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United States Settler Colonialism
“School Begins: U.S. - First Lessons in Self Government”
The dark history of education as a tool of settler colonialism and cultural destruction
School Begins: U.S. - First Lessons in Self Government
(image: 1100x715 pixels) (hi resolution: 29MB, 7312x4752 pixels) (source)
The above cartoon, titled “School Begins” is from Puck magazine, published in January 1899. Puck was the first successful U.S. humor magazine that ran from 1876 to 1918. The text (below) descriptions come from the source for this on wikimedia (see source link above).
“In the frontier wars between 1607 and 1814, Americans forged two elements – unlimited war and irregular war – into their first way of war which is still their way of war. I make throughout the book, connections between the U.S. military today and its foundation in these unrelenting wars that actually went up through 1890 and then moved overseas to the Philippines and the Caribbean with the same generals in the Philippines who had been fighting the Sioux and the Cheyenne in the Northern Plains.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, speaking at the Green Apple used bookstore in San Francisco, December 4, 2014, on her new book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, published in September 2014 by Beacon Press. (The recording of this, Part One (from 14:43 to 15:31) of Two is available from Time of Useful Consciousness Radio).
From the Author’s Note (page xiii):
     “I’ve come to realize that a new periodization of US history is needed that traces the Indigenous experience as opposed to the following standard division: Colonial, Revolutionary, Jacksonian, Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrial Revolution and Gilded Age, Overseas Imperialism, Progressivism, World War I, Depression, New Deal, World War II, Cold War, and Vietnam War, followed by contemporary decades. I altered this periodization to better reflect Indigenous experience but not as radically as needs to be done. This is an issue much discussed in current Native American scholarship.
     “I also wanted to set aside the rhetoric of race, not because race and racism are unimportant but to emphasize that Native peoples were colonized and deposed of their territories as distinct peoples - hundreds of nations - not as a racial or ethnic group. "Colonization," "dispossession," "settler colonialism," "genocide" - these are the terms that drill to the core of US history, to the very source of the country’s existence.
     “The charge of genocide, once unacceptable by establishment academic and political classes when applied to the United States, has gained currency as evidence of it has mounted, but it is too often accompanied by an assumption of disappearance. So I realized it was crucial to make the reality and significance of Indigenous peoples’ survival clear throughout the book. Indigenous survival as peoples is due to centuries of resistance and storytelling passed through the generations, and I sought to demonstrate that this survival is dynamic, not passive. Surviving genocide, by whatever means, is resistance: non-Indians must know this in order to more accurately understand the history of the United States.
     “My hope is that this book will be a springboard to dialogue about history, the present reality of Indigenous peoples’ experience, and the meaning and future of the United States itself.”

Description: Caricature showing Uncle Sam lecturing four children labelled Philippines (who appears similar to Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo), Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba in front of children holding books labelled with various U.S. states. In the background are an American Indian holding a book upside down, a Chinese boy at the door, and a black boy cleaning a window. Cartoon was originally published on p. 8-9 of the January 25, 1899 issue of Puck magazine.

Uncle Sam (to his new class in Civilization).— Now, children, you've got to learn these lessons whether you want to or not!
But just take a look at the class ahead of you, and remember that, in a little while, you will feel as glad to be here as they are!

The consent of the governed is a good thing
in theory, but very rare in fact.

England has governed her colonies
whether they consented or not.
by not waiting for their consent
she has greatly advanced the
world's civilization.

The U.S. must govern its new terri-
tories with or without their consent
until they can govern themselves.

The Confederated States refused
their consent to be governed;
But the Union was preserved
without their consent.

Book: (on table)
First Lessons
In Self

Note: (on table)
the   new   class
philippines      cuba
hawaii      porto rico

Date: 25 January 1899

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