THE SIN OF WHITE SUPREMACY:
CHRISTIANITY, RACISM, & RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN AMERICA
By Jeannine Hill Fletcher
In a cultural environment that has recently seen the emboldening of self-described white supremacists, Hill Fletcher’s work inoculates against the familiar impulse among American liberal elites to locate racism and its corrosive effects squarely within the disenfranchised, “uneducated” white proletariat, the people that Meryl Streep derided as the “football and mixed martial arts” class at last year’s Golden Globes. Hill Fletcher, however, lays bare the endemic white supremacy that is also present in the rarefied air of European and white American scholarly circles and elite-professional life. One of the many hard truths she uncovers is that virtually every white thinker in the intellectual canon in the United States was—among everything else they were—a white supremacist by our contemporary standards. This is how normalized white supremacy has been throughout modern history.
"Hill-Fletcher shows that the Christian habit of seeing themselves as the chosen ones has often been translated into racial categories as well. In other words, Christian supremacy has historically lent itself to white supremacy, with disastrous consequences. Hill Fletcher proposes educational strategies to disentangle the two that will help us move forward toward racial healing in America."
Embassy of Indigenous Peoples
Doctrine of Discovery
Every Peace and Dignity Journey, every run has a specific theme of focus and destination. The first three journeys concluded in Teotihuacan, Mexico. The fourth and fifth were sealed with four days of ceremony and prayer in Panama. The destination in 2012 was the Maya lands of Ixim Uleuh in Guatemala, and the last run of 2016 concluded in once again in Panama.
Traversing the entire breadth of the continent on the ground from north to south in a continuous prayer of reunification, solidarity, and expression of traditional indigenous spirituality is a monumental commitment that requires surmounting challenges of all sorts. One of the most daunting is the need to cross over the established international borders of the government states of the Americas that control by way of military might the free movement of Indigenous Peoples across their traditional territories. In truth, in fact, and in history – not one of the international borders separating the state republics of the Americas was established with the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples.
In truth, fact, and history – the US-Mexico border is a 2000 mile long scar on the continent established after an illegitimate war of territorial expansion incited by White Supremacy in the form of the ideology of American Manifest Destiny, waged on behalf of the economic interests of the southern slave states, the lust for gold in California and access to federally subsidized right of ways for the transcontinental railroad corporations.
In every one of the past seven Peace and Dignity Journeys, the runners from the North moving South have made the crossing of the Rio Grande into Mexico at the location of El Paso, Texas. During one of these crossings, as the runners carried their songs and prayers across the river, the call out was heard: “We didn’t cross the border, the border TRIED to cross us."
El Paso is a city that predates the founding of the United States of America by one hundred years. It is also the location where the Rio Grande crosses through a pass (El Paso) in the great chain of the Rocky Mountains to travel east towards its own destination in the Gulf of Mexico in the territories of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. The Rio Grande is called the Rio Bravo in Mexico, and in the geography of the diverse Indigenous Pueblos of the upper Rio Grande, it is also known as the river of the Plumed Serpent.
This human bond of sacredness which is carried forward in the spirit of the World Water Ways of Mother Earth we saw emerge in the Dakota Access Pipeline fight: Water of Life, the Prayer Heard Around the World. And in the bloody carnage of the massacre on August 5, 2018 in El Paso at the hands of a D.Trump incited white supremacist, we are moved with the same spirit beyond the rain of tears to respond in compassion, empathy, and justice to bring about the necessary healing that the author Hill Fletcher invokes in her writings on American white supremacy as a social pathology.
Yet as in any form of pathology, a diagnosis of the nature and source of the pathogen is necessary to effectively move towards healing, and not just treat the symptoms. Critically, it must be acknowledged that the social pathology of European colonization of the Americas will require a multigenerational collective cultural response. The crime of colonialism requires decolonization. Colonization cannot be reformed; it must be ended. And although five centuries of colonization will not be brought to an end in one generation, the borders of colonization cannot break the human bond of sacredness which binds us still today as Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth.
A necessary clarification along this trajectory must be that the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border is not a crisis of immigration, it is a crisis of the capitalist system of European American colonization and genocide, which includes cultural genocide. The labeling of the present humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border as an “immigration” issue conceals the true colonial nature of the border and legitimizes acts of state terror and ethnic cleansing disguised as “immigration enforcement”.
The US-Mexico international border is today a fully functioning instrument of empire. It is simultaneously a 2,000-mile-long scar and an open wound. The border is a militarized monument to white supremacy formulated and made necessary by the racist ideology of American Manifest Destiny, both in its historical expression which was the motivation for the war with Mexico in 1846, and its present contemporary “Festering Destiny” extrapolation in the form of the “Trump Wall” border project. The pathological racist tenets of Manifest Destiny, both past and present, are rooted in the false narrative of cultural supremacy of Christendom, whose geopolitical context of “America” has been informed, normalized, and institutionalized by the Doctrine of Discovery. The historical meme of collective cognition being Christopher Columbus and the date of October 12, 1492 (Gregorian).
We are called to move beyond the immediate reaction and contradictions of the moment into a true healing of the spirit of our common humanity, and towards Living with Wellness with the natural world of Mother Earth. We cannot expect peace on Earth if we are not at peace with Mother Earth. We cannot share the spirit of peace if we are not at peace with ourselves, and colonization is the enemy of world peace. The first victims of the abnormal psychology of colonialism begins with the dehumanization of the colonizers themselves by their own kinfolk. No child is born a white supremacist.
The self-destructive cultural climate in society that normalizes white supremacy generation after generation is the same source of the global climate chaos crisis that looms over all life on the planet. In terms of complex adaptive systems theory, it is a maladaptive addiction to alienation. The trauma to the global ecosystems of the natural world being rationalized by dominant models of development, progress, and civilization is an extrapolation to the final frontier of the same schema of colonization that the Indigenous Peoples of all continents continue to resist across the planet.
If racial healing in America is a stated goal, as per author Fletcher, if community healing is an ultimate goal, if the spirit of humanity is the inspiration, if our shared responsibility to the future generations the mandate, is it not necessary to interrogate the construction of the concept and allegiance of “American Exceptionalism” itself as a product of the same systematic pogrom of institutionalized racism now being normalized once again, this time not in the name of overt colonization but development and progress? In the name of electoral politics? In the name of the patriotism of patriarchy? In the name of corporate profits? In the name of healing?
This critical questioning is not meant as an exercise either in negativity or negation, it simply implies the ethical application of criteria and principles of analysis and ethical evaluation in a spirit of respect, inclusion, complementarity and self-determination, along with the following precepts of acknowledgement from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007):
- Indigenous Peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.
- Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
- Indigenous Peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions. Indigenous Peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
- Indigenous Peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.
Head ‘em off at the Pass:
The Law of the Rulers and the US Mexico Border
UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (1960)
The Westphalian System of State Sovereignty and International Borders of the States
Nearly all historians mark the Independence of Mexico from Spain from 1821, when Agustín de Iturbide, the leader of the Royalist forces at the head of the Army of the Three Guarantees, negotiated the Plan of Iguala along with Vicente Guerrero. Three centuries of direct colonization under the Spanish Crown of Christendom were coming to an end, but the dominion concepts of Christendom as a geopolitical project of European imperialism built upon the normalization of “White Supremacy” were to remain immutable even to the present day, not only for Mexico but the entire continent.
Under the Plan of Iguala, Mexico would be established as an independent constitutional monarchy, the privileged position of the Catholic Church would be maintained, and Mexicans of Spanish descent would be regarded as equals to pure Spaniards. This position in demand of equality among European and European-American constituencies is a political articulation that the American colonists would reframe in the demand: “No taxation without representation” in the lead up to the break with the British monarchy, member of the same international regime of Christendom as Spain.
Under the Plan of Iguala Mexicans of mixed or “pure” Indian blood would have lesser rights. The race-based caste system of the Spanish Empire in the Americas was a rigid social structure known as a society of castes (sociedad de castas), institutionalized with the “pure white” Europeans always the top of the hierarchy of power. These racists regimes of colonization systematically perpetrated societies supported by both church and state, and justified intellectually by the tenets of the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom as the theological foundation.
The genocidal racists regimes of colonization, which in Mexico alone resulted in the demise of twenty-five million Indigenous Mexican Peoples within one hundred years of the European invasion of Abya Yala initiated on October 12, 1492 are still in effect today not only across Mexican society, but throughout the continent. One of most insidious aspects of the aftermath of centuries of institutionalized racism and genocide in Mexico has been the internalization of racist social constructs that place a hierarchy of social value on the “pure” blood lines of the Hispanic and Anglo “whites” in discrimination against the Indigenous and Afro-Mexicano pueblos and communities.
An outcome of these policies and practices has been the denial of indigenous cultural identity in favor of the “Hispanic” or “Latino” denominations that are derivatives of the assimilation policies of the Criollo States (Hispanic settler state) in a context of national ethnic minorities, and not self-determined Indigenous Pueblos.
The historical record on this issue is unequivocal. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues presented a formal report on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery in 2010, calling for the repudiation of the “nefarious” doctrine among the member states of the UN system. As precedent and predicate to this report, in affirmation of the inherent right of all Indigenous Peoples to self-determination, the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala proclaimed on the floor of the UN General Assembly on May 18, 2006:
“That the Papal Bull Inter Caetera (1493) of Pope Alexander VI is hereby ANNULLED, as well as whatever Doctrine of Discovery proceeding from which that pretends to deform the relationship of Harmony, Justice, and Peace of we the Indigenous Peoples of Humanity in its entirety.”
The Continental Commission Abya Yala went further, calling for:
“a Tribunal of Justice regarding the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom, by at all levels of humanity across the globe, to address the issue in the historical and legal context of the universal principles of justice and jurisprudence of the Indigenous Peoples.”
If you were to ask the Mexican government to “show me the papers”, in other words provide the empirical historical documentation to prove the Independence of Mexico from the Crown of Spain, the first document inevitably presented is the Treaty of Córdoba (1821), signed by the General Juan O'Donojú for Spain and Agustín de Iturbide for Army of the Three Guarantees of Mexico.
Yet the Treaty of Córdoba not only provided for the continued exclusive religious monopoly of the Catholic Church of Rome in Mexico, the power of head of state would remain within the control of the Royal Families of Spain, which themselves were part of an incestuous Machiavellian (literally) carnal cartel propped up by the Vatican. The Treaty of Córdoba was never ratified by the Spanish Cortes (legislature), and never became an official treaty under international law. When no Spanish royalist took the throne of the now independent Empire of Mexico, Iturbide took the throne for himself and was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on May 18, 1822. The Iturbide monarchy lasted three years, and after the republican revolution of Casa Mata in February 1823, the Mexican Congress no longer considered the Plan of Iguala or Treaty of Córdoba in effect.
Although the US government had announced its intention to recognize the independence of the Spanish-American colonies in 1822, Spain did not recognize Mexico's independence until the Santa María–Calatrava Treaty of December 28, 1836. This was the first case in which the Spanish monarchy acknowledged the independence of a state that had been erected within the limits of her former colonial empire in the New World.
Under the terms of the Santa María–Calatrava Treaty of December 28, 1836 the dominions of Mexico were to be comprised of the former Viceroyalty of New Spain, the captaincy-general of Yucatan, the commandancies of the eastern and the western interior provinces, lower and upper California, along with the annexed territories and adjacent islands. The source of the original purported territorial claim by the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Mexico which was transferred to the Mexico was the royal charters given to Columbus by the monarchy of Spain in 1492 and affirmed from the pinnacle of the imperial structure of Christendom (the Vatican) by Pope Alexander VI via the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493.
As recently as 2016, the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico have called upon the Vatican State and Pope Francis to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and revoke the Papal Bull Inter Caetera of Pope Alexander VI 1493 as the basis for the legal concept of "original property of the nation", under which the current government of the Republic of Mexico presumes to make delivery of the territories of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples to national and international industries for resource extraction, mining and neo-extractivism in general in violation of the right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
Today this issue looms in critical national and international importance, as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a modification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is due for consideration, debate and vote of approval before the US Congress in September 2019. There can be no approval of USMCA without recognition, respect, and effective mechanisms for the protection of the internationally recognized Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the trade zone encompassing the three countries, specifically the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). Consultation is not consent.
In distinction from NAFTA which was adopted in 1994 thirteen years before adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the signatories of USMCA must comply with the minimum standards of FPIC or the corporate consortia investing in any development project in violation of FPIC will immediately become financially liable and exposed to the risk of legal challenges and financial penalties that must be presented before their constituencies (states) and shareholders (corporations). This principle is now well established, having been the subject of the Soft Woods Lumber Dispute (1982) between the US and Canada which acknowledged the proprietary rights of Indigenous Peoples over territories and resources in the international trade tribunals. Recognizing this fact, the World Bank has restructured its procedures, protocols and practices regarding Indigenous Peoples and the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent under the Environmental and Social Standard 7 to shield its interests.
