I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.
As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?
Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”"
Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.
Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)
Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.
When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.
Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.
Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.
Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”
and another excerpt:
In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.
When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.
anon asked: You said that Jesus was a socialist— would you mind explaining a little more about why you say that, please?
I KEEP GETTING THESE MESSAGES, SO LIKE, OKAY. OKAY. AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT, LET’S HAVE THIS CONVERSATION
jesus gave specific instructions to care for the sick, the hungry, for the needy, and that they mattered more than the cost that this would produce. jesus said that moral law was above ceremonial law. (it’s more important to do the right thing than to appear to do the right thing.) the sole time jesus became really angry in the new testament was with the money-lenders in the temple, because they were exploiting the poor, specifically poor women and in particular poor widows. he told his disciples that a poor person who gives the comparable same amount of her income to charity or in tax pays more than a rich person because comparatively that amount of money is not the same to both of those people. personally i believe that ‘render unto caesar’ is about deliberate non-co-operation with a corrupt state, but that’s up for interpretation. jesus repeatedly, exhaustively, and without limit emphasised that people are more important than money, and morality is more important than law, or, more accurately, its appearance.
jesus spent all of his time with social outcasts— prostitutes, revolutionaries, the absolute poorest working men in israel, slaves, etc etc etc. he was very clear that people would not like his message because it advocated love and equality, and told his followers to expect violence and oppression— ‘i come not to bring peace, but a sword.’ he wanted his followers to stand up to oppression and injustice. his command to ‘turn the other cheek’ is actually, although this is not widely known, an explicit act of rebellion— turning the cheek after being hit would force the implied roman aggressor to hit you with the palm of his hand instead of the back of it, and only a social equal would be hit with a palm. it forces the aggressor to treat you as an equal. it questions and shames power and authority without even needing to speak.
jesus is one of the most radical figures in the history of human civilization. there is nothing about patriarchal laissez-faire capitalism that he would approve of. jesus believed in justice. when he said that the meek would inherit the earth, that was a command, not a metaphor. jesus said he was the poor, the sick, the hungry, the imprisoned. that ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.’ the extent to which capitalism and kyriarchy have co-opted the teachings is almost baffling, because there is literally nothing in what jesus actually said to support either power structure. ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ is probably the most socialist statement anyone has ever made. to jesus, everyone was worthy. to jesus, everyone had worth. the mere concept that the man who shouted down the moneylenders in the temple for exploiting widows who lived in poverty would support the cruelties and oppressions of capitalism is laughable at best.
I have never seen such perfect sentences.
Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization.
Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve
CultureHISTORY: #Ferguson Protests - Magazine covers
Amazing images. The TIME & Bloomberg Businessweek cover photos were both taken by Scott Olson (Getty Images) who was arrested by the St. Louis PD during the protests and later released. The New Yorker painting was done by New York artist Eric Drooker.
Since the shooting at the Sikh Temple by Wade Page, there’s been a lot of discussion about the white supremacist subculture of which he was a part. Much of this discussion has involved the type of imagery and symbols white supremacists use to mark their dedication to their movements, to identify each other, and to advertise their politics.
Not many people seem to have been aware of how wide spread these organizations are, nor how their members usually present themselves. Therefore, I’m trying to create a complete (or as close as is possible) guide to the symbols, flags, slogans, coded messages, ways of dress, etc. that can be used to identify klansmen, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, and other white supremacists.
If you see any errors here, please let me know and I will correct them. Please reblog with anything I might have missed, and I’ll add it to the master list. Some of comes from discussions that I have with people who’ve had social interactions with white supremacists, who’ve been attacked by neo-Nazis, or who are involved in anti-fascist activism. Other things I’ve read or heard from various sources over the last few years. In addition, I did a lot online research for this guide, and those sources are included at the end. Anything that appears in quotations comes from one of these sources.
Sometimes these symbols are tattooed onto the bodies of white supremacists. In other cases, they’re used on patches, badges, banners or flags.
Here we go:
14: This stands for the 14- slogan written by David Lane, an American white supremacist, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
18: “Adolf Hitler.” (A is the first letter of the alphabet, H is the 8th).
33/5: “Used primarily by people involved in a Klan organization. The 22 represents three times eleven, with eleven representing the eleventh letter in the alphabet, ‘K.’ The 5 stands for the 5th era of the Klan or today’s Klan.”
4R: Used by Fourth Reich Skins. The 4 and the R are often joined.
88: “Heil Hitler.” (H is the 8th letter in the alphabet).
AB: Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang that can be found throughout the US. The letter often feature in prison tattoos. The AB also likes to use tattooed shamrocks consisting of three 6’s woven together, often intricately hidden among other artwork.
American Front Symbol:
American racist skinhead group lead by David Lynch.
Aryan Nations Symbol:
Aryan Nations is associated with the Christian Identity movement. That’s the “the Old Testament was about Europeans and Jews were created by Satan and people of color are soulless ‘mud people’” folks.
BH: “Blood and Honor.” Nazi slogan. Various neo-Nazi organizations have gone by this name.
Blue flight jacket with orange lining: Part of the racist skinhead wardrobe.
Blut und Ehre: “Blood and Honor.” See BH for more information.
Black Boots with White Laces: Sign of a German neo-Nazi. These are also worn by American neo-Nazis, who favor Doc Martins. (Note that Doc Martins are also popular among Queer woman - or at least they were in the past, I might be behind the times, fashion-wise).
