by Bill Watkins 9/5//2019
Men will not think that robbers and pirates have a right of empire over whomsoever they have force enough to master, or that men are bound by promises which unlawful force extorts from them. —John Locke
Land theft is no basis for a valid government. Someone could appeal to violence and war, rationalize the European conquest of the Americas, but underneath the movement and close to the soil of this land is the truth that crimes against humanity established the thirteen colonies, who rebelled against England to assert themselves as the United States of America, while America’s original inhabitants were to be killed off, subdued, moved and forgotten. A criminal for-profit enterprise, leaving us with usurped land, its native inhabitants pushed into small reservations—a miniscule percentage of their natural inheritance—people who never gave consent to be governed by Europeans, and never should.
When Queen Elizabeth chartered Sir Walter Raleigh’s exploration of the American eastern coast in 1584, she granted him license “to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince.” The first “Virginia Charter” backed up that thought, as King James urged English adventurers to “bring the infidels and salvages living in those parts to humane civilitie and to a setled and quiet govermente.” Professed Christianity would help the English usurp the land called Wingandacoa by the natives, James ordering his sailors to propagate the “Christian religion to suche people as yet live in darkeness and miserable ignorance of the true knoweledge and worshippe of God.”
Having studied native American culture diligently for a few years, sober for seventeen years, sensitive and aware, hungry for truth, it is clearer to me every day that it was the alcohol-consuming, cursing, armor and gun-loving Europeans—not the natives—who lived in darkness and miserable ignorance of the truth that the Earth was to be honored, respected and preserved. That guns, explosions, killing and noise were not strength but weakness. And strength? Witness a piece of it in the eloquence of a great native chief:
From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things—the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals—and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery.
Like the English, the Spanish were guilty of land theft, starting with Columbus’ 1492 raid, leading to a threatening letter from King Ferdinand to the Taino-Arawak people of the West Indies. In the letter, King Ferdinand informs the native people that the Pope is the ruler of the world, the bible’s God is the ruler of the universe, and that Spain shall be the ruler of all non-Christian lands they discover. Should any of the native tribes resist, the Spanish would declare “war upon you from all sides and with all possible means, and we shall bind you to the yoke of the Church and of Their Highnesses.” Further that “we shall enslave your persons, wives and sons, sell you or dispose of you as the King sees fit; we shall seize your possessions and harm you as much as we can as disobedient and resisting vassals.”
And so these supposed Christian people stole land, people who touted a bible that forbade stealing. We erected laws and a Constitution that also forbade stealing, even though the privilege to write laws and hold land here was obtained through armed theft. Usurpation and theft can never be a valid basis for government, something John Locke proposed and I hereby second today.
…the aggressor, who puts himself into the state of war with another, and unjustly invades another man’s right, can, by such an unjust war, never come to have a right over the conquered…
Yes, Sir John, you speak the truth. So should all of us, so should all of us!