Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Give Thanks For What, Genocide of Native Americans?

Somehow, I don't think the journalism professor who wrote this piece is a political conservative. In fact, based on his writing here, I'm quite sure he's part of the "Hate America First" crowd. And they're lefties.

We should get rid of Thanksgiving and instead atone for "genocide" committed centuries ago? I'll think about that as I head over to the nearest Indian Casino, about 20 min from my house.

Update: Here is the only known contemporary account of the first Thanksgiving. It comes from a letter dated 1621 from Edward Winslow. This page includes Winslow's account as well as William Bradford's comments written about 20 years later.

10 comments:

Lyttle said...

While the Plymouth colony did their fair share of Indian slaughter, Thanksgiving as an American tradition shouldn't suffer because of it. If anything, the glorified first thanksgiving was one of the few instances where Native Americans and colonists coexisted peacefully (granted, the colonists didn't have much of a choice given their situation). I'd be more inclined to single out such historic moments as the founding of Jamestown or Columbus Day as symbols of Native American genocide. As for your "pain" over having to live within an hour's drive of an Indian casino, suck it up! Indian reservations have not improved much since the laws confining people there were lifted and if obnoxious, fat-tourist-attracting casinos can offer any aid I'm not complaining. Plus, I love hearing about historically opressed people finding a loophole and sticking it to "the Man".

Anonymous said...

Right on, Lyttle!

Darren seems to think "America" is incapable of wrong-doing, and any reference to past injustice is the work of crafty "hate America first"-types. Native Americans were, in fact, slaughtered by aggressive, "God-fearing" Americans. No amount of right-wing revisionism can change that. You can call historians names if it makes you feel better, but doing so doesn't change the truth of the matter.

And we have reason to feel *some* remorse over living on stolen land. Wave the flag just a little bit slower, Darren; the US has been guilty of some nontrivial sins.

Darren said...

Lyttle, nothing to suck up here. I have no problems with Indian casinos, hence no "pain".

As for Anonymous, you can choose to suffer over the sins of your fathers. I won't. While I recognize them, I also recognize the tremendous good mine did. That doesn't cancel out the bad, but it certainly puts things in a more balanced light.

And we can all agree on moderate, balanced views, can't we?

And where do you come up with my calling historians names? I think you spoke far more about yourself than you did me.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Darren said...

Actually, Lyttle, the colonists had an *abundance* of food on that first Thanksgiving. It was only because they had an abundance that they invited the locals, who had, no doubt, contributed in part to the survival of the colony.

So your parenthetical comment isn't quite accurate.

Walter E. Wallis said...

The settlers were not that much stronger that the aboriginals, and settler land acquisition was consistent with the practices of the day. Incidently, everyone born in the United States is a Native American. Aborigines don't want to be called Indians, let them come up with a designation that fits.

Mike T said...

Reading this professor’s “opinion” (At least he wasn’t like the NYT/WP, et all who would call this news on the front page) I’m reminded of a great quote…

We tend to confuse the terms "intellectual" and "intelligent." An intellectual is a person who makes his living dealing in ideas. He is
learned by profession. He could also be a moron. There is no guarantee
that an intellectual is intelligent. At the same time, there are
people who are enormously intelligent, but not at all intellectual.
They do not make their living working with ideas. They are not
learned. But their unencumbered intelligence can sometimes see the
future more clearly than someone who is encumbered by complex ideas
that their intelligence can't sort through.
Stratfor.Com Daily Summary, June 10th, 2004.


I wonder if this member of the ivory towers has a clue. He probably believes “Dances with Wolves” is actually true. That movie never mentions slaughters of Indians by other Indians. In a word, the Indians lost the conquest of the West by European settlers…but the fact is they would have fought among themselves if we we’re there. Some would win, some would lose. But there were engaged by a more powerful force and lost. Welcome to the real world ladies and gentlemen. That is how these issues are decided, with force. And to all those who call us invaders, etc, your right. We did move across this land and claim if. Now if you don’t like that fact, don’t let the door hit you in the ass (and yes Anonymous, I’m talking about you) as you leave the country for some paradise like France or Spain.

Happy Thanksgiving…took bad Cleveland and Washington ain’t playing today! 

Darren said...

Mike, odd that I was thinking the same thing about our "noble savages", namely that many of them warred mercilessly amongst themselves. But remember, it's only bad when white men do it. And win.

And to be fair to the Indians, the US broke more than its fair share of treaties with them. *That* is shameful. I don't think it merits self-flagellation and ashes on the forehead by me personally, but it's important to recognize that we didn't always live up to even our own standards.

But this is the difference between the Hate America First crowd and, say, you and me. They look at the broken treaties, the Trail of Tears, etc, and see only negative. I see those along with many other things and see a basically good people who have made mistakes. Mike, you and I are Glass-Half-Full types.

Gawd, could u imagine how it would be in Germany if there were a 'Hate Germany First' crowd? "Oh, we're so horrible because our grandfathers were Nazis. Nothing can erase this shame we all bear." Completely ignore the 3 B's--Beethoven, BMW, and beer!

Walter E. Wallis said...

I really love the recent statement that the original people "Lived in harmony with nature."
What else could they do?

Mike T said...

Bump off a herd or two of buffalo, like they did... :)

Doug said...

My great-great-great-grandfather was Mushulatubbee, chief of the Choctaw Indians in the second quarter of the 19h Century. The Choctaw were one of the "Five Civilized Tribes," as the English settlers called them. This didn't prevent them having their land stolen by the same people.
http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/features/feature14/choctaw_removal.html

This is history. It's what human beings have done to each other since ... probably since they were pre-human.

What is remarkable is that we are evolving beyond this. In the West, in particular, we have developed a system, which we may call "the rule of law" and "democratically-accountable government" which is something new on the face of the earth. A New Order of the Ages, as it says on the dollar bill in your wallet.

The Left are willfully ignorant of history and of the behavior of humanity outside the United States. They focus monomaniacally on the crimes, real and imaginary, of the Americans and their ancestors. Well, if all were treated according to their deserts, who should 'scape whipping?

A very nice blog, Darren. Please look at this ...
http://liberty-resource-center.blogspot.com/

... and consider working with us.

Doug