Coming off of the Christian Peacemaker Teams's Steering Committee meetings, my thoughts are filled with the CPT related things... Monday, Ben and I were on our way to a movie for date night and we came across this picture on the subway. "What's missing?" Ben asked half jokingly. (now, insight in to Ben and my relationship, I'm often totally immune to "half joke" comments) "What do you mean what's missing?" I replied.." Oh, You mean the whole of history between 13,500 B.C. and 1620?"
White man's history is what that timeline represents. And I have to say, that I was a bit surprised to see such a blatant example of racism in public, which either means that usually I'm not aware so such things and/or the folks and environment I surround myself with don't so obviously demonstrate such racism.
Since Monday, I've been thinking about the people of Boston's land before there was a city. Each year, the Boston commons hosts an public art display that celebrates the indigenous tribes of the area. Its a striking display that transforms part of the commons into a fishweir: a fence like structure that locals used to catch various fish when that part of Boston was underwater. Its a reminder that Back Bay used to be a bay, prior to colonization which filled in the area and completely changed the waterways. Obviously, none of this made it onto the timeline in the subway.
The Bible isn't too good on indigenous land rights. In my searching for a quote to go with this devotional, I found lots of passages referring to land as being granted by God, taken away from indigenous peoples by divine right, domination, oppression, etc. I've done some work on Land Theology and its relationship to peace and justice studies in the past and feel moved to go through those papers and research again to find guidance. To those of you reading this, I'd be curious if there are parts of the text that support the decolonization of land.