The Devastation of the Indies

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, United States Pages: 2 (414 words) Published: March 13, 2005
Upon reading the devastation of the Indies, it is apparent that many ailments of prejudice existed in those times of newly discovered lands and territories unchartered to the Europeans. Those of racism towards an unfamiliar people, a sense of Heathenism assumed upon the Native American civilization, and the brutal savagery demonstrated against the peaceful Native American Indians of this "new world." In the brief account from a sympathetic eyewitness, we see these horrible prejudices manifested through raids and massacrers by a foolish fleet of explorers whom fate would have to land on an unfortunate tribe far devoid of hatred and war.

The role that racism plays in this historical account seems to be the foundation on which the oppression was built. Racism can be defined as one group of people claiming another to be inferior by the assumption that there is a connection between biology and culture, that the way one looks determines the way one behaves (Kennedy, lines 2-4). Based upon this definition, it is apparent that the Europeans drew many racist conclusions from the immediate appearance of the native people. The way the native people wore next to no clothing and seemed to be so in touch with nature planted thoughts of inferiority into the minds of the Europeans. The prejudices applied by the explorers ultimately lead to the enslavement and battery of the innocent Indians.

Heathenism also played into the unfortunate events following Columbus' discovery of the new world. Heathenism is a term applied to a group of people which do not follow the god of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. The Native Americans had no prior knowledge of such religions. That is, they did not reject these teachings, they were merely ignorant to the existence of such institutions. The Europeans, who held religion in the highest regards, took great offense to this different culture and instead of spreading their gospel, condemned the natives to be godless heathens. As a...
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