It has been impossible to ignore the trending, refashioning of American history that is incessantly circulating in the media. One article I was unfortunate enough to stumble upon left me completely inundated at the audacious display of partiality and ignorance that the author willfully espoused, during their retelling of American history.
The article can be found here, ranked among a list of genocidal atrocities that have taken place in human history.
I really hate to bash this article since endgenocide.org supports a good cause, however a one-sided history of the North American conquest doesn’t quite appertain to a website aimed at ending genocide.
Hell, I was so confused when I found ‘Atrocities Against Native Americans’ on a website titled ‘End Genocide’, that I thought I was reading satire. The article is simply out of place; it would be suiting to be published on The Onion, because this article is a stunt.
Anyhow, after reading I couldn’t help but criticize the author’s blatant attempt at delivering a message construing American history to be abounding with racist white men, committing deliberate acts of genocide on docile, peaceful, kumbaya-singing Native Americans.
Here are some of the outlandish, partial, and ignorant remarks:
- “Even today, Native Americans face … ongoing cases of discrimination.”
- “Several wars broke out between tribes and American settlers which led to large death tolls, land dispossession, oppression and blatant racism.”
- “Ultimately, while Columbus is remembered as a daring adventurer, he was also a perpetrator of atrocities and his legacy is viewed as the starting point that sparked hundreds of years of exploration and exploitation of the Americas.”
- “By the time Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean in 1492, historians estimate that there were 10 million indigenous peoples living in U.S. territory. But by 1900, the number had reduced to less than 300,000.”
- The author cites that early settlers distributed smallpox blankets to the natives and proclamations for “redskins” (scalps) were given, which is a “a major indicator of genocidal acts.”
- This publisher also couldn’t help but refer to the Hoover Commission’s urge to assimilate the Native Americans as a “modern atrocity.”
Okay, now I’m required to chime in on these claims.
My first question is “what form of discrimination are Native Americans currently facing and where is this taking place?” I’ve been unsuccessful at locating systematic cases of discrimination against Native Americans in the 21st century. Could it be that there aren’t any?
To mention that war resulted in “large death tolls, land dispossession, oppression and blatant racism” is to simply speak of war. In the context of war, land dispossession is a common goal, oppression of the enemy is necessary, and racism is unfortunately a customary occurrence in the context of war. Just read any memoir on any war where the opposing forces were of different ethnicities. It wasn’t a racist, systematic form of genocide. It was the hatred of the enemy that resulted in hatred of the race (on both sides), not vice versa.
Also, why must Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas be so quickly discredited due to the wars that were inevitably to come? Are we really signaled to believe that Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 in search of an undiscovered, underdeveloped civilization that he intended to commit acts of genocide on? Or was he sent out in search of a trade route to India?
Also, the author’s claim to 10 million Native Americans is a frequently debated numerical claim, however 10 million is quite eccentric. Anthropologists have estimated a mere 800,000.
In regards to the distribution of smallpox blankets, this atrocity happened on maybe three occurrences, only one of which can be confirmed. And once again, the settlers were engaged in war.
In regards to incidents of scalping, this strategy was utilized by both sides. To suggest that it was merely settlers who engaged in scalping is obtuse. Where do you think they adopted this idea from? Yeah, the Native Americans. This practice was common well before any settlers landed at Jamestown, and it was recurrent among many Native American tribes, who by the way, were commonly engaged in civil wars with one another. If scalping is supposedly considered a “major indicator of genocide”, then you ought to paint the entire picture.
Also, can someone explain to me how President Truman’s urge to assimilate should be considered a “modern atrocity”?
This article, ‘Atrocities Against Native Americans‘, is found among a listing of genocidal atrocities throughout human history, to include the Holocaust, the Armenian extermination, and Pol Pot’s Cambodian genocide. Are we really hellbent on listing Columbus and Truman alongside Pol Pot? Are individuals earnestly willing to rewrite the conquest of North American as an act of systematic genocide?
The founding of America was simply that, a conquest.
The motivation wasn’t racism, and the reduction of the Native American population wasn’t a deliberate act of genocide.
Just pause for a moment and ponder what the world would look like had America never been founded by Europeans with Judeo-Christian values. The technologically underdeveloped communities that once roamed this land were bound to be conquered. Would the world be a better place if the Soviet Union owned this land? How about Imperial Japan? The Third Reich? We mustn’t dare to assume this that land would still be occupied by indigenous people.
If the proponents of identity politics are truly convinced that American History is riddled with angry white men committing acts of genocide on Native Americans, and that these acts merit reparations, then once again, you must use that paint brush of yours to paint the entire picture.
Essentially every square mile of currently owned land on Earth was previously owned by someone else. So, in regard to reparations, where do we even begin?