Land Back: Dismantling Settler Colonialism


Wikimedia Commons

Sculptures from the Cherokee National Museum. The purpose is to leave an emotional understanding of the Trail of Tears.

Gabriel Davidson, Reporter

“It is the reclamation of everything stolen from the original Peoples: -land, -language, -ceremony, -medicines, -kinship.” Mere acknowledgment of decades of oppression is not enough. Celebrations of culture, holidays, apologies are not enough. We need to go faster. We need to dismantle the Amerikan colonial settler state, a reichskommissariat no different in its treatment of the indigenous than Israel to Palestinians. “Only here the Adolph Eichmanns and Heinrich Himmlers had names like Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Jackson,” states Amerikan socialist author J. Sakai in what’s arguably his magnum opus, Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat (which ought to be read by anyone concerned with American class consciousness and communism).

Self-determination and liberation to the indigenous peoples of Amerika! From Canada to Argentina, from sea to shining sea, Amerika’s decolonization is a necessity for a socialist future, for any future that seeks to dismantle all institutions of oppression and jackbootery. Of course, Amerika’s history is rooted in deep oppression, but how far back does it go? To the Revolution, of course, for the liberty these settlers fought for was not so noble as free speech. The liberty of the Amerikan Revolution was the liberty to pillage and settle indigenous lands, the liberty to profit from the slave trade, without taxes and restrictions from the Crown.

Indeed, Amerika’s very essence was captured on May 25th, with Chauvin’s knee against Floyd’s neck. Amerika is built upon a pile of corpses, and the neoliberal solution is to celebrate. Imagine a universe where Nazism reigned in Europe, where hundreds of years it still stood tall, and the Holocaust was redressed with celebrations of Jewish culture, all the while Jews still lived in ghettos; reservations.

We live on stolen land, and no deal of economic or social investment will right that wrong. Self-governance and national liberation for the indigenous are the only way forward. To suggest petition is useless, working within the system you seek to dismantle leads you nowhere. The two-party system is entrenched. See the pushback milquetoast “socialists” receive from their own parties, Sanders’ presidential nomination was curbed by the Democratic party. It’s not only foolish but infantile to assume the system in place will gleefully step down from power like Cincinnatus. Calling for political revolution by means of voting and petitioning your local senator is calling for a revolution without revolution, this is the mistake made by Amerikan “socialists,” environmentalists, and those misguided “advocates” of the indigenous.

Few have come to recognize the putrid and bloated settler state that Amerika is, but those who have, understood the need for its deconstruction. When asked “reform or revolution,” the answer is simple. It’s common sense. Our consciousness surrounding the question of the settler may first have begun with Israel and Palestine, the next step is to realize the relation of the new world nation-states to the indigenous; for one who yells “Free Palestine!” must also yell “Dismantle Amerika!”