Aviva Chomsky has written a courageous article, challenging fashionable majoritarian “wisdom” about the role played by DNA and genes. I worked as a psychiatrist and observed how concretely (and self-servingly) the field viewed information (pseudoscientific, in my opionion) implying that psychosocially aberrant ideas and behaviors are derived from genetic defects. Actually, what I observed is that psychiatrists systematically took individuals with minority opinions, controversial lifestyles, and independent thinking processes, and forced them to take drugs and to accept labels that implied that they were diseased. This is really a form of bigotry, and in this case, the targeted minority group is not identifiably racial, religious, national, or cultural, but rather a subset of humanity that challenges conventional thinking processes and thereby makes ruling elites feel uncomfortable and threatened.
In Nazi Germany, regarding Jews, and in the USA, regarding black people, the logic is the same: These people have a genetic defect which produces wrong thinking and makes them dangerous, and therefore we rulers have a right and an obligation to deprive them of their social standing and their property, and even their liberty and their lives. This genetic-defect argument has been applied, as Aviva Chomsky illustrates, to the Native American people, who (among other minorities) are now under assault by the Trump administration and their white nationalist cohorts and henchmen.
I should also mention that the genetic-defect argument is self-serving to the pharmaceutical companies, who can continue to peddle the notion that human beings, notwithstanding our psychological, social, and cultural complexity, can be reduced to biological machines that can be adjusted through the addition of pricey chemical substanaces. Since the issue is now simplified to one in which the aberrant individual is now faulted, the elites, the media, and other collaborators do not have to look at the injustice of the colonization, militarism, paternalism, and gross bigotry that have robbed Native Americans of their land and their sovereignty, on a collective level, and of their roles and their self-esteem, on an individual level.
Excellent article! My spouse who is Native American, but does not post has said the same thing many times.
The genocide continues. Now at discounted prices. And, anyone can play.
Excellent article! In addition, this is applicable the world over wherever peoples suffer from colonization. The reminder there being that colonization is NOT a thing of the past, but just another term for ‘externalization of costs’ by extractive colonization/ predatory capitalism. The latter is never just a material matter but linguistic, semiotic, temporal and perceptual massaging by playing a constant con interchanging process with content. The blinding methodology is to make everything alike. Especially differences. Its a scam that is unsustainable while at the same time the container of centuries of consequences. Those consequences are rarely seen. Why? Because they have been systematically “externalized”. Its all around us, and is going into exponentially compounded overdrive. We are discovering the truth of everything being interconnected.
Heck of a way to get introduced to the failings (externalizations) of the education system,eh?
These three political developments downplay Native American identity, sovereignty, and rights, while denying, implicitly or explicitly, that history created today’s realities of racial inequality. The use of DNA tests to claim “Native American” genes or blood trivializes this same history.
excellent article, ms. chomsky! didn’t take long, i’d say for first nations’ people to learn that “white” colonizers from europe break treaties in a heartbeat… stealing native children to offer the “advantage” of a proper christian upbringing, hair style and dress code to help them “assimilate” is cruel and unwarranted… that practice also takes place in canada… this is about destroying a culture–a long established, successful and beautiful culture.
i’d like to say a whole lot more, but you have don a fantastic job, aviva chomsky! i bet your dad inspired you as with me.
A theory based on observation
The bloodlines of Hispanic-Americans are less Hispanic, and more (native) American, with every generation.
If appearances mean anything, there must be very little Spanish or European heritage in this population.
In general, they appear to be mainly of Native American blood- mixed with African and others but mainly, to the casual observer’s eye they are “Indians”: not so much north American, but central and south american: Maya, Inca, Aztec, Toltec , etc.
The news stories tell me that the “hispanic americans” are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S., and by 2045, will be the largest minority, and after that the majority group, of the population.
Perhaps by this process, the “hispanic” native Americans- descendants of the first inhabitants- will eventually get their ancestral lands back- (i.e. north, middle, and south America) after the more than 500 years of European dominance and oppression.