Native people with advanced civilisations like the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incas, the native Mexican tribes, the Apache, the Navajo, the Cherokee, the Yuki, the Indigenous Australian and African tribes, the New Zealand Maori and Inuit tribes were all severely diminished or even completely wiped out when the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, British, Belgian and Russian explorers began to invade their lands.
These white invaders from across the seas came to rape, plunder and claim the land, at any cost. If they couldn't just overpower or kill the natives outright with brute force, which was often the case, then they crept in, in the most insidious of ways, spreading their diseases, destroying their crops and livelihood and abducting and enslaving their people, eventually destroying entire native cultures from the inside out.
And that, is genocide. And that is the stuff of history is it not? White man comes, white man takes and white man wonders why he is not trusted anymore. And we all like to tell ourselves that this is all just bad water under the bridge, that this type of thing does not happen anymore, that people have learnt from their mistakes and that genocide is not a modern construct but an ancient one. Well I hate to be the one to break it to you, but people haven't learned jack shit from their sordid and generally horrific past exploits because genocide has also feature heavily in the 20th century history as well, and in a lot of those cases, people have actually turned on each other, their very own people and it is just so disturbing.
There were the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire/ Turkey when the Christian minorities of Armenia, Assyria and Greece were persecuted. There was the starvation of the Ukrainian people during the Soviet Famine of 1932. Then the mass deportation of Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians and the systematic slaying of Poles and ethnic cleansing of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1937-38. There was the mass killings of the Chinese people by the Japanese in the Nanking massacre followed by The Holocaust - when the German Nazis murdered approximately 3.8 million Jewish people and performed an ethnic cleansing of the Slavic countries. Then there was a genocide that was carried out on the Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot in between 1974 and 1979, and the list just goes on and on.....Tibet, the Congo, Somalia, Chechnya, Myanmar, ISIL... I haven't even touched the sides here, there are literally billions of lives and cultures throughout history that have been destroyed through means of genocide. And genocide is still going on today, it is happening right now and the end is nowhere in sight.
So what have we learned through all of this killing? What is the take away from all of this bloodshed and civil unrest? For some, they have learned nothing and maybe never will, but for many of us around the globe we have learned that no-one is safe from persecution and that only through a united global mindset will we ever be free from another genocide.
The positive is that most countries have now signed to a peace treaty and will not tolerate the inhumane treatment of any ethnic, religious or racial party; and that is a very good start. We now also place more emphasis on learning from the past and understanding our torn history as humans and supporting the liberation of depleted and destroyed cultures.
It is not okay to not own our history, it is ours, we must own it and learn from it if we are to get better, and I do believe that we can, but it's going to take time and patience and empathy and ownership of what has transpired. And quite frankly, not everyone is prepared to own the atrocities of their own heritage which is going to slow us all down quite a bit, but that doesn't mean that we can give up, it means that we have to push even harder to drive home the message that no-one's culture, religion, ethnicity or race makes them inferior to anyone else and that no-one ever has the right to take that very human right away from anyone else. We have seen enough genocide in our past, wouldn't it be nice to see a lot more liberation and fraternity in our future?
Release Date: 2018
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 90 mins
Colombian-American actor John Leguizamo brings his one man Broadway show to Netflix in this unmissable documentary about Latino history. Latin History for Morons earned a 2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Play on Broadway and is easily the most interesting chalk and talk history lesson that you will ever sit through.
When John's son falls victim to a white bully at a Manhattan private school for being Latino, John delves into his own history to try and identify the reasons for America's whitewashed historical recount and the hidden heros that have been sadly overlooked.
The excruciatingly violent past of the indigenous people of America and South America is delivered here in an informative and effervescent way by Leguizamo who manages to illustrate all of the ugliness with a good speckle of humour and an engaging flair. However underneath it all, this is a harrowing tale about all of the native people that were slain and driven from their homes over the past 3000 years and the impact that is still being felt today as a consequence of that.
Everyone needs to see this, it is a powerful and thought provoking watch that offers a great overview into Hispanic culture for people (or morons like me) that don't know a lot about the topic.
FINAL SAY: Violence is the lowest form of communication.
4 Chilli Peppers