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"Don’t call us traitors" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Aug 2021 7:48 p.m. PST

On the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest, people from Mexico's smallest state Tlaxcala say their ancestors were liberators…

The Guardian: link

doc mcb14 Aug 2021 8:09 p.m. PST

It is perfectly reasonable to criticize the conquestidores, but the Aztecs were guilty of arguably worse crimes: constant agressive wars of conquest to secure thousands of captives for sacrifice. The Spanish were eventually called to repentence, e.g. by Las Casas, as failing to act in Christian love. The Aztecs, on the other hand, seem to have been sincerely trying to keep their bloody gods from destroying the world.

I imagine there were conversations in which an Aztec explained why they HAD to provide the gods with thouands of bloody deaths, and a Catholic priest explained that, yes, there is no salvation without the shedding of blood, but that God had TAKEN CARE OF THAT with the Crucifiction of Jesus.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2021 9:09 p.m. PST

Quite so doc mcb.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

BillyNM14 Aug 2021 10:51 p.m. PST

I can't think of any groups that consider their action in the past as constituting treachery.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 5:46 a.m. PST

Quite right, BillyNM. Most of those groups are far too
busy pointing out the nefarious activities of others to
examine their own past mis-deeds…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 8:23 a.m. PST

Funny how The Guardian doesn't mention the Aztec practice of human sacrifice, or that the temple mimicked in the replica (their "most sacred site") was used for the same— and that many people of Tlaxcala were probably among those victims. Guess we mustn't offend the modern narrative (Europeans always bad, Natives always good) by putting all the facts on the table. Wouldn't do— wouldn't do at all. :-P

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 11:53 a.m. PST

Until the arrival of the Spanish, despite all their flaws, the Mexica/ Aztecs had been the hegemonic power in that region. many hundreds of natives were captured in war or delivered as tribute to supply victims for the sacrificial rituals. These rituals were a constant part of life for the Aztecs and they viewed them as preserving the universe. There appears to have been different deities honored each month of the year and each deity required a different kind of sacrifice. Prior to the forced conversion, it has been estimated that several thousand sacrifices were performed each year.

Dan Cyr15 Aug 2021 1:54 p.m. PST

Let's see, "Christians" killed other Christians, Jews and Muslims in religious wars or crusades, profited by the world's largest slave trade for centuries and even hunted (mostly) women as witches to burn among other ways of torture and death. I'll not even point out (too much) the various Catholic Church Inquisition that killed thousands in the most barbaric ways.

Let's not forget the glass house white Europeans/North Americans lived in at the time and for centuries after 1492.

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 2:22 p.m. PST

I earnestly believe we have reached a point in academia and social awareness where we can now reflect on the ethics of our past more so than ever before. I believe this is a good thing.
Are we really so culturally sensitive that in order for criticisms to be valid they always have to be balanced by mentioning everyone's past evils? Don't get me wrong, I tend toward this myself but I am trying to get over it.
Yep, the Aztecs were nasty (really nasty) but this does not excuse the atrocities of the Spanish and to haul it up in the name of 'balance' seems like deflection.
I find myself lecturing my daughters about world history as I appreciate it and the more I examine collective humans behaviour, the harder it it to find any 'white hats'. Yet all cultures lie to themselves and we still generate creation myths even to this day. We excuse 'our' violence and 'highlight 'theirs' time and time again. Perhaps when we start owning our own crimes, we might all of us stop committing them into a better future. Hope springs eternal.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:34 p.m. PST

How does one determine which slave trade was the largest? What statistical analysis is that based on? Surely the slave trade in the other direction – eastward to Zanzibar and from there to the Islamic near east started earlier and lasted longer than the trans-Atlantic trade. This is also the case for witchcraft persecutions. Suspected practitioners of the "black arts" have been subject to brutal punishments in every society that I've ever heard of. It is still a common occurrence to this day in parts of Africa and India. Long before the infamous European witch persecution of the 14-17th centuries, the Han Dynasty Emperor Wu was involved in his own witchcraft hysteria that is purported to have killed thousands with entire clans being wiped out in the process. It ultimately resulted in the death of Crown Prince Ju in 96 BCE. It seems bad behavior is a human universal.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:41 p.m. PST

