Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Points of View

Published: July 7, 2008, Author: JayTaber

In a 2001 interview, Chip Berlet observed, “Racism is an ideology that is woven throughout the fabric of society.” A concept crucial to understanding systems of institutions of power in the US, this legacy of the colonial era is so mainstream that even watch dog groups have difficulty seeing the forest for the trees.

The ongoing psychosis of the white man’s burden surfaces in the form of scapegoating indigenous peoples trying to survive on what little of their traditional resources the dominant society hasn’t claimed or destroyed, as well as in resentment mobilized against indigenous prosperity from gaming and other tribal industries. Even ethnic minorities that identify with the white masters of American institutions prefer indigenous peoples as noble victims rather than resilient survivors.

Remembering this aspect of our consumer civilization is crucial as we deal with dwindling resources and distorted histories that, when combined, cause anxious people to act irrationally. Public panic and social hysteria are poor arbiters of our vastly different points of view.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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