I have been very fortunate in my life and one great fortune was the meeting about thirteen years ago in Scotland, far from my native South African homeland, an Elder from Turtle island. I never realised it then but my life was about to do a 180 degree turn. Thank the Great Spirit for that. Why am I writing today, you might be wondering. Well it was when I met this man he said something unusual to me, that stuck.
He said, 'dont be sorry for us Indians and what you white guys did to us, be sorry for what your own people did to yourselves first.' So more than a decade has passed since that statement, many experiences he created for me to be part of and he has now passed into the world of Spirit.
The statement however never left me and yesterday I watched a film called, Oranges and Sunshine. I was so shocked by this film that I am writing today. That wily coyote who planted the seed in my head, is still busy on the other side, I am sure. I have lived through the battle of Apartheid and the lies, in its last years in South Africa, white against black and visa versa. Decades later I have been blessed with a healing way from another indigenous culture in Turtle island, a re education one might say. But I am living in a white skin and for the life of me, I know I haven't done these things in history to others, but it just doesn't sit right to why the race I have been born into could have done these things to others.
Then years later, as a young soldier I was taught to dehumanise the 'enemy'. When you are brought up being told, 'thou shall not kill' and then in 3 months of boot camp... its ok,...... what the....? So to pull the trigger you give the so called 'enemy' different names and don't see them as humans anymore. Political and religious manipulation, nothing righteous or honorable in that, but it's what the machine does, so well. They have done it for Centuries, it works and still does.
For hundreds of years in Britain with the coming of the Romans and then 'Christianity', the 'holy war' against the perceived local indigenous heathen savage tribes beliefs which were thousands of years old started. It finally 'officially' ceased only in 1722 with the last recorded burning alive of a NE Scottish local women.
She was a hapless old woman, Janet Home, who was charged with transforming her daughter into a pony to ride to the witches' meeting place, and having her shod by the Devil. She was paraded through the High Street and burned in a barrel of tar.
So it is important to be aware that anything not 'Christian' would have you named a witch and burnt at the stake or in a barrel of tar, hung or such like. Local healers, wise women, herbalists who had served their communities for centuries were killed across Europe in their thousands. The witch trials of 1542 in Britain and then in colonial America the notorious Salem with trials of 1692. So a lot of European settlers carried this belief system. They had grown up with it in their culture and been persecuted or known someone who had or were the persecutors themselves. So coming across the Indigenous people of 'America', with their traditions would have fitted right into this image. The devil has horns, painted markings, a 'red' body, enjoys dancing, connections to animals with his cloven feet. Heathens and savages must be lead by Satan the devil, their biggest fear realised. The way they had dealt with their own people in Europe who did not fit into their perfect world model was to kill them horrifically. De-human-ize them, so it could be justified. Why would doing it to a whole race of people you had no connection to by blood be any different, if not easier.
When the Indian Removal Act of 1830 came into being the Scottish clearances in the UK were well underway from 1792 and before. The landlords decided it was more profitable to have sheep and turnips than people. The Scots had to hand in their swords, certain songs were outlawed to be played and the banning of wearing their clan tartans.... sound familiar to the outlaw of wearing feathers, speaking your language, having weapons, ghost dancing.
An account of one of the clearances:
Elizabeth Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, and her husband George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland, conducted brutal clearances between 1811 and 1820. Evictions at the rate of 2,000 families in one day were not uncommon. Many starved and froze to death where their homes had once been. Sound familiar to the Trail of Tears.
The Duchess of Sutherland, on seeing the starving tenants on her husband's estate, remarked in a letter to a friend in England, "Scotch people are of happier constitution and do not fatten like the larger breed of animals".... sound familiar. History repeats itself in the human condition, if we let it.
So to get back to present day and the truth that had been left buried until a women decided, this had to stop. For centuries the British ruling power and common wealth governments have taken children from their own people and deported them to their colonies. Between 1945 and 1967 an estimated 8000 to 11000 children were sent from the United Kingdom to Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe in Africa and New Zealand to 'stock' their colonies. Over the centuries 130 000 were taken from the U.K. The authorities lied to their parents, changed their names, told the children their parents were dead and sent children as young as three to these foreign countries, often ALSO supported by the church and charities. Horrific sexual and physical hardships were encountered by these young children.
It was only in 2010 that the Australian and British government apologised :Britains PM, Gordon Brown apology
The film Oranges and Sunshine tells of the real life story of Margaret Humphreys (her book is Empty Cradles), a social worker who in 1987, in the UK, uncovered this forced 'HIDDEN' migration. A national shame!
So for me I am starting to understand the past, why there is something inside me that felt a level of 'shame' of being part of the supposedly 'ruling' race. An understanding that the concept of a ruling class, an elitist group or group of families treat people no matter what colour or creed to fulfill their agenda has been going on for Centuries and still does. I can begin to understand why these atrocities have happened. With this level of no feeling, arrogance and self imposed importance I can see why if they could steal 'their own' indigenous cultures children, they would feel nothing to take away another's. They would create a 'boot camp' but worse, far worse, boarding schools of abuse and mould them into their 'new population' would not be difficult to do. So they did.
I can see why the majority of Corporations are not Community minded. They are driven from the top down not from the roots up. The abused have become the abuser. They are now doing to others exactly what had been done to their ancestors. Self created little empires in trade and commerce on every street corner. The 'new population' finally realised by the old manipulators, who still sit hidden in the shadows playing puppet master to their children puppets. Who remain mostly oblivious!
People like Margaret Humphreys almost single-handedly, against overwhelming odds and with little regard for her own well-being, reunited thousands of families, brought authorities to account and worldwide attention to an extraordinary miscarriage of justice : interview with Margaret Humphreys
She and people like her are restoring my faith in our white race of people. This is the time for the corrupt to fall and they are. No matter what colour skin, creed or religion. The old structures are collapsing.
I thank you JT for crossing the waters like I did, met on a small island that corrupted the world and sowed the seed of the 'Beauty Way' back in its belly.
By writing this I hope that others who might feel like I did, try to put down the burden of the past pain and atrocities, and make something beautiful and different in the present. Our children need to inherit a better planet and history than we did. Its up to us to make it so. All of us.
Blessings of hope and peace to the four directions and the hearts and minds of the people who live there. Gratitude to those who have gone before and kept their beliefs alive through the pain and suffering because they knew they were right. Thank you, so we may have a different Way to be, other than what we were brain washed into believing as children. Thank you all Elders for continuing to teach all of us who want to listen, for you have suffered much and carry the Wisdom of your lives.
If anyone reading this feels they have views or other stories that need telling like the forced Child migration, please share so the truth of the past can be brought into the present, healing can begin its journey and the cycle can be broken.
We are all the Creators children, no greater or smaller than each other, but equal. Thank you JT for your Vision and walking and sharing in the four directions, so we might all remember what we forgot.
Jason Schroeder 2012