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There are a huge pile of actions that the government and white citizens took towards Native Americans in the 19th century that are truly awful (and yes, before and after that century as well).  But I'm getting tired of the genocide narrative, that paints the natives as innocent victims, on par with genocide victims like the Armenians, the Ukrainians, or the Jews.

Because it just isn't so.  There were some pretty solid reasons for the fear, the loathing, the animosity.  Just as the hagiography that paints America's founders as some kind of blessed saints is a false reading of history, so too is the portrayal of the white settlers' actions towards Native Americans as a genocide, and perpetrated for no reason.  Time to go all Howard Zinn on this below the fold.

Start with deaths.  Jared Diamond's excellent "Guns, Germs, and Steel" conclusively establishes that it was the germs that killed off 90% of the natives who died.  Really, it was.

Even the settlers from the Mayflower were beneficiaries of disease wiping out the natives, shortly before their arrival. as they encountered a coastal New England that had been fortuitously cleared of inhabitants by the time they landed.

Fast forward from there two generations, and we get the attempted genocide of Metacom's Rebellion, aka King Philip's War

The war was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth-century Puritan New England. In the space of little more than a year, twelve of the region's towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony's economy was all but ruined, and much of its population was killed, including one-tenth of all men available for military service
Gee, you think that might have left the early settlers feeling a little animosity towards the natives? And before you claim this was just a corner of the early colonies, remember that even today one in seven Americans is descended from of of Puritan New England's colonists. It was a huge scar on the proto-nation's psyche.

Roughly three generations later the Native Americans allied with the French in a campaign against the English settlers, the French-Indian War

Ironically, it was in part the British attempts to make the colonists pay off the cost of this war that propelled colonial protests in to what turned in to the American revolution.

To preempt the inevitable straw men and non-sequiters: what would I expect the natives to do if their land was invaded? Tough question.  Perhaps the conflict between hunter-gatherers and farmers was inevitable, or maybe it wasn't. I don't know, and the answer doesn't speak to the point of this diary: it wasn't a one-sided genocide against a group that was falsely portrayed as a threat.  The threat was, historically, real.

Do I think this justifies the Trail of Tears, etc?  Well, justify is a tricky word, but it might explain it: if the white settlers are absolutely convinced they can't peacefully co-exist with the natives, because of many experiences in the past of being attacked, then the Indian Removal Acts start to make a certain amount of sense. Move people en masse, with many dying, or leave them in place and have all of them slaughtered.

Again, I'm not claiming Ol' Hickory was a sweet guy or that he couldn't have made more humane choices, this is a call for some historical perspective. And moving people from a place where they're going to get massacred by the locals is, actually, preventing genocide.

But this being Kos, where saying anything outside the accepted wisdom is greeted with about as much enthusiasm as facts on a freeper thread, I expect to see epic levels of poutrage and posterior pain here. So go on, tell me how this is just like the Nazi era Jews, what Turkey did to the Armenians, or what Stalin did to the Ukraine. The false equivalence should be epic.

Let the hating begin.



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Comment Preferences

  •  When the invaded fight back (25+ / 0-)

    ... against the invaded, how much does the perspective of the invader matter?

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:18:20 PM PST

  •  and what, the Native population (20+ / 0-)

    were just supposed to accept the fact that these previously unknown invaders were progressively stealing more and more of their land?

    It would be ridiculous to expect the Natives not to fight back. Of course they weren't just going to lay back and accept their fate as settlers of the "new world" (that was actually already in the possession of the people, ya know, living on the land) came in and progressively started attacking them.

    And you're argument about the diseases -- I remember hearing stories in history about settlers intentionally spreading some of the worst diseases amongst the Native population and killing them that way. So I dunno if its right to completely absolve the European settlers of responsibility for the spread of disease among the natives.

    •  Germ warfare may be a bit exaggerated. Consider (5+ / 2-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, RonV, Nowhere Man, netop, debedb
      Hidden by:
      realcountrymusic, Aji

      that the Mayflower group was decimated during their first year by disease. They had no way to control it.

      Why would they even attempt to handle something that was infected to spread disease among the Native Americans? They were not immune. Nor did they have a cure.

      They didn't know about germs. It wasn't until the mid 1800s that germ theory took hold with Pasteur and Koch.

      Also, didn't the Native American tribes fight each other and make slaves out of prisoners?

      I do believe a lot of US actions were abominable, but some of the accusations are over exaggerated.

      We should deal with the problems that exist today among the AI population.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:38:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is one well documented case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Meteor Blades

      of intentional efforts to use smallpox as a weapon.

      About a third of Europeans died when they contracted it.  Most were not stupid enough to try to use it as a weapon, when it stood a damned good chance of destroying whole towns on their "side" in the event of a general outbreak.

      That does not in any way mean that David Crockett did not eat potatoes soaked in human fat.

      Genocide/Ethnic Cleansing was very real.

      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

      by JesseCW on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:24:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  and just a tip going forward (45+ / 0-)

    if you have to bookend your diary with something like this

    But this being Kos, where saying anything outside the accepted wisdom is greeted with about as much enthusiasm as facts on a freeper thread, I expect to see epic levels of poutrage and posterior pain here. So go on, tell me how this is just like the Nazi era Jews, what Turkey did to the Armenians, or what Stalin did to the Ukraine. The false equivalence should be epic.

    Let the hating begin.

    the diary is not a good idea to publish, and really tells the community that you knew better and just didn't give a shit.
  •  You come and stir up a hornet's nest (41+ / 0-)

    by your own admission and then pre-emptively dismiss critics as pouters. Sounds like a surefire way to engage.

    As long as you are promoting revisionist history, perhaps your next diary topic should be how slavery benefitted the Africans who were forcefully brought to our shores.

    To be blunt, you're not worthy of my hate.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:23:24 PM PST

  •  To my fellow Kossacks: (40+ / 0-)

    This deliberately racist trollery does not deserve the dignity of any commentary. It was clearly posted here to evoke outrage. May I recommend merely HRing the tip jar and then moving along to something worthy of keystrokes?

    Diary HR'd.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:31:58 PM PST

  •  Smoked Turkey (24+ / 0-)

    11⁄4 cups sugar
    11⁄4 cups kosher salt (use only half this amount if you are on a salt-reduced diet)
    1 gallon water
    1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    2 tablespoons granulated garlic
    2 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    2 tablespoons red chili powder
    1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
    1 bunch fresh sage, chopped
    1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
    1 turkey, 12-14 pounds, gizards removed, washed with cold water and patted dry
    Wood chips for smoking, mesquite or any fruitwood

    1. Mix all ingredients, except turkey and wood chips, in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add turkey.

    2. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator, turning turkey a couple of times to ensure all areas have been submerged. Remove bird from marinade and allow to drain for 30 minutes.

    3. Prepare smoker on the lowest temperature possible. If you are using a gas barbecue: Turn it on low and place wet wood chips in the bottom. When the smoke starts, turn the barbecue off or on very low. Place turkey on grill and cover for 30 minutes. You may have to turn the barbecue on a couple of times during the process to create more smoke. If you are using a kettle-style barbecue that isn’t equipped with gas: Don’t get it very hot; only use 2 cups of charcoal. Once the charcoal heats and has had a chance to burn down a little, put wet wood chips in aluminum foil (or foil pie tin) on top of coals. You may need to remove some of the charcoal with a shovel, if the barbecue gets hot. What you are trying to do is create smoke, without making the barbecue hot. Cover and smoke for 30 minutes.

    4. After using either of the above smoking methods, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast 3-4 hours or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh (without touching bone) registers 180 degrees. Allow turkey to rest 15 minutes before carving.

    NOTES:  To get a head start on your Thanksgiving feast, you can marinate the turkey in the refrigerator two days before Thanksgiving, then smoke it the next day and refrigerate, then roast it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. This style of turkey is best if it is cooked unstuffed.

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:33:53 PM PST

  •  I will add, it was no only physical genocide, (31+ / 0-)

    but also cultural genocide. They kidnapped First Nations children and punished them severely for, among other things, talking in their mother tongues.

    You need to sit at Ojibwa's knee and listen.

                        Just my two cents,

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:39:17 PM PST

  •  This diary is false equivalency (14+ / 0-)

    To be able to whitewash the Trail of Tears by saying "well, it's understandable" is false equivalency. Historical perspective is a good thing, but this diary does not provide it. It provides nothing but whitewash.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:39:42 PM PST

  •  And more perspective--the total Native population (5+ / 0-)

    in the entire country should have been several million.  But as has been mentioned, they had just experienced a major event where their population was decimated and weakened.  Had they been at full strength, things may have gone a lot differently.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:47:58 PM PST

    •  They were at full strength when the Norsemen came (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the Norsemen had to go away again because they couldn't get enough of a toehold.

