This time of year has been interesting to witness as an international student. It’s odd that as water protectors are fighting to protect and support their communities against DAPL, families are gathering around dinner tables and telling a false tale of history. What I find bizarre is such a blatant erasure of history, the telling of a prettier version and using a narrative to completely erase events as they occurred. Even more aggravating is the current treatment of indigenous communities by the state and how little it’s talked about in the media. The erasure of the indigenous struggle goes on today. History is twisted through an “all-American tradition” and through current representation (or lack of it) in the media.
It makes me think of the power of narrative, and false accounts of blatant injustices in a nation’s history, and how this narrative renders indigenous struggles “invisible.” Specifically, it makes me reflect on the way the Israeli state continues to dispossess and displace Palestinians in what is called”the ongoing Nakba,” and the role our constructed narrative plays into “justifying” a situation of blatant injustice.
Over the summer, I worked for a radical independent alternative media organization in Israel-Palestine, and my main job was to research and interview for an article about the myths prevalent in Israeli society that underly Israelis’ understanding of the displacement of the Bedouin community in the Negev. The first part of a series of articles just came out, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show how indigenous communities are struggling all around the world, and how the hegemonic version of history that creates myths allows us to turn a blind eye, as well as how the current portrayal of these communities by the media works to make such an aggravating blatantly unjust situation seem normal.