The declaration of DOMINION over territory, a prerequisite in the Westphalian System of International Law (1648) wherein the Sovereign State serves as the matrix of geopolitical power relationships among the elites, still functions in the form of what is now called the United Nations System, a global system of governance whose membership is comprised of mutually recognized government states exercising state sovereignty.
In Mexico the normalization and institutionalization of the Doctrine of Discovery which began with the Vice Royalty of New Spain was continued in the formation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, where the dogma of the Alexandrian Bulls is reaffirmed in supremacy over the territorial rights of the Indigenous Peoples. In the US legal system, the same effect was achieved in 1823 with the US Supreme Court decision Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823). With the Monroe Doctrine, also in 1823, the geopolitical schema of supremacy codified in the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom was extended across the continent, with the distinction that no longer would the Royal Families of Christendom be controlling the implementation and perpetuation of the doctrine, from then on the power of hegemony over the hemisphere would shift to Washington, DC and Uncle Sam.
Meanwhile back at the Rancho Grande
The international border between the US and Mexico separates the domestic states of Texas and Coahuila on either side, respectfully. The international border between the US and Mexico which was formalized by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), modified by the Treaty of la Mesilla (Gadsden Purchase 1853) and then again in 1963 with the Chamizal Treaty is not a legitimate border of international political or community cultural significance for the still surviving Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Anahuac, Abya Yala.
Clarification: As Indigenous Peoples exercising the right of Cultural Self Determination, and demanding the freedom from discrimination, we are also now called to respectfully reaffirm that we deny consent and we shall not comply with the colonizers conceptions of domesticated constituencies of ethnic groups now being denominated as either “Hispanic” or “Latino” in the US political discourse. The origins of the name “Hispanic” begins with the Celtic Iberians, and became officialized as a provincial constituency (Hispania) under the Roman Empire, similar to Africa Proconsularis. Although the category of “Mexican” was once used in the 1930 US census as denominator, in 1980 the substitution of “Hispanic” was introduced. The terms “Latino” and “Latin America” were made first made public in Paris, France in 1856, and later served as context of rationalization for the French project of Empire in the Americas which began with the invasion of Mexico in 1862.
While we fully respect the right of self-identification and self-determination of all peoples and communities without exception or discrimination, this reduction from the international legal standard of being recognized as “Indigenous Peoples, equal to all other peoples…” is tantamount to the same technique of reductions that our ancestral peoples endured under the Spanish Empire, when we were violently forced onto the enconmiendas, haciendas, mines, and plantations of the Spanish colonizers to work as peons for hundreds of years, and our original indigenous identities were stripped away from us for being uncivilized attributes of “savagery”.
The territorial base of the present state of Texas began officially with Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas commonly referred to as Mexican Texas. The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha, which means "friend" in the Caddo language. When the newly independent government of Mexico opened up Mexican Texas to US immigration in 1823, a cascade of historical events ensued that must be contextualize by the violent conflict over human slavery which led to the US Civil War and the fact that many “White” American immigrants into Texas openly defied the existing law of Mexico which established a prohibition against human slavery.
On March 2, 1836 the Texian delegates to the assembled in Convention signed a Declaration of Independence forming the Republic of Texas which was subsequently admitted into the USA on February 19, 1846. The U.S. state of Texas declared its secession from the United States of America on February 1, 1861 and joined the Confederate States on March 2, 1861.
Towards the end of the US Civil War, one aspect of the relationship between the agencies of French “White Supremacy” in Mexico and the armies of the Confederacy in Texas was a plan of alliance and collusion between the Confederacy and the French imposed emperor Maximilian in Mexico (1861) that would be to the benefit of both white supremacist political projects. With the defeat of the Confederacy and the failure of the French to install Maximillian as emperor of Mexico the plan collapsed, but the ideology lives on today in the form of corporate mergers of the mass media empires controlled by the “White” elites of both countries.
The 1836 Republic of Texas claimed borders which were based upon the Treaties of Velasco (1836) between the Texas Republic and President Antonio López de Santa Anna of Mexico. The eastern boundary had been defined by the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 between the United States and Spain, which recognized the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Spanish Texas and western boundary of the Missouri Territory. Under the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 the United States had renounced its claim to Spanish land to the east of the Rocky Mountains and to the north of the Rio Grande, which it claimed to have acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
The Treaties of Velasco were two documents signed at Velasco, Texas on May 14, 1836, between President Santa Anna of Mexico and the Republic of Texas, in the aftermath of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
Santa Anna signed both a public treaty and a secret treaty, but neither treaty was ratified by the Mexican government because he had signed the documents under coercion, as a prisoner. Mexico claimed Texas was a breakaway province, but it was too weak to attempt another invasion. The documents were not even called "treaties" until so characterized by US President James K. Polk in his justifications for war some ten years later, as Representative Abraham Lincoln pointed out in 1848. Lincoln's criticism of the war on Mexico earned the then freshman Congressman the derisive nickname "Spotty" Lincoln.
The republic's southern and western boundary with Mexico was disputed throughout the republic's existence. Texas claimed the Rio Grande as its southern boundary, while Mexico insisted that the Nueces River was the boundary. When Texas was annexed by the United States on December 29, 1845 United States inherited the southern and western border dispute with Mexico, which became the excuse for the US Declaration of War on Mexico (1846–1848).
These international border disputes and agreements between the two republics were consolidated in the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), and the modifications made by the Gadsden Purchase/Treaty of La Mesilla (1853) and the Chamizal Treaty (1963). The international border at El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua is a geopolitical waypoint in this 200 year old narrative which includes the invasion of Mexico by the US Army, the dispossession of nearly half of Mexico’s territory, the systematic exploitation of Mexican labor as a disposable commodity in the US agribusiness, service, and construction industries, and the subjugation of the economic infrastructure of the country to the command economy directives of “El Rancho Grande del Norte” in Washington, DC.
In other words, the combined royal fleets and corporate armies of the Niña, the Pinta, the Santa Maria and the Mayflower: The NAFTA and the NARCO. Today this hegemon operates under the schema of the doctrine of neoliberalism, where the mechanisms of state are openly subsumed to the agenda of corporate supremacy and control under the international financial systems dominated by the fossil fuel global consortia of petropolis.
Not to be left out, (pun intended) among those who supported the conquest of Mexico by the US, were Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Having published the Communist Manifesto also in 1848, Marx and Engels believed that the U.S. invasion would accelerate the development of a “modern” capitalist Mexico, eventually producing a revolutionary state led by the proletariat. Marx and Engels favored the territorial expansion of progressive capitalism and supported the European imperialist aggressions being waged against "backward" tribes of Indigenous Peoples around the world. This version of the Master’s Narrative emerged as a “scientific” theory promoted by Social Darwinists who posited as inevitable the social evolution of human societies from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization.
