Pope Francis and When Genocide Isn't Genocide

Alex Jacobs

The Pope came to the New World but his spin doctors say he doesn’t have to rescind those outdated, lethal and racist Papal Bulls that led to the enslavement of New World inhabitants, since all subsequent Papal Bulls rescinded the previous ones. The Church did tell those gold-seekers to “Stop Doing That” (meaning killing Indians for no good reason) and besides the current Pope Frank did apologize to the indigenous in-general, yet he still canonized the Priest Junipero Serra of California, who is termed an “American Saint”. Those who argue it’s all a hundred years too late are not cognizant of decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court that affect our peoples and territories.

The priest Serra and the state California represent genocidal events in American history. Serra’s contribution was to save the souls of the Indians by abusing them and gather them into some kind of Christian Credit Account while wrangling all the labor needed to run the missions as plantations. The California Gold Rush was a series of “genocidal events” that some state officials promoted, leading to local murder conspiracies and individual gold-seekers wantonly killing Native families. This gets us to Sacramento State and Chiitaanibah Johnson and the viral flaming arrow attack unleashed by upset Native Americans (and allies) over the non-call of official genocide by adjunct professor Maury Wiseman in his history class. Ms. Johnson opted out of the class and an “investigation” continues. The Walk for the Ancestors (650 miles San Francisco to Los Angeles to visit the 21 California Missions) should take a detour to Sacramento and audit his history class.

Don’t get me wrong, Pope Frank’s OK as Pope’s go, he apparently practices what he and his boss, Jesus Christ, preached. And he gets to annoy, confound and piss off Republicans, who can’t comprehend a religious leader doing his actual job (unlike their county clerks). My Mom would’ve like this Pope, even if she was Methodist and when she married my Dad, a Catholic, it caused a minor scandal. 100 years ago some Mohawks would burn each other’s houses down over this inane European religious nonsense, but they were just trying to be compliant Christians.

According to the Geneva Convention, we can’t call what happened in the Americas, “Genocide”. Technically, what occurred here was “only” a series of unconnected and uncoordinated genocidal events, some regional ethnic cleansing and finished with the cultural genocide of boarding schools, forced sterilization, etc. The politics that go on at the UN (and Washington DC) allow lawyers to edit the language so that any ethnic cleansing can’t be “legally” compared to wholescale, pre-arranged and dutifully engineered, actual Genocide. A disturbing article at History News Network presents the professional attitude that although “tragic”, what happened to Natives in the Americas, can’t be considered genocide, and the commentary from other “professionals” is even more startling. This attitude reminds me of the way Energy Resource Corporations get controversial projects approved. They hold a series of environmental impact studies that are opposed by citizen grassroots organizations along the way. Each step gets authorized by government regulators and the corporations continue on to the next part of the project. This series of unconnected and connected events ends up with corporate profits, environmental degradation, and all government sanctioned. The EPA becomes the BIA trying to fix “The Indian Problem”.

Even now as we all witness and testify to the uncovering of the dirty little secrets that underlie the Christian Doctrine of Discovery as the philosophy that guided both Slavery and Manifest Destiny, and that this can now all be discarded into “the dustbin of history”… why are Native Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans still determined to hang on to the bloody religions, martyrs and saints of their oppressors? People can and do question their religions but they need their God, like my Mom did. People will still hold on to their beliefs and anything to comfort them in these times that do try the souls of real human beings. Bob Dylan said, “All the truths in the world amount to one big lie”. John Prine said, “Some humans ain’t human.”

It is SO corporate to say, “We didn’t mean it, there was lack of communication from the top down, market trends point to cultural relativism, that superior forces will inevitably do nasty things to the inferior populations who happen to be in the way or occupying the lands in dispute. It was all just tragic and yet so typical of human behavior.” These seeds were planted by their religion and the perpetrators used that religion to justify all manner of dehumanization. That old religion was the cover for exploitation and the new religion is capitalism and corporatism, which is akin to fascism.

George Washington ordered “the complete and utter extermination” of the Iroquois Confederacy with the Sullivan-Clinton scorched earth campaign during the American Revolution. Ever since, his name and the title of all U.S. presidents is known as Kanatakarias, Town--Burner (Destroyer, Eater). It’s said he cried upon learning the name, so that’s something. Part of the debate among scholars who say there was “No American Holocaust or Genocide” is their professional and educated stance of the inevitability of it all since Native Americans had inherent cultural defects, and we produced no Great Minds that would forestall our destruction or cause our oppressors to re-consider their deadly campaigns.

