the things i do for love.
Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.
Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)
Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.
When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.
Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.
Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.
Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”
and another excerpt:
In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.
When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.
This barely even touches on some of the differences in agriculture and forestry practices. Where I’m from, if you don’t have people managing the undergrowth with controlled burns, etc., you basically get temperate jungle. Combine that with widespread settler deforestation in the past for timber so it’s mostly secondary growth forest, and you’ve got a difficult to use mess, lower biodiversity because some things just get choked out and other things need periodic burning to germinate, and a lot of forest fires whenever it gets dry wherever people have not been able to continue traditional forest management.
I was also surprised at the big deal made out of the tierra prieta “discovery”, though I probably should not have been. There are still a lot of common assumptions going that indigenous people must have been just plain stupid because they were not doing things in exactly the same ways as invading Europeans—and were obviously so inferior in general. But, people also used similar practices elsewhere to enrich soil. Where I’m from, some people still haul rich cove humus (along with ashes) to improve garden soil. I have helped my Nana with that.
In that case, you get particularly rich soil from sometimes meters-deep layers of leaf mold collecting over the years/centuries, no doubt with its own distinctive microorganism communities. It doesn’t just add more organic material to areas of clay soil, but AFAICT acts very similarly to the tierra prieta. And I am sure that’s not the only area in North America where people figured out some similar ways of enriching soil. (Besides using river bottoms full of rich silt and built-in irrigation for growing staple crops, for incredible yields. And so forth.)
Because they were not stupid.
03. September 20147,868 notes
I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.
As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?
Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”
- Ferguson protestors plan to halt highway traffic on Labor Day (x)
- At least 6 other Ferguson officers have been named in lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force
- Why taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for the Ferguson lawsuit
- Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
- Between the world and Ferguson
- Teaching and talking about police violence
At her job, Maria Torero cares for sick human beings. At home, she lavishes love on slowly dying cats — 175 of them at last count.
The 45-year-old nurse has turned her two-story, eight-room apartment into a hospice for cats with feline leukemia, scattering it with scores of feeding dishes and at least two dozen boxes litter boxes.
Some have suggested she shelter healthy cats instead. “That’s not my role,” she told The Associated Press. “I’m a nurse. My duty is to the cats that nobody cares about.” She said that “people don’t adopt adult cats, especially if they are terminally ill.”
Photos by AP Photo/Martin Mejia
23. August 20146,753 notes
TUESDAY 8/19: Ferguson PD presented a table full of fabricated evidence at this morning’s press conference - allegedly seized from protestors and stopped cars. The Colt 45 Molotov with a white bandana was the crowning glory, turns out you can’t even buy glass 40’s in Missouri. Stay classy, FPD
I seriously think white supremacist are coming in the area to frame the protesters, but it could just be the cops
Nah I think that’s exactly what’s going on.
Actually this what’s going on, the KKK was passing out bombs to white anarchists abd posing as protestors so yeah that’s not you being paranoid that is legit happening, and Black folks have been taking the blame for their violence.
But if you’re gonna try to frame people the least you can do is read the fucking law in respect to that state or county. This is so blatantly stereotypical, “those Blacks, they drink beer, yeah malt liquor will do the trick.” White people so transparent.
19. August 201459,347 notes
why THE FUCK is no one talking about this
why isnt this on the news
we all know the reason why. stop the bullshit.
And this shit happened on May 18…MAY 8-FUCKING-TEENTH!
I read the article and this honestly makes me so fucking angry. I encourage all my followers to reblog the shit out of this. Share it on your Facebook and Twitter, too.
Please spare some time for Darren Rainey. This is a horrific brutality against a human being that is being swept under the rug by most media.
19. August 2014138,256 notes
19. August 2014170 notes
For more than a decade – from the mid 1950s until the late 1960s – conservatives systematically and strategically linked opposition to civil rights legislation to calls for law and order, arguing that Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of civil disobedience was a leading cause of crime.