It was the American anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan who is credited with first articulating the theory in his publication Ancient Society (1877) based on his observations among the Haudenosaunee Confederation (Iroquois). This book was the inspiration for Friedrich Engels who later wrote the book "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" published in 1884. The Social Darwinists applied the theory of terrestrial biological evolution trying to analyze the evolution of family systems, but could only surmise from within the intellectual matrix of the reductionist sciences being formulated according to the dogma of materialism fundamental to the Western worldview: The Mastermind of the Master’s Narrative.
Engels expanded Morgan's hypothesis, positing what economic factors caused the transformation of the "primitive community" into a society divided into classes. The Engels theory of control of material resources, and then Karl Marx's, was used to explain the cause-effect of change in family structure and its functioning. In the Western intellectual hierarchy, the popularity of this theory was almost without challenge until the 1980’s when other theories, notably structural functionalism, gained acceptance.
Today, under the controlling rubric of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the spirituality and scientific reality of the millennial cultures of Indigenous Peoples on all continents of Tonantzin, Our Sacred Mother Earth, has yet to been substantively integrated into any projection of the matrix of values, whether in social, political, or cultural terms in global economic policies. The concept of currency has been captured and is being held hostage by the alienated institutions of the global financial markets. Alternative conceptions of community currencies which are life sustaining and not profit driven have been ignored.
Today the commodification of the natural world (Time is Money:Space is Property) extends to the sky itself as “Green Corporate Economics” promotes carbon offset markets to $deal$ with greenhouse gas emissions. Anthropocentric conceptions of society, which presume the human being in supremacy over other life forms of the planet, now have gone to as far as to identify the Anthropocene as a geochronological epoch marked by the spike in impact of human technologies on the ecosystems of earth.
The Haudenosaunee Councils of Self Government and territorial jurisdiction that still function today are not based on the concepts of “dominion” “control” or “ownership” but gratitude, confederacy, and responsibility to future generations of all life. A visit to the Haudenosaunee Councils of self-government still standing today outside of the US and Canadian governments’ colonizing systems of control and domestication, serves as a reminder that the theoretical assumptions of the “civilized” “modern” paradigm are many times simply presumptions of superiority over the Indigenous Peoples whom are regarded as “savages” and “underdeveloped”. These petrified ideologies of the Master’s Narrative, both right and left, consider Indigenous Peoples as obstacles to progress and development.
The addiction of alienation, the spiritual void at the core of the colonizing social schema, feeds upon the greed of human consumption and the profiteering of consumerism. In this schema of “civilization” capitalism is the drug of not of choice, but the anesthesia that threatens to overwhelm the critical consciousness of humanity. As the power elites of the world scramble to institute a system of global climate apartheid, the oligarchies and plutocracies push the public constituencies into a coma of limitless consumerism and denial of the evident realities of anthropogenic climate change exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
What is evident is what is absent. The Master’s Narrative is silent when it comes to speak of justice. The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 precedes by twenty years the ratification of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution (1868) wherein the rights of US citizenship and nationality were opened up for the first time in US history to “non-whites”.
How did the treaty address this issue in the articles 8 and 9 which described the terms of acquisition or retention of nationality for the Mexican constituencies in the ceded territories? For the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the territory preceding the arrival of Spain or the independence of Mexico?
With what justification did the Mexican government of 1848 presume to negotiate away the territorial and human rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the territory who never gave consent to such an agreement of representation?
It was not until 1987 that the violation of the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Territories was addressed in the context of contemporary Human Rights law standards. That year during the annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland a representative of Tlahtokan Izkalotl presented a formal intervention which provided the documentary evidence of the systematic discrimination against the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, specifically violation of the right of Self Determination. The 1987 denunciation before the highest international agency of human rights protection revealed a system of international collusion and colonization which begins with the denial of the right of nationality of Indigenous Peoples as Original Nations of Mother Earth whose histories in the territory and on the continent Abya Yala supersede the arrival of the European “settler states” by millennia.
The collusion is systemic. The system is the colonial implementation of the Westphalian system of state sovereignty and the imposition by force of state violence categories of citizenship and nationality (or lack thereof) in the republics established under the colonizing schema of the states, along with their respective “immigration” legislative frameworks and enforcement policies. In both the US and Mexico, the legislative framework of the states is dominated by the pervasive cultural schema of “White” supremacy. This continues to be the real “immigration issue” across the continent which faces not only the still surviving Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples, but the moral conscience of the corresponding constituencies of the settler states and the international community at large.
All of the domestic states and national sovereignties of the republics which emerged from European-American colonization preceded from colonies, provinces, and territories that derived their claims for territorial dominion in this hemisphere on the racist Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom and the legaloid precedent of the Papal Bulls Inter Caetera 1493. The states of Texas and Coahuila are not an exception, but they are distinguished from each other by the mechanisms by which this purported territorial settler state jurisdiction was developed and has been upheld till today.
In the case of Texas, the Common Law of the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence provides the context for the legal argument, while in Coahuila it is the Civil Law as derivative of the legal systems of the Roman Empire that rules the court systems. Two systems, same game.
Consequently, the international borders of the domestic states and national sovereignties of the republics which emerged from European-American colonization must also be acknowledged to be vestiges of colonialism which was proclaimed an illegal violation of international law by UN General Assembly resolution 1514 in 1960:
Adopted by General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960
Mindful of the determination proclaimed by the peoples of the world in the Charter of the United Nations to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Conscious of the need for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being and peaceful and friendly relations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples, and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Recognizing the passionate yearning for freedom in all dependent peoples and the decisive role of such peoples in the attainment of their independence,
Considering the important role of the United Nations in assisting the movement for independence in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories,
Convinced that the continued existence of colonialism prevents the development of international economic co-operation, impedes the social, cultural and economic development of dependent peoples and militates against the United Nations ideal of universal peace,
Affirming that peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law,
Believing that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in order to avoid serious crises, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith,
Welcoming the emergence in recent years of a large number of dependent territories into freedom and independence, and recognizing the increasingly powerful trends towards freedom in such territories which have not yet attained independence,
Convinced that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory,
And to this end Declares that:
1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.
2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
The US Declaration of Independence was ratified at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 by all thirteen states, formerly colonies under the British Crown. The First Continental Congress (1774) had to make do with the absence of Georgia, who was too engaged in beating back (with British support) the indigenous uprising of the Creek Nation to attend.
