I've written here (on Wednesday, in early September, and back about a year ago), saying that I feel like a member of a conquered people; in the most recent of those, I drew an explicit analogy to the Amerindian peoples.
An IRC acquaintance (the same one I mentioned in Wednesday's post) said that this, my drawing analogies between my experience of having the Internet invaded and overrun and their plight, was disrespectful towards their experience. As far as I know he does not belong to any conquered people in any sense; he certainly didn't claim any such status when telling me I was being disrespectful towards the Amerindian experience.
Someone else, on the other hand, liked the post, saying he "absolutely loved" the paragraph about powerlessness. There's a lot I don't know about his history, but what little I do know leads me to suspect he may be in a position to speak personally to what it's actually like to be a member of a (more traditionally) conquered people.
Now, I don't think I need anyone's validation to feel the way I do, no matter how that is. And I don't care how reasonable my emotions seem to anyone, myself or anyone else; as I've remarked before, emotions and reason have little to do with one another. I most certainly do not actually intend any disrespect to the plight of the Amerinds. And what's happened to me is different in important ways from what's happened to them. The IRC acquaintance wrote of having "home and land" taken; emotionally, that's not too far wrong for me: I found a group I felt kinship with and felt at home with and spent some time, probably five to ten years, with them. Then we were invaded and overrun; my (emotional) home was destroyed and the infrastructure it was built upon was taken. The major difference I see is that nobody used threat of immediately-deadly force against me.
That's not an inconsiderable difference. And, while I have no way to do a direct comparison, I would guess the emotional impact was probably milder in my case. But I don't see that the differences invalidate the rest of the analogy, nor make it so tenuous as to be disrespectful towards those I'm drawing the analogy to. It most certainly seems to me to be a relatively good way to describe my feelings.
But, all that said, if people see it as disrespectful, I'd like to, at the very least, know it. So, I invite opinions. Especially from any of you who belong to (more traditionally) conquered peoples, most especially the Amerindian ones; they, after all, are the ones I was using as analogs and thus who actually have standing to get upset.