My Mom was a great political barometer, and I learned from her watching political debates on TV and how many times she said, That Man’s Crazy! She predicted Reagan getting shot, laughed at Billy Bob Clinton, she wanted to vote for a woman to be president, turned off the Bush Regime soap operas and started praying a lot more to God to save her loved ones. If there’s a heaven, then my Mom definitely told God to tell Pope Frank to just do something, do your job, and piss off those Republicans.

Alex Jacobs, Mohawk, is a visual artist and poet living in Santa Fe.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page




tmsyr11's picture
The term "Genocide" must be used lightly considering the impact and cause for PUBLIC ALARM considering attack at Mission Carmel, CA. I do know and acknowledge some have called this a simple case of vandelism or maybe an 'accident' or disregard, but according to the TRIBAL SPOKESWOMAN the following was stated- …."The recent desecration to a statue of Junipero Serra that stands at Mission Carmel is extremely troubling to Louise Miranda Ramirez, Tribal Chairwoman of the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation (OCEN). Her tribal homelands are Monterey County, and her own ancestors are buried at Mission Carmel. “We do not approve nor condone the recent desecration. We do not express ourselves in this manner, despite decades of victimization by others. We are a respectful and prayerful group of people,” Ramirez said."…. Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/09/30/esselen-nations-respond-troubling-vandalism-mission-carmel-161916 If genocide is so troubling, why did Native peoples get an "Apology" for US actions to native ppls. signed and quietly distributed by US President Barack Obama, a Democrat? Why didn't any of the sponsors or supporters of Native Genocide question or challenge the US Federal Government in December 2009 or even into 2010 (the Presidential election year)?
tmsyr11's picture
On one right hand (hand motion in sign of STOP), "MOST" can espouse…..GENOCIDE about a generation….. but….yet…. somehow with out a blink of an eye….in a twisted fashion (on the left hand) (hand motion…. open palm) preach and promote INFANTCIDE (def.: genocide of the unboran human generation). But of course, it's name something else, i.e. friendly, soft, light-hearted…..'Pro-Choice'.
timoteo's picture
Alex, I agree, Pope Francis himself is a good man. But I think it is those around him that manipulate for their own agenda. I feel if a delegation of Natives had a private audience along with the documentation that was "lost" by some Priests that were concerned about his tactics, it would have been a different story.
Alamosaurus's picture
One man who should be canonized but hasn't been...yet: Msgr. Bernhard Lichtenberg, a German Catholic Priest who spoke out against the Nazis-- and paid with his life. He was killed--or died on one of the cattle trains on the way to the Dachau concentration camp where Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuerher SS ordered him him sent for protesting the Nazi "euthanasia" program and Nazi antisemitism and racism. There WERE a few "good" Germans, but this is how they ended up.
natsera's picture
Genocide is a sensitive word, and I don't think it quite describes what happened to the First Nations of the Americas. There was certainly death and destruction, and it was maybe not so intentional at the beginning, but got worse and more evil as time went on. "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" is a pretty graphic description of the desire to wipe out natives entirely, but I don't think it was engineered by a single person or government entity. And it was, indeed, propagated by the Catholic and Protestant religions, which makes me wonder why any Native American would stoop so low as to be a member or those religions. I wish there was a better word than genocide, which has come to have a pretty narrow definition, and does not encompass the expanse of anti-Indian activities conducted by the Christian religion, such as Indian schools which took the children away in order to remove any trace of their native culture, cuisine and language, but left them alive to become rootless, unhappy people. Christians (of which I am not one) have a lot to atone for.
Sammy7's picture
" According to the Geneva Convention, we can’t call what happened in the Americas, 'Genocide' ". Alex, would it not be wise to organize and convene a new organization, located in Central or South America, whose judgment is truthful and not Eurocentric, thereby giving voice to the reality of the Great American Genocide? We need not live in a world of purposeful applied fantasy. Regarding Pope Francis, I will not judge him. I do believe that he missed the opportunity to reverse 500 years of religious imperialism and genocide based upon the Bulls Dum Diversas, Romanus Pontifex, and the Inter Caetera, designed to search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue Pagans and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed and all movable and immovable goods and dominions held by them, now known as the Doctrine of Discovery. So now we once again must look to the rings of time and steel ourselves with the long view, living in right relationship and serving as seeds of fire for future generations.
Ronald Thomas West's picture