The Creek Nation would later suffer the Trail of Tears (1830-1850), a series of forced marches of relocation to the Oklahoma Territory justified under the 1830 Indian Removal Act. Only after the Creek were violently removed from their ancestral homelands was Georgia integrated into the US federation of states, as a “white male” political construct. In spite of all the official accountings of the Master’s Narrative of American History (a history of colonization and world empire) the 23,000 remnants of the Creek nation that made their way to Oklahoma between 1827 and the end of removal in 1837, were in reality not “emigrants” from their original national homelands, they were not “immigrants” to another foreign country, and neither were they “migrants” on expedition to explore new lands of their own free will.
The Creek Nation was forced from their ancestral homelands to make way for the economies of exploitation and colonization at the hands of the expanding “White” elite power structure, AKA America. An objective analysis today would describe the same processes of historical dynamics to report on the assault on the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador under the very same regimes of exploitation and colonization, now modernized in the age of multilateral “Free Trade Agreements”. The result is econogenics, the policy and tactics of ethnic cleansing realized via the monopoly on violence of the State, at the service of the corporate and financial empires of neoliberal capitalism.
The history of transition from a chartered colony of Christendom, to a territory ruled by force of violent invasion by the European American “white” colonizers, to the formation of a polity of statehood and subsequent admission into the union of states called the USA, also required a systemic mechanism to control the allegiances, nationality and citizenship of the constituencies of the new republic as a whole. In the absence of the absolute command of allegiance of the Sovereign, in this case King George of England, the colonies broke from the modus operandi of the cartel of the Divine Right of Kings (Christendom). It became necessary to format the public consciousness in a systematic manner, manufacturing consent for the rationalization and expansion of territorial dominion via political acts of allegiance to the Divine Right of States. It became necessary to manufacture the mythology of America.
The “experiment in American Democracy” developed a constitutional framework based on recognition of the democratic principle of the inherent right of self-governance of the “people” by the “people”. But “people” is not “peoples” and in the tradition of precedent embedded in the principles of Anglo-American common law, the “people” is plural of the “person” in legal status, responsibility and rights.
In the beginnings of the United States of America the controls on allegiance, nationality, and citizenship in the fledgling republic was simply done by controlling and defining the legal concept of “person” within the norms of the culture and the proceedings of the courts at all levels. The Declaration of Independence refers to “Savage Tribes”, positioning Indigenous Peoples completely outside of the body politic and legal personhood of the new republic, while later the US Constitution referred to the African human slaves as 3/5 of a person.
This system came under stress from within after the Civil War when the 14th Amendment to the constitution (1868) established a new context for the interpretation of the rights of “persons” within the construct of US society and corresponding rights of citizenship. Although “American Indians” were excluded from the protections of the 14th Amendment, corporations as “artificial persons” have been acknowledged with the rights of personhood in US law since 1888.
After the 14th Amendment and the consequent adoption of Civil Rights laws, the non-white constituencies were provided access to the rights of US citizenship and nationality, but only within the constraints of what the dominant “White power structure” would allow.
It must be acknowledged that the US Civil Rights are laws protecting individual rights and privileges, not collective rights. The international crimes of colonization and genocide could never be addressed or resolved in a domestic court operating under the constraints of context and precedent of the settler state juridical systems. Much less treaty rights, such as presented in the still ongoing conflict over the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Treaty Territories of Standing Rock.
For the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples to subscribe to be minions of this dehumanizing geopolitical schema of dominion, to aspire to “equality” with the colonizer in the system of the colonizer is tantamount to 525 morons trying to ride a single oxcart to the Metropole Ride at Disneyland.
These provisions of the 14th amendment are codified in the Federal Statutes under United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 8 "Aliens and Nationality." There are 15 Chapters in Title 8; Chapter 12 governs Immigration and Nationality. There are 5 subchapters.
U.S. Code Title 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
SUBCHAPTER I—GENERAL PROVISIONS (§§ 1101-1107)
SUBCHAPTER II—IMMIGRATION (§§ 1151-1382)
SUBCHAPTER III—NATIONALITY AND NATURALIZATION (§§ 1401-1504)
SUBCHAPTER IV—REFUGEE ASSISTANCE (§§ 1521-1525)
SUBCHAPTER V—ALIEN TERRORIST REMOVAL PROCEDURES (§§ 1531-1537)
In the breakdown of U.S. Code Title 8 from Chapters to Subchapters a constraint of definition of the term “person” is disclosed.
In Subchapter I (General Provisions §§ 1101-1107) and Subchapter II (Immigration §§ 1151-1382): “person means an individual or an organization”.
The meaning of “person” in Subchapter III Nationality and Naturalization (§§ 1401 – 1504) is not equivalent to: “an individual or organization”.
SUBCHAPTER III—NATIONALITY AND NATURALIZATION is the section of the USCA Title 8 where the terms of the policies and law are set in order to ORDER the regulations to follow regarding implementation of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1 Bouv. Inst. n. 13
Here is the body of the law:
Subchapter I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1101. Definitions
Chapter 12 – Immigration and Nationality
8 U.S. Code § 1101. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter—……….
(b) As used in subchapters I and II—
(c)As used in subchapter III...
The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
National of the United States
(22) The term “national of the United States” means
(A) a citizen of the United States, or(B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.
Treaties are not made between a sovereign state and its citizens, or nationals.
Treaty issues of dispute are not resolved in domestic courts, nor immigration courts established under the arbitrary and discriminatory policies of an Attorney General that is a political panderer to a deranged president.
Therefore, for a polity such as the USA that derives is purported legal claim of territorial integrity [dominion] on the continent to being a successor settler state to the nefarious “Doctrine of Discovery” of Christendom, it is a legal impossibility to recognize the collective personality of the Indigenous Peoples as being equal in right before the law since to do so would necessitate the recognition of full equality, without discrimination, of the individual indigenous “person” as being equal to a “white person”.
Such a policy, or court decision, or legislation, or presidential executive order, or political doctrine would defy and deconstruct the logic and the theology of the very principles of cultural superiority and the dominion of Christendom that the Doctrine as an ideology of inequality commands over Indigenous Peoples of this continent. The claims of jurisdiction over indigenous territories in legal terms by the states would disintegrate into nullity.
The normalization of the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom as instituted in law and precedent in the US system of jurisprudence functions as a form of international affirmative action of systematic discrimination in favor of the European American “White” constituencies.
The recognition of Indigenous Peoples in equality as “persons” within the domestic context of Chapter 12 of the Immigration and Nationality provisions of the U.S. Code Title 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY would immediately invoke the equality of Indigenous Peoples as “Peoples, equal to all other peoples…” in the context of contemporary international law. Seen in this light, the notorious SCOTUS “Marshall Trilogy” of the Discovery Doctrine, Plenary Power, and Domestic Dependent Nationhood collapses into total incoherence.
