By Frank Joyce
Humans have developed many frames, or mental models, through which the world can be understood and possibly changed—for better or worse. Economics, race, gender, psychological, religious, cultural, ecological, various iterations of “science,” and other tools of description, analysis and action have been developed and refined over long periods of time. Homo sapiens have a prolific capacity for abstraction.
As my own thinking has evolved over a political lifetime of mostly antiracist focused thought and action, I have concluded that understanding the role of violence has received far too little attention. What happened first was that I became aware that my knowledge of settler colonialism and its impact on white identity and white power was woefully inadequate. Reading Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s 2014 book An Indigenous People’s History of the United States was a milestone and remains an indispensable resource. Along this path, I have written about settler colonialism in several articles including here and here.