      Otherwise we'd all be speaking Old Norse....

      Too bad this is a troll diary.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:38:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree with your interpretation... (15+ / 0-)

    But I don't think that anything in this diary warrants a HR.

    Though reading your last couple of paragraphs it almost seems that you are trying to provoke people into it.

    This could be an interesting conversation if you didn't feel it necessary to flame your audience.

    That said, I accept the modern wisdom that the population of the America's before contact was in the range of 100 million, and that disease did most of the damage, killing perhaps 90% of that population and leaving behind shattered societies ill-equipped to resist invasion.

    I also accept that it was indeed an invasion, and that people being overrun by foreign invaders have the right to defend themselves. which I mean the European society planted here...did not merely wage war on the battlefield.

    We killed women.  We killed children.  We burned crops.  We displaced entire populations.  We attempted biological warfare...though thankfully we had no idea how to wage it.  We discarded treaty after treaty as soon as it was in our advantage to do so.

    The guiding, stated philosophy of the US military was neatly summed up in the words of General Phillip Sheridan, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

    The only reason Natives did not become slaves is they proved absolutely unwilling and too capable of resistance.

    I do not consider comparing this campaign of destruction to other historic examples to be false equivalence at all.  It did perhaps differ from the Nazi Final Solution that there was not the same sort of organized plan to accomplish it.  It was a largely ad hoc campaign, a small crime here, a big one there, an unfair negotiation over here.

    But the end results are the same.

    I have reluctantly uprated your tip jar to counteract the HRs.  I do this not out of support for your thesis, or for your rather dickish attitude at the end of it, but because I think that the HRs are largely in response to it.  And since you're actually attempting to make an argument, though I disagree with you, I don't think you should be hidden just for attitude.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:53:50 PM PST

    •  Mostly agree but not uprating the diarist. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notthemayor, MichaelNY, JoanMar, erratic

      Just want to be perfectly clear to those who think a tip means 100% agreement.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:06:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the explanation (9+ / 0-)

      but I'm afraid the diary still deserves the HR, in my opinion. To the extent that the diary is based on fact, it's based on pretty well-accepted fact. If it presented any new information, maybe that would outweigh the argumentative tone. But as it is, it seems to be relying on a fairly banal set of facts as the justification for its obnoxiousness. And that just doesn't cut it.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:17:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely understand the feeling... (6+ / 0-)

        And I don't think that anybody decides it deserves an HR is in the wrong.

        I'm not completely certain that I am in the right for uprating and expect by the end of the day I'll be wildly outnumbered there.

        Which is fine.  As I said I'm not supporting the argument but just the right to make it.

        But then I thought Nazis had the right to march in Skokie, though I also thought that the residents of Skokie had the right to beat the crap out of them.

        Peace to you.

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

        by Notthemayor on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:27:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed: free speech is paramount. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Especially when we're not in the throes of an election.

          I've lived and worked in countries where free-speech is not allowed, where 'insulting' the ruler or a dominant religion is a crime that can lead to jail-time (not just losing one's job), where challenging the dominant narrative is akin to social leprosy. Those are not countries nor communities that I identify with.

    •  The actual expression from Gen. Sheridan... (15+ / 0-)

      ...was "the only good Indians I ever saw were dead." But, in his memoirs, published in 1888, the year he died, he denied ever having said this.

      He was also known for certain to have said in a statement that was the underpinning for much of the Western assault on the tribes, Custer being one of its leading followers:  "If a village is attacked and women and children killed, the responsibility is not with the soldiers but with the people whose crimes necessitated the attack."

      Gen. Sherman, Sheridan's boss in 1868—the year Custer carried out Sheridan's quote above in the Washita River Massacre—wrote to tell his subordinate:

      "I will say nothing and do nothing to restrain our troops from doing what they deem proper on the spot and will allow no vague and general charges of cruelty and inhumanity to tie their hands, but will use all the powers confided to me that these Indians, the enemies of our race and of our civilization, shall not be able to begin and to carry on their barbarous warfare on any kind of pretext they may choose to allege...You may now go ahead in your own way and I will back you with my whole authority and stand between you and any efforts that may be attempted in your rear to restrain your purpose or check your troops."

      In that statement is a prescription for genocide.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:09:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A re-affirmation, perhaps. (4+ / 0-)

        Spoken aloud, perhaps as official policy for the ranks for one of the first times, but articulated in a manner that describes (to me) something which had been discussed - perhaps at length - in more than one arena over time, coalesced and adjusted into that singular prescription.

        I think it was something that had been bandied about before that in command circles, augmented & supplemented by "popular chatter" (i.e., mythology & propaganda designed to build more support & fearmongering).

        It's just my own knee-jerk reaction, but it seems to parallel other types of historical examples of "twisting toward genocide."

    •  Also mostly agree, but in the spirit of (6+ / 0-)

      constructive engagement that you seem to display, I must quibble with a couple of points:
      1. 100 million pre-European Native Americans.  That is the high estimate and I am not taking issue with your acceptance of that estimate.  What I think can lead a reader astray by reading that number, is that s/he can be left with an image of 100 million Native Americans in North America or at least of a pre-Columbian population spread evenly over the New World.  The vast majority of that number were in Central and South America.  North America may have had 10% of that number.


      The only reason Natives did not become slaves is they proved absolutely unwilling and too capable of resistance.
      I have heard statements along these lines for quite some time and without having them place in a larger context, they seemed to imply that there was something inherent about Native Americans that was incompatible with slavery, perhaps (and I'm really not directing this at you and I apologize in advance if it sounds flippant) some magical strength of spirit or will.  
      What has always bothered me about this sort of statement is that it promotes racial stereotyping in general and anti-African racial stereotyping in particular.  If NA's were too proud or noble to be enslaved, then the ability for Africans to be so widely enslaved must have been due to their lack of pride or nobility.  
      What allowed them to be absolutely unwilling and too capable of resistance?  (Or, if you prefer: what allowed their absolute unwillingness and their resistance to result in measurably higher rates of non-compliance in a slave system?)  
      A few guesses:  
      1. Home field advantage:  
      Unlike Africans, Native Americans were not transported to a new continent.  Escape was easier due to a familiarity with climate, terrain, flora and fauna.  Also, an African escaping in the new world would have no advantage of language and cultural familiarity with populations encountered after escape.  Also, among a group of Native American slaves, there would exist a level of solidarity that would not be available to the African.  It seems reasonable that common language and culture as well as the shared experience of being enslaved by an invading force would leave more capacity for resistance compared  to a group that did not have these conditions.
      2. Lack of widespread attempts by Europeans / other modes of engagement with Europeans:
      The Spanish waged war upon the natives of the West Indies, Central America and South America and as often, if not more often than attempting to enslave them.  I would hazard a guess that many Native Americans that died during these early attempts died of disease and not from a incompatibility of the Native body to servitude.  Later, they practiced integration. The French did not have a need for Native American slaves.  It made more economic sense for them to trade with the local population for beaver furs that were gathered far and wide than for them to force the local population into making money through forced labor in some other industry.  These trade agreements, although often broken by European do establish in the European's mind and the Native American's mind that NAs and Europeans are (almost at least) peers.  The Puritans in New England, as well as other English colonists, simply did not have the logistical wherewithal to impose slavery on Native Americans, even if they did have that inclination.  They were outnumbered at first.  To survive, they had to start a series of treaties and agreements.  They had to deal with the tribes as sovereign entities.  I do not think it unreasonable that this injects into the colonist's mind a distinction between Native Americans (with clearly visible and well developed political systems and hierarchical systems of their own) and Africans (who had been removed from any such systems and presented to a colonist already stripped of his/her civilization) which informed (wrongfully) their assessment of who would fit into a system of slavery.   (Not saying theses experiences were any good for the Native Americans in question and yes, the English broke treaties and most Europeans were generally douchebags when it came to dealing with Native Americans.  I'm just saying they were douchebags in different ways to different people. )
      3. Existing styles/ systems of slavery:  I'm going out on a limb a bit here, but I'll climb away, anyhow.  Slavery existed in both populations prior to the establishment of very different system that would come to dominate North America.  Is there something about how slavery was practiced before the involvement of Portuguese, then Spanish and Dutch and English that contributed to Native Americans not being enslaved in large numbers, while Africans were?  Intra-African slavery was practiced in such a way that a slave retained a slate of human and civil rights.  It also was not hereditary or even permanent.  Slaves sold on the African coast were also shipped from various points inland.  Did these two factors allow  a new, much more brutal form of slavery to gain a foothold?   Did this machine of human trafficking becoming too powerful to resist by the time this new reality became apparent?  Did the method of slavery practiced by Native Americans, which varied among civilizations in the New World, accept the practice in some circumstances (capture, treaty payment, etc) and resist it elsewhere, so that a Native American would not be ill-equipped to involuntary servitude, but intolerant of it by those viewed as practicing it illegally?   I don't have answers here, but think there might be something worth knowing more about her in order to gain a better understanding.

