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  •  the european colonialization (0+ / 0-)

    of the Americas, North Africa, India, and entry into China, and eventually Australia...has been pretty extensive, although I agree with you that anyone is capable of being horrible, and all cultures and peoples throughout history have undoubtedly done something xenophobic and tribal and fucked up. But it kinda goes to scale and impact, and the current balance of economic power.

    •  Also... (2+ / 0-)

      ....we read the expansion of other peoples' countries in the past through their official sources, which rarely even try to represent opposing viewpoints fairly. It isn't only Europeans who write history from their own perspective. Every large country rolled over its neighbours and incorporated them by force, or it wouldn't be large. Take Japan, for example. People usually think of it as a monocultural society, but it's a creation of violent conquest just as much as the United States is. The last full-scale battle between Japanese indigenous people and Imperial forces in Honshu, the main island, was around 1560, the final episode of a war that had gone on for over five hundred years. Or take all the independent states and cultures that used to exist where China is now. All we know of them is what Chinese historians chose to record, which rarely reflects poorly on the Imperial throne. For a few early ones, the only name we have for them is a Chinese ethnic insult.

      It might be better to say that we weren't the first to do this; we were the first to get caught. And after all, getting caught is the first step towards reform.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:48:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had a friend whose sister was a lawyer working (0+ / 0-)

        on the subject of indigenous rights in Taiwan. He compared their situation to that of Native Americans. Most people don't even realize that there was an indigenous group living there before the island was colonized by mainland Chinese starting in the seventeenth century.

        The mother of a very close friend of mine came from an indigenous group in Malaysia. If you want to read about a country which has complicated racial tensions, that's really worth looking up.

        Just to be clear, I'm not saying this in any way, shape or form to minimize what has happened in the United States.

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