Taking our land back
On the afternoon of April 20, 2021, the eyes of the world were on Minneapolis, Minnesota as a guilty verdict was rendered against the former white police officer who murdered George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, in plain sight. In response to the “guilty of all charges” verdict, jubilation and celebrations were tempered by audible, cautious sighs of relief. But few in the Black community dared engage in overt, superficial optimism. We know this country too well. And it will take a lot more than one hard-won and just verdict to assuage generations of oppression, and racial animus, and inequality we’ve suffered.
America has yet to atone for its greatest shame, and the root of the evil of this country is constantly being exposed. It is thriving more than ever. It’s embedded in the words expressed by the slave-owning founders in the Constitution. In white supremacy. White privilege. Systemic racism. Evangelical racism. Mass incarceration. Judicial corruption, and every law in American jurisprudence that led to the thefts of millions of acres of indigenous land from the American Indian, as well as generations of African-Americans.
From: Stolen Land: Exposing America’s Historical Amnesia, I wrote:
‘…Since the beginning of time, all of humanity has depended upon land. Our common ground. Biblical references are replete with mentions of “the promised land” and expectations of land stewardship and inheritance. And the American Indians’ spiritual view and respect for the land is legendary. Over time, in this country, in particular, land ownership became a vital and irreplaceable asset to communities, and with each generation, the pride and security of owning land was woven into the very fabric of American life. It was the very bedrock of progress. But this nation, for all its claims in the beautifully crafted language in our founding documents, “we the people, in order to form a more perfect union”, is in need of a fresh look at our whitewashed history. Revisionist interpretation notwithstanding, America has not lived up to its professed ideals, and some of the ugly realities cannot be sanitized or censored, or erased from our collective psyche.’
The day of reckoning is finally at hand.