Combating White Racism

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By Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer

Jerry Mander, the director of The International Forum on Globalization (IFG), an organization that represents 60 organizations in 25 countries…wrote: “Our assumption of superiority does not come to us by accident. We have been trained in it. It is soaked into the fabric of every Western religion, economic system, and technology. Judeo-Christian religions are a model of hierarchical structure: one God above all, certain humans above other humans, and humans over nature. Political and economic systems are similarly arranged: organized along rigid hierarchical lines, all of nature’s resources [including ‘other humans’] are regarded only in terms of how they serve the one god — the god of growth and expansion. In this way, all of these systems are *missionary*; they embrace dominance. They are the creators and the enforcers of our beliefs. We live inside these forms, we are imbued with them and they justify our behaviors. In our turn, we believe in their viability and superiority [as systems] largely because they prove effective: they gain [us] power.

And Gary R. Howard, the Founder and President of the REACH Center for Multicultural Education, has developed collections of curriculum materials which are being used internationally. In an assay, Howard wrote: “Most of our work in race relations and workforce diversity in the United States has emphasized the particular cultural experiences and perspectives of black, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian groups. These, after all, are the people who have been marginalized by the weight of European American dominance. With the shifting tide of population in the United States, however, there is now a need to take a closer look at the unique and changing role of white Americans. Attention to whites’ role in multicultural education is very recent, and the focus on white identity development in multicultural education signals a shift away from equity pedagogy.”

Professor Christine Sleeter, a multicultural educator, who lectures nationally and internationally, and who won the National Association for Multicultural Education Research Award, is quoted as saying: “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 International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is combating white racism, and on this topix it teachings: (1.) “In spite of the first two World Conferences to Combat Racism and their calls that Indigenous Peoples have a right to their lands and natural resources that must be protected, Indigenous Peoples continue to lose their lands at an alarming rate, seemingly a continuation of the ‘Conquest’ of the Americas. (2.) Ever since Pope Alexander VI’s 1493 Papal Bull “Inter Caetera”, calling for the subjugation of the Americas’ “barbarous nations” and their lands, first colonial and then successor States have forcibly and violently destroyed Indigenous Peoples. To this day, the racial discrimination and cultural denigration established by Pope Alexander VI are engraved in the mentality of the Americas and continue to underlie the rational for racial discrimination against Indigenous Peoples. The religious imperatives of conversion and annihilation have been replaced by assimilation and “development ” as the most desirable end for Indigenous Peoples. The State, economic elites and trans-national corporations have replaced the Spanish and Portuguese kings and Colonists as the beneficiaries of Indigenous lands and resources.

National and international leaders of multicultural education, the internationally renown activist Jerry Mander, and the International Indian Treaty Council seem to be on the same wave length in respect to their worldviews against white-racism teaching agendas.

In addition to my local, national, and international Catholic social/politic activist campaign to replace twenty two of Minnesota’s white racist geographic place names that are offensive to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, I am also promoting my own, similar to the teachings of internationally renown multicultural educators, the internationally renowned activist Jerry Mander and the International Indian Treaty Council, Catholic teaching ministry.

Steve Russell (Cherokee) – a Texas state judge, twice past President of the Texas Indian Bar Association, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, wrote, when referring to my campaign: “This campaign is a valuable history lesson!” And Tom Wisner, a singer and song writer who is known nationally for his song “Chesapeake Born” – and who has received national, state, and local awards for excellence in teaching, sent me an e-mail in response to the news of Rep. Mike Jaros’ offer to help with the “important legislation” to change MN’s geographic place names that are offensive to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. In the e-mail Mr. Wisner mentioned that it is “conceivable to hire good education song writers” to promote legislative projects to show due respect for Indigenous peoples’ languages and traditional cultures. And he also mentioned that he “could develop a proposal if he (DFL Rep. Mike Jaros) is interested”.

Apparently, white racists used the evil name of the Devil to name twelve of Minnesota’s geographic place names. Linda Godfrey, a best-selling author and award winning journalist wrote: “Racial hatred was why many geographic places were given the name Devil. Place names evoking the Devil reflect a dominant attitude on the part of Euro-American settlers towards the New World during the migration into the wild West. The history of place names is based in mistranslation, deliberate insult and slur…, as well as a Christian notion of the wilderness as the domain of the Devil.”

“The origination of many of the Devils across Wisconsin probably has more to do with racial hatred than anything else. Early white settlers were mostly Christian and viewed Native Americans with their different spiritual practices as heathens (at best) or savages and devil-worshipers (most likely). It’s a long-standing tradition across time to demonize your foes prior to taking everything they have – including their lives – to assuage any possible feelings of guilt.”

“Native Americans saw spirits in many shapes and forms and though there was sometimes a Supreme Being, goodness or badness or tricks flowed from a variety of sources. In the simplistic Either/Or view of the early settlers, this mind-set of multiple spiritual sources was tantamount to practicing deviltry, and so settlers tended to put a malevolent spin on the landscape when interpreting native names for the surrounding landscape.”

“…in the native cosmogony there is no single evil spirit comparable to the devil. In the mind of the settlers though, all this “heathen” spirituality had to be the work or the sign of the devil. So the name Devil was given often to native areas known formerly by names meaning Sacred or Spirit or Mystery.”

“For example, Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin’s Sauk County is the white settlers’ interpretation of the Ho-Chunk name Day-wa-kun-chunk, meaning Sacred Lake.”

