“What’s happening now in America is just karma for what we’ve done to the Native Americans.”

I’ve heard this statement going around for a while—when it’s about politics—and it amazes me. We asked for it. A long suppressed national feeling of guilt has found a way out. We will suffer now. One of the biggest genocides in the history of mankind has been swept under the mat and left out of history books for generations. There can be no absolution. Karma, payback time, it’s a bitch. The Great Leader of the United States has risen. It serves us right.

It’s got to be a democrat calling it karma. He does so because he feels totally powerless against today’s abuse of power and he’s desperately looking for a reason why. Karma, then, is always a welcome clincher. The monster is growing bigger and bigger, even threatening world peace. Racism, corruption and bigotry thrive. Little by little, everything Obama built up is being torn down. Every single decision taken by the Great Leader runs counter to my beliefs and to those of the people around me (I live in the Bay Area), so much you would almost be impressed. I prefer to avoid his supporters, but fortunately I don’t meet many around here. If I try really hard, I might forgive them for making the stupid mistake of voting for him in 2016, but I fail to understand anyone sound of mind supporting him nowadays.

But here’s the thing: it isn’t karma.

The genocide was the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Native Americans from East to West. Ever since the occupiers arrived from Europe it was absolute horror what they made all tribes go through. They never intended to live together; they only pretended. Their greed was ruthless; their racism shameless. Their God told them they were superior to everything. Manifest Destiny; they were destined no matter what to conquer “their” continent.

Much later, after all the bloodshed, Native Americans were neatly accommodated in reservations, acquired tribal sovereignty and that was that. But in reality, tribal sovereignty doesn’t mean a thing if after that the government lets you figure everything out for yourself and you don’t have the means to make something of your life; if they give you infertile soil, while you have nomadic roots; if you never have opportunities, for a job, for a better future, for whatever; if you’ve become numb after generations of dependency.

This and much more I wrote about in my book The Girl in the Web.

So today there’s supposed to be retaliation for this horrible chapter of history in contemporary America? In some ways things haven’t changed that much. Making America great again means going backwards in time. Racism, corruption and bigotry were also thriving during the times of the genocide and slavery. It has always been this way, alternated by periods of recovery. Just when you think eight years of Obama changed the country for good, it comes back like never before. Eight years of bottled up bitterness and frustration caused by nothing but the color of a president’s skin has led to this outburst of hate. Nauseating arrogance, politics based on lies; babies separated from their moms at the Mexican border; guns that matter more than lives. White supremacy is the norm. Evangelical Christians have all the power with their discriminating convictions, and Jesus is crying rivers of tears.

There’s discrimination of skin color, religion, culture and sexual orientation. The minimum wage of a Walmart employee still isn’t enough to get by, while their CEO’s swim in their money like Uncle Scrooge. Meanwhile, tax cuts are making that gap only more extreme. And it’s a matter of time until the Great Leader will decide to have that pipeline run right through Indian land in North Dakota, after first having unscrupulously disrespected all the protests.

We will only have karma when the first Native American president is elected or at least a president with Native American blood, someone like Elizabeth Warren, now senator of Massachusetts. The Great Leader calls her Pocahontas and his supporters are laughing along. But Elizabeth Warren is proud of her ancestry and a politician to be reckoned with. We have a long way to go before the genocide is finally retaliated and the right people are in power, if it will happen at all. The midterm elections in November could be a first step in that direction if everyone will go out and vote.

I can’t vote because I’m not a citizen. Luckily, I arrived under the kinder immigration policies of our former president who was black and understood the principles of America. Would I have been permitted to live in this great country if the government asked me if I would be a critic? In Obama’s time, yes. Of course. That’s democracy. But now, I feel I was fortunate to squeak across the line before the next wall goes up.

For now, I can fantasize about how payback might occur. I can imagine a story in which the current powers-that-be get their asses kicked, like in the book I’m working on now. My job is to wake my readers up.


One thought on “Karma

  • July 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Well said Jaap.

    “There’s nothing “ordinary” about decency, courage under fire, compassion, tenacity, lion-heartedness, and that is what is being called forth in a moment – a deeply mythic moment – like this.”
    I will vote and get all my Patients to vote.


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