Monday, November 15, 2010
CM PRESS # 318
"Assimilation," when you're talking about a genetically distinct people, is just another word for genocide. You can also use the words "extinction" and "disappearance."
If you take the time to read the above linked article you'll see other subtle signs of the effects of assimilation and how it is even inadvertently countenanced by some Indian leaders themselves.
For example, Jefferson Keel is identified as the President of the National Congress of American Indians and as the lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Now, before Europeans came to America, do you think Indians called their leaders "Presidents," and do you think they had "lieutenant governors"? Of course they didn't. Those who use these terms have assimilated into European culture to some degree. That is, they have adopted the terms used by European-Americans for various leaders in government.
When a distinct people loses its language, it's on the path to its own extinction.
You see that word Pow Wow, in the above title of this column? According to Wikipedia it's a variation of the original powwaw used by the Narragansett Indians. Also according to Wikipedia it is now considered "disrespectful of Native culture," when used to refer to a meeting of powerful people. Now, why should that be the case? Why should an English word for such a meeting be more acceptable and not disrespectful?
But, examples of assimilation needn't be as stark as what we see happening to the Indians. They are everywhere.
The English have been trying to "assimilate" their almost genetically identical cousins, the Irish, for centuries, and one of the ways they first tried to do this was to punish Irish people who spoke Gaelic instead of English. See a parallel with the Indians?
But, instead of completely giving in to English, the Irish are trying to revive their own language. Today, the head of the Irish government is called: Taoiseach (pronounced tee-ShoKH) which is Gaelic for leader.
In Eastern Europe, the Gypsies have also been targets of assimilation for centuries.
Today, the Han Chinese are trying to assimilate the Tibetans.
Many Jewish leaders today worry that Jews are being assimilated through intermarriage with non-Jews.
Now, the truth of the matter is that the various threads of assimilation we see among humans is what we also see throughout nature in the eternal struggle for existence and dominance in various environmental niches, as evolution--mainly via natural selection--continues on like a perpetual motion machine.
Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.
at 6:42 AM