John Trudell, When Columbus got off the Boat
John Trudell of the Santee Sioux talks about one of the founding truths of America, on why white people have a hard time seeing others as human beings (the bolding, italics and division into paragraphs are mine):
When Columbus got off the boat, he asked us who we were. We said we’re the Human Beings, we’re the People.
Conceptually the Europeans didn’t understand that, it was beyond their conceptual reality. They didn’t see us. They couldn’t see who we were.
Historically speaking, we went from being Indians to pagans to savages to hostiles to militants to activists to Native Americans. It’s five hundred years later and they still can’t see us. We are still invisible.
They don’t see us as human beings, but we’ve been saying to them all along that’s what we are.
We are invisible to them because we are still the Human Beings, we’re still the…
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