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  •  Missionaries of that time were hand in hand with (3+ / 0-)

    Western European cultural imperialism. They were not intentionally evil. In their cultural context they were indeed helping "lift" less fortunate cultures and races closer to the ideal. Ignorant and insensitive--and I'd probably tossed them or perhaps have joined in eating them as "long pig" (always enjoyed those missionary in a pot cartoons)--but products of the dominant culture of the time.

    It is fascinating to read the period literature as well. The attitudes of the "civilized Europeans"--and we "Americans" got an unusual dose it seems (Upstart Colonials?)--comes through loud and clear. I enjoyed reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books that are more complex and well plotted than many realize. Those have the assumption that there is a "natural" superiority of the white man. More obscure works, including one travel book I remember, take even that to extremes. The travel book expressed the idea that a well dressed white man would "naturally" dominate the Native Americans and Mexicans during a visit to the Southwest.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:07:44 PM PST

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