As peoples equal to all other peoples, the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples would also consequently and necessarily be recognized in terms of International Law as “Nations, equal to all other nations” whereupon the racist and discriminatory tenets of the Doctrine of Discovery are cast off as the pathologic relic of the era of European colonization.
The Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom is a zombie doctrine, it was death on arrival.
“This preliminary study establishes that the Doctrine of Discovery has been institutionalized in law and policy, on national and international levels, and lies at the root of the violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights, both individual and collective. This has resulted in State claims to and the mass appropriation of the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples. Both the Doctrine of Discovery and a holistic structure that we term the Framework of Dominance have resulted in centuries of virtually unlimited resource extraction from the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. This, in turn, has resulted in the dispossession and impoverishment of indigenous peoples, and the host of problems that they face today on a daily basis.”
In the intervention by Tlahtokan Izkalotl at the 1987 United Nations Human Rights Commission, the correlation between the international legal systems regulating cession of territories among the dominions of Christendom was referenced as an example of the systemic collusion among the successor states in the Americas. This collusion is in play even as the colonizing powers compete and engage each other in open war over territory and markets.
The Crown of Spain transfers a franchise of title, not a possessory right, over territory to the Crown of France, the Crown of France then sells the franchise complete with the brand name of the French King to the bastard issue of the King of England (Uncle Sam), and voilà! Historians then teach about the Louisiana Purchase without substantive critical questioning of the underlying, overlying, and just plain lies of the original claims to purported title over the territories which all three monarchies share in common as subscribers to the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom, patented by the King of Kings in the Vatican.
Today the game is the same, but the rules have been modified to enable the modern mechanisms of expropriation of resources and exploitation of labor in the form of “International Trade Agreements”, either multilateral or bilateral. Colonialism today in not called colonization, it is called development. Of the top 100 economic entities in today’s world, 69 are not countries but corporations. Of the top 200 the number is 157.
There is no pretense today that the Development Goals being promoted by the World Bank with the UN system in tow is intended to enhance the development of our common humanity or defend the Human Rights of our Common Future: the future generations. The agenda is set by the profit margins of the corporate and financial regimes that control and manipulate the international systems that dominate global international relations. The scheme calls for the privatization of profits and the externalization of costs to the public coffers.
The environmental devastation and cumulative effects of the degradation of ecosystems resulting in TERRACIDE is not on the agenda nor is it recognized except within the context of the “market mechanisms” of the financial markets of global capitalism. These issues are not properly identified as exposures of risk and financial liability for corporations in the standard accounting practices that regulate the reporting of profit margins for the global financial markets, such as the World Bank.
Instead, the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples who stand in defense of the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth on their traditional homelands are to be annihilated by any means necessary.
Today the multi-lateral or bi-lateral trade agreements and financial arrangements define the power arrangements of “Free Market Zones” and international private-public consortia among the corporate cartels. Yet the international corporate cartels rely on the appearances of legitimacy that the licensing procedures and regulatory privileges which the settler state mechanisms provide in order to continue the plunder and destruction of indigenous territories with impunity.
In 1848 the stipulations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in articles 8 and 9 for the collective naturalization of the former citizens and subjects of the Republic of Mexico who remained north of the line of demarcation of the new border did not specifically distinguish these Mexicans Nationals as “White Mexicans” or “non-white Mexicans”. Article 11 identified the “savage tribes” who continued to occupy “a great part of the territories…” and also “Indians inhabiting the territory of either of the two republics”.
Instead the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo identified “Mexicans now established” and “Mexicans not established” in Article 8. In today’s context we might presume that these phrasings refer to Mexicans “with papers” and Mexicans “without papers”. There is absolutely no mention of either “Hispanics” or “Latinos” an any article of the treaty.
The question then becomes how was it that the non-white Mexican Indigenous Peoples, Original Nations, and other non-whites were to become integrated into the rights of US citizenship in 1848 when the process of naturalization into the US body politic was limited under the naturalization proceedings to the “Free White Male”? Or conversely, was integration ever really the objective, or has the political project of the “Trump Wall” revealed that US federal policy towards non-white Mexicans in the ceded territories is either forced assimilation (as Latinos or Hispanics) or annihilation as Indigenous Peoples?
Enter the non-citizen national.
U.S. Code Title 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
CHAPTER 12— IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY
Subchapter I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1101.8 Definitions
(22) The term “national of the United States” means
(B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.
Person – Inhabitant - Savage
Here is the Article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as ratified:
The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the meantime, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the enjoyment of all these rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the Religion which they profess.Similar language is also to be found in the Adams-Onís 1819 Treaty with Spain:
The inhabitants of the ceded territories shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion, without any restriction; and all those who may desire to remove to the Spanish dominions shall be permitted to sell or export their effects, at any time whatever, without being subject, in either case, to duties.Preceding the 14th Amendment in 1868, the times were very mean indeed if you were a non-white “inhabitant” within the territorial boundaries of the USA. If you were considered a “Savage” or “Indian” the greatness of America was a promise of dispossession, forced assimilation, and genocide.
Louisiana State Constitution of 1812
Sect. 4. No person shall be a Representative who, at the time of his election is not a free white male citizen of the United States, and hath not attained to the age of twenty one years, and resided in the state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county for which he may be chosen or in the district for which he is elected in case the said counties may be divided into separate districts of election, and has not held for one year in the said county or district landed property to the value of five hundred dollars agreeably to the last list.
The Mississippi Constitution of 1817
ARTICLE III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
Section 1. Every free, white male person of the age of twenty-one years or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, and shall be enrolled in the militia thereof, except exempted by law from military service; or, having the aforesaid qualifications of citizenship and residence, shall have paid a State or county tax, shall be deemed a qualified elector: no elector shall be entitled to vote, except in the county, city or town (entitled to separate representation) in which he may reside at the time of the election.
Alabama Constitution of 1819
ARTICLE III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.SEC. 5. Every white male person of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last three months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector: Provided, that no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this State; and provided, also, that no elector shall be entitled to vote except in the county, city, or town, (entitled to separate representation,) in which he may reside at the time of the election.Florida joined the union of states as a slave state after at least three major wars of extermination and displacement of the Seminole Nation.
Florida Constitution of 1838
ARTICLE VI. The Right of Suffrage and Qualifications of Officers; Civil Offices; and Impeachments, and Removals from Office.