The article states " Don’t get me wrong, Pope Frank’s OK as Pope’s go, he apparently practices what he and his boss, Jesus Christ, preached" ... I think the author missed something: Bergoglio or 'Pope Frank' has slept with the church right wing for a very long time - http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/01/16/opus-dei-christian-dominion/
Ronald Thomas West
Michael Madrid's picture
Well, one thing is certainly clear; Ignorance is rampant among the genocide apologists who seem to want to steer the issue toward the abortion issue. Too bad there is no such thing as "retroactive abortion."
Michael Madrid
David E.H. Smith's picture
‘YOU’ Committed, &/or, Enabled Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Against Aboriginal Canadians’, et al, or, Was/Is it Corporate Canada’s (The Canadian Establishment’s) Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Committed Against Aboriginal Canadians’? P.M. Harper; Continuing to Blame & Punish Those Who Have Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info’. Truth & Reconciliation between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada, corporate Canada', et al. ‘Inquiry’ Settlements Protect Gratified Rapists, Pedophiles, et al; Courts Only Forum for Justice, Guilt & Reconciliation between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada & corporate Canada'. • Pope Francis may have ‘Difficulty Apologizing to the PM Harper for Residential Schools’ Abuses while PM Continues to Blame & Punish Those Who He Has Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info including the EU? Other Religious Leaders may have similar Difficulties. • What are the various different ways that All Canadians can prevent Secrecy whether it be Human Rights Abuses like The Residential Schools, or, Civil Rights Abuses like the ‘foreign’, &/or, ‘domestic’ treaties? • Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? (Who Will Guard the Guards?) The Redesigned & Elected Senate? • Designer ‘Racism’; Do the Feds Thrive on Continuing to Make Secret Deals with Native & non Native groups in order to Play Both Sides Off of Each Other? • At the time of The Residential Schools abuses & ‘Cultural Genocide’, was the Secrecy surrounding it more, or, less than the secrecy that is now surrounding the TPP & the flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements'; Corporate Canada, The Canadian Establishment & their Media Still Resolute & Without any Remorse? • The Basis for Legislation that Protects All Canadians from the Canadian Establishment, its Secrecy (Treaties/’Arrangements) & Continuing to Play the Most Vulnerable Native Community members off of the Most • Do the Global Corporate Leaders really want to Sign Treaties/'Arrangements' (CETA, TPP, C-CIT/FIPA, et al) with Corporate Canada’s Remorseless Prime Minister (Pay for The WAD Accord's Compensations, etc.) & Being Deprived of Due Diligence Info? • Private Citizens’ Bills to Off-Set Vulnerability to Native & non Native Community members due to Designer ‘Racism’ & Secretive, Sinecure Senate. (CAN) At the risk of annoying Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin & the Justices of The Supreme Court of Canada while they consider the merits of: ‘The Submission’ to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, Japan, the EU, Canada, the Trans Pacific nations, et al v. the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ (see; davidehsmith.wo¬rdpress.com) including 'The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?' (see; davidehsmith.wo¬rdpress.com), would it be more accurate if the Chief Justice said that it was corporate Canada & its associated religious & governmental leaders that attempted 'cultural genocide' on Aboriginal Canadians as opposed to saying the vague remark that is was ‘Canada’ that attempted the aforementioned 'cultural genocide'? And, what other nations are, &/or, can be, implicated as a consequence of being co-signatories to the recent flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements' with Canada? *** Prime Minister Harper; 'Blaming & Punishing Those Who Have Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info’; ‘Inquiry’ Settlements Protect Gratified Rapists, Pedophiles, et al. Courts Only Forum for Justice, Guilt & Reconciliation. RECONCILIATION between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada & corporate Canada'. Excerpts are from "TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED OPINION regarding the Environmental Impact& Context of the Enbridge's Northern Gateway (Pipeline) Project (NGP), et al" by DEHS. (Last Edited; Nov., 2014) "It is also in the spirit of reconciliation between the most vulnerable Native & non-Native Canadians, et al, that ...it seems that most Canadians are insulted for being blamed for PM Harper deliberately depriving non-Native Canadians, & the world court of public opinion...of the information...