Thursday, 10 April 2008

Fjordman on Tibet and Europe’s indigenous peoples

At the Brussels Journal blog, Creating a European Indigenous People's Movement:

The next time EU leaders complain about China's treatment of minorities, I suggest the Chinese answer the following: "Yes, we represent an anti-democratic organization dedicated to subduing the indigenous people of Tibet, but you represent an anti-democratic organization dedicated to displacing the indigenous peoples of an entire continent."


I have earlier toyed with the idea of giving native Norwegians the legal status as indigenous people in Norway. A large proportion of my ancestors have lived here since the end of the last Ice Age, for as long as this country has been habitable for humans.


Genetically speaking, native Europeans have thus lived longer on the same continent than have Native Americans. Many Southeast Asians are descendants of southern Chinese settlers who displaced or eradicated the original, dark-skinned inhabitants of the region in early historical times, just as many of the nations of sub-Saharan Africa are Bantu invaders who displaced or eradicated the indigenous Khoi-San peoples throughout much of Africa. Modern-day Japanese have lived in Japan for a shorter period of time than Europeans have lived in Europe. Yet a Scottish councillor, Sandy Aitchison, was chastised for using the term "indigenous" about native Brits. Why is it considered ridiculous or evil if Europeans assert our rights? Is it because we are white? Everybody's supposed to keep their culture, except people of European origins? Is that it? Why is colonialism bad, except when my country, which has no colonial history, gets colonized by Third World peoples?


Excellent article. Do read the rest.

Yesterday I visited the campus of a local university and happened to meet some students, campaigning under a ‘Free Tibet’ banner, for the creation of a state devoted to the interests of the Tibetan people.

For ten minutes or so we had a pleasant chat about Tibet’s history, imperialism and colonialism, and Buddhism. The students’ friendliness gave way to wariness, however, when I pointed out that the Chinese government programs the campaigners found most objectionable were identical to those of most European governments: deliberate demographic transformation contrary to the native peoples’ wishes, suppression of indigenous protest movements, educational programs designed to alienate the native people from their heritage and deracinate them, and the governments’ blanket denial of the native peoples’ ownership of their homelands.

This observation made the students deeply uncomfortable, as it once made me. I remembered my own struggle, thanks to a lifetime’s conditioning, simply to admit that my people have rights too - even that I *had a people*. I decided not to push the kids too hard, so signed their petition, wished them well, and left.

It’s discouraging, naturally, to see English students demanding rights for other peoples they are reluctant to grant their own people. But I console myself with the knowledge that polls show most of our people believe that what these students demand for the Tibetans is owed to us, too. Even these students, I believe, will one day come around to thinking of their own people with same concern they now have for the Tibetans. An organisation and campaign along the lines Fjordman recommends would help return these kids - and our nations - to health all the sooner.

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