of finding out more about migration, colonialism, etc. Students are wonderful sources of questions that open up new vistas for learning. Like the students in China who asked me why the United States was involved in the Vietnam war. That too was an embarrassing one….
At any rate, we have 1. Native Americans, 2. African Americans, descendants of enslaved Africans and 3. The group of people who are white, of European descent and thus descendants of the original colonizers of most of this country. We also have 4. immigrants from other countries, and 5. refugees from other countries. 6. As well, as the United States expanded her territory to create a land from sea to shining sea, there was land that was appropriated from Mexico. As it turns out I have read now about how Mexicans and “Americans” moved back and forth freely over the U.S. southern border for a long time because they had been doing that already for many years. Until that changed.
I trust that as I go along in this learning journey I will learn more about people groups that live in the United States, and the reasons that they do. I am going to stop here for now as this is long enough for a first entry.