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Colonialism

"White North American Christians, especially those of us from the privileged strata of society, must come to terms with the fact that our reading site for the Gospel of Mark is empire, locus imperium . . .  The 'irreducible meaning' of empire is the geopolitical control of the peripheries by the center . . . the fact remains that those on the peripheries will have 'eyes to see' many things that those of us at the center do not."    - Marty Coleman ; Introduction to Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus by Ched Myers


“To be sure, the church has greatly assisted the colonialist; backing his ventures, helping his conscience, contributing to the acceptance of colonization even by the colonized.”    - Albert Memmi ; The Colonizer and the Colonized


"The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology."    - Angela Davis ; Women, Race and Class


"From this standpoint, Latin American theology examine the question of God from the origins of present-day Latin America. 'Millions of human beings were sacrificed on the altar of gold and silver. God and silver became the new gods.' Leonardo Boff, analyzing what happened five hundred years ago asks: 'Why so much violence? . . . Only to enable the Christians to achieve 'their basic goal which is gold.'' and this is the basic thesis of Gustavo Gutierrez's book Dios o el moro en las Indias (God or gold in the Indes). Then it was called gold, today it has more sophisticated names, but its results are the same. The same history is repeated with new protagonists."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


“Profit should never come at the cost of human blood. Any government that places profit before people is pure evil.”    - Suzy Kassem ; Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem


“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.”    - Martin Luther King Jr. ; Why We Can’t Wait


“Colinialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natrual resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country's industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more deeply.”    - Frantz Fanon ; The Wretched of the Earth


" . . . two key themes that I believe should characterize our theological reflection and guide our practice . . . The first is repentance, which for us implies no only a conversion of the heart, but a concrete process of turning away from empire, its distractions and seductions, it hubris and iniquity. The second is resistance, which involves shaking off the powerful sedation of a society that rewards ignorance and trivializes everything political, in order to discern and take concrete stands in our historical moment, and to find meaningful ways to 'impede imperial progress.'"    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"There is clearly a noticeable resemblance between the situation here in Latin America and that in which Jesus lived . . . [but it] does not lie solely in the objective conditions of poverty and exploitation . . . [but also] in the cognizance that is taken of the situation."    - Jon Sobrino ; Christology at the Crossroads


"The ancient Mediterranean world was dominated by the rule of imperial Rome. However, whereas I read from the center, Mark wrote from the Palestinian periphery. His primary audience were those whose daily lives bore the exploitative weight of colonialism, whereas mine are those who are in a position of enjoy the privileges of the colonizer.  In this sense, Third World liberation theologians, who today also write from the perspective of the collided periphery have the advantage of a certain 'affinity of site' in their reading of the Gospels."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"The United States was a settler-colonial society, the most brutal form of imperialism."    - Noam Chomsky ; Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power


"We in the West must bear in mind that the poor countries are poor primarily because we have exploited them through political or economic colonialism. Americans in particular must help their nation repent of her modern economic imperialism. But movements in our countries alone will not be enough. In Latin America, for example, national reform movements have almost despaired of nonviolent methods; many young men, even many priests, have joined guerrilla movements in the hills. So many of Latin America’s problems have roots in the United States of America that we need to form a solid, united movement, nonviolently conceived and carried through, so that pressure can be brought to bear on the capital and government power structures concerned, from both sides of the problem at once. I think that may be the only hope for a nonviolent solution in Latin America today; and one of the most powerful expressions of nonviolence may come out of that international coalition of socially aware forces, operating outside government frameworks."
   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; The Trumpet of Conscience


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