      "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

      by netop on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:40:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the comments. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        netop, Julia Grey

        I think you're correct that I was too imprecise with the population estimates.  When I said "the Americas" I did mean the entirety of both continents but I'm sure the image I left may have been of 100 million living in what became the good ol' US of A.

        I do think that "homefield advantage" is a major reason why enslaving the Native population was problematic.  Familiarity with their surroundings, places to flee, easier access to people who would help them once they made the escape, a whole set of factors that made successful escape likelier.

        And I think your third point is worthy of an entire book.  The Western enslavement of African peoples was so different from forms of slavery practiced in Africa and among American Natives...and even earlier slave systems in Europe, such as that of Rome...that I doubt even its victims realized how much more horrific it was than slavery as they encountered  it previously until it was too late.

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

        by Notthemayor on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:04:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that Native Americans were (0+ / 0-)

        enslaved at times, but unfortunately I don't recall the details of what I've read about that.

        Thanks for adding that. The same sentence lept out at me.

        It's important to recall that in the minds of the slavers what they were doing was legitimate. There were laws that governed who could and could not be enslaved.

    •  I wasn't going to HR until I saw the last sentence (0+ / 0-)

      which I think indicates a desire to indicate. While I was reading it, I was wondering that someone could be this poorly informed and still make an attempt to write something. It reads as if he read about King Philips War on Wikipedia and knows nothing about the early colonization of North America.

  •  Wiki???? Not a worthy source here (17+ / 0-)

    Perhaps it's time you did some basic research, start with Nathan Philbrick's  Mayflower.  The important takeaway from that work for me is King Phillip's War was the blueprint  and beginning of the genocide you  are denying. The Great Swamp in Kingston Rhode Island was a defensive fort which was breeched and burned by the Puritans; women & children incinerated as they huddled. The war was marked by the time tested divide & conquer strategy which pitted tribe against tribe until no tribe was large enough to resist the settlers. The initial altercation,  as the Wiki page you cited  hints at, was rooted in(you guessed it) a shameless land grab paid for with trifles. Sound familiar?

    My sense is you are not really interested in whose heart is buried at Wounded Knee or what actually constitutes  genocide. If you are, start with  Philbrick's Mayflower.

    As surely as there is a god in heaven, I am an atheist.

    by Gemut on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:57:33 PM PST

  •  I'd like to think you're merely ignorant (15+ / 0-)

    but I suspect it's more than that. You might benefit from reading outside of your comfort zone.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:02:07 PM PST

    •  Y'all are giving this one way too much credit,imho (4+ / 0-)

      This one knew exactly where it was going when the first letter was typed.
      Chivalry and a sense of fair play is admirable and often marks these pages (which is why so many of us are here) but I am not all about ignoring an obvious attempt to slap and dangle misinformation under the guise of true discussion.

      As the saying goes, never bullshit a bullshitter.

      Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

      by Thousandwatts on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:09:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Piling on. This diary is infantile bullshit. (7+ / 0-)

    The Stig (whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean), you're a dumbass. Grow the fuck up or shut up.

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      Genocide against native Americans is happening today?

      This is why you can't have a discussion like an adult.

      Yes, there are really bad things being done to people on reservations - lack of education, of health care facilities, of broadband connections, and I could go on.

      But genocide?  Uh, no.

  •  I uprated this diary (6+ / 0-)

    because, in the course of meeting some wonderful friends here, accidentally hijacked it.

    My apologies. For the most part, my comments had nothing to do with the tremendous insensitivity the diarist shows towards First Nations people, like the man I am engaged to marry.

  •  You are right about the diseases (14+ / 0-)

    but oh so wrong about everything else.  Are you saying that if our nation were invaded you would not try to defend it? Or if you did you would feel that the invaders had every right to kill you for defending your land? Because that is the argument you are making about my ancestors.  That all the massacres were justified because they tried to defend their homes and land.  Maybe you need to read a little more history.  Maybe you need to read about the actions of the earliest brittish explorers.  They did a lot more than just bring those diseases that so helpfully cleared out the coast for the invaders. They murdered and stole and raped and the Native people had every reason to hate the early settlers just because of their previous experiences with explorers. You seem to be ignorant of all this.

    But really almost everything about your diary sounds like shit starting.  shit you say to get a rise out of people and start some shitty controversy going.
    And that is what makes you truly ignorant!

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:36:38 PM PST

    •  My friend, Kossack Horace Boothroyd III (12+ / 0-)

      once put to bed an argument like the diarist's with this simple comment:

      •  Common, You took the words right out of my mouth, (5+ / 0-)

        so to speak, I was scrolling to the bottom to pretty much express that exact sentiment as that is all this diary is, or was designed, to do- stir up shit.

        It wraps itself in a wondrous disguise of alleged well considered opinion, (though it forewarns and concludes with its true nature and intent) then proceeds to present self-identified purely antagonistic opinion and take a directly aimed broadside shot at the community in general.

        I cannot presume, or even care enough to guess, what prompted the diarist to stir and sling this diary onto these pages. but I must take this opportunity to offer this tip:

        Place the turkey carcass in a deep pot with enough water to cover about two inches. Add a few aromatics and roots (celery, rosemary, onion). Bring almost to a boil then allow to simmer several hours, adding salt and pepper and skimming off fat.
        Remove from heat, pour through a colander and allow to cool or refrigerate.
        Remove congealed fat and divide into plastic containers and ice trays. Place in freezer.
        Use in recipes anytime chicken stock is requested for a delicious, inexpensive, low-sodium alternative to processed broth.

        Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

        by Thousandwatts on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:59:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Be sure to deglaze the roast pan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ..with hot water and put that in the stock pot with the carcass. Also skim into a wide-mouth jar; after the skimmings settle you can spoon pure turkey fat into another jar. I use nonstick frying pans so only a small amount of fat is needed, but it's going to be good fat. Potatoes fried in turkey schmaltz are delicious.

          Cogito, ergo Democrata.

          by Ahianne on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:31:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He's not even right about disease (4+ / 0-)

      First of all Jared Diamond is hardly a definitive source. I read his section on Africa and having studied it in graduate school can say Diamond got almost everything wrong - as wrong as the diarist. And if Diamond got everything wrong there, I assume he got everything wrong on a lot of other regions.

      Also "disease" doesn't explain much. Under what circumstances did people contract or die of disease? First hand accounts of Spanish-Native contact in Santo Domingo said the Spanish were killing off all the Indians by "working them to death." These were first hand witnesses. But if someone is "worked to death" under the lash, the final cause of death is "disease." "Disease" is not some abstract miasma that drifted over with the Europeans.

      What's next? Claiming that the millions of Africans who died during the middle passage from Africa to America and were dumped over board did not die because of the slave trade, but because of "disease"?

      •  Actually, disease did kill most of the people in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lazybum, Wee Mama, Ahianne

        First Nations.  Absolutely true.  Still happens when first contact is made.  There are still native groups in the Amazon who avoid contact for that reason, among others.

        In North America, disease was carried along the extensive trade routes well in advance of contact with Europeans.  That's why so many tribes were decimated before contact.

        •  Disease killed most slaves on slave ships (5+ / 0-)

          I think you missed the point. Taking "disease" out of context makes it meaningless as a cause.

          Right now, "disease" is the biggest killer in eastern Congo. But people get disease, when they are pushed out of their villages for even a few days and try to live in the forest on creek water and wild vegetation.

          It takes very little disruption for agrarian people to die of "disease."

          •  Okay, I think I see your point. (0+ / 0-)

            You mean that some of the people who died of "disease" were intentionally or forcibly exposed to disease by aggressors, and thus those deaths morally fall on the aggressor, so that a slave that dies of dysentary on a slave ship is really killed by the slavers.