Black Sun/Sun Wheel:
Occult symbol, often appropriated by neo-Nazis, especially in Germany.
Boneheads: Another term for Skinheads, used in the American south.
A symbol of “strength,” the Celtic cross is often used by racists, but is also frequently seen in non-racist contexts. The “blood drop” version is used by the KKK.
Clothing labels: Thor Steinar, Consdaple, Ansgar Aryan, Troublemaker are all associated with German neo-Nazis.
Confederate Flag (Stars and Bars):
Not everyone who bears this flag is necessarily a klansman/neo-Nazi/skinhead (though it’s a good bet that anyone seen with it is a least a little racist) but it’s an old standby for white supremacists.
Crossed claw hammers:
These hammers, which resemble a pair of goose-stepping legs, are used the Hammerskins, who are based out of the United States but who’s area of operation includes Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
I’ve been told that there are some German fascist organizations who also use two crossed sledge hammers.
Used by Nazi SS then and neo-Nazis now.
Often used with the intention of intimating people of color. Can be an imagine of an noose or an actual noose. Linked to the American tradition of lynching Black folks.
HFFH:”Hammerskin forever, Forever Hammerskin.”The Hammerskins are a multinational organization of neo-Nazis who typically take as their symbol a pair of crossed hammers.
Hungarian Arrow and Cross:
First used by Hungarian fascists but today this symbol is often used by White Supremacist groups.
Imperial German Flag/Reichskriegsflagge:
There’s nothing innately racist about this flag (of which there are many variations) but it’s often used as a stand-in for the Nazi flag, especially in places where it is illegal to show a swastika. Wikipedia says that “Outside of educational, artistic or scientific contexts, selling and showing symbols of Nazi Germany, including the Reichskriegsflagge, is illegal in Germany… This covers the version used after 1935 with the swastika. The original flag used between 1871 and 1919 can be shown depending on circumstances in different states of Germany. Because members of the far right have used the imperial war flag as a symbol, its use is considered to be a ‘breach of the public order’ in seven states, and flags will be confiscated. In the other nine states, any provocative misuse of the flag can be prosecuted as an ‘Ordnungswidrigkeit’ (summary offense).”
Fairly common symbol that is only sometimes associated with whit supremacists. More brazen fascists use the version with a swastika in the center.
Sometimes appears with another symbol in place of the swastika.
Norse/Runic Symbols (Life Rune, Ordin’s Rune, Valknot, Wolfsangel, etc):
Many of these runes were appropriated by the Nazis, and are still used by neo-Nazis today. HOWEVER, many non-racist groups, such as pagans, also use these symbols.
ORION: “Our Race is Our Nation.” KKK slogan, often appears on banners.
RAHOWA: “Racial Holy War.” “The expression “Racial Holy War,” signifies the battle that white supremacists believe will pit the white race against minorities and Jews and lead to Aryan rule over the world.”
ROA: “Race over all.” Neo-Nazi slogan, especially Volksfront.
Rock Against Communism:
Far-right music genre. Anti-Communist rhetoric is involved, but the main focus is racism, nationalism, anti-Semitism, and so on.
A shaven head is the most obvious sign of a skin-head. However, it should be noted that not all skin-heads are neo-Nazis/white supremacist; the skin-head look originated in punk and mod communities in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It was later appropriated by white nationalist movements, including “the National Front, British Movement, Rock Against Communism and in the late eighties Blood and Honor. Because of this, the mainstream media began to label the whole skinhead identity as neo-Nazi. This new white power skinhead movement then spread to other countries, including the United States.”
SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice), which is based out of the US, is one anti-racist skinhead organization. ARA (Anti-Racist Action) is another.
SS Lightening Bolt Runes:
Symbol of Himmler’s special police.
Sturmabteilung (SA/Brownshirts) Symbol:
Most commonly used in countries where the swastika is banned, but occasionally seen in the US.
“A triskelion or triskele is a motif consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs, or any similar symbol with three protrusions and a threefold rotational symmetry” (wiki). This is an ancient symbol that is often used by neopagans. However, far Right extremists have recently appropriated it, especially in Germany.
Unsere Ehre Heisst Treue: “Our Honor is Loyalty.” SS slogan, often seen on neo-Nazi banners as well as for tattoos.
Symbol for California-based White Aryan Resistance, but commonly used by many skinheads.
White Power/Aryan Power Fist:
One of those that you have to be careful about. A clenched fist is also a common Leftist symbol, but is normally rendered in black or red.
Can also appear-knuckles first, with the word “Skin” written across the fingers. The word “skin” is also tattooed across the fingers of racist skin-heads.
WPWW: “White Pride World Wide.” Commonly used as a greeting, especially online.
There’s also a call-and-response to see if you’re down for their cause. They say, “Zigga zigga zigga,” and your expected response is, “Kill a fucking nigga.” So if someone comes up to you and says that, probably they’re a Nazi and think you look like you could be one too.
i’ve seen a lot of these without knowing what they meant :-/
if someone ever said zigga to me i’d have previously assumed they were singing the spice girls
This looks spot on.
The only thing I’d add is that “88” for “Heil Hitler” is really popular for usernames of white supremacists, but “88” is also a super lucky number in China, so a lot of Chinese people have it in names too, and are completely unaware there’s any Nazi connotation.Message! Cus shit is is getting real and lots of ppl are gonna need this info.