The Histories


The labels past and current civilizations create to describe various groups of people may be the exact reason animosity brews between these groups. The belief that a group has racial superiority causes that same group to discriminate against and maltreat groups perceived to be different; because in this case, different is not unique or valuable, different is less. The common distinction of an “other” has been an idea studied in class and continues to be studied by scholars. A common dichotomy between “we” and “they” has been discovered and, for purposes of this paper, will be discussed to understand the implications among one specific cultural group. This exact dichotomy existed between the white settlers and the Native Americans. The Indians who settled prior to the white settlers had established lives enriched by their hunting, the land and animals, and appreciating the universe. The white settlers desired Indian land, and with the spread of these newcomers, came the spread of diseases, technologies, religion, values, and lifestyle imposed by the settlers. These white settlers disregarded the previously established Native American regimes, and their exploration of the “New World” indeed created an entire “new world” for the Indians. The seizing of the lands created a displacement for the Indians which is still explicitly felt with the social pathology found among the remnants of the Native Americans and their corresponding reservations – yet another implementation of the Europeans. Recently, scholars have found that there may be a link between the seizing of the Native American land and lifestyle with the anomie and deviance very prevalent among Indians today (Berkhofer, 1978).