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HERE'S What Tom Says About THAT

IndigenousPeoplesHistoryI am a lucky guy to have my books published by Beacon Press. I’m proud to be in the company of such distinguished authors as Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, Cornel West, Mary Oliver and Anita Hill. I recently learned of another author with whom I’m excited to be connected through Beacon: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. I highly recommend her recently published An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.

As an author and public speaker who works to dispel the myths of the founding of this nation in the hope that we might someday actually live up to the ideals espoused in our founding documents, I appreciate all efforts to shine a light on truth.

Dunbar-Ortiz does precisely that, page after page, from the perspective of the Indigenous people who lived on this continent for thousands of years before it was “discovered” – and then colonized – by Europeans. It is not pleasant to learn details of the centuries-long program of terror, genocide, displacement, and theft of the land that became what is now the United States. This is not a pleasant book to read. But it is an essential book – and eminently readable – for anyone committed to understanding truth from the perspective of those outside the systems of power.

“I also wanted to set aside the rhetoric of race, not because race and racism are unimportant but to emphasize that Native peoples were colonized and deposed of their territories as distinct peoples – hundreds of nations – not as a racial or ethnic group. ‘Colonization,’ ‘dispossession,’ ‘settler colonialism,’ ‘genocide’ – these are the terms that drill to the core of US history, to the very source of the country’s existence.”

“My hope is that this book will be a springboard to dialogue about history, the present reality of Indigenous peoples’ experience, and the meaning and future of the United States itself.”

Readers will learn much from An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States that has been long-buried. Books like this should be studied in American classrooms, rather than the flimflam pabulum endorsed by the Texas State Board of Education that impacts the thinking and perspectives of far too many students throughout our nation; pabulum that perpetuate ignorance and distortions of history.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States  is part of the Revisioning American History series published by Beacon Press, which also includes A Disability History of the United States and A Queer History of the United States.

So, get busy! We’ve got more reading to do!

Question: Some people believe books like this just dredge up ancient history and serve no useful purpose. Obviously, I disagree. What do you think? Even if you disagree with me I’m interested in your perspective.


or: “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see”

StewartO'Reilly(Oct2014)Jon Stewart asked a simple question of Bill O’Reilly on The Daily Show, on October 15, 2014. “Here’s all I want from you today. I want you to admit that there is such a thing as White Privilege.”

Mr. O’Reilly responded, “There is not.”

He proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes explaining that slavery is over, Jim Crow is over, that was then, this was now, the most powerful man in the world is a black man, the most powerful woman in the world, Oprah Winfrey, is a black woman, and if you work hard, get educated, and are an honest person you can succeed…”

O’Reilly admitted to growing up in an all-white community, Levittown, in Long Island, NY, where World War II veterans – white veterans – were able to secure home loans through the G.I. Bill. Black veterans were not allowed to live in Levittown. O’Reilly acknowledged no residual disadvantages existing today for Black Americans as a result of conditions in existence six decades ago (let alone two centuries ago).

But as was pointed out in “This is what the legacy of ‘white privilege’ looks like in Bill O’Reilly’s hometown” in the Washington Post, Read the rest of this entry »


Copyright 2012 by Thomas Norman DeWolf | Website: James DeW. Perry