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There is an implicit parity, you see? All fear is the same, all violence is the same, all insecurity is the same. The Oglala Sioux father tells the writer how he was able to see white humanity for the first time through this friendship. The white man tells him the same about Indigenous humanity.
And just like that, the genocidal engine of American colonialism, which, together with slavery, propelled its entire economy, becomes just a big misunderstanding, a problem to be solved by dialogue, empathy, and the simple understanding that, as McCann quotes his Palestinian protagonist’s epiphany: “They have families, too.”
Substitute Palestinian for Oglala Lakota, Palestine for Pine Ridge Reservation, and Israelis for white settlers (although that does not need changing), and you have, in a nutshell, Colum McCann’s much-touted, highly anticipated novel, which may well become a blockbuster film.