Class Warfare Blog

September 23, 2020

We Are Oh-So-Kind . . . to Ourselves

I was reading an article about some Native American archaeology and came to this statement “In the 1800’s, European settlers drove ancestral Wichita people from their native lands, leading to the destruction of their villages and communal traditions.”

I have made this point before but am still struck by the terminology.

If someone invaded your community and forcefully ejected you from your homes and farms, killing many of you in the process, would you refer to them as settlers . . . or invaders? Was not this land already “settled?” In this instance they are talking about a “city” of possibly 40,000 Native American inhabitants.

But European “settlers” “drove” the people off. It sounds like they are referring to cattle or buffalo which could be “driven” to another location.

By what right were these things done? Oh, God told them it was okay for the Europeans to make war on the indigenous peoples they encountered, in order to bring Christianity to the natives. Gee, you’d think this was an educational mission instead of a land grab.

At the time, Europe had recovered from the repeated decimation of the population of Europe due to the Black Plague and other plagues and was overpopulated. The “European settlers” were searching for land, land that could be tilled, land that could be mined, land that could make them rich. They came as soldier-farmers. They didn’t work in their fields without their guns nearby, because the people they stole the land from wanted it back.

These were not settlers. They were an army of invaders. And we are descended from them.

And President Trump wants our schools to teach that we did nothing wrong. Sure we took their land, but we gave them the Bible. From Mr. Trump’s perspective, this was a great deal, and American deal, an exceptional deal.

And the winners of the deal get to write and re-write the history any way they want. Mr. Trump’s way is what we will get if he is re-elected.

 

 

14 Comments »

  1. We need to face the fact that the entire whole of human history is one long story of aggression, theft, looting, rape and genocide. I can’t think of a single civilization that has occupied this planet that hasn’t engaged in atrocities against others. And then spent decades, even centuries trying to cover it up in one way or another. I sometimes suspect that the reason we haven’t been contacted by an alien civilization is because they’re disgusted with us and are afraid we might be contagious.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 23, 2020 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

    • One of my recent themes is that “civilization” something we laud and prize was build on the oppression and coercion (aka slavery) of a majority of the population. That we think of “civilization” as something positive is part of the propaganda of the elites. If they were to call it as it is, things would seem quite different.

      On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 1:24 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 24, 2020 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  2. I suspect if there was a total teaching of the atrocities done to others, by the US only, there might be mass suicide due to depression and guilt ( well not really). People don’t want to know the truth. They want to live in a fantasy world to assuage any responsibility or any sense of moral decay.
    But even if just part of our true history were taught, it is the only way to make changes for the better by recognizing the past. Not teaching any of it, like trump wants, will keep us so naive to the wider world out there, that we will totally fail in time..

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by maryplumbago — September 23, 2020 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

    • We do not have to make nice touchy-feely history stories to teach kids too young to access the complexities (such as Native American v. Invader relationships). We can just skip over the indoctrination steps and teach the things that are accessible to young minds (language, science, etc.) but “we have to indoctrinate them immigrunts, you know … make ’em into “Mericans.”

      On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 2:50 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 24, 2020 @ 11:55 am | Reply

      • Unfortunately you’re right, the way history is taught in a lot of schools is little more than indoctrination. And it’s amazing how quickly we forget what really happened. Nixon has been turned into an “elder statesman” in some circles. Ronald Reagan has been turned from an easily manipulated B movie actor who suffered from dementia into some sort of right wing demi-god. Sigh…

        Like

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 24, 2020 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  3. There is just nothing good to say of much of our history. As Americans, as humans…

    We have our moments, but so much swept under the rug of our actions due to pure greed. That and lust for power.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shelldigger — September 24, 2020 @ 7:11 am | Reply

    • And I wonder what the effect would be on people if we were just to teach history, as we know it, to our children?

      On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 7:11 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 24, 2020 @ 7:49 am | Reply

      • Teach something like “Our ancestors were bastards, here’s what they did. Now we can damn well do better than that so let’s stop that crap and be nice to people”. I could get on board with that.

        Like

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 24, 2020 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

        • Yeah, and maybe make it up by being nicer to those we wronged. Just watch Ken Burn’s epic “The West” to see what we did to the Native Americans.

          On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 10:19 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — September 25, 2020 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

          • I have a lot of Native American friends and relatives, so yeah, I know exactly what those bastards did to the native population. The list of atrocities goes on, and on, and on. I spent a lot of time out in the Black Hills and got to know some of the people out there and the prejudice they face even today is enough to make you weep. My son’s soon to be spouse is a member of one of the local tribes here in Wisconsin and even here it’s bad. Will we ever learn? Will we ever change? I can only hope.

            Like

            Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 25, 2020 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

            • I am definitely not holding my breath. It took me a long time to watch “The West” as It was so upsetting, I had to stop to calm down … frequently

              On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 10:42 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Steve Ruis — September 26, 2020 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  4. “These were not settlers. They were an army of invaders. And we are descended from them.”

    I often think about how the settlers to America were often folks that were having trouble making it in Europe. They were either without opportunities, or they were religiously too extreme for the cultures there. In short, not generally the cream of the crop in terms of intellect or achievement. And we are descended from them.

    I’ve wondered greatly whether these things help explain the deep and abiding thread of anti-intellectualism in this country. A bunch of faith heads and/or exploiters started things going here. And unlike Canada, we shook off the monarchy we had. This lent credibility to our self view that we were better/smarter/godlier/etc than everyone else. If we had lost and stayed a part of the empire, that might have changed the downstream image we developed about ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Matt Barsotti — September 25, 2020 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

    • The English and many European countries looked at American emigrants as being anywhere from “excess population” to the “dregs of society.” Every one who left was one less mouth to feed. They weren’t worried about losing critical skills or abilities at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 25, 2020 @ 9:55 pm | Reply

      • Indeed yes. I never bothered to check, but supposedly at least one of my male ancestors was a draft dodger trying to escape compulary military service in Austria. We weren’t exactly a penal colony like Australia was, but we weren’t far from it.

        Like

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 25, 2020 @ 10:36 pm | Reply


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