Civilisation – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s
inspirational photo is provided by Renee Heath.
It reminds me of a short piece I wrote many years ago, on a topic near to my heart.
This is it, reduced to fit.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Renee Heath

Click here to hear the writer read his words:

Civilisation

As Europeans colonised the New World, their treatment of the indigenous people was indefensible.
Genocide was carried out with indifference.
But another, more insidious practice, was perpetrated, well into the 20th Century.
Children were taken from their homes, never to see their parents again, cut off from their native culture, banned from speaking their own language.
They were kept in homes and educated in the ways, and the religions, of the conquerors.
This happened in the USA.
And in Canada, much of it under British rule.

But we don’t call this ethnic cleansing.
Oh no, that’s what bad people do.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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71 Responses to Civilisation – Friday Fictioneers

  1. KDFlute says:

    As one of those scooped survivors, thank you. Some of these other commenters need to be hung up and dried for their two sides/no innocents style of racist comments. One evil side in this story. One.

    Like

  2. Thank you for that moving and insightful essay.

    Like

  3. Susie Clevenger says:

    Oh, yes…We are so civilized. Great writing!

    Like

  4. Lynn Love says:

    I watched a documentary on ancient art the other day, marvelling at the fact there are still Aboriginal people versed in their own traditions, in their own legends, when Western culture seemed so determined to wipe their history out. Another episode in our shameful history, C, and you wrote on the subject with passion and compassion

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Lynn, I am happy that my words touch you. This is a subject close to my heart, perhaps because of the atrocities perpetrated upon the Highland clans by our own – British – government after the second Jacobite rebellion. And the more I talk to Americans, Canadians, Australians, et al, the more I understand this was a standard tactic of our rulers for centuries.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is sad that it happened and continues to happen. People find endless ways of justifying their actions and you put it well.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Fatima.
      These actions are and always have been unjustifiable, except to those who need no justification for their actions, because they always know best.

      Like

  6. Anita says:

    Very true. Agree with you.
    Many such incidents sadly reflect the inhuman attitude. They serve as lessons as to what not to do.
    Red-Hot Show – Anita

    Like

  7. So very true and its effects are still felt.

    Like

  8. There’s powerful truth in your tale.

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

    Like

  9. Sandra says:

    We don’t have too much to be proud of, do we. Even aftr all this years.

    Like

  10. Grim grim grim, has happened, is still happening, will probably happen after we are gone.

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  11. draliman says:

    A terrible thing, to be ripped away from your family and have another culture forced on you. But, as you alluded to at the end, history is written by… well, us.

    Like

  12. 4963andypop says:

    Cutting irony. There is nothing new under the sun, and nobody is blameless, least of all US.

    Like

  13. The collateral damages of war and subjugation. World history is replete with more such brutal happenings. Very wry, sardonic humour employed, Ceayr

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  14. Abhijit Ray says:

    Such a practice was cruel. At the same time children who had seen better life in terms of education and material benefit, could have been asked to work for the welfare of their people. May be things could have been done in a different way. I am not condoning what was done.

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  15. Brutal. Mine was one of those conquered countries too, but as you said, our conquerors were the ‘good guys’.

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  16. Powerful story. The last two lines hit hard.

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  17. Oh we did it in Sweden too… with the Sami children… sometimes education has another purpose… it always have

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  18. Thought provoking – we should never forget what we humans are capable of!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  19. granonine says:

    I’ve said it often: History is the record of man’s inhumanity to man.

    Like

  20. pennygadd51 says:

    Will we become properly civilised before we become extinct? I wonder…
    Good polemic, CE

    Like

  21. Jelli says:

    AYE! ! Miigwetche! Thank you! Lay out the reality, why don’t you! What a great write this week! Straight and to the point. ~ Jelli

    Like

  22. Liz Young says:

    ‘For their own good’ – far too many things have been done with this as the excuse.

    Like

  23. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Sadly they thought they were – and still are doing the right thing.

    Like

  24. trentpmcd says:

    Yeah, some ugly dark things in our past. Funny how when others do those things it is evil, but when it is us, well, that was then.

    Like

  25. A powerful story in its sad truth.

    Like

  26. Dear CE,

    We can also call it identity theft. Yes, we were on a similar path this time. It can’t be written enough as far as I’m concerned. My only consolation is that my folks were in Eastern Europe enduring persecution. The most dangerous animal is human. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  27. Violet Lentz says:

    The pecking order of man is such I don’t think atrocities like this will ever stop being committed. Excellent write CE.

    Like

  28. Frankie Perussault says:

    it’s always a matter of “us” or “them”. I played “Indians” when I was a kid with my brother and his friends. The winner is now the culprit but the Indians weren’t angels either. Separating kids from their parents is still a present practice. Will we ever learn? Your story is sharp. Great stuff. (from threefoldtwenty dotcom)

    Like

  29. Varad says:

    I remember reading about the forgotten Australian children some time back. Your story is crisp and to the point. Well done, CE.

    Like

  30. neilmacdon says:

    A point well made

    Like

  31. Iain Kelly says:

    I wanted to write a witty comment, but it doesn’t seem right for such a troubling subject. There are no innocents in history.

    Like

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