Section 1. Every free white male person of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, and who shall be at the time of offering to vote a citizen of the United States; and who shall have resided, and had his habitation, domicil, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida for two years next preceding the election at which he shall offer to vote; and who shall have at such time, and for six months immediately preceding said time, shall have had his habitation, domicil, home, and place of permanent abode in the County in which he may offer to vote, and who shall be enrolled in the Militia thereof, (unless by law exempted from serving in the Militia,) shall be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under this Constitution, and none others;In 1850 California was admitted to the US under the following constitution which stated:
Californian Constitution 1849
Article II. Right of Suffrage
Sec. 1. Every white male citizen of the United States, and every white male citizen of Mexico, who shall have elected to become a citizen of the United States, under the treaty of peace exchanged and ratified at Queretaro, on the 30th day of May, 1848 of the age of twenty–one years, who shall have been a resident of the State six months next preceding the election, and the county or district in which he claims his vote thirty days, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now or hereafter may authorized by law: Provided, nothing herein contained, shall be construed to prevent the Legislature, by a two–thirds concurrent vote, from admitting to the right of suffrage, Indians or the descendants of Indians, in such special cases as such proportion of the legislative body may deem just and proper.What was to become the States of New Mexico and Arizona were originally formulated under the Territory of New Mexico, whose enabling act in 1850 stated:
31st US Congress, Chapter 49 September 9, 1850
US Territorial Act Government of New Mexico,
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That every free white male inhabitant, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of said Territory at the time of passage of this act, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said Territory; but the qualifications of voters and of holding office, at all subsequent elections, shall be such as be prescribed by the legislative assembly: Provided, That the right of suffrage, and of holding office, shall be exercised only by citizens of the United States, including those recognized as citizens by the treaty with the republic of Mexico, concluded February second, eighteen hundred and forty-eight.The land lust of territorial expansion under the White Supremacy Doctrine of US Manifest Destiny reached the west coast of the continent in 1848 after the War on Mexico, but it didn’t stop there. In 1893 the Kingdom of Hawaii was illegally overthrown in a US led conspiracy with the support of the US Marines, and in 1898 the Territory of Hawaii was created as an organized incorporated territory under US sovereign dominion. Hawaii was annexed as the 50th state in 1959.
Also in 1898, thirty years after the adoption of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, the US stepped onto the world stage for the first time as a truly global imperial power with the Treaty of Paris with Spain. Under the terms of this treaty, Spain ceded her colonial interests in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Puerto Rico today is recognized as an unincorporated territory in Associated Free State status under the US federal republic, while Guam is only an unincorporated territory of the United States. The Philippines was under bloody US martial rule until achieving full independence in 1946, while the US maintains the Guantánamo Bay military compound still today in Cuba.
1898 Treaty of Paris: Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain
The inhabitants of the territories which His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, by this treaty, shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of the United States.
Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce and professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which they may reside.
In the case of Puerto Rico, under these provisions of the 1898 Treaty of Paris between Spain and the US, the full rights of citizenship, namely the option to either retain Spanish Nationality or the choice to pursue a “path to citizenship” under the US occupation was ONLY LEGALLY AVAILABLE to the “White” European Peninsulares, those born in Spain.
The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.
As was the case of the incorporation of territories and populations acquired under the international Law of War as articulated in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico in 1848, the “inhabitants” of the territory of Puerto Rico acquired by cession from Spain were segregated into two categories. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) the categories were “established” and “not established” Mexicans. In 1898 and the Treaty of Paris, the categories were “Peninsulares” of Spain and the “native inhabitants” of Puerto Rico.
The problem for the US in 1848 was that the prerogatives of citizenship of the Mexican constituencies of the treaty territories at the time was operative under the Mexican law of the Constitution of 1824, which did not allow for such racial segregation. For that reason, the original article IX of the treaty created an international legal entanglement regarding US-Mexican-Indigenous nationality that persists unresolved to this day.
Mexican nationals who could “pass for white” (i.e. Purity of Hispanic, Criollo or Peninsular bloodlines) could avail themselves individually of the procedures of the “path to citizenship” via the territorial and statehood acts in place that recognized “white male citizens of Mexico” in parity to the Anglo “free white male”. Pablo De La Guerra of Santa Barbara, California was one of these. De La Guerra argued against being identified as a “Mexican Indian” before the California Supreme Court in 1870, claiming status as a “White Male Citizen of Mexico” making him eligible for US citizenship.
The original article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo however called for the maintenance and protection of the liberty, property and civil rights of Mexicans in the ceded territories as vested in the laws of Mexico at the time. For a society such as was being constructed under the social schema of “White supremacy” and the pathology of Manifest Destiny, the commitment by the US federal government to protect the civil rights of non-white Mexicans in the territories was not only untenable, it was never even a real consideration.
In reflection, the systemic nature of the openly discriminatory official policies in affirmation of “European White Supremacy” as a geopolitical project with global horizon is irrefutable. Upon analysis and comparison of the agreements that emerged from the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 where the European colonizing powers regulated among themselves the “Scramble for Africa” the same colonial doctrines were sanctified in the name of “Western Civilization”.
In Geneva in 1987, representatives of the Zulu Nation also attending the UN Human Rights Commission, in intra-continental consultation with the delegation of Tlahtokan Izkalotl, confirmed that in fact the British-American colonizing history of North American was identical to that of the British-Boer Republic in South Africa.
The correlations between the tenets of the Doctrine of Discovery, the “principles of the US Constitution”, “white supremacy”, “white person”, “US citizenship”, “US Nationality” and international legal personality are obvious when studied in historical record. What appears to be lost in the confusion of the day is how this legaloid planetary pathology has morphed into an agency of neoliberal corporate imperialism, and ultimately self-destruction.
To fast forward to the current public dialogue on race, white supremacy, and institutionalized racism in US that has been intensified during the administration of President D.Trump, every day we see and hear echoes of the memes of caste that are reinforced every time the phrase “white people” or “white” is used to describe the European American populations of the United States. That perpetuation of a caste-based society would be completely antithetical to the precepts of the “American Experiment of Democracy,” yet remain embedded in the vernacular of public and private discourse regarding social relationships has roots in the Indo-European histories, but is codified in the US Civil Rights statutes as follows:
United States Code
(a) Statement of equal rightsThe term WHITE CITIZEN is contextualized by the language of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution as follows:
All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.Thus, the connection is made institutionally and culturally via the jurisprudence of the Master's Narrative, between concepts of white citizen and WHITE PERSON, establishing legal personality within the US social construct as a function of relationship to the dominant “white” power structures of rights and obligations. The anomaly being the Nican Tlacah Indigenous Peoples who supersede the US jurisdiction as sovereign confederations of nations holding treaty relationships with the US and other government states of the world.
