In response to today’s blog post, Moral Injury, Tom Kunesh sent the following response that I found very helpful. I am just getting to know Tom through our work on the Decolonizing Quakers steering committee. Decolonizing Quakers
Jeff – thanks for bringing up ‘moral injury’. in decolonizing – where we are at (north America), & in the context of Quakerism, am most concerned about the historic moral injury done to nativeamericans by Quakers and the Christian ideology that they participated in, as both Christian european colonists and specifically as Quaker settlers, forcing upon eastern seaboard ‘colonial’ tribes 1500-1850, and then in the midwest 1850-1900.
if we want to decolonize Quakerism, the first step is to bring up just what you’re pointing out – the betrayal of Quakerism’s own core values when/as it took native land for an english colony, settled native land, spoke english on native land, missionized & converted & judged natives to be inferior & lacking & needing improvement to european standards. the moral injury done to quakerism in assuming it had ‘Light’ and natives did not. and then the injury done to all the tribes it came in contact with, injury done with all the tax revenues Quakers contributed to the acculturation & settlement efforts, over & above Christian general and Quaker specific missionizing. both the moral injury to natives and the moral injury to Quakerism itself that i have never heard Quakers address.
if we are to _work_ on ‘decolonizing quakers’, on ourselves, we should name the historical moral injuries committed in quaker colonizing.tom kunesh, Standing Rock & settler descendant
Tom also sent a link to this PDF:
Missions of the Society of Friends Among the lndian Tribes of the Sac and Fox Agency [1868-1955], Hobert Ragland, Oklahoma 1955