            So many deaths precede contact and were not intentional, but as you rightly point out, context matters a great deal, and many deaths attributed to disease were intentionally caused.

          •  and we cannot forget that disease was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            used as a tool of terror to control Native Americans.  an elder once told us a story at the long house about being in a boarding school in the thirties and being threatened with the box of 'small pox' that they kept.  The threat of exposure was enough to terrify most children into submission.  This threat was also used, I believe, to keep the people on the reservation in certain places. Where there was no work, no hunting, no food.  Hunger also wears you down and makes you more likely to get sick. Most people in famine die of 'disease'.

            That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

            by stevie avebury on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:36:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Trail of Tears was gold (21+ / 0-)

    (If anyone knows more about the Cherokee than I do, feel free to correct me)

    Few people realize that the Cherokee at the time of the Trail of Tears were a multi-ethnic tribe (maybe "nation" is a better word), with white and black members and white leadership (this is why it's perfectly reasonable for Elizabeth Warren to look 100% white and have Cherokee ancestry.  She could also look 100% black and have Cherokee ancestry).  They were pretty well integrated into white society and came very, very close to remaining in their ancestral lands.  Along with a few other tribes, they had supported the Confederacy in the Civil War, but the Cherokee had wised up and changed sides mid-war.  The thing that got them in trouble was the discovery of gold in their lands.  They weren't removed because they were aggressively attacking their white neighbors.  They were removed because their white neighbors smelled gold.

    Removing the Cherokee would be akin to going into any modern U.S. state and forcing its population to walk out (with little supplies) so, I dunno, frackers could exploit the land.  There's no way to begin to excuse it.


    The R does not stand for Republican.

    by Jack the R on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:55:36 PM PST



    Want to know how I can tell you know very little about the actual history of European contact with Native Americans?

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:10:12 AM PST

    •  Let me guess: (3+ / 0-)

      They haven't read Admiral George Smalley's History of St. George, Maine?

      That would be one way to know for sure.

      •  Or just the diary's narrative (4+ / 0-)

        That, somehow, because the Native Americans apparently started killing in response to being killed, that somehow means it was not as big of a deal. That because they just didn't lay down and die, that they are undeserving of our sympathy and acknowledgment. I probably shouldn't even go into it this much since the author of the diary clearly has not spent a lot of genuine time thinking about this anyway.

        But I was thinking more along the lines of the copious amounts of literature detailing diaries and letters from Europeans before they even hit the mainland of America. I just read something a few months ago which deconstructed how European men viewed both African and Native American women, much of it having its roots in how the Irish were viewed and treated right before they made contact with the Americas.

        Actually, reading about Irish history in general would be quite the eye opener for most Americans, I imagine.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:00:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read a great journal article which portrayed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the colonization of Ireland as a precursor for the colonization of North America. Something written here a few weeks ago reminded me of that which I read about a decade ago and I've been wracking my brain for the writer's name ever since.

          •  I am trying to track down a paper (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            A former classmate of mine wrote an entire paper on just that. She had a ton of sources which detailed exactly that. It really turned the axis of my worldview around.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:37:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Damned. I just shocked myself. (2+ / 0-)

              I don't know how I pulled this one out of my ass, but I read your comment and the full name came back to me, Nicholas P. Cany.

              Fortunately, Wikipedia has an entry for him. And here is the article I read:
              'The ideology of English colonization : from Ireland to America', in The William & Mary Quarterly, XXX(1973), pp. 575–98; subsequently reprinted in Colonial America : Essays in Politics and Social Development ed Stanley N. Katz and John M. Murrin (New York, Knopf, 1983), pp. 47–68; and to be reprinted yet again in Theories of Empire, 1450-1800, ed. David Armitage, (London, Variorum Press, 1998).

              I see it was reprinted in 1998, and that would be just a year or two before I read it.

              From Wikipedia:

              Canny's work is noticeable for its sharp examinations of the ideology of colonisation. He has contributed enormously to current understanding on the Spanish influences on English colonial policy in 16th-century Ireland. In addition, he has built hugely on David Beers Quinn's thesis of Ireland as a practising ground for English colonial policy in the Americas. This study was the basis of his PhD in the United States and Canny's research on this topic has demonstrated the extent of these parallels in a manner previously under appreciated.
  •  Fuck off. nt (3+ / 0-)

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:20:46 AM PST

  •  *sigh* (3+ / 0-)

    I kept waiting for the snark.  It never came.

    "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

    by JesseCW on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 02:29:06 AM PST

  •  Moronic drivel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    You know nothing, diarist.  This is shameful trolling.  And all proud of yourself for upsetting something you call a "narrative" too...l

    Genocide takes many forms.


  •  Homemade baking mix (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, Ahianne

    5 cups flour
    1/4 cup baking powder
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    1 cup butter or margarine

    1. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

    2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks or in the freezer for longer storage.
    Makes approx: 6 cups

    To make Biscuits
    Mix together 1/3 cup of milk for every 1 cup of mix. Drop onto un-greased cookie sheets and bake @ 450ºF for 10-12 min.
    *Add any additional ingredients you wish such as cheese or herbs before adding the milk.
    * 1 cup of mix will yield about 6 biscuits.

    To make Pancakes:
    Mix 2 cups of mix with 1 cup milk and 2 eggs. Cook on hot griddle.
    *I have not made the pancakes myself but have heard rave reviews about using this mix for them.
    *As with the biscuits you can add any flavoring or other ingredient you would like, such as chocolate chips or blueberries.

    Larger batch

    10 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup baking powder
    1/4 cup white sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 cups shortening

    1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    2. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.

    With self-rising flour

    8 cups self-rising flour -- sifted
    1 cup Shortening
    Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature. Mix will keep up to 4 months.

    To prepare biscuits, preheat oven to 450F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Add 1/3 cup milk to 1 cup mix for 5 to 6 biscuits (double for more biscuits). Stir with a fork only until dough leaves sides of bowl.

    Turn dough out onto lightly floured board or pastry cloth; knead gently just until smooth. Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with floured 2-inch cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 5 to 6 biscuits per 1 cup mix.

    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

    by Pariah Dog on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 03:53:09 AM PST

  •  If this diary isn't gone by noon (0+ / 0-)

    I am quitting dKos.  It is pure racist spew.  I cannot believe it is allowed to stand.

    Election over, sick of the babyishness around here.

  •  You came in wanting a lecture? OK, I'll give (13+ / 0-)

    you an excerpt. Consider it a recipe for reconciliation, or something like that.

    The subject of this talk is—or should be—of general academic interest; indeed, of general human interest, but “genocide studies” is admittedly a rather specialized field of inquiry, and this presentation deals specifically with the genocide committed against indigenous populations on this continent, not with other incidents of genocide like the Turkish slaughter of Armenians in WWI, the genocidal campaigns against Roma, Sinti, Jews and other “undesirable” elements of European society under the Nazi regime, or by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s, nor of the ongoing acts of genocide currently underway throughout the Middle East—all of which are legitimate objects of inquiry under the rubric of “genocide studies”.

    The first thing I’d like address are some relevant definitional issues. In recent years, the terms “genocide” and “holocaust” have been bandied about both in scholarship and in the public at large, often with very little thought or consideration for their respective origins, etymologies and implications. (A google search on the term “genocide” produces 1,850,00 results; holocaust produces over 3,000,000).


