Where I grew up, in in suburban Ohio, genocide was a good thing. I read it about positively it in history class, as discovery, exploration, and settlement. I played colonization as a video game in computer lab. Genocide is hard-coded in the western brain. This is how they came up, why would they keep their latest colony, Israel, down? This is why the open support for openly genocidal Israel comes so easy. They’re following the same old genocidal program, just with modern bombs and mass media.
Genocide is the glory of Europe and the genesis of America. Hell, it’s even in the Declaration of Independence. As that old rapist Thomas Jefferson wrote, about the insufficiently genocidal King of England:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
This is the same thing you hear across the White Empire today, about a new set of ‘merciless savages’. Ever since America was founded, the program has been to accuse natives of what you’re doing, and then genocide the shit out of them. Call the inhabitants of the land you want savages, and then mercilessly savage them. As my historical thesis goes, same shit, different day.
America inherited Britain’s colonies after WWII and continued genociding natives, just with more modern machinery and more mendacity. They undertook numerous murder campaigns across the Middle East in living memory, and are now making a graveyard of Gaza, brutally accelerating the slow-motion genocide of Palestine. The same old pogromming is just the latest TV programming. To a disgusting amount of highly propagandized people, this is still a good thing.
I think about this painting — American Progress by John Gast — a lot. People today look at this personification of white virtue literally genociding natives and say‘we don’t think like that anymore’, but you’re still fucking doing it! This painting would be called immoral today, but what lie is there in it? As Oscar Wilde said in Dorian Gray,“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” So it is with this painting.
The American empire still pushes the same idea of progress, just with more bullshit about diversity and inclusion. Hey, colored people can colonize their own people and also participate in war crimes! Who wants to be included in this shit? Too many of us confuse progress with joining the persecution.
American Progress (the painting) looks racist AF, and this is an accurate depiction of American progress. This is the actual programming of colonialism, which is still running full tilt, on bigger and bigger servers. A white lady carrying a schoolbook brings technology, agriculture, and progress while indigenous people and animals get chased off-screen, where they belong. This is exactly the program in occupied Palestine, which is being genocided right now.
The Israeli Prime Minister occupying Palestine just comes out and says it. He recently said,“This is a struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle.” The law of the jungle, of course, is what’s called an ecosystem. Precisely what colonizers destroy and call ‘economics’. They treat the human ‘children of darkness’ like ‘animals’, and of course, they treat animals even worse. Our global mass extinction event is really part of the same ongoing genocide, from Plymouth Rock to Palestine to the whole fucking planet.
This is the painting of progress, which quite soon will be revealed in all its loathsomeness, like the picture of Dorian Gray. In Wilde’s book, a corrupt young man captures all his evil in a hidden painting, while continuing to look young and beautiful to the world. Yet one day it all falls apart and the roles are reversed. The painting looks a beautiful lie again, and his real loathsomeness is revealed to the world. As the end of that book goes (spoiler alert):
When they entered they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.
I feel like we’re at such a moment now, witnessing the death and demasking of American Empire. They are stabbing their own picture of morality by bombing and starving a concentration camp, among other atrocities. Their President is a doddering old man, too cowardly to ever fight in a war, but ever eager to start them, especially against people without air forces.
Joe Biden is the picture of a corrupt and collapsing American Empire, old Grandpa Genocide, out embarrassing himself and not knowing when to retire. The picture of American youth, vitality, and diversity in Obama has faded into withered, wrinkled, and loathsome Biden. They are both genocidal maniacs, of course. Now it’s just obvious. The cursed painting of American Progress still looks beautiful, but the reality of American Empire looks hideous.
I grew up stuck in this painting, like the poor Erica in Roald Dahl’s Witches. I read my schoolbook, pledged allegiance to the flag, played Oregon Trail in the computer lab, ate mystery meat in the cafeteria, and believed in American progress. I saw Native American civilization, like the Serpent Mounds, but I never really wondered where it went. I thought they just kinda wandered off, and that Indians attacking the pioneers were just aberrations. I was also ‘Indian’ to these people and still, I never thought about where my homies in ignorance had gone. I never wondered what a town named Columbus was doing on the banks of the Scioto. I never wondered why so many places had native names, but literally no natives. I never wondered where all the bodies were buried. I lived in a painting.
