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Philosophy of Privilege

Published: February 18, 2011, Author: JayTaber

In the 1990s, when I was embroiled in the property rights political
turmoil that catalyzed the modern militia movement, the cast of
characters engaged in vigilantism and the grievances they promoted were
pretty much the same as they are today. Their rebellion — fueled by
racism, religious fundamentalism, and beliefs about international
conspiracies — culminated in murders, shootouts with police, bombings,
and arrests.

Today, that movement still feeds off the
hostilities surrounding abortion, immigration, the United Nations, and
the Federal Reserve system. Politicians still pander to their bigotry,
and activists still harass targets of their prejudice.

Reading
accounts of the history of American Conservatism, what is clear is that
the philosophy of privilege that undergirds their violent prejudice is a
mainstream attribute of American culture. While individuals pick and
choose the particulars that make up their personal prejudice packs, they
are by and large against human rights, which makes them sympathetic
with the historical position of the United States Government until very
recently.

With the advent of the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples, relationships between indigenous peoples and
metropolitan populations is undergoing a makeover that will redefine
property rights, borders and governance worldwide. It is also addressing
such things as privilege and religious colonialism.

As we
struggle to adapt to the consequences of climate change and economic
globalization, we must be mindful of the political undercurrents that,
left unchallenged, have the power to undermine our achievements as well
as derail our ongoing efforts. In many ways, we have yet to recover from
the last murderous rampage.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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