Thursday, March 24, 2011

How We Treated Native Americans

John Stossel on FOX thinks that no people have been treated as well by the American government than American Indians.
Trail of Tears: The forced march of Cherokee (and others) from Georgia to Oklahoma. Thousand died in what history records as an act of genocide.
Bear River Massacre: 1863, Union soldiers killed every man, woman, and child, 490 in all, in a Shoshone village near what is now Preston, ID.
Sand Creek Massacre: In the 1860's Col. John Chivington of the US cavalry waged a war of extermination against Native Americans in eastern Colorado. In the battle of Sand Creek, his troopers attacked a peaceful village killing every living soul there and scalping the bodies. Col. Chivington kept over 100 trophy scalps as well as the pubic hair of women victims. Col. Chivington famously defended killing babies by saying, "Nits make lice."
Wounded Knee: In the winter of 1890, American soldiers attacked a starving Lakota Sioux encampment of 350, two-thirds women and children. This is considered the last "battle" of the Indian Wars.
Boarding Schools: Well into the 20th century it was the practice of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take Native American children away from their families and place them in boarding schools. There they would be purged of the indian-ness, they would be forced to practice Christianity and punished for speaking their native languages. Vicious beatings and sexual abuse was common. 
Poverty: While some tribes have prospered because of Indian casinos, most Native Americans continue to live in horrible poverty with unemployment rates well over 50%.
Poisoning: One alternative to poverty is allowing resource mining on tribal lands. Native Americans suffer to a far greater degree than the general population from uranium, lead, and mercury poisoning.


Anonymous said...

Stossel knows exactly the sordid history of US treatment of Native Americans. He is attempting to engage in historical reconstruction in the same manner as holocaust deniers do. According to Genocidewatch -- "DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims." We are constantly told by folks like Stossel that America is different and better. If Americans are like Stossel, then we are no better. We should accept our past conduct for what it was, learn the lesson from that conduct, resolve never to stoop to that level again, and take whatever action is necessary to make up for that conduct. Stossel's approach is just to deny it ever happened, which mainly sounds morally bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

Denying our treatment of America's indigenous peoples doesn't just "sound morally bankrupt," it IS morally bankrupt. And, to pass such denials off as the truth is simply a big lie.

Anonymous said...

You are right. I was being generous to someone whose view merited no generosity.