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WTF is Decolonization

Before we can talk about de-colonizing. We must understand what colonization is. 

Colonization is the control of distant lands, people, and their resources for the empire. 

  • While formal colonization has ended in many places, settler colonialism is still alive and well in the Western world.
  • Colonialism continues in places like Jamaica and Puerto Rico under what we call neo- or new colonialism through institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that control labor, land, and, distribution of resources by Western powers over the darker lands.

What is Settler Colonialism? 

Settler Colonialism is when the empire conquers and controls distant lands, people, and resources by exporting their residents indefinitely to the colony creating a hierarchal oppressive relationship with the indigenous inhabitants.

  • Settler colonialism is insidious and kills the majority of the indigenous and then attempts to force the surviving indigenous people and their children to forsake their way of life, language, dress, and customs for that of the empire. 
  • The United States and Australia are examples of settler colonial states

“So the basic sequence ran something like this: there are no people there in the first place; in the second place, they’re not improving the land; and in the third place—oops!—they’re already all dead anyway (and, honestly, there really weren’t that many to begin with), so there are no people there, as we said in the first place.”

Excerpt From

The Racial Contract, Mills, Charles W., pg 61

What is Decolonization?

Decolonization is the end to the oppressive hierarchal relationship between nations that benefits the empire. Decolonizing for some means returning to indigenous ways of being and for others decolonization is a returning of land back to indigenous nations and the removal of settler nations power over their ancestral lands. 

As a person with no claims to any land, I do not have land to return to. Decolonization for me means figuring out how to be in right relationship with other beings and the land as a society. 


Piece on White identity and Settler colonialism