Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The 400th Anniversary of Jamestown is coming up and here in Virginia, they've been on a 2 year campaign to promote what the PR team has dubbed a "celebration" and

showcase [of] Virginia's unique role as the birthplace of modern America and the cradle of American democratic traditions, cultures, ideologies and principles - 400 years strong.
Never mind how we almost completely decimated an entire culture that was doing just fine before we got here. And that was just at the beginning. We took land illegally, bought land that wasn't anybodies for the taking and introduced a slew of diseases and bad habits into a self-sustaining culture; diabetes is now the #1 disease among the Native American population.

On the Q & A section of the official Jamestown 2007 website, it tells us why Jamestown is so important, among other things. Whomever answered the question said
Traditions established at Jamestown - including representative government, the rule of law, free enterprise and cultural diversity - form the basis of American culture today.
Including representative government? Look at paintings from Colonial Williamsburg; every man is white and middle to upper class.

The rule of law? They freaked out over the spirituality indigenous peoples freely showed, made laws forbidding Colonials to have anything to do with them and eventually (but not always) slaughtered entire tribes. Those laws also included converting Indians to the Christian way hence the term 'colonials.'

Free enterprise? Huh? I thought only acceptable jobs could be practiced and again, only if you were a white man. Not everyone could do the same thing and if I recall correctly, they struggled for at least the first 5 years to make a village much less allow free enterprise. The people were supposedly fleeing persecution on all sorts of issues but exacted the same punishment once here.

Cultural diversity? Did I miss something in history class because I don't recall this ever being the norm or our past wouldn't be what it is what with mass killings, slavery, Jim Crow laws and all that.Yeah, that's definitely something to celebrate alright.

P.S. A conservative Christian group (scroll to An Alternative Jamestown Celebration) feels the "commemoration" is too mired in political correctness and is holding an alternative celebration "of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown because the official proceedings are mired in political correctness and ignore the hand of God in bringing Christianity into the New World." Seriously. Who'd have thought it would be politically correct to acknowledge our assholish behavior and basic assumption the "pagan Indians" needed to be saved 400 years ago, eh?

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