When settlers become civilians

The tragedy of settler-colonialism.

Image credit Ray in Manila via Flickr CC BY 2.0 Deed.

When settlers first arrive cosmic violence befalls those they dispossess.

The settlers bring with them destruction, death, and desolation. They erase and render your history, knowledge, spirituality, and humanity null. They enact the original sin that diverts the fated future of a people away from Possibility, to one of Dispossession.

The settlers are clear enemies of the Dispossessed because of this. Invaders. Murderers. Thieves. It can only mean war. There are no allusions. All lines are clear. The logical conclusion to the settler question is unambiguous.

But years, decades, and centuries after the original sin of dispossession takes place, a secondary travesty befalls the Dispossessed.

After the settler settles, they birth families, build communities, develop independent histories, learn and form relationships with the land and some even mix with the Dispossessed—whether through partnership, shared experiences, human connection, or political allegiance.

At this stage, the original sin still remains but the Dispossessed are no longer dealing with weapon-wielding, crusading insurgents. Now they are dealing with their children, the beneficiaries of violence, who have developed a sense of belonging to the space. The beneficiaries are now building toward a future of Possibility there, which may include some of the Dispossessed, under certain conditions.

A secondary cosmic violence befalls the Dispossessed. The invaders have become normalized. The conquest is complete. The settlers have become civilians.

When this tragedy takes place, the original sin becomes unendingly complex to resolve. To pursue the logical conclusion to the settler question means warfare. To adopt an attitude of warfare toward civilians defies common-sense morality.

In pursuing this path of justice for the original sin, a third cosmic horror befalls the Dispossessed: the Dispossessed become terrorists.

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