In the Encyclopedia of North American Indians there is an article titled: Place names. The following excerpt was take from the article. “Manitou and Wakanda are common names on the map as Algonquian and Siouan terms for the Great Spirit. Whites often changed these names to Devil, and so we have Devil’s Lake in Michigan, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.”

In Minnesota we have Devil Track Lake and Devil Track River, in these cases the Ojibwe name for the Great Spirit (Manitou) was mistranslated Devil. And in Minnesota we also have Rum River and West Branch Rum River. In these cases the sacred Mdewakanton Dakota name Wakan, translated as (Great) Spirit was mistranslated as the “demon spirit” Rum, which brought misery and ruin to many of the natives.

Lets replace these white racists names, lets not let these evil racist names adorn our geographic places and maps.

The first Pope (Peter) was a Jew, but all of the Popes since Peter have been white European men. The reason why a Catholic indigenous man of the Americas, who is participating in his people’s culture – within his people’s homeland, can not become the Pope as well as why no other colored indigenous Catholic man, who is participating in his people’s culture – within his people’s homeland, can become the Pope is because the Catholic Church believes in and practices extreme white racism in the context of radical institutional racism.

Many white people of European descent are psychologically addicted to a type of racism where in they need to dominate the world. They need their white European Pope sitting on the throne of Peter exercising great influence over the world.

A recent United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism document proclaims that a 15th century Papal Bull “declared war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories.” This Papal Bull, written by Pope Nicholas V, instructed Columbus and other slave traders to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the pagans, and other enemies of Christ,” to “put them into perpetual slavery,” and “to take all their possessions and property”. And in Pope Alexander VI’s papal bull of 1493 (Inter Caetera), he stated his desire that the “discovered” people be “subjugated and brought to the faith itself.” By this means, said the pope, the “Christian Empire” would be propagated. Consequently, Columbus wrote, after discovering the homelands of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

And Bishop Bartolome de Las Casas, the first European historian in the Americas wrote, when referring to the Europeans’ first forty years of genocidal behavior in the Americas: “….for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples, doing all this with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty, never seen or heard of before, and to such a degree that this Island of Hispaniola once so populous (having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely two hundred persons.”

Pope Nicholas V and Pope Alexander VI were white racist genocidal madmen who are primarily responsible for 100,000,000 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas elimination in the course of Europe’s ongoing genocidal “civilization” of the Western hemisphere. Both the present Pope as well as our nation’s white Catholic Bishops are still pursuing Pope Nicholas V and Pope Alexander VI’s white racist genocidal agenda.

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 Catholic Church 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 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.

By indulging in extreme white racism the Catholic Church continues to be an ambassador of a health and earth destroying culture as it expands throughout the world in its white supremacist world domination mission. And the reason why this is occurring is because the Catholic Church is so radically white racist that it has not been able to refract Christianity through – as Cardinal Danielou wrote – “the many facets of human civilization. Christianity has been refracted through the Greek and Roman worlds, but it will have to be refracted through the Hindu facet and the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas facet in order to attain its fulfillment. There are many aspects of Christianity that shall not be discover until Christianity has been refracted through every facet of the prism of human civilization.” The Catholic Church is so extremely white racist that it can not believe that there are enough spiritual treasures in colored peoples’ cultures and religions to make it worth while refracting Christianity though them in order to incorporate the spiritual treasures that are in them, hence the Catholic Church continues to lead the whole human race to its destruction.

James Engel, a past staff writer for a Minnesota Catholic diocesan newspaper, wrote:
“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.”

“When Pope John Paul II toured the southern and western United States in the fall of 1987 he addressed, and was addressed by, a conference of Native Americans.”

A Native American (Alfretta Antone) spoke at that conference and Engel wrote about his address: “Upon initial contact with Europeans, we shared the land given us by our Creator and taught others how to survive here. History, however, stands as a witness to the use and abuse we have experienced in our homelands.”

“Today little remains of the gifts and richness which our Creator has shared with us, the original peoples of these lands.”

Engle also wrote: “Antone implored the Pope to help secure a dozen rights for Native Americans. Several dealt with fair treatment by the government, others dealt with much needed economic gains, others dealt with successful incorporation of Native American culture into American culture. But one stood out as important in its meaning, and its insight: That our sacred ways and prayers be respected.”

“Many Native Americans espouse some Christian religion, and while the Native American population in Minnesota might be higher than in some regions of the country, there is precious little Native American culture or spirituality in the ways and lives of central Minnesota Catholics. And, most probably, precious little respect for that spirituality.”

“A 1977 pastoral letter on Native Americans, written by the bishops spoke of justice, the American experience, and the role of the Church. It spoke of faith and culture: the Catholic faith, the American culture. It virtually ignored the gifts, the talents, the spirituality that Native Americans bring to the Church.”

And it is because of this exclusive white racist mentality of the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy that the Catholic Church continues on in the way that leads to the destruction of the whole human race as well as for all life on earth. It is so extremely white racist that it can not do what it should do, and that is, refract Christianity through the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas facet of the prism of human civilization – and in doing so, incorporate the ecological awareness of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas into the Church, and by doing so, get the Church going in the direction of ecological salvation for the whole human race as well as for all other good life forms.

Hopefully, both, my local, national and international movement to replace Minnesota’s geographic place names that are offensive to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as well as my related – similar to the teachings of internationally renown multicultural educators, the internationally renowned activist Jerry Mander and the International Indian Treaty Council – Catholic teaching ministry will get the Catholic Church going in the right direction.