Benevolent Assimilation: scenes that do not represent who we are

2021

Benevolent Assimilation: scenes that do not represent who we are

2021

In the last year, with the global pandemic, and the political and social unrest and the accelerated damage done by the Trump administration, along with its influence in affirming US’ attachment to white supremacy. When the insurrection occurred in the capitol hill the beginning of the year, President Biden said, that “the scenes that occurred in the capitol hill do not represent who we are.” When he said that,  I was reminded of how confused many of us were back in November 2016 (the day after we realized that Trump was elected in 2016) when many of us woke up thinking that we thought we knew who we are and how far we’ve come along as a country. Apparently what many of us thought we knew or think about ourself as a country, is not who we are.

 

I ask, with these scenes that occurred, do they NOT represent WHO we are?

 

In an attempt to make sense of things this last year,  I looked up recorded history: Not specifically the history of the Philippines and how the US colonized it, but rather the history of the United States as a colonizer (an empire). This story is NOT just a Filipino story, but it’s actually a hidden American story; one that IS part of this country’s identity. I wanted to understand better this country (not specifically my history as a filipino or filipino-american), but the history of the US and its own framing of history. I zoomed into the time around the turn of 20th century (approx. late 1890’s – 1920).  This was soon after the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, the Manifest Destiny campaign.