In illuminating conflict between modern states and indigenous nations, I frequently examine aspects of the psychological warfare involved. Often, this psywar includes references to religious values that distinguish one side from the other. While these references are increasingly coded for marketability, occasionally dominant society participants let their hair down, so to speak, and express deep-seated, religious-based bigotry toward their foes.
A current example of this exercise of the Principles of Psywar is the narrative of white persecution and resentment deployed by the Tea Party movement in the United States for the purpose of intimidating non-white voters and elections officials. As documented in Abridging the Vote, a special report by Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind, fascist populism — exemplified by the Tea Party/Christian Patriot milieu – is bolstered by reference to this meme that resonates with fundamentalist Christians, who have deep roots in Southern racism.
While this particular disenfranchisement project of white supremacy is aimed at Blacks and Latinos, the Tea Party has also been targeting American Indian sovereignty and culture as something to eradicate. Since this nationwide effort to roll back civil rights and abolish human rights is a unifying mission for the entire spectrum of the American right-wing, American Indian organizations would do well to prepare for battle.
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