[Image: a series of tweets by justified agitator (@Awkward_Duck) on August 19, 2014.
1:23 AM: We literally laid in someone’s backyard for what seemed like an eternity while tanks rolled down the streets #Ferguson
1:26 AM: I’m live tweeting because there’s a media blackout. #Ferguson
1:33 AM: I’m so shaken. They’re literally just rolling around throwing tear gas into neighborhoods-not aggressive crowds. #Ferguson
1:34 AM: I was pouring milk over one guys eyes when they came back around and threw another at us. #Ferguson
1:51 AM: Let me repeat, THEY ARE GASSING NEIGHBORHOODS not crowds of protestors.There was only a few of us walking. there is no curfew, so why?]
19. August 201467,643 notes
This is the incident report that the Ferguson police just produce. Now if you don’t know, this morning they FINALLY named the killer of Michael Brown as Darren Wilson. Along with naming Darren as the killer, the Ferguson police are now trying to link Michael Brown with a robbery that happened supposedly MOMENTS before.
Michael was killed at 12:01 and this robbery was at 11:54.
There are so many questions.
- We’ve seen the surveillance photos they’ve produced that shows someone who looks like Michael being aggressive with a store owner over an apparent box of swishers. (If you don’t know, Swishers are cigar papers you can pick up for like…2 for .50.
- They are saying that Officer Darren Wilson was responding to that robbery.
- They are calling it an STRONG ARMED ROBBERY
- A strong armed robbery is using, involving, or threatening the use of physical force or violence to gain an objective:
- Okay, got that bullshit out of the way
- The dispatch tapes that were released mention NOTHING ABOUT A ROBBERY.
- NOT ONE WORD
- THE ONLY THING MENTIONED WAS A SHOOTING AND REQUEST FOR CROWD CONTROL.
- THAT’S IT
- So how did Officer Wilson FIND OUT about the robbery?
- They’ve now listed Dorian Johnson (THE ONLY OTHER EYEWITNESS WHO WAS THERE) as the second accomplice to the robbery.
- The same Dorian Johnson who has been trying (in vain) to talk with the Ferguson Police Department about Michael’s Death since LAST SATURDAY.
- So this man who is this SECOND SUSPECT IN A ROBBERY CASE IS PLEADING WITH YOU AND IS ALL OVER NATIONAL NEWS AND YOU ARE REFUSING TO SEE HIM. BUT HE’S A SUSPECT IN A ROBBERY. OKAY
- When Officer Wilson sees both Michael and Dorian his initial reaction was "GET THE FUCK ON THE SIDEWALK."
- Not any kind of reaction dealing with them being robbery suspects.
- From some of the pictures (I’m not going to post them due to the family’s wishes) if you compare the footage from the store and the footage from Michael’s death, he’s swapped from Nike sandals to Sneakers. This red hat cannot be found (this is speculation).
- If the reason Office Wilson approached them was because they were suspects in an robbery WHY DIDN’T HE CALL IT IN? WHY DIDN’T HE FOLLOW PROCEDURE? WHY WOULD HE ROLL UP ON ROBBERY SUSPECTS IN HIS VEHICLE? WHY DID IT TAKE 6 DAYS FOR THIS TO BE ANNOUNCED?
I implore you. IMPLORE YOU to take a look into the presented facts of the case. This is just an incident report, we do not have access to the investigative report. There has been no reports presented of Michael’s autopsy and this report is contradictory of the second eye witnesses report.
None of this makes sense.
They are putting Michael on trial to dehumanize him, villify him, to make him less human to justify his murder.
And at the end of the day, LET’S JUST SAY MICHAEL DID DO THIS…is petty theft (it was like 5 swisher sweets they say. That’s a two dollars and fifty cents) IS HIS MURDER, HIS EXECUTION, THIS UNARMED SURRENDING TEENAGE BOY, justified by this?
This is murder. Don’t let them put Michael on trial for HIS DEATH.
15. August 201486,997 notes