In Ohio history class, I read stories about frontiersmen and explorers opening up new land. Discovering it. I looked forward to the parts where they fought Indians. Now why were the Indians fighting? I dunno, why do bears fight? I never thought about it. It was the quiet genocide of erasure. Like the indigenous beings, being pushed off the edge of that painting by invasive colonizers.
This coding of casual genocide is so deep — that some people are savages and deserve to be killed — that the oligarchs can just change variable names and genocide completely different populations. Not to mention animal and plant life, which isn’t even mentioned. This same program has been repeated over and over again, all over the world. Brother humans, sister animals, mother nature itself; the message is always.‘they’re going to kill you! You better kill them first!’
Every savagery is justified by the fact that you’re doing it to savages. This is what they call this civilization. It’s a very powerful program. Until it overheats and crashes the whole world.
The Genocide Of Gaza
The latest people to be coded as savages have been those unfortunate enough to be born on top of oil. For that reason, Arabs and Muslims have been relentlessly demonized — from the news to Hollywood — as hopeless dangerous terrorists that will kill you if you don’t kill them first. Sound familiar?
It is this latest coding which is being activated in the genocide of Gaza. The natives of Palestine are portrayed as hopelessly violent, and their open genocide is thus justified, down to the last man, woman, and child. The colonizer of Israel (many of them dual European or Israeli) are portrayed as good and civilized, and just ‘defending themselves’. It’s the same programming run across the continent of North America, Australia, etc. People are watching a worse than medieval siege, where food, water, and fuel are cut off and civilians are relentless bombed with the highest in destructive technology. And as with the ‘Indians’ being wiped out in history, people cheer. For far too many people, genocide is still a good thing.
In Gaza, the temerity of the natives to break out of their reservation (re: concentration camp) and kill some settlers and military occupiers is reacted to the same horror as any slave rebellion or Indian ‘raid’. The natives are portrayed as savages, in order to unleash untold savagery upon them. The organization Hamas (which is far more rational and less genocidal than Israeli political parties) is portrayed as some abstract signifier of evil. Hamas=ISIS=Al Qaeda=swarthy/scary Muslims. The word doesn’t matter and the actual organization even less, it’s just another dog whistle to kill savages. Israelis are ‘killed’ according to British state media, while Palestinians mysteriously die. It’s the same old genocidal programming, just internationally televised.
And so, just as Thomas Jefferson used complaints about ‘merciless Indian Savages’ to proceed with ‘an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions,’just as this coding of carnage flowed through Lincoln (who mass executed Native Americans) and Obama (who destroyed multiple countries), so it flows into the river of blood that is Gaza now. The western ‘declaration of independence’ is really a declaration of oppression for the rest of the world. The stolen land they wrote it on, the stolen people they built it with, the stolen fuel they burned, the stolen air that now chokes us all. The coding of genocide is so deep in the idea of ‘western civilization’ that it does not compute without. We can see them showing their whole genocidal ass in Palestine, and those poor people are just the canaries in the literal coal mine.
When I read about genocide in Ohio I thought it was a good thing because I was a child and those being genocided didn’t have smartphones or TV stations and their stories were buried as thoroughly as them. Now I am watching the genocide of Gaza in real time and it unearths the horror that colonialism always was, and how it never stopped! It’s like the final bastion of white privilege is getting away with genocide, and that’s what Israel wants. That’s what they mean when they talk about defending European values and civilization. Killing people and taking their stuff. That’s what European values are! I grew up in this culture, where genocide was a good thing, and because of this, thousands of Palestinian children will not grow up at all.
What can I say, as I think of them every time I give food and water to my children, and put them to sleep under a roof that isn’t falling down? What can I say to the men like me and the women like my wife, who are seeing their entire families wiped out? Who cannot even run, because they’re being held in a concentration camp at extermination time? Growing up in the West, I always wondered what ‘we’ would do during a genocide, and now I see. ‘We’ would do it. ‘We’ always did. So I reject all of my previous programming. I’m with ‘them’ now.