Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.


If the deaths of millions of indigenous people of the Americas from communicable diseases in the 16th century constituted “a genocide” at the hands of Europeans, it has to follow that the deaths of millions of Europeans from an epidemic of plague 150 years earlier were also a genocide. Presumably, at the hands of the Eastern merchants who brought the disease on their ships. 

I don’t understand how one can be considered a scholar and use terminology so carelessly. I’m reading a book on medieval history that everybody quotes and it’s filled with this kind of bloopers.


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9 thoughts on “Genocide

  1. Oh, but see, the Europeans had an awareness of biological weapons and knew these indigenous people had no immunity to European diseases. So they specially prepared cultures of their disease vectors to wreak havoc on indigenous populations…oh, wait. What do you mean, that didn’t happen?

    All the crimes Europeans actually committed, and they go and pick “disease vector?” Europeans had no idea how disease worked! They had no idea that the people they ran into wouldn’t have had any exposure to syphilis or smallpox. Hell, in the 16th century people thought that maggots were spontaneously generated by rotten meat. I don’t know if I have enough words to communicate how ridiculous using the term “genocide” for that is. And insulting to both the victims of those diseases and actual genocide.


    • That’s exactly what I mean. Horrible things were done to the indigenous peoples of the Americas but the 16th century epidemic was a tragic, horrible, unmeant mishap.


  2. Mariana on said:

    It’s done in bad faith. White guilt is big bucks and big opportunities for certain academics, ngos, professional bleeding hearts as well as much needed ammo for the subversive left.


    • Absolutely! I’m glad you said this. I’m very tired of academics who make a career out of public self-flagellation. Their scholarship can be resumed as “the US and Europe are to blame for everything.” It’s beyond boring and stupid.


  3. Shakti on said:

    Clarissa, did the author cite events like this to support their point?


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