At a certain school I won’t name, every faculty meeting starts with a statement read aloud that says, “We recognize that we exist on an occupied land that belongs to the X Native American tribe and we bear full responsibility for the colonialist nature of our presence here.” Moreover, every MA and PhD thesis has to include this statement on the cover page.
Given that there are no Native Americans present at those meetings and that Native Americans have better things to do than pore over every MA thesis the school approves, these efforts aren’t doing much to benefit any actual Native American. And any power that the statement might have has been eroded by endless repetition.
Anybody who questions the use of the statement is labeled a racist, a colonialist, an imperialist, and a white supremacist. So nobody wants to speak out any more. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that there are many people who passionately and sincerely believe that you can’t possibly oppose the repeated use of the statement for any other reason but bigotry and hate.