Hierarchical system of “inferior” and “superior” human races was created to exploit us

Dear Editor,

I would like to make a few comments on your article from a past issue (December 22), “Obama's true colors: Black, white... or neither?”

First of all, thank you and the author, Jesse Washington, for providing us with this much-needed opportunity to step back and question the whole crazy, non-indigenous, Eurocentric, colonialist paradigm of dividing the extremely diverse and beautiful human race into four or five “distinct races of man.” Both history and modern science, and the Voice within our souls have assured us that the paradigm is a poisonous, destructive lie.

It is high time that we not only question, but liberate ourselves completely from this crazy foreign notion which was imposed on us and the world by people who wanted to steal from us and our Mother, enslave us, and oppress us in numerous other ways. This idea of a hierarchical system of “inferior” and “superior” human races was created by those exploitive nations during the early colonial period only as an attempt to justify those above – mentioned practices.

The race concept was NOT given to our ancestors by the Creator before the era of European contact, as some of the early Catholic and Protestant missionaries led some of our people to believe – a deception that continues to this day for some of us.

For example, the old story of the different “races,” along with their hierarchical destinies, resulting from the Creator mistakenly baking some in the oven too long or not long enough appears in missionary reports from Asia, the Pacific Islands and other places where European missionaries went in the 18th and 19th centuries, but there is no known evidence of the stories or the race concept in artifacts or oral traditions from before that contact.

And, besides that, why would the Great Spirit, who was well aware of the actual vast diversity of humanity way beyond the four mythical prototypes, tell the people a lie – a lie that just happened to coincide neatly with the European colonialist agenda?

So, in answer to the statement in your article by Rebecca Walker, the woman of “Russian, African, Irish, Scottish, and Native American descent,” that “there has yet to be a way of breaking through the need to racially identify and be identified by the culture at large,” I say “Just say NO.”

Say no, we will no longer submit to this archaic, oppressive and deceptive paradigm of “race.” People created the lie, people promoted and perpetuated it, and we people have the power to reject and discard it.

We  can also proclaim that from this day forward we will identify ourselves with our nations, families, clans, cultures, or whatever OUR ways of self and group identification happen to be. And for those of us who don’t know who we really are, we can commit ourselves to a quest to find our true identities – the first step being to reject that which is false.

Wunniook (Wampanoag for be well, whole, and in balance),
Your brother, George
Dr. George R. Price

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Native American Studies Department and African American Studies Program
University of Montana

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