    Let us begin with the term “genocide.” Though the phenomenon of mass murder is hardly unique to the 20th century, the term “genocide” did not come into widespread use until 1944, when the Polish-born Yale University jurist Raphael Lemkin coined it in his Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. It is a hybrid term derived from the Greek “genos” meaning “type” or, with regard to human beings, “race” or “tribe”, and from the Latin “cide” meaning “killing”. Although the trials of Nazi perpetrators in Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Jerusalem provided models for 20th century ways of conceptualizing genocide and crimes against humanity, Lemkin himself never defined the concept of genocide strictly in terms of direct killing. Quite the contrary: Lemkin explicitly states that “genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups” (Lemkin 79). He goes on to say that the means by which these aims are met include “the disintegration of political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion and the economic existence of national groups” (79).
    Lemkin and his work were instrumental in establishing the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was approved by the general assembly in 1948 and went into effect in 1951. Ironically, though the US provided the major impetus for establishing the convention, the US did not join the remaining ninety-seven members of the world community in endorsing the UN Convention on Genocide until 1988, when Ronald Reagan signed legislation making the terms of this agreement legally binding on the United States.
     The UN Convention on Genocide outlines five categories of action that constitute the crime of genocide when carried out with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” These categories are:

    1.    killing members of the group
    2.    causing serious bodily or mental harm
    3.    deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
    4.    imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
    5.    forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

    According to the UN convention, genocide, even when committed by a government within its own territorial boundaries, is not an “internal” or “domestic” affair, but rather an international concern. And we may speculate about whether this aspect of the convention’s terms has any bearing on the fact that it took the US fifty years to ratify it.
    Genocide then  is a recent term whose etymology can be traced to a specific author to denote a certain category of crime whose parameters have been outlined by the United Nations.
        Before we proceed to a discussion of the term ‘holocaust’, let’s look at some evidence demonstrating that the extermination of Native American populations conforms to the definition of genocide as outlined by the UN Convention. According to this definition, we must first establish an “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Let us restrict ourselves to a few of the more egregious examples and begin with statements made by three of the four presidents whose images are now permanently etched on the face of the Black Hills of South Dakota, a site which members of the Lakota Sioux claim as their most sacred place of worship—comparable to a cathedral, a synagogue, a mosque or a Buddhist shrine. And here I think it important to point out that it was not until 1978, with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act that American Indians were afforded the legal right to practice their religion in this country.

    In 1779, George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack the Iroquois people, and to “lay waste all the settlements around...that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.” On another occasion, he stated that he would not "listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected." This represents clear and unequivocal intent expressed by the first president of the United States not to affect partial destruction of a “national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” but rather to achieve its “total ruin”.

    In 1807, Thomas Jefferson wrote “if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe [. . .] we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated." He continued, "in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them.” In 1813, he vowed to "pursue [the Indians] to extermination.” Again, this is evidence not of the intent to achieve partial destruction, but rather total extermination.

    Looking back at these “accomplishments” in 1901, that is, at the dawn of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt wrote:

    “Of course our whole national history has been one of expansion…That the barbarians recede or are conquered, with the attendant fact that peace follows their retrogression or conquest is due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace to the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of this world hold sway.”

    In a 1763 letter to one of his subordinates, Jeffrey Amherst, for whom the town of Amherst, MA is named,  stated that “You will do well to [infect] the Indians by means of blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this [execrable] race.”

    Now let us consider the ways in which the five categories of action defined as genocidal by the UN convention apply to the policies and practices of the US government:

    1.    killing members of the group

    There can of course be no denying that significant numbers of indigenous peoples were killed in the process of “depopulating” the “virgin wasteland” that settlers encountered upon their arrival in the “New World.” What is at issue is the scope of this slaughter. For a long time, it was assumed that a mere one million inhabitants were present at the time of first contact with Europeans. However, recent estimates assume pre-contact population to have been between 9 and 18 million. This standard puts the rate of attrition of indigenous populations at between 98 and 99 percent – that is, near total extermination, and indeed, many nations and peoples were eliminated in their entirety. By the latter half of the 19th century, the indigenous population had been reduced from 9 to 18 million to around 250,000. At present, it is estimated to be between 2 and 3 million.
    Some of the more infamous examples of outright slaughter include the 1864 massacre of 250 Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek, Colorado, and the 1890 massacre of over 300 Lakota at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. At Wounded Knee, the Lakota were practicing a religious ritual called the Ghost Dance. The US government, unfamiliar with and frightened by these religious practices, sent in the troops—in the end, over 300 Lakota were ruthlessly shot down, many of them women and children; their bodies were stripped naked and thrown into a pit. The photograph on the poster announcing this presentation commemorates this event in a ceremony that took place annually from 1986 to 1990 (the 100th anniversary of the slaughter). In this photograph, contemporary Lakota, many of them direct descendants of those killed in the 1890 slaughter, are seen on horseback making the same 250-mile trek taken by victims of the massacre as they attempted to flee their assassins.  

    2.    causing serious bodily or mental harm

    Here,  let us restrict our discussion to the one form of bodily and mental harm that has perhaps had the most devastating consequences for Native American populations: the introduction of alcohol -- something that has led to the situation in which “Alcoholism, unemployment, suicide, accidental death and homicide rates are still well above the national average” for Native Americans (LaDuke). Most of the studies that existed on the subject of alcoholism in Native American communities even well into the eighties usually do not mention the fact that these problems are a direct result of the policies of the U.S. government toward Native peoples (Duran 95). The fact is, alcohol “figured prominently in the European invasion of North America” and constituted “a particularly versatile weapon in the invader’s arsenal” (Unrau 12). According to a 1987 Indian Health Services report, as late as 1984, alcohol-related deaths among Native populations in the US were still 4.8 times those among all races. Furthermore, “in addition to deaths due directly to diseases related to alcoholism, alcohol is considered a large contributing factor in suicides, homicides and other intentional and unintentional injuries and mental health problems [among indigenous peoples of North America]” (Duran/Duran 94 –95).

    3.    deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

    If there is one chapter in the long and involved history of affairs that best exemplifies this point, it may be the period of “Indian Removal”. The “Indian Removal Act” was signed into law by Andrew Jackson in 1830 after gold was discovered in Georgia, home to the Cherokee nation. This ultimately resulted in a death march now commonly known as the “Trail of Tears” in which the so-called Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole) were forcibly “removed” from their homelands and herded westward to what became known as “Indian territory.” Thousands of people were first herded into concentration camps, then, often bound in chains, were marched at bayonet-point to their new “homelands” west of the Mississippi. Of the 17,000 Cherokee subjected to removal, only 8,000 survived the horrific conditions of disease, exposure and malnutrition along the “Trail of Tears.” The Choctaw lost 6,000 of 40,000 and the mortality rate for Creeks and Seminoles was about 50%. Similar actions took place throughout the country as native populations were herded onto “reservations” during the period of removal. The primary proponent of these policies was Andrew Jackson, who promised the indigenous people that they would be removed to territories where their “white brothers” would not trouble them and would “have no claim to the land.” He promised they could live there in peace and plenty “as long as the grass grows and the waters run”-- that it would be theirs forever. Little more than fifty years later, the General Allotment Act was passed in a move to destroy what remained of the collectively held indigenous land base: again, as documents from my own family record attest, individual tribal members were promised that the parcels of collectively owned land “allotted” them would be given to them, their “heirs and assigns forever.”
    These policies of removal and land seizure can be said to have “inflicted . . . conditions . . . calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part” because the people’s socio-economic cohesion was dependent on the land base and on collective landholding. To this day, many Native nations struggle to regain control and ownership of lands seized by the US government and its people under these policies. The seizure of lands may perhaps be considered a primary determining factor ultimately leading to a situation in which, according to recent statistics, the average income of the settler population is 54% greater than that of indigenous populations and about 70% of single-parent homes headed by Native American females live below the poverty line.

    4.    imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

    The US government’s involvement with health care issues among indigenous populations began in the early 1800s when, under the auspices of the War Department, army physicians grew concerned about the growing incidence of small pox and other contagious diseases among natives living “in the vicinity of military posts.” What eventually evolved from this is a government agency known as the Indian Health Services or IHS. In an article published in the same issue of AIQ that “Dare to Compare” appeared, Jane Lawrence examines the widespread practice of involuntary sterilization of American Indian women in the twentieth century and reports that, from 1970 to 1976 between 25 and 50 percent of American Indian women had been sterilized, often without informed consent and often with manipulated “consent” extracted based on threats that they would lose welfare benefits if they did not have the operation.

    5.    forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

    The late 1800s and early 1900s witnessed a new type of “Indian Removal” which was part of a massive campaign to “assimilate” or “civilize” the remnant population of Native Americans. During this period, Indian boarding schools were established which enforced strict military-like discipline and prohibited American Indian children from speaking their Native languages, practicing their religion, even from visiting their families. Indian agents traveled from home to home on the reservations, gathered up children as young as five and “removed” them from their homes to place them in boarding schools. Modified forms of this practice continued into the 50s, 60s and 70s, when many Indian children were removed from their homes and placed in white foster homes—ostensibly to improve their economic conditions. From 1958 to 1967, public and private agencies in this country actively promoted the practice of adopting Indian children into non-Indian families. In response to these practices, tribal leaders approached the US government, and after ten years of public hearings, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 designed to prevent the involuntary termination of parental rights and to mandate placement in Indian families, preferably of the same tribe and language as the birth family.

