For Native Americans, The Injustice Is Not Historic

Back in grad school, I had to read the paper Superseding Historic Injustice by Jeremy Waldron. Many people in my class felt off the hook when it came to injustices after that paper. And some of them mentioned injustice toward Native Americans.

Others (like Steve Russell, in Sequoyah Rising) have taken Waldron to task.

For me–and, I assume, for Native people–this is not some simply some interesting philosophical problem. This is real life. And, no, we (non-Indians) shouldn’t feel off the hook.

There’s a problem that many scholars have discussed. They talk about how, many times, Native Americans and their injustices are all just history. Perhaps a bad and tragic history, but history nonetheless.

I’m here to tell you that’s not so.

Don’t fall for that narrative because it erases Native people and their current struggles. The fact is, colonization began. And indigenous people have not yet been liberated. It’s simply a fact that the United States controls aspects of their governments. And that’s exactly what colonialism is.

So, sure, talk about historic injustice all you want. But, until decolonization happens, Native people are in fact still being colonized by the United States.