It is evident today that the violent extremism of “White Supremacy” in American society is a cresting phenomenon reflecting the insecurity of a public constituency whose identity must first be normalized as “white” in order immigrate into the psychology “White Supremacy”. The atrocities of extreme violence being committed that target the “non-white” communities across the country are being met by a likewise cresting wave of denunciation and determination to address the root cause of the violence.
From the historical perspective of the surviving Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of the Great Turtle Island of Abya Yala, the violent colonial invasions of European American White Supremacy are contextualized by the history of World War I, which began with the invasion of our continent on October 12, 1492. Just one example of many (too many) makes the point:
For the still standing Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala, the first act of violence was the attempt to erase our collective history as Nations of Mother Earth and capture our sense of self identity as a function of the invader’s cultural paradigms of geography, of language, of science, civilization and religion. Our “savage” histories were to be considered anecdotal, not official. The erasure of memory did not begin with us, however.
The very identity of “White People” itself is an erasure. It is an erasure of kinship and amputation of community that spans not mere ideology but human generations. It begins with the trauma of alienation from the spirit of humanity itself, and from the natural world of Mother Earth.
“White” is not a nationality. There is no such territory on Mother Earth. There is no such reality in nature where the “melanin deprived” folks get to claim a separate and superior status in relation to all of the rest of us who are still, all of us, related to each other in a kindom of humanity. We are all Chichimecas: mammals. As a species, we all share the “indigeneity” of 99% of the very same genetic makeup as well as the inherent capacity and need to communicate with each other.
When the Nazis of Germany tried to impose their version of "Teutonic constitutionalism” across the globe we all fought them back. Today, the normalization of the Master’s Narrative is being driven openly by the predominant voice and the abject cruelty of the policies of President D. Trump. With Steve Bannon as empresario, Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the gorilla out of the cage, and Steve Miller the stooge, the “Trump Wall” is a circus scene where reality is not an invited guest on the show.
Yet today it is President Bolsonaro in Brazil that is now literally bringing back the true medieval nature of the 525-year-old “American” project of colonization, genocide and TERRACIDE. The patriarchal pathology of imperialism is no longer being scripted from the Vatican (King of Kings) nor the Crown Powers of Christendom of the West but has morphed into the supranational systems of corporate and financial control that command the economies of the states. And now today it is the corporate state of China that has joined in to collude and compete as well in what is intended to be the final phase of a pogrom of continental annihilation of the Original nations of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala. It is the Chinese government position that there are no Indigenous Peoples (such as the Tibetans) in China, just ethnic Chinese. It is in partnership with corporations backed by the Chinese government that many megadevelopment projects in the southern states of the continent are being imposed in open violation of the territorial rights and Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.
The electoral systems of the states are simply a necessary inconvenience for these elite power structures, a venue to legitimize, commodify and commercialize the electorates in pursuit of contractual arrangements to the benefit of the global corporate and financial empires of petropolis: the global fossil fuel industry.
Superseding the Doctrine of Discovery
The exercise of Indigenous Nationality as a collective geopolitical right that is not only extra-constitutional in character but also stands outside of the international Westphalian system of state sovereignty is a critical issue of challenge and conflict at the present moment in the global agenda of Indigenous Peoples. In 2014, a High-Level Plenary of the UN General Assembly anointed itself with the title of World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and just as on October 12, 1492 began to spout dictamens of regulation whose net effect is the reduction of the universal human rights of Indigenous Peoples to categories of domestic privileges to be delegated by the individual states subsumed under their respective constitutional frameworks.
A System Wide Action Plan is being implemented and a global bureaucracy of corporate imperial control is being funded under UN auspices, positioned to co-opt and corrupt the legitimate efforts of Indigenous Peoples to defend their ancestral territories and legitimate rights of Nationhood and Self Determination.
Simultaneously, the government states of the UN system that are facing real challenges on the ground by Indigenous Peoples asserting the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent over development projects impacting their territories are maneuvering to place domestic mechanisms of control and diversion that would subvert the right of consent to a bureaucratic activity of consultation that is never empowered to block any project that the corporate elites have predetermined will be approved.
The fast tracking of the Dakota Access Pipeline by D.Trump as soon as he came into office in 2017 is perhaps the most well-known example in the US context, but the immediate fight at Mauna Khea, sacred altar of the Hawaiian Kingdom, is the same scenario in the present. Across Canada, across Mexico, the entire hemisphere is a crime scene in this regard, a crime in progress.
The newly renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 1994), now called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement USMCA, presents a critical nexus of conflict and contradiction for the public constituencies of the states and the Indigenous Peoples. The agreement provides for no substantive recognition or respect for the right of Self Determination of the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples living within the borders of the states from Mexico-US-Canada. Instead, a context of preconditions of ambiguity that “aims” at the rights of Indigenous Peoples has been inserted by the Government of Canada in the text of the agreement which still must be approved in the US Congress in September of 2019.
Beware: The Beginning Is Here
Now. Now is the time when even amidst the cascade of confusion and chaos that pours out of the mouth of the monstrosity of the Master’s Narrative residing temporarily at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC that the last hope for the soul of America as an ethical country is being offered by the Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples. Be aware: It is now or never.
Just as was done in the beginning, during the original sessions of the US Constitutional Congress in 1776 where the dream of democracy and the Tradition of Self Government was shared with the colonists by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, once again the elder brothers of the Original Nations are tapping the shoulder of the relatives who have emigrated to our homeland of the Great Turtle Island. May all our relations of all other continents listen as well.
The Clan Mothers still call for the defense of the Human Rights of the Future Generations, for the veneration and protection of the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth. The serpentine scales of cosmetric memory, iridescent memorials of moments recalling the millennial history of all life on earth, reflections of the rain of time - befall us all. Amidst the sum of these histories, we stand in the eye of the storm and understand ourselves as relatives bound by the sacred world waterways of the Rivers of Time: Quetzalcoatl.
The river passes, spiraling beyond the horizons to the Sky Waters of the Sea of Emergence.
2.) Consciousness: Develop a personal critical consciousness on the issues which are pervaded by the institutionalization of the Doctrine of Discovery from the local-regional, continental-global context.
3.) Reveal: Create a shared community understanding on how the dehumanizing principles of the Doctrine of Discovery are relevant today and continue to provide the cultural framework for the ongoing colonization and genocide of the Original Nations of this continent, the Great Turtle Island Abya Yala.
4.) Take a position. Denounce and repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and the underlying pathological schema of DOMINATION.
5.) DISMANTLE: Take action, and follow through with inter-generational decolonization strategies.
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2019****************************
Local-Regional : Continental-Global
Institute of Indigenous Science and Culture
Quito, Ecuador - Agustí Nicolau i Coll