What did Howard Zinn mean when he said, "in the long run, the oppressor is also a victim"?

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A People's History of the United States was written by Howard Zinn (1922–2010) in an effort to tell the story of ordinary people. "In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim," Zinn wrote in the first chapter.

The first chapter tells the story of Christopher Columbus and his encounter with the Arawak Indians. From the initial meeting, Columbus had a plan for them: subjugation and slavery. Although the Arawaks were hospitable and sharing, Columbus only wanted gold from them. He had been promised 10% of all gold that he could find in the New World. He tried to force the natives to give him gold. Because they had little gold to give, he enslaved them. The result was genocide. Given this unspeakable evil that he committed, should we continue to celebrate Columbus Day?

Zinn thought historians should reveal atrocities and tell the story from the loser's side. The Arawaks were not the only victims. Hiroshima and Vietnam caused of many deaths and great suffering. The story of the Constitution...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 738 words.)

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