We humans have a habit of making everything black and white. We like to deal in constants.
We like classifying and categorizing people into groups.
You are either racist or liberal, either fascist or commie, Islamolover or Islamophobe, feminist or chauvinist, patriot or an Indian Antinational Congressman (ok, this one might actually be true) etc etc.
There is no scope of gray areas anymore. There is no concept of supporting some issues and not supporting others. If you support one thing, then you have to support them all and have to wear the label.
Its all binary.
Tolerance is at a low, but irrespective of what the presstitutes might claim, its not at an all time low.
People have been killing each other ever since the beginning of time. And they have been killing each other for booty (gold, money, slaves, land, oil, boobies) or in the name of their king or country or religion or race or in the case of Genghis Khan ‘because fuck you that’s why’…..
And sometimes to eat. Cannibalism ahoy!!!
The black and white categorization isn’t a recent phenomenon though. We like to look at history through this prism.
Colonialism – bad
White man gave us access to western science and technology, railways, tea, football, abolished the inhumane sati, introduced widow remarriage, and most importantly gave us pants
On the flip side they killed us, raped us, looted us, made us slaves in all but name – and in the case of Bengal starved to death 3-4 million of us under Winston Churchill’s orders – “starvation of anyhow underfed Bengalis is less serious than that of sturdy Greeks”.
Death of 6 million Jews – Holocaust
Death of 4 million Bongs – meh
Out history books tell us that Akbar – good, Auzangzeb – bad
In reality, both were equally imperialistic, neither was a goody two shoe (the most secular amongst that lot was in fact Jahangir, who was also agnostic and it was during his reign that we were richest)
George W Bush – bad; Mr. Obama – good, Noble peace prize
In reality, both warmongers
Then there is the strange case of Ernesto Guevera – a mass murdering psycopathic terrorist. For some reason, he is a hero to idiotic teenagers worldwide while Pol Pot, Charles Manson, Osama bin Laden are all considered villains.
It is this kind of revisionist impartial history that colours our mind and shapes our beliefs.
And that’s why wee have been told repeatedly about how the Spanish Conquistadors destroyed and decimated the Mesoamerican and South American civilizations.
Yep, they killed without mercy all for the lust of gold.
But, just because they were inhumane does not mean that the other party was holier than thou.
You see its all gray, not black or white
It was one of the worst defeats in one of history’s most dramatic conquests: Only a year after Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, hundreds of people in a Spanish-led convoy were captured, sacrificed and apparently eaten.
Excavations at a site just east of Mexico City are yielding dramatic new details about that moment when two cultures clashed – and the native defenders, at least temporarily, were in control.
Faced with strange invaders accompanied by unknown animals, the inhabitants of an Aztec-allied town reacted with apparent amazement when they captured the convoy of about 15 Spaniards, 45 foot soldiers who included Cubans of African and Indian descent, women and 350 Indian allies of the Spaniards, including Mayas and other groups.
Artifacts found at the Zultepec-Tecoaque ruin site, show the inhabitants carved clay figurines of the unfamiliar races with their strange features, or forced the captives to carve them. They then symbolically decapitated the figurines.
“We have figurines of blacks, of Europeans, that were then intentionally decapitated,” said Enrique Martinez, the government archaeologist leading this year’s round of excavations at the site, where explorations began in the 1990s.
Later, those in the convoy were apparently sacrificed and eaten by the townsfolk known as Texcocanos or Acolhuas .
Spanish conquistadors, women, children and horses were imprisoned for months, sacrificed and eaten by contemporaries of the Aztecs, archaeologists report after unveiling new research from ruins near Mexico City.
Although Spanish chroniclers including Hernán Cortés, who led the conquest of Mexico in 1520, recorded the capture of a convoy that year, archaeologists are for the first time uncovering details of what happened when a native people first encountered the Spanish, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said in an announcement of its findings.
Only a few dozen miles from the relative safety of the Spanish army, the convoy of conquistadors and allies encountered a local people known as the Acolhuas, allies of Tetzcoco, a major Aztec city.
Somehow, the caravan – archaeologists estimate it included 15 Spaniards, 45 soldiers from the colonies, 50 women, 10 children and a large number of indigenous allies – was captured. Over the next six months, its members met a grisly end.
Traces of construction show that the Acolhuas had to remake Zultepec, a town just east of the capital, then called Tenochtitlan, to accommodate the prisoners, archaeologist Enrique Martinez said in a statement.
The town was eventually renamed from Zultepec to Tecoaque, which in the native Nahuatl language means: “The place where they ate them.”
So you see, all that heinous cruelty was tempered with cannibalism from the other side.
So who is good and who is evil?
Or was it a case of both sides being vicious bastards and the bastards with superior technology won?
So stop being all judgmental people.
And always look at the broader picture – nobody is pure good, nobody is pure evil (with the possible exception of Bangladeshis)
We all have good in us, we all have bad in us.
And we all make mistakes.
So don’t judge, forgive and help whenever you can.
If you have to fill yourself, don’t fill yourself with hate or intolerance, fill yourself with vodka.