& then have the "bright idea" of blaming the good people of Alberta, et al, who have been deprived of the information...Therefore, once again the governments are covering for those who need to continue to benefit from the deprivation of the information. And, this time Canadians are being deprived of the information embodied in the comprehensive version of The WAD Accord, etc., at the peril of the most vulnerable Canadians; the info deprivation is continuing to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. I would also like to thank those members of First Nations communities, et al, who are trying to help make non-Native Canadians, et al, aware of the problems created by the lobbying process, particularly, at the level of the federal government that has resulted in the present "diasporas'" fear regarding their suggesting alternatives, improvements, etc., to the Aboriginal political process... And, in the spirit of the reconciliation of the First Nation in Canada & the people of Canada, I think that it is a very appropriate place to apologize on behalf of: 1) the (individuals &) group of Canadians that were, amongst other things, sexually "satisfied", &/or, gratified, et al, by their abuses in The Residential Schools that caused the compensation, et al, whether the abuse was; a) sexual, b) physical, c) psychological, d) racial, e) cultural, f) religious, et al, & /or, g) et al, 2) the Canadians that, not only caused the environment that permitted the abuses, but, also deprived the Canadian public & the world of the information about the abuses for so long, including; a) the executives of the relevant political parties of Canada, b) the relevant lobbyists, if any, & c) their political representatives sitting in the Parliament of Canada, for continuing in their attempts to off-load their responsibility & their guilt on to the information deprived public. Is it regrettable, or, convenient that the Canadian inquiry looking into the Residential Schools abuses deprived the public of the large amount of information that could have been elucidated by plea bargaining defendants in any adversarial, criminal prosecutions? Furthermore, this protection afforded by inquiries, in general, as opposed to criminal prosecutions, provides a great deal of succour for those who are the direct beneficiaries of the information deprivation as it enables the "deprivers" to continue to assist their global associates in their associates' quest to acquire, manage, control & transport the natural resources that are continuing to be found in Canada...” *** For the FULL ARTICLE, see; Google: PART 4 - ENBRIDGE'S NGP; ‘TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED OPINION...; Enbridge's Northern Gateway (Pipeline) Project... by David E.H. Smith, or, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com ________________________________________ Also see; Google; ‘HELP IS ON THE WAY? U.N.’s Mr. Anaya, et al; 'IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS' & ‘The W.A.D. Accord’ & its Compensation. *** For the FULL 'Submission' to the Supreme Court of Canada, see; The Supreme Court of Canada ________________________________________ For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the TTIP, the CET Agreement, TPP, C-CI Treaty, et al, and The WAD Accord & List of RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS& NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com *** Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others...
David E.H. Smith
Ray Evans Harrell's picture
Of course it was genocide Alex and has continued so. I sat on a panel years ago that had many religious leaders including Catholic Theologian Father Leo Lefebure. I had made the statement that if they believed that confession was the beginning of forgiveness then they should tell the truth. Father Lefebure did exactly that with almost an hour of the most horrific history that you could imagine stretching down since the beginning. I asked for a copy and he said no. The beginning of forgiveness after confession is to forgive one's self and elect to repair the damage. Why did the American Congress have to legislate religious freedom for American Indians in 1978? Why does Europe write more than Americans about the financial roots of the Enlightenment, the blossom of Science, the Arts and the Industrial Revolutions as a result of the trillions of dollars put into the European economies from the "New World?" Why are Indians still "Hunter/Gatherers" in American academia and being offered, like the 1828 Cherokee, a metaphorical tin pot, a rifle and plug of tobacco for all of the land East of the Mississippi? What an embarrassing lot they are in their denial. Why did 23 out of every 25 Indigenous people die as a result of breathing the air of the Europeans who propagated in America like mice in Australia? Does Ben Kiernan's masterpiece "Blood and Soil" equivocate on this issue? No. What about Angie Debo and her quotes from the Dawes Commissions and the value of white selfishness or L.Frank Baum the beloved author of the Wizard of Oz? Was he speaking for the American consensus when he advocated extermination of all Indian people? And on and on. We get into food fights around victimization. That's nonsense and the majority's justification that all humanity does it is just the "original sin" guilt trip wrapped up in a modern guise. It's still a Middle Eastern thought pattern having little to do with the remnant nations and cultures here. The pitiful thing about all of this is that most of the Immigrant Americans know almost nothing about where they have gotten so much and from whom? They think it's only land. How will they be educated and integrated into the circle of nations that now exists here and for better or for worse shows the potential for reconciliation? Ray Evans Harrell, Opera Director and Teacher in New York City, from Picher, Oklahoma, of Cherokee lineage.
Ray Evans Harrell