The most interesting thing I heard today was when it was mentioned that the Europeans viewed the natives as another obstacle in the way of them achieving there goal, which contributed to the Europeans hate. I was focusing more on the fear aspect and this didn't come to mind. I can't think of much I would like to add. I was able to share everything that I wanted to during class today.
Someone mentioned how the hate the Europeans had for the natives could have been from jealousy of their peaceful ways. I did not completely agree with this statement because the Europeans saw them as inferior and better than them in every way. They saw them as savages. It is difficult to be jealous of something that you regard as beneath you. However I did think it was an interesting thought.
At the end I wanted to share that while there were better ways to handle the situation, as humans, we are complex and not everyone sees everything the same which often leads to conflict. The language barrier and the culture differences prevented peaceful negotiations. The goal of the Europeans was to obtain land and power, not to coexist with the natives.
"The goal of the Europeans was to obtain land and power, not to coexist with the natives." After reading your comment I began to wonder if it was mostly just the wealthy that did not want to coexist with the natives... I wonder if history would have been different if the Europeans had gotten a chance to know about the Indians and understood their way of life before making judgement. After all, I think that much of the misunderstanding about the Natives were from the works published about them. While greed did play a major factor in the massacre, maybe their opinions about the Natives would have been different if more time was permitted for them to understand each other more... (Don't mind me Fernanda, just rambling on about something that had just suddenly came across my mind...)
What was the most enlightening/interesting thing that you heard or learned today? Was there anything you wanted to share that you did not have a chance to?
In many ways, the most enlightening thing I learned today was hearing all the opinions of my classmates. When we all sat together in a circle together and discussed what our opinions were on the questions assigned, mysteriously I felt a lot closer to my classmates. It may sound a bit cliché, but it was almost as if there was a bond formed from that moment. From that mere twenty minutes of discussion time that we had, I learned a lot more things about the way my classmates thought than I have in these past three days I have known them. It was especially enlightening when I stated something and my classmates were there to pitch into what I had thought. Of course, at the same time, it was fun when I heard different viewpoints than mine, like Johnathan's opinion of how massacre would be effective depending on the timing and how it was done. That was a thought that did not come across my mind when I was answering the questions. When Yemani made that reference to the Indians, I was truly amazed at how that content in the text could be applied to the question about the Native Indians. Through the experiences I have encountered in today's seminar, I feel that I can now see many of the questions asked in a different perspective than I would have originally thought. Today was without a doubt an amazing experience worth remembering.
After the discussion, I went back on the notes I had realized that there was a question that we did not have the time to discuss. "Should the United States celebrate Columbus Day?" In my opinion, the United States should celebrate Columbus Day because it is celebrated as a day when America was discovered. It is a part of history that we can not ignore. While I realize that we should not celebrate a day that marked the start of a massacre and bloodshed for decades to come, I cannot help but think that behind most revolutions and wars in history, blood has been shed. In addition, I feel that we do not celebrate Columbus Day to mock anyone or to accept the crimes of Christopher Columbus, but rather we celebrate it as a day our roots in America began. In addition, our morals are different than what people thought of as acceptable back then. Who are we to judge the actions done by someone else? We have neither lived in that time period, nor were we raised the way they were. We were taught what they were taught. Hence, we cannot possibly comprehend what they thought at that point in history. It is undeniable that without Columbus, much of what we have today may have not existed. Of course, this by no means show that I encouraging the way he treated the Natives, but rather stating that this is a indubitable part of our history that we should not be so ashamed of celebrating.
I would say that the most enlightened thing that I learned today was the fact that greed would be something to add to the ''Guns,Germs, and Steel'' theory to the English invasion on North America in which I totally agree with. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to really discuss during this Socratic Seminar but there were a few things that I wanted to say on the questions we did not have much time on. My thoughts on the celebration of Columbus day is that we should not celebrate this holiday. The native Americans did not deserve the way they were treated by the English. In addition, Columbus disrespected the native Americans rights to their land. I also think that bloodshed and deceit is a necessity for the human race. If not all the bloodshed took place in this country we would not be where we are today. Moreover, when two different cultures are at war they learn from some of each others beliefs.
Someone said that the Europeans viewed the Native Americans as savages because of their religious views that condemned their marriage-lacking and nude culture. I thought that was a very interesting viewpoint on that situation.
I wanted to talk about the last question that discussed bloodshed and deceit as a necessity. I believe that if there was not so much war and death we would be more advance. If there was no unnecessary killing, we would statistically have more genius thinkers who could advance us. There is power in numbers.
There was something said about how the mindsets of the Native Americans and the Europeans differed on the subject of private property, and how this affected the natives' thought process. I really liked that and the first question because it made me consider the basis of the European's greed and the Native American's generosity. I would have liked to discuss that further; the differences between the cultures and the political situations that, in my opinion, made the war between them seem unavoidable. We also never got to the last question about whether bloodshed and deceit were necessary for the advancement of the human race from savagery to civilization, which would probably have been my favorite to discuss. My (perhaps cynical) opinion was that it wasn't and isn't necessary, but is likely inevitable, due to elements of human nature like greed. I would have really liked to know the rest of your thoughts.