    As you can see from these examples, many of the US government policies and practices that fall under the category of genocide according to the UN convention have continued well into the 20th century, and many more are still ongoing today, so it is perhaps not so surprising after all that the US did not endorse the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide until 1988.


    Tracing the origins of the term “holocaust” is a less straightforward affair and has been the subject of intense scholarly debate. The OED cites its use by Milton in the 17th century (in Paradise Regained) , and the term is generally assumed to have entered the English language through Greek translations of the Hebrew bible in the form of holokauston as a rendering for the Hebrew term ‘olah’ which means, literally “burnt offering or sacrifice to God.” In the 1960s, the term’s most common association was with regard to a potential “nuclear holocaust.” The term’s first use in the US with regard to Nazi extermination policies is generally attributed to Elie Wiesel, who first used it to describe the “Nazi holocaust” in 1963—but there is evidence of its prior use in this context, and in fact, University of Chicago historian Peter Novick, in his seminal work on the subject, The Holocaust in American Life, suggests that “the word Holocaust first became firmly attached to the murder of European Jewry as a result” of the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem in 1961. It was only in the late 1960s and early 1970s that the term came to be synonymous with the Nazi holocaust—more specifically, with the extermination of the Jewish population of Europe to the exclusion of all other groups that were targets of Nazi genocide.

    Ideological critiques of the term’s usage—based on its religious connotations and the way it assigns religious significance to this horrific historical event—have led to the more recent adoption of the Hebrew term “Shoah” as a descriptor for the acts of genocide specifically targeted at Jewish populations of Europe. But the term “Shoah”, generally translated to mean “catastrophe,” is also used in the Hebrew bible with reference to punishments visited by God on the Jews, so, as Novick rightly points out, it does little to redress the issues of religious sacrifice that render the term “Holocaust” objectionable as a descriptor for the suffering of the Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany. So even the term “Shoah” is problematic as a descriptor for “what happened” (Celan). The German-speaking Jewish author Lea Fleischmann objects to the “foreignness” of the term “holocaust” and suggests that it would be more appropriate to speak in terms of “Judenmord,” that is of Jew-murder or “judeocide”—and Judeocide has also been used by Steven Katz, a prominent Holocaust historian.

    Interestingly enough in this context, the US government employs the term “National Sacrifice Areas” to designate huge swathes of land on reservations in the Four Corners and Black Hills regions of the US that have been devastated by strip-mining and/or nuclear waste disposal. Russell Means and other leaders of the American Indian Movement have suggested that this can only imply that the people living in these areas are “National Sacrifice Peoples”—in that sense, the application of any term with “sacrificial” implications might be considered appropriate in the case of Native Americans.

    Personally I am opposed to any term that places mass murder in a religious or spiritual context. What is at issue here are crimes—crimes that have been defined by the UN as genocide.  Using “genocide” and “holocaust” interchangeably conflates legal and religious doctrines and generates confusion about whether we are dealing with actions that are defined as “crimes” in international juridical terms or as actions that may or may not be  deemed “sinful” from any given religious perspective.  The terms of international law are fuzzy enough without having to bring “god” into the picture and frankly, any “god” who requires this level of sacrifice is not a god I can have faith in or follow.

        What is more, at this point, the term ‘holocaust’ has also been subjected to such a degree of misuse as to render it virtually meaningless in any truly genocidal context (see, for example, its appropriation by conservative factions in this country with reference to abortion as a holocaust of unborn children; responding to the scandals surrounding his evangelical ministry in the late 80s, Jim Bakker said “if Jim and Tammy can survive their holocaust of the last two years, then you can make it”; Woody Allen has similarly drawn analogies between his domestic scandals and holocaust survival—remember that, according to Lemkin and the UN Convention, “genocide” applies to individuals as members of groups, not as individuals per se)

     I use the term “American Holocaust” to describe the series of genocidal campaigns directed at indigenous populations of the Americas over a five-hundred year period as distinct from the genocidal campaign carried out against the Jews (among others) during the twelve-year reign of Nazi terror, which I describe as the “Nazi Holocaust.” My use of the term “American Holocaust” draws on the work of the noted University of Hawaii historian, David Stannard, who wrote an exhaustive study of this subject which was published in 1992 by Oxford University Press under the title American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World. In my attempt to emphasize the startling similarities between the American and the Nazi Holocausts, I have chosen to capitalize the term ‘holocaust’ in each instance, but other authors have begun placing the term ‘holocaust’ in lower case and applying it in more general terms with regard to catastrophical events that may not be considered “human tragedies” from some perspectives. Two recent examples include Winona LaDuke—the Harvard educated White Earth Anishinabeg author-activist who became the first Native American on a presidential ticket when she ran as Ralph Nader’s VP in 2000 and the philosopher J. Angelo Corlett who recently published with Cornell University Press a highly relevant work titled Race, Racism and Reparations—Corlett, for example, objects to the term’s contemporary usage as follows: “I find negligent philosophers who use the term ‘the Holocaust’ to refer exclusively to the oppression of Jews by the Nazi regime. To do so is to ignore the ‘American Holocaust’ of Native Americans, which was far worse in terms of duration of evil and amount of property taken violently and fraudulently by the US government” (3). LaDuke, in keeping with indigenous belief systems that do not privilege human life over that of other species, opens her discussion of “Native Struggles for Land and Life” by stating that “The last 150 years have seen a great holocaust. There have been more species lost in the past 150 years than since the Ice Age. During the same time, Indigenous peoples have been disappearing from the face of the earth. Over 2,000 nations of Indigenous peoples have gone extinct in the western hemisphere and one nation disappears from the Amazon rainforest every year” (1).

    Unfortunately, Genocide Studies has often been reduced to what I have called “the battle of the most martyred minority,” or what others have described as a “culture of competing catastrophes” (Young), as “moral bookkeeping” (Horowitz), “comparative victimology” (LaCapra), or “victimization olympics” (Novick). The participants in this spectacle of moral mudslinging and muckraking can be placed into three more or less distinct camps: revisionists, exclusivists and comparatists. Each of these groups responds more or less to a fourth precursory group: the holocaust deniers.

     Soon after the gruesome facts about the atrocities of Nazi death and concentration camps were revealed to the international public, —that is, already in the late 1940s—certain racist reactionaries began questioning whether the event ever occurred and the phenomenon of “holocaust denial” emerged. With their clearly anti-semitic agenda, most of these “holocaust deniers” could hardly be taken seriously. And yet, understandably so, Jewish scholars, public intellectuals, religious leaders and Holocaust survivors responded vehemently in their attempts at rebuttal.
    The issue of Holocaust denial took on new significance in the late 80s when a group of German historians introduced a number of texts that presented a “revisionist” version of German history—these historians differed somewhat from the fanatical “holocaust deniers” in that they did not resort to outright denial of the Nazi Holocaust but rather sought to “relativize” it. A significant element of their revisionist narrative included drawing comparisons between other incidents of genocide—like the Armenian and Cambodian genocides. The debates were so widely publicized—internationally—that they ultimately became a chapter in history now referred to as the Historian’s Debate.
    Responding to this “revisionist” debate and to the whole history of Holocaust denial, Deborah Lipstadt published a well-researched treatise on the subject, titled Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (1993). Lipstadt sets the record straight on a number of issues; however, her work also represents a classic example of that brand of moral obstinacy now commonly referred to as “exclusivism.” It is a strain of thought promoted by a handful of scholars, often referred to as “uniqueness proponents” who would vehemently, at times polemically—at any rate, vociferously and prolifically—insist on the singularity of the Nazi Holocaust and contend that no single event in the history of humanity compares in its scope and implications. Among the most prominent representatives of this stance are Deborah Lipstadt , Yehuda Bauer, Steven Katz, Michael Marrus and Lucy Dawidowicz. The basic “exclusivist” position is that anyone who dares to compare any incident of genocide with the Nazi Holocaust is drawing “immoral equivalencies” (Lipstadt)—whoever would dare to compare is charged with participating in “the most vile sort of anti-Semitism” (Liptstadt) and lumped together with the “pseudoscholars” who first introduced the concept of “holocaust denial” to the discourse immediately following WWII. Lucy Dawidowicz goes so far as to charge those who dare to compare with “a vicious anti-Americanism.” At times, these scholars have been zealous enough to attempt falsifications of the historical record, as was found to be the case with Cornell University professor Steven Katz in his contribution to the volume Is the Holocaust Unique? Perspectives on Comparative Genocide, where the editors discovered, days before the volume went to press, that his data on the Armenian genocide did not correspond to the published and confirmed historical archive recorded by government sources, major historians and the New York Times.

