This morning I woke up thinking about the Sami people of Sweden and how I want to find out more about their history and current connection to politics and cultural rights. More on that later.
This American Life replayed an episode about a group in California that has been intentionally slimming its membership. You can find it here: "I know I am but what are you"
A classmate of mine this autumn made an interesting argument about the role of reparations many years after violent conflict during our course on "Transitional Justice". The timeline of transitional justice is debated and sometimes drawn out - for instance the Khmer Rouge trials got their start in Cambodia 30 years after the violence. She wrote on cases of the Caribbean states suing former colonizers. This followed on the news of the judgements in the U.K. to pay some of the victims' families of the Mau Mau, who suffered at the hands of British troops.
I have written about reparations on the blog before. In our quest to make up for past wrongs, at times it is a good idea for the U.S. to explore, not only monetary reparations - which this radio clip makes me doubt, but instead more symbolic acts or other types of restitution to acknowledge the U.S.'s violent history in regards to native groups and slavery.
If you listen to the above clip, let me know your thoughts. Having watched "The Wolf of Wall Street" the night before I pondered on the evil in many of us to seek money and manifest such greed on the backs of others. While the Chukchansi council in the clip deny the monetary motivation behind their actions, the increase in the payoffs from the casino to the remaining (non-kicked out tribespeople) suggests otherwise.
Overall, the point of the This American Life piece that I took away is the way groups, probably all groups often spend lots of energy trying to decide who should or should not be a part of them. I see this in small and large ways in my life and group interactions, as well as in my academic study of groups, whether it be nations or communities. Us and them.