The most interesting I heard today during our socratic seminar was when someone mentioned how TIME had to do with "massacre" accomplishing the destruction of an enemy's will to fight with less risk. The reason i say this is because it changed my perception of how i can both agree and disagree with that statement. When I mentioned the Japanese atomic bombings, someone stated that their will to fight was destroyed because it was in a more modern era and hundreds of thousands of citizens were killed within such a short period of time, whereas it took a MUCH longer span to kill the same quantity of Native Americans, which gave them time to get together and attempt to fight back while the Japanese were caught by surprise and the devastation was to great.
For the "Columbus Day" question, I don't believe we should celebrate this holiday (even though getting out of school is kind of nice :P). We've heard this phrase for years since elementary school... he didn't "discover" anything. The land was already preoccupied by Native Americans because their ancestors are the ones who truly "discovered" this land. Columbus Day also shouldn't be celebrated because all he did was enslave people, fail to find gold, and led the train of other greedy settlers to come in and devastate these people (taking their land, raping their women, killing the majority of them, etc.)
The most enlightening thing I heard in the seminar was when someone suggested that the Europeans had jealousy of the Natives of their peaceful lives and their certainty of doing things. This idea didn't even come to my mind and I was glad to find another persons point of view on the reason for hate because I felt like my own was very one sided.
At the end even with my long last thought, I wanted to present my thought of, peace and negotiations can only go so far. The newcomers, which came to America for a new chance of having a higher standard of living than in their home country, wanted to have power and property and power that they couldn't have felt before. So no bloodshed wasn't necessary for them to live peacefully with each others, but to be powerful and to guarantee the satisfaction of their own way of living, bloodshed was the only essential for the Europeans.
The most interesting thing I heard during our socratic seminar was that most of us blurred into an agreement that 'massacre' is effective. I would think most people would say no but I actually agreed about instilling fear or authority to your enemies. I especially liked when NIna and Yemani were talking about massacres tat have happened, as in 9/11 and WW2. I like that we brought different playing fields that revolved around the questions. I loved the expansion of views that were thrown into the conversation.
Also, another thing I wished we got too was talking about Columbus Day. i think we should celebrate but not worship. The only thing that he was useful for was leading us to the Americas, and he did not even plan to lead us here at all. It was a fluke! He was not even the one who found land. Another guy named Ricardo found land and Columbus, the lying cheat that he was, stole the awarded money that should have gone to Ricardo. Columbus was not this great guy that people should look up to. I honestly think that he was basically the Hitler of Colonial times.
Another thing that amused me during the conversation was Lily's way in describing how Columbus and his men took advantage of the Indians, who they could have got along if it was not for a language barrier and plain self interest and greed. I think that they could at least made an effort to interact with them humanly and not as an obstacle in their way.
I really did find these discussions very encouraging to the concept of greed and morals. Overall, I am absolutely excited forward to another one so I can share more!
During our socratic seminar today, I heard the most interesting things in our discussion around the question, "Battle is only one of the ways to destroy an enemy's will to fight. Massacre can accomplish the same end with less risk..." (15.) Do you disagree or agree with this statement? When we were discussing this question some people mentioned some very valid points that supported both sides of the argument, which made me question whether or not i agreed with the statement. I thought that using the WWII bombing incident, as an example to counter how the Natives were massacred, was very interesting. In both situations they resulted in risks, but at the same time they proved how effective massacre could be.
I would have liked to talk more about the last two questions. I want to add that, after reading the packet, it seems as though celebrating Columbus Day is celebrating a man who caused the decimation of millions of people. Also I think bloodshed and deceit bring a civilization backwards into savagery instead of the other way around. I think this because usually bloodshed and deceit are words usually synonymous with barbaric behaviors.
I think the seminar was a really unique way to communicate and come about this assignment. I think the most enlightening thing for me was that someone called the natives savages to the Europeans. I would have never thought of the situation like this, because it is almost clear that what had happened looked like the Europeans were savages. I thought that was a great opinion to be shared and I am glad to have thought about it in such compelling ways. Also, when we tied the question about massacre, I think that having different opinions really gives the community as a whole a bigger picture to look at. The fact that both sides were being argued and trying to find ONE answer was not enough in the end and even after the seminar one answer could still not be found.
In the end, I think everything that was on my mind was shared. I also think that we did a decent job. Hopefully next time it will be less awkward and more fast paced.
1. Well, I wasn't really enlightened abut anything, but I was astonished by the complete lack of remorse the Europeans had for the very hospitable American Indians.
2. I really wanted to talk about Columbus Day and "bloodshed and deceit". I don't see why we celebrate Columbus day as he didn't affect the United States directly and we are not even sure if he was the "first" to discover the Americas since we can only go by his word (plus the Vikings and Native Americans were there first). And the "bloodshed and deceit" idea is really ironic to me as committing massacres and lying to do so is more a characteristic of what savages would do! Plus it is hypocritical of them to say this as Rome was trying to stop them from being savages, but they fought back against them.