    As David Stannard points out these exclusivists represent, if anything, “something of a cult within the [Jewish] scholarly community—though a cult quite skilled at calling attention to itself and one with powerful friends in high places” (192). In fact, as the prevalent citation of “comparatist” Jewish scholars in the published version of my essay attests, there are many, many more Jewish scholars who advocate a comparative perspective on genocide and “the Holocaust”: among them any number of Nazi Holocaust survivors who share my view that seeking to privilege one incident of genocide over another is motivated not as much by “moral outrage” as it is by the desire to accumulate “moral capital” in the interest of influencing contemporary politics—both domestic and international. The exclusivists charge other victim groups with “Holocaust envy” and with attempting to “steal the Holocaust”—as if mass murder were somehow the most coveted possession in the store of Jewish cultural and religious treasures. Israel W. Charny, executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, rebukes what he calls the “leaders and ‘high priests’ who insist on the uniqueness, exclusivity, primacy, superiority, or greater significance of the specific genocide of their people” (cited in Stannard, Politics 193). Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, describes the exclusivist position as a “distasteful secular version of chosenness” and Jacob Neusner says that it’s “grotesque for us to be arguing with other ethnic groups that our Holocaust was worse than their Holocaust.” He asks, “Is our blood redder than theirs?” (cited in Novick 198).

    The notion that “the Holocaust” has become the primary signifier of identity and a form of ‘civil religion’, particularly for American Jews, and that the “moral currency” accumulated in this fashion has been enlisted as a justification for Israel’s territorial expansionism and suppression of the Palestinian people is gaining acceptability as many Jewish intellectuals begin examining the so-called “Shoah business” or “Holocaust Industry” from a more self-critical perspective. Peter Novick and Norman Finkelstein have been leading figures in these developments, whereby the more moderate Novick is generally taken seriously and the more radical (and vocally pro-Palestinian) Finkelstein is generally dismissed as a “quack” or a “self-hating” Jew. I find these reactions to Finkelstein particularly interesting in light of the fact that Raphael Seligmann, one of the primary interlocutors of Jewish culture in Germany, expressed precisely the same views as Novick and Finkelstein already in his 1991 German-language publication on the subject of Jews, Germans and Israelis (Mit beschränkter Hoffnung; Juden, Deutsche, Israelis)—and I might add, in far more polemical and belittling terms than anyone who has yet to publish on the subject in the English language. To date, no one has dared to charge Seligmann with anti-Semitism or Jewish self-hatred, and only a few scholars have pointed out that it was this Israeli born German-Jewish writer who stated (ironically) that the “Jews are the Indians of Germany.” Other prominent German-Jewish figures have responded in a similarly critical fashion to the phenomenon of “Holocaust worship” on the part of Jews and non-Jews, both here and in Europe. Henryk Broder, for example, comments on the US-American fixation with the Holocaust, stating that “A naive observer might conclude that the Nazi Holocaust took place in the USA and that Americans feel obligated to come to grips with this dark chapter of their history.”

    But charges of anti-semitism and “holocaust denial” are uniformly directed at anyone who “dares to compare” regardless of the manner in which he/she presents the comparative analysis and most of us have come to expect them. For me, though, as  a person of Native American descent, being charged with “anti-Americanism” is a much more serious affair and something I can view as nothing less than a seditious reversal of identity politics. As I am by far not the first person to have pointed out: the fact is, Jews were slaughtered in Europe; in this country, entire nations of American peoples have been exterminated—in many cases, not in part, but in whole. Denying this fact or attempting to minimize its significance represents to me an egregious example of anti-Americanism and, what is more, a classic case of Anti-Indianism (Cook-Lynn).

    This brings us to significant aspects in which the American and the Nazi Holocausts do not compare—that is, where they differ.  If we are to insist on emphasizing the ways in which these two genocidal episodes are distinct, we must also take into consideration the fact that Hitler lost his “war against the Jews” and the State of Israel was formed as partial reparation for the losses sustained by the Jewish population as a result. However, the United States government, even as it sought to help absorb the losses sustained by the Jewish population in Europe not only through its support of Israel, but by offering refuge to Jewish immigrants in territories seized from the indigenous populations, won its war against the Indians. The crucial difference here is between a regime whose demise was rooted in genocide and one for whom genocide was its foundational principle and the prerequisite to its existence.

    Another significant difference between the two historical events is that “holocaust denial” is seen by most of the world as an affront to the victims of the Nazi regime—indeed, denying “the Holocaust” is classified as a criminal offense in many countries. In America, the situation is the reverse: victims seeking recovery through recognition and reparation are seen as assaulting American ideals. In A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present, University of Colorado professor and longtime member of the American Indian Movement, Ward Churchill, has produced an exhaustive comparative study of the American  and Nazi Holocausts and, perhaps more importantly, on the dynamics of Holocaust denial as they apply in each respective case, and I would suggest that this title is recommended reading for anyone seriously interested in pursuing these matters.

    As even Steven Katz has since conceded, the Nazi Holocaust does not by any means compare to the American Holocaust in terms of scope and duration. The death toll and aftermath of the American Holocaust far exceeded that of the Nazi Holocaust, so while the Nazi Holocaust may indeed be unique in scope and in kind to the 20th century, the American Holocaust was, as Stannard has stated: “far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.” Now that the “exclusivists” can no longer rely on sheer numbers to secure for them the “moral capital” needed to establish their superiority as “victors” in the “battle of the most martyred minority,” they have resorted to another argument: the Nazi Holocaust was “phenomenologically” unique based on the “merciless, exceptionless, biocentric intentionality of Hitler’s ‘war against the Jews.’
    We have already established that the slaughter of Native Americans in this country was intentional, not incidental, but another parallel that is often drawn between these two acts of genocide suggests that the same notion of creating space for the “master race” is as germane to the ideological framework of Hitler’s Lebensraumpolitik as it is to the doctrine of “manifest destiny”: In each instance, the extermination of “inferior races” is justified in the interest of making way for a “superior race” of peoples. The difference is that Hitler’s policy of Lebensraumpolitik has been vilified and condemned for the toll it took in terms of human lives while heroes are made of men in America whose words were inspired by the same kind of thinking and attendant behavior. Hannah Arendt has identified metaphysical Jew-hatred as one element in the “subterranean stream of Western history” that translated into the political anti-Semitic consciousness in Europe which constituted the defining principle of Hitler’s Nazi regime. Similarly, Richard Drinnon argues that the “national metaphysics of Indian-hating was central to the formation of national identity and political policy in the United States,” and a recent work by Crow Creek scholar Elizabeth Cook-Lynn traces a similar transformation of this metaphysical Indian-hating into a political consciousness of “Anti-Indianism.”  The crucial issue at stake here is that the national metaphysics of Indian-hating or anti-Indianism rests on the “collective refusal to conceive of Native Americans as persons.”

    Giorgio Agamben argues against the use of the term “Holocaust” as a descriptor for the Nazi extermination of the Jews because “Jews were exterminated not in a mad and giant holocaust but exactly as Hitler had announced, ‘as lice.’ The notorious Indian killer H.L. Hall justified the murder of Native infants based on the argument that “a nit would make a louse.” John Chivington, commanding Colonel in the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, reformulated the sentiment to justify similar actions with the statement, “Nits make lice.” Perplexing in this context is that Hitler’s perception of the Jews as “life unworthy of living,” that is, as “lice,” is received with moral outrage in the scholarly community and in public consciousness in the US and elsewhere. But when Indians are placed on the same level of the “evolutionary scale” and assigned the same status in the biopolitical order, it becomes a justifiable sacrifice made in the name of “progress.”

    The people of Germany had to be convinced that the Jewish population was not human; for centuries prior, they had lived and worked side by side these people who were systematically exterminated “like lice.” Before the Final Solution could be implemented, the Jewish population of Europe had to be reduced to the level of “bare life.” But, for the American settlers, the notion that the life form to be clear-cut from the vast, “unpopulated” wilderness in order to make way for their American way of life was somehow not human ranked among those truths held to be self-evident; the “execrable race” of red men and women was viewed from the onset as “non-human”.

