Harry Potter and the Staggering Audacity of Colonial Genocide

Genocide is bad! That’s not debatable. It’s just bad! There’s no justifiable reason to just go into a whole group of people and make a solid go at wiping them the fuck out. There’s also no way to really maintain your Holier-Than-Thou attitudes when you and your country are complicit in probably one of the top ten global genocidal acts in colonial modernity. Narratives of Manifest Destiny and City Upon the Hill dissolve into the wind when you see that they are being applied in the face of the lives and personhood of millions of people. American settlers viewed their religious freedom and their need for land to be more important than those of the various Indigenous tribes they encountered. So how can they really claim to be a civilization that should be emulated by all? They rebelled against the perceived “slavery” of religious obligation and certain other subjugations, and then literally carted people over from their own country and literally physically enslaved them? Like… the hell?

There’s three things about this that strike me as completely batty: the first is that people like Mary Rowsonland used their captive narratives as an attempt to prove their own piety but really only made American-Indigenous relations even shittier but really thought she was doing some good; the second is that, given the biblical nature of the ‘city on the hill’ narrative, there’s absolutely zero biblical justification and 100% biblical condemnation of completely decimating entire populations; and the third thing is that, despite the 16th-18th century model of colonization is unenviable and poorly reccomended to emulate, 19th-21st century colonization followed that shit to a t! The colonial model in place at this time became widely, perhaps unconsciously accepted as the manner in which to carry on colonization, without being critically considered by anyone besides a few colonizing dissidents and the more learned of the colonized.

-TaNayiah Bryels


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