Colonialism in the United States

A panel discussion at the US Social Forum
moderated by Anita Rios

Thursday, June 28, Westin Hotel, Atlanta, Room 1404

Anita RiosThis panel presentation, moderated by Anita Rios, president of the Green
Institute board of directors,
explored different aspects of colonialism
within the United States, as experienced by Native Americans and Black
America - and all of us: It also delved into corporate colonialism -
how corporate rule undermines democracy in the United States, and what
role it has played since the earliest days of British colonies in North


First to speak was Dr. Jared Ball, Communications Fellow for the Green Institute and Assistant Jared Ball Professor for Communications Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Dr. Ball specializes in Hip Hop issues and is writing a series of articles for the Green Institute about corporate control of Hip Hop. Dr. Ball discussed colonialism in the Black experience in the United States and applied the current experience of Hip Hop, where for example the same corporation that distributed Don Imus' radio show also is the primary producer of some of the corporate Hip Hop music whose language Imus used as an excuse for his comments.

Elaine BrownNext to speak was Elaine Brown, the former Chair of the Black Panther Party.
Brown described the history of the black experience in the United States with respect to colonialism, focusing on the profit-based motives of the original British colonies.

She described how the London Company started the colony at Jamestown with the motivation of making money - religious freedom had nothing to do with it. And the money was made with the use of black slaves.

Colonialism panel

Third to speak was Audrey Thayer, a member of the Green Institute Board of Directors and an Anishinabe Indian from Audrey Thayerthe White Earth Nation in northern Minnesota.

She described her experiences with the American Indian Movement and the impact of this country's colonialist policies on her peoples.


Jared Wilken, of Democracy Unlimited in Humboldt County, was next to speak. His focus was Jared Wilken corporate colonialism - the concept that the legal system of corporate rights undermines democracy and has resulted in corporate rule in the United States.

He also described the history of the development of the corporation in the United States, from a limited economic entity under the tight control of the states, to an entity which drives governance due to the "rights" which the Supreme Court has given to it over the last 140 years and more.

Tom GoldtoothFinally, Tom Goldtooth, Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network spoke. Tom focused more on the mindset of the colonist and the colonial process, as well as the clash of cultures that still exists, rather than covering histories already covered by others. It was a fitting conclusion to the event.



Colonialism panel

From left to right: Jared Wilken, Elaine Brown, Tom Goldtooth (speaking), Jared Ball, Audrey Thayer, Anita Rios




Audio recordings of the presentations courtesy of Jared Ball and Voxunion Radio: