“One of the things I try to do in this book is reframe the narrative of the roots of the United States – it’s usually told through Virginia and Massachusetts in the 1600s, when actually “settler colonialism” begins in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565. Actually, September 15, 1565 (and I think people sort of know that, but they’re so taken with the anglocentric narrative)…
…Ships of his Catholic majesty, groaning with wealth, would be sailing across the Atlantic on the way to what we would now call Spain, and oftentimes they would stop by Cuba, but lurking nearby were English pirates (Sir Francis Drake for example, now heralded in this country, with all sorts of hotels named after him, and of course, the hip hop artist Drake I take it, has his name….) and French Protestants as well.
And it’s important to underscore this. Because the model of development which we have come to associate with settler colonialism, is the winning English model, which involves this Pan-Europeanism, “whiteness,” liquidation of the Native American population, degradation of the Africans (Africans enslaved – there is an equivalence between being enslaved and being African) (and) an attempt by the English to enslave the indigenous as well, as their Spanish comrades did.
…The Spanish model involved certain Africans who could be conquistadors if they said they were Catholic. The French Protestants, they went a step further, by sailing into Spanish settlements, and making deals with the enslaved, and then freeing the, all, in return for them joining in attacks on the Spanish. But that is not the model that won out. The model that won out features the language of the people. the language we are now speaking, the English.”
Watch Gerald Horne’s interview above or at Citizen Truth
Gerald Horne is author of The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in Seventeenth-Century North America and the Caribbean, Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, and Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic, all published by Monthly Review Press.
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