Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Roller coasting through US history


It’s fascinating to reduce the history of what we understand to be the USA under the word American in such a skimpy sketch. It is giving a very general idea and it should open up some doors for your curiosity to expand the matter and your search for more everywhere you can think of.

It starts with the Beringia migration from Siberia over not a land-bridge to Alaska but an ice-bridge to Alaska and then down at a moment at the end of the Ice Age when such a corridor appeared in the ice cap. That was 15,500 years ago. That’s the migration that is behind the Clovis theory that the Americas were colonized by these people coming from Siberia from the north to the south.

Be cautious about it since the archaeological search in Monte Verde in Chile has already reached 18,500 years ago, and it is far from being finished. That is 3,000 years before the Beringia migration. That brings in a second migration from the South Pacific, in continuation with the migration from South East Asia to Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia New Zealand and then Polynesia. This southern migration then went up as far as Mesoamerica and are the ancestors of the Incas, the Aztecs, the Mayas, and all these building civilizations. This southern migration must have met the northern migration at some point. The question of the origin of the Amazonian Indians in South America is open since these are no builders. Are they descendants of the southern or the northern migrations?

Note it is the descendants of the southern migration who invented the Maya writing system, whereas the northern migration did not have any writing system. These two migrations explain a lot better the great differences between the two zones and yet they have a lot of common myths in their mythologies. The two zones have also some social common points though the differences are important, particularly the sun and blood rituals in the south. I guess DNA should start being worked upon to identify the two migrations and how far each one reached.

But nowadays (and that is rather recent) the two migrations are a feasible and scientifically accepted theory and we can start comparing the various peoples in their myths, their religious rituals, their languages too and eventually their writing or codifying systems, with their DNA as an accurate exploring tool.

To concentrate on the English colonization is a good thing from the US point of view but it is also not exactly entirely objective. Florida, Texas, what is today New Mexico and some other areas there plus of course California were colonized by the Spaniards and we must not forget the vast Louisiana of the French from Quebec to Louisiana covering the whole valleys and plains of the Mississippi and the Missouri. This heritage is essential since the French and Spanish Catholic churches insisted on the rights of the slaves as Christians and as subjects of their kings with for one example the insistence on having them christened and married and for them to have one day of marital life every week even if husband and wife did not belong to the same plantation. It is called Code Noir on the French side and Inquisition on the Spanish side. On the English side the masters could do what they wanted with their slaves, including kill them, feed them to their dogs or their pigs. On the French and Spanish side, the masters could only exploit their work but they had to respect the Catholic rules and the rights the slaves had as Christians and they had to respect the royal rights they had as subjects. This produced a three tiered society on the Catholic side and the one-drop of blood theory on the White Anglo Saxon Protestant side.

This is essential for US history. The constitution did not even consider the case of slaves and when the Declaration of Independence said “all men are born equal” it meant only free men, so no women and no non-free men. This will survive till the Civil War in this divided house the USA were then. When amendments 13 and 14 were passed it just turned within a few years the slaves into poor sharecroppers under the violent command of the Ku Klux Klan, seasoned by the Uncle-Tom-Jim-Crow everyday practice, governed by segregation and discrimination and the US Supreme Court ruling them “equal but separate.”

To remain on this line we could and should explore how desegregation and civil rights were conquered in the 1950s and 1960s.

But you should also explore the place and role of American Indians or Native Americans. There too the heritage of the colonization and their being locked up in reservations is still haunting the USA. And if you explore these questions you may then understand why the election of Barack Obama is such a turning point in American history. It brings African Americans a lot closer to equality and to full liberation including from their Post Traumatic Slavery Stress Syndrome. It brings American Indians to full recognition and integration after the reparations were paid to the reservations. And it revealed in 2012 that Latinos, in spite of most of them being white, were not part of the white population, voted for Obama and reelected him. This Latino heritage is essential to understand the USA today. It is not so much a question of ethnic origin as a question of were you part of the colonizing process of North America or were you part of the colonized peoples with a strong Post Traumatic Colonial Stress Syndrome.

In other words this fast panorama over US history should open your eyes to several questions that need be explored in more detail. It should sharpen your appetite for historical facts and whet your curiosity for more “mysteries,” like the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther Kink Jr., and Robert Kennedy, how the Vietnam war was not ended but lost and a few other facts of the last fifty years. What about Cuba and Iran for example?

So jump into the stream and let yourselves be carried by the current into all kinds of fascinating realities.


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