- What is the historical significance of the way colonizers have used this word against indigenous people.
Looking back at the history, indigenous people were not living like the Europeans, and they considered themselves as ‘noble savage.’ They did not follow the norms of society in any manner, from the clothing they wore to the architecture of their homes to the lack of any religious affiliation. They practiced various sexual mores, structured their families differently, and established alternative government institutions. They just weren’t like everyone else. When the colonizers came, they referred them as ‘dirty savage.’ The Europeans’ presumptive right to build colonies was bolstered by the idea of the term ‘savage’, which allowed them to ignore the existence of established, viable communities. Indigenous people were objectified and genocide was rationalized by using this term. The historical usage of this term was a good way of spread racism by creating the differences between the colonizers and the indigenous people. It may have been accepted by the majority of non-indigenous Americans, but that doesn’t mean it is not insulting to indigenous people or that it doesn’t remind them of the country’s sad history of racism and genocide. There was a cultural shift of the indigenous people due to the use of this term. Savage term was used by Europeans to describe peoples they see as different, uncivilized, pagan, non-Christian, and in need of reformation into the image of European society. In contrast to civilized people, savages are looked down upon as backwards and barbaric. First, completely taking away the autonomy of Indian nations. American Indians have historically organized themselves into tribal communities that provided both material and emotional support to their members. Individual Indians were thrown into a white culture with very different customs once the U.S. government destroyed the tribal organization. The Indians were economically poor, politically powerless, and socially prejudiced against as a result of their inability to find work or sustain themselves. They went through intense emotional suffering as well as a profound cultural and identity crisis.
- Hank phillips states that its roots aren’t that good and we don’t hear **** calling each other savages. It’s just like it’s thrown around like nothing like it doesn’t matter. But in the end you are affecting somebody. As soon as O heard that word I had this gut reaction. Why is it important to be aware of the power of words, where they come from and how they have been used historically?
It is vital to carefully chose the words to we use since it shapes the limits of our existence. The capacity to understand the origin of the words helps in articulating our thoughts and feelings both professionally and emotionally. The true power of language lies in the meanings we give to words. Like getting a bad grade on an exam, words may sometimes be interpreted in more than one way. But our understanding of life has a greater dynamic range and flexibility than words do. When we set out to give shape to our lives that is when the power of words becomes most apparent. Allowing the power of words to work against us is what happens when we repeatedly use self-deprecating language in our internal conversation. It’s important to remember that the people who hear our words will apply their own filters to them, and that these filters, in turn, will produce interpretations that vary greatly from our own. The context in which a word is used is crucial. Knowing the historical origin of words helps us to use them in the right manner without hurting other people. The best way to use a term is often revealed by exploring its origins. You recognize both its initial meaning and the ways in which word has developed through time and use. Words that sound similar or are linked to one another might be used to make nuanced distinctions.
- How does this podcast relate to TED Talk ‘’The Danger of a single Story’’?
The similarity between the podcast and TED Talk is that both describe how words are used to create a situation that is unfriendly among the minority in the society. This Ted Talk examines the origins and pernicious effects of the “one tale” mentality. Both contends that prejudice and bigotry typically stem from isolated incidents of misunderstanding or ignorance, but that these incidents may sometimes have more sinister motivations. These examples illustrate how generalizations are made from little data, but any one anecdote should not be used to classify a whole population. Both authors’ shows that power does more than just disseminating a story or word by ensuring that the story created survive. They argue that power may be used maliciously, to spread stories that are untrue and this impacts the other parties due to prejudice used. In the podcast, Europeans used savage word to taint indigenous people, while in the TED Talk, one story is made strong by the western media to taint the minority people in the society.