Regarding India's witchcraft superstition:" Belief in witchcraft, is considered to be around, since the beginning of human social existence. It has been well depicted, documented and believed that witchcraft has ‘mainly' been a feminine affair and had been (and is still being) practiced mostly by females. Alleged of causing detrimental influences, such women are trialled, branded as ‘witches' and thereafter hounded, banished, flogged, raped, burnt alive and in most of the cases, ruthlessly murdered. It has been a predominant cultural phenomenon in almost all existent communities of the globe, including India, especially those residing in the states of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal." Taken from here: link

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:41 p.m. PST

Yeah, Dan. But you do realize that slavery goes back into pre-historic days, and appears in all world cultures, preceding Europeans and Christianity by literally thousands of years? And that it continues in many societies today, most notably Islamic-dominated areas of Africa, and of course any totalitarian regime (such as in Southeast Asia)? And in all such cultures it was treated as perfectly normal and morally acceptable behavior. No one rails against slavery until about 200 hundred years ago.
So what changed all that?
Christianity, and in particular, literate Protestant Christianity.
The worldwide abolitionist movement began in America, among Protestant Christian groups (notably the Quakers, but others in New England as well). Prior to the American Revolution, the Protestant Massachusetts colony attempted to outlaw slavery within its borders (they were prevented by the British king and Parliament). That was the start of it. And Christianity was at the heart.
Do you think that change would have come from the Aztecs? The Incas? The Ottomans? The warring tribes of Africa? The warring tribes of America? The Imperial hierarchies of China or Japan? The Romans? Even the Greeks? How about Persia?
Never. None of these have a view of universal brotherhood, much less of valuing human life on an individual basis. It took a faith which declared that all mankind are the children of God, and all are equal in His sight to change the world, even when those who claimed to follow that faith closed their eyes to it in their lust for gold and power. But that idea still won.

As for your litany of crimes, every dang race and culture is just as flawed
and just as guilty in their own right of identical crimes. It all depends on where and when you concentrate your gaze.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:49 p.m. PST

10 countries that still have regular witch hunts: link

Consider the fact that one can lose almost everything to a media witch hunt in the modern West. All you will have left is your life…. for now.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:53 p.m. PST

Parzival you are spot-on! Slavery more than likely extends back into the Neolithic. Human trafficking is still a plague to this day in many parts of the world. I saw it for myself in Southeast Asia. This was in 2015.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 4:02 p.m. PST

"Utes had first entered New Mexico's slave markets as commodities seized and sold by Spanish, Navajo, and Apache slave raiders, but the allied Utes and Comanches soon inserted themselves at the supply end of the slave traffic. When not raiding New Mexico for horses, Utes and Comanches arrived peacefully to sell human loot. Their raiding parties ranged westward into Navajo country and northward into Pawnee country to capture women and children, but their main target were the Carlana and Jicarilla Apache villages in the upper Arkansas basin at the western edge of the southern plains. Traffic in Apache captives mushroomed in New Mexico. By the late seventeenth century, the people in New Mexico possessed some five hundred non-Pueblo Indian captives and were emerging as major producers of slave labor for the mining camps of Nuevo Vizcaya and Zacatecas; they even sent slaves to the tobacco farms in Cuba. By 1714 slave trade had become so widespread in New Mexico that Governor Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón saw it necessary to order all Apache captives baptized before taken "to distant places to sell." Many of these Apaches were purchased from Utes and Comanches, whose mutually sustaining alliance had put them in a position of power over their neighboring Native societies." Stolen from here: link

doc mcb15 Aug 2021 8:23 p.m. PST

Sorry, Dan, but your post, while true enough, lacks the balance of larger context. As several pointed out. Where slavery is concerned, we are not the worst; we are the best.

alexpainter09 Jan 2022 8:01 a.m. PST

Don't forget that slavery trade didn't last so long in the west, only from learly/middle 16th century until early 19th one , when was (rightfully) banned. On contrary slaves had been captured & sold for centuries (also white people) in islamic world, and this only ended for western influence (and very convincing armies!). Parzival is right, a LOT of other cultures had done worst things, think only to Tamerlane's massacres, or Atzecs' behavior vs. their subordinates, or the "peaceful" polynesians' religion, with lot human sacrifices.

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