The reality behind Manifest Destiny is a great deal different than we were taught in school. There is a very good reason for this. History texts written to teach American school children where they came from are created as propaganda tools to indoctrinate nationality into children – for good or bad. Though there is so much to be proud of being born in the United States, there is a bloody history that the descendents of colonials would like to clean up so they can enjoy that pride. The point of view of those texts is often white and male, and ignores the voices of the other contributors of society (such as women and other ethnic groups). It wasn’t so long ago that the Irish were thought of as lowly born drunkards, and much of that sentiment remains today despite being allowed into the white club.
The first step in healing is for non-natives to quit taking it so very personally, and to listen without interruption to the voices trying to speak out. It’s easier said than done, and I still trip up on this path, but I am determined to be a force for change. Let’s not give this to the next generations to deal with. Let us address it now.
For a different perspective on the settling of North America by Europeans, watch this video posted on Upworthy: