I was listening, once again to Krista Tippet's On Being. She was interviewing America Ferrara and John Paul Lederach. America Ferrara points out at one point that the Native Americans, or as she said, the Indigenous Peoples, are rarely brought into conversations. She called the US's first or original sin the destruction and genocide of the Indigenous Peoples as well as the enslavement of these peoples. It is good to remember this started when the Spanish showed up in South and Central America. Then we (the English, the French and the Portuguese) showed up and we collectively brought Africans to the Americas and enslaved them. All the while stealing land and valuables from the original inhabitants of the Americas.
Slavery, to be honest, existed for centuries before this. It was not a new concept to fifteenth century Europeans. It is not unreasonable to say that slavery was the original sin of the Americas, but we tend to forget the other pieces of what went on.
But was all this the original sin? It probably is the original sin of the creation of the countries on the American continents. But, what is the original sin that allows humans to do this to other humans, let alone what we are doing to animals and the earth itself?
I know that the Hebrew and Christian Bibles say it was the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but I have come to wonder if the original sin is a combination of things - forgetting that love is at the center of everything and replacing love with fear and distrust.
The first photograph is by Aperture Vintage and the second is by Brigitte Tohm. I found both on unsplash.com.
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Monday, June 11, 2018
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