Opinion~ Fighting Terrorists since 1492

I am to write about a word. My opinion on a term we often hear today that has always meant fear and terror. A word that can change from group to group as  peoples  perceptions change of who they call terrorists.

The first people known as terrorists were the French government during the Reign of Terror. Today, some define terrorists as a group afflicting terror on innocent people; nevertheless, the term is so controversial there is no definite global definition. Terrorism is highly charged with emotion and wrapped around politics. It all boils down to perception.

This brings me to a view of my people, a Native American perception on terrorism. Generally speaking, we have been fighting terrorism since 1492 when we were innocently invaded and forced to assimilate. A perspective often forgot or ignored that fingers the US as terrorists on a symbolic level.

The phrase is also a play on words to get people thinking beyond the recent news alert they heard about some country pointing to some group as terrorists. Of course, there are political groups like Alcida that prey on innocent people to further their objectives but there are governments that use the term to their advantage too.

Words are a manmade creation that are ever changing in meaning and perception. Any given word can be perceived differently among groups depending on the angle they are coming from in their perception of reality. In addition, there are words that change meanings entirely through time. For instance, the word virgin at one point meant a woman that lived alone.

Words hold a lot of power. A good communication tool to have is to be able to acknowledge the perceptions of others. It helps us conduct all the relations we have in our steps through life.


8 thoughts on “Opinion~ Fighting Terrorists since 1492

  1. Yes. The differential in meaning and interpretation of words as applied to each person’s experience and unique situation are stumbling blocks in the least, evoking terrible responses at times. Thank you for bringing this issue to light as we are all trying to communicate what is most important to us. Labels, such as terrorism, can be applied in some of the most undeserving places. In the media this is called spin and can and does adjust peoples view of other people, which, in turn, causes rifts where none should be. It is so easy to fall under the spell of spin and think right is not.

  2. Love discussions, creativity, the dissecting of words ….. words are power so each of us needs to seek our own connection to the words we use and words used that affect us the most … face the words … find their roots …. see where they are going!

  3. oh, I love this – just saw this on a shirt in a US mall! (mentioned it on a FB thread this week but got the date wrong.) I will send them here to have a look. And since this is an opinion piece, I hope you don’t mind if I give mine (smiles): as far as this being something “that fingers the US as terrorists on a symbolic level” – to me, there is nothing symbolic about it; I find it very literal and very sad (especially since I have a Native American heritage like you.) I am so glad you wrote this article, River.

    • lol I looked for years at Pow Wows for a small of that statement. They always brought few and I kept missing them until a couple of years ago.

      I guess by symbolic I meant past. In the definition of terrorist the US was definitely a terrorist but are they today?

      I picked this topic just so I could write this piece. lol I admit being way selfish.

  4. This is a fantastic engagement of the beast we call popular media. Terrorism and its definition changes according to station, broadcast, and satellite, let alone countries, borders, and political agendas. Having the nerve to look beyond what we are spoon fed, is the first step in recognizing the beast that drives the machine. Your piece here is a prime example of what that beast is capable of. Any one group who invades a country and forces beliefs and a foreign way of life upon the native people are, by simple definition of the word, terrorists. Imagine how much richer our own culture would be today if those core native beliefs were respected and embraced by all!

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