Yesterday's post about the campus thought police and ISIS lead to a discussion about white supremacist thought in the formative years of the European settlement of the New World. Commenter Ilion pointed out that feelings of group supremacy were pretty much universal, yet only the Europeans are singled out as vile racists. I'd suggest the feelings of superiority hardly mattered.
In reading journals of explorers and historical figures of the time, I don't recall their motivations being racial. Again borrowing from Ilion, they were much more likely to be nationalist than racist. After all, everyone knows the British are better than the French, right? Well, depending on which side of the Channel you were born.
If it didn't matter all that much to them, who are we to turn it into a litmus test? As far as I can tell, the British would have colonized New England whether the natives looked like them or looked like Mohicans or looked like Martians. It wasn't about skin color, it was about escaping poverty and finding new opportunities.
Carrying it one step further, going 200 years into the future, instead of being obsessed with race and sex, what if historians are obsessed with shoes? What can we expect when our fashionably dressed wear things like this?
|Forget Shakespeare as a dead, white, imperialist male, 200 years from now no one will read the works of Maya Angelou because our footwear crimes disqualify us all.|