    What it seems to boil down to in the “battle of the most martyred minority” is that when the matter of genocide, however great or small, involves “civilized”—that is, white—people, the matter elicits moral outrage; when it involves non-western, non-industrialized, non-white populations it elicits indifference—or worse, indignation. And I am not the first to have made this observation. Stannard says the same in his discussion of the politics of genocide scholarship, and many others have made the same point. Peter Novick cites Jason Epstein and Phillip Lopate as having made the same argument in an attempt to explain why “piles of other victims are not as significant as Jewish corpses.” Lopate asks, “Is it simply because they are Third World people—black, brown, yellow-skinned? ... [as opposed to] “gentle, scholarly, middle-class, civilized people”.

    What I find most alarming about this situation is the way it reveals the degree to which we as human beings still cannot come to view ourselves as members of one species—of one HUMAN race. Going back to the gesture of prayer I demonstrated in my introduction, inflicting harm on any one of these five “digits” involves inflicting harm on the whole. It is in this sense that I have described any act of genocide as an act of collective SUICIDE. Once we come to understand that we are ALL RELATED, that is, that we are all members of one collective human race, we must recognize that, in seeking to exterminate any other members of that race, we are killing OURSELVES. The basic prerequisite to coming to such an understanding is of course recognizing the essential humanity of ALL human life forms.

  •  Europeans as the Borg. (3+ / 0-)

    Resistance is futile. Life as you know it is over. You will be assimilated...(repeat, ad infinitum)

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:11:37 AM PST

  •  I Need to Stay In Bed Later (10+ / 0-)

    Because I've been reading diaries for only 15 minutes and have now found not one, but two diaries where it is clear that shit-stirring, not discourse, was the intent.

    As many others have now said, you seem to have a problem with the idea that folks who were being invaded fought back, repeatedly.  Get over it - frankly, they should have fought back more and if the white folks felt threatened? Carry their asses back home.  Problem solved, right? But oh no - it was up to Native peoples to not have them feel "threatened" by the folks who had the preexisting claim to the land they wanted, the folks who the settlers started shit with.

    Remember:  if you don't start shit, there won't be shit. And if you do start shit, don't whine when shit comes back at you.  

    This diary is the epitome of that type of whining.

  •  Dear diarist, this diary is idiotic drivel n/t. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realcountrymusic, Brown Thrasher

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:32:51 AM PST

  •  Revisionism to promote fictional narratives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lazybum, Nowhere Man, Brown Thrasher

    From people that refer the themselves in the third person tend not to be very popular here but you might find an audience on Red State.

    But my honest and objective take on your diary is you come off as kind of a self-importiant jerk lacking sincerity or anything of value to say.

    But that's just my opinion and I'm frequently mistaken; maybe you do, actually have something to say.

    Sorry, I couldn't vote in you poll because nothing close to my preferred choice is listed.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:57:15 AM PST

  •  The Ambassador from the True Meaning... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man

    ...of Thanksgiving has spoken.  I once wrote something vaguely like this as an exercise in a rhetoric class.  Fortunately that was well before Al Gore invented the Internet.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:10:11 AM PST

  •  Why (0+ / 0-)

    Is this racist bs still on the front page?

    Does anyone work here anymore?  Shameful hate speech and no one cares.

    •  Why (0+ / 0-)

      Is this racist?

      Its, oh, 1685.  Some settler hears there are natives nearby, and starts prepping his handy musket.

      Perhaps he lost people in Metacom's rebellion, or heard of people who did.

      Is that guy racist for fearing and hating all natives?  Yes, most definitely.

      Is the historian who points out there was some legitimate basis for his fear racist?

      Well, according to you, yes.

  •  If your going to mention Howard Zinn I suggest (3+ / 0-)

    you go read the first chapter, heck the first page, of A People's History of the US and then reconsider the whole premis of this diary.

    Ask top al Qaeda leaders about Obama's foreign policy. Wait, you can't. They're dead. -Paul Begala

    by Fickle on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:21:38 AM PST

  •  Why is this diarist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not yet banned for racist hate speech?

    dKos has become the wild west this year, people begging for money with overt lies go unpunished for weeks, endless troll diaries like this, crazy shit bleeding over into IRL dramas, tons of peripheral issues occupying us even as the election approached, more damn diaries about food and lolcats and child abuse than about electoral politics half the time.  And then stuff like this -- outright racism just sitting there on the front page for hours despite handfuls of donuts. WTF dKos? A website with this one's visibility needs to be constantly moderated even on holiday weekends.  God knows what kind of bs I could put up and have stay up for hours, huh?

    Repeat, cleanup in aisle H8, cleanup in aisle H8!

    There are Native American kossacks you know? How does this post excusing the conscious overt genocide of their ancestors affect them when they wake up, pour some coffee, and load dKos?  How'd you feel if you were Jewish and saw a front page item like "Get over it, Hitler wasn't so bad."?

    Gross.  I think I'm outta here for the time being.  Surprisingly, this p,ace wasn't my go to home base during the election either, as it has been for many years.  Too much noise, not enough signal.

    And now this.  Shame on dKos.

  •  Not banned yet, you racist bigot? (12+ / 0-)

    And you are; your reputation precedes you.  This, is nothing more than racist, counterfactual, white supremacist trollery, and I cannot believe that it's being permitted on this site.

    And to your erstwhile uprater:  You should be banned, too.  Your "explanation" is garage.  If, particularly after all the work we've done on this site WRT educating people on the REAL facts of our history, you cannot bring yourself to determine that this is HR-worthy (tip: under the rules, it unquestionably is), then you clearly have some sympathies with the diarist's viewpoint.  No reasonable antiracist liberal could read that bigoted swill and not recognize it for the unmitigated shit that it is

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:37:47 AM PST

  •  Racism itself is, of course, ignorant per se... (18+ / 0-) it is no surprise that this banned diarist got so many things wrong in this diatribe that I am glad did not wreck my Friday and that generated such gratifying pushback from the community. Probably three-fourths or more of the diarist's sentences could be ripped apart on historical grounds alone, starting with his failure to mention the genocide committed by Massachusetts Bay colony against the Pequot 40 years before King Philip's War. But let me respone to just one, because it is one that many people who aren't racists believe:

    Perhaps the conflict between hunter-gatherers and farmers was inevitable, or maybe it wasn't.
    Yes, hunting and gathering did provide a portion of the diet of "New England" Indians before the arrival of the ships that captured scores of them (including Tisquantum/"Squanto). Experts have calculated that bbout a fourth of their calories derived from this. But most of their food came from a well-established agriculture, a lucky thing for the passengers of the Mayflower who robbed graves near Plymouth of the food left for the dead, food that included baskets of corn, squash, and gourds. Had it not been for that agriculture, this diary wouldn't have been written because it's unlikely any Pilgrims would have survived.

    The Indians there also grew beans, pumpkins, passionflower and the Jerusalem artichoke. They lived in settled villages, which slowly moved to nearby countryside as their fields became less fertile, but they were not nomadic in the sense that Plains tribes were, which is the stereotype the diarist seems to have fallen prey to.


    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:48:10 AM PST

  •  Read this and learn something (6+ / 0-)

    Journal of Genocide Research (2006), 8(4), December, 387–409
    "Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native"

    It's the standard introduction to the issue by a leading scholar of genocide studies.  (PDF, legal download)

  •  I'm tempted to drop an HR (5+ / 0-)

    even after the fact this diarist was banned, just to be on record. Nasty asshole.

  •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)

    Ignorance is annoying.

    But not as annoying as willful misconstrual.

  •  "Let the hating begin." (3+ / 0-)

    Did you write this just to get a rise out of people?

  •  King Phillip's War, as you report onesidedly (0+ / 0-)

    (quoted verbatim from Wikipedia I notice-please don't forget that wikipedia isn't aways the most unbiased source of info), actualy decimated the Indians.
    3000 Indians died...only 600 colonists in S. New England, according to same Wikipedia article.

    I have read elsewhere that the Indians were PERMANANTLY decimated in this area as a result of this war...obviously the colonists were not. Ten percent of men given how many died prematurely in those days is not  huge.

     Indians were feared for a good reason, true...attacks. But they had reason to attack...their way of life and their people were being ruined in a matter of two generations. Apparently the original pilgrims in Plymouth had a temperment to have decent relationship with the Indians but subsequent Puritan settlers thought themselves superior morally and were more unfair in their dealings, over and over again. The writings of the Puritans prove this attitude.

    What started the war was that the Puritans kidnapped the King's brother and he died "of illness" (ie suspiciously) in their custody, according to the Pilgrim Museum in Plymouth.

    I group up swimming in Ponkopog pond and hiking around the Great Blue hill which is where the Wampanoag were based, so have an interest in the history.

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