Healing the wounds of history

"History" makes it sound ancient and remote. It's neither. The abuse of whole cultures and peoples is, sadly, solidly in the category of current events, even if it's seldom treated as breaking news. While some indigenous groups do still suffer incidents of violence and land-grabbing, today's oppression is more commonly found as stereotyping, ignorance, neglect, exploitation. What about the history of abuse, though?

In many cases the motives were maliciously or ignorantly rooted in a belief of racial superiority. Migrating settlers encountered native populations and set out to marginalize or eliminate (or in a few cases coexist with) what were believed to be inferior or subhuman beings—the Australian Aborigines, Native Americans from Alaska to the Andes, the Bushman in southern Africa.

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October 7, 2002
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