MFA Thesis – Excerpt 25

Excuses for Oppression

From the MFA thesis:

“Delusion is a powerful weapon. For instance, in the decades preceding World War I, German nationalist groups promoted the idea that Germany was surrounded by increasingly aggressive nations that envied their superior position.1 This narrative was used as an excuse for the war and the conquering of those envious nations. A society does not need to be overly prejudiced to be racist, simply indifferent to the suffering caused by its own dominant narrative.2

The intent of the film Traces Retraced is to explore this theme and a few others. We constantly like to think and say that we have evolved and became civilized. But, on the other hand, you can see the doctrinarian trends of public, and private school (some times worst), of dumbing the students. For example, look at the image shared on Facebook by P.B. Lamberty. With this passive method, it violates the cultural heritage of Taino Indians. And through this method, keep the population submissive and thanking the oppressors.

Short Explanation

Delusion is all around us. Growing in a colony constantly exposed to this colonial treatment (the school exam on the picture) were common and in part helped me and my peers learn to research and find the truth behind the “history” lessons. Scripted talks take a toll on the youth and creates in them feelings of lesser importance. And on top of that Capitalism is all about creating cattle. Having the population be just consumers. And the youth, in their search to belong to a group, are pull in all directions by those scripted talks. In their search to belong to a group, some end up in criminal gangs.

Phone photo of school history exam stating Taino Indians were better off with the colonization. It says that "The colonization brought: Language, religion, habits, plants, tools and materials" as if Tainos did not have any of that before.


  1. Joseph Jastrow, “Delusion, Mass-Suggestion, and the War: A Dream and the Awakening,” The Scientific Monthly 8, no. 5 (1919) : 427.
  2. Peter L. Kranz, “Racial Indifference: Racism’s Best Ally,” Improving College and University Teaching 24, no. 3 (1976) : 158–159.