Mixing It Up

Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Debrutalization of European colonialism

After reading Vijay Prashad’s “Third World Quarterly row: Why some western intellectuals are trying to debrutalise colonialism”, I could not have agreed more. All throughout my history of learning here in the United States, I’ve been unaware as to the effects of colonialism. In fact, I didn’t even know what European colonialism was. Even in tenth grade World History, the effects of European colonialism weren’t dwelled on, let alone even mentioned. Throughout my high school history courses, European colonialism was simplified into European expansion, which failed to convey the brutalities of European colonialism. It just frustrates me that I wasn’t properly educated on the effects that European colonialism has caused to third world countries such as African and Latin American nations. The fact that to this day, most historians fail to convey the severity of European colonialism, goes to show that the white supremacist ideology is still rooted in our society, for the history of European colonizers invading, and ‘bleeding nations dry’ of their resources for the benefit of their own nation, goes to show that a bias amongst history exists and is still prevalent until this day.

5 Comments

  1. I agree. The U.S. school system and even textbooks try to conceal the brutality of our country’s expansion and the effects it has had in the genocide of certain groups of people such as the Native Americans. Furthermore, the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to secondary education also contributes to the fact that many American people remain uneducated on the true history of the U.S. and that only a group of individuals will only be exposed to the truth.

  2. I read an article not long about how in Texas textbooks, slavery and colonialism is being communicated in a passive tone. Instead of saying directly what was done and who exactly did, the textbook only acknowledge what was done. For example, a text saying that white slave owned slaves and treated them horribly and inhumanely would be put into something like this: ” Slaves were mistreated however they were sheltered and care for”. The book would be acknowledge one thing and sugarcoat the rest to debrutalize how severe things were with slavery and colonialism.

  3. It is unfortunate that there are in fact schools that deliberately teach false history, or history in a way that paints a different picture from what truly happened. It goes without saying that it is often the ones who are the oppressors that get to rewrite history, so it is no surprise that there are books out there that praise colonization and its affects on the oppressed.

  4. Moreso, National Geographic recently released an article with the message that the solution to their past racist coverage is acknowledging it. Acknowledgment is a very important step, arguably the first step, in cultivating a more equitable society but the work cannot stop there. It means people of color, colonized people, aboriginal people, marginalized people telling their accounts and those accounts then having merit in mainstream media/consciousness.

  5. I went to school outside of the US and I am always surprised by how much information people are unaware of when it comes to history. I have had people ask me so many ignorant questions, and at first I used to angry until I realized that it really is not completely their fault. History and Geography in American schools is taught in a very Eurocentric and biased way, thus students end up not knowing the truth about the third world.

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