Native Americans: War refugees on conquered American soil?

Native Americans: War refugees on conquered American soil? By Jason Hill.

Kids today say some awfully ignorant things:

A few years ago, I was invited by a small liberal arts college in the Northeast to give a series of lectures on ethics and the formation of moral character to a mixed group of juniors and graduating seniors. ..

Before I could even finish my introductory remarks, an earnest young woman blurted out that … there was no such thing as an ethical milieu in America. … America, she announced, was and continues to be, located on stolen lands. This land was forged in genocidal conditions to eliminate Native Americans from the continent. That we lived on their stolen land without their permission, that we had yet to admit that genocidal policies neutralized any possibility for an ethical space in which moral agency could be developed was not just naïve — it was immoral.

The United States of America, she declared, was irrevocably tainted as a country. … Just as a criminal can never legally purchase stolen goods and claim to feel reasonably attractive in them, so too, no American could claim to ever have a legitimate ethical identity short of giving back stolen lands to the Native Indians; or, paying them for all illegally acquired lands.

She was breathless at the end of her disquisition and visibly upset. She told me that my approach to the subject was wrong and that, respectfully, I was, perhaps, unknowingly, a participant in a continued colonial settler project.

I remained somber and thanked her for her passionate viewpoint. She corrected me to say that she had uttered an unassailable truth. I asked the class if it had thoughts on the matter at hand. To a person, everyone agreed with the student.

Some added that Americans ought to leave the content and relocate elsewhere and give up even their homes to Native Americans. The discussion went on for around thirty minutes during which time I basically functioned as an objective moderator, pointing out, for instance, cases in which land was purchased in a legitimate manner by the Europeans and Americans from the Native Indians.

When one student declared that the moral but impractical thing would be for every American to offer him or herself up for execution to living Native Americans — I’d just about had enough of this malarkey. …

Enough virtue signaling, time for some reality:

To begin with, there is no such thing as genocide of Native Americans, and no land was ever stolen. That is a case of the Big Lie if ever there were one.

There was a war for resources and the Native Americans lost. They came in second. Period. In effect, today, they are war refugees on conquered American soil.

The Native Americans were the first genocidal warlords on the continent. They stole the continent from the Holocene Megafauna and slaughtered them into extinction. The French, the Spanish and the English did the same with the aboriginal Americans.

For centuries Native Americans had the land and did virtually nothing with it; that is, in terms of emancipating themselves from an animistic biological and cyclical lifestyle. The notion of progress lay unknown to them. They existed outside the historical process.

European settlers acquired land that is now America through bargaining, purchase, and conquest. Most of the Indians died of diseases unintentionally transmitted by Europeans to the natives who had no natural inoculation against them.

Genocide denotes a willful intention to exterminate an entire population of a people. Given the technological capabilities of the English and later the Americans, if they had wanted to eliminate the Indians from the continent they could have done so easily.

Instead, they subjected many of them to forced inclusion and assimilation. This is not consonant with a policy of extermination. There were isolated cases of European military commanders who did attempt to vanquish hostile Indian tribes by giving them small-pox infected blankets. There is no evidence to indicate that this was systematic policy at all.

The idea that the Indians were not willful participants in land purchasing, and that they did not negotiate with the Europeans for protracted periods of time, is putatively false. The notion that they all constituted a peace-loving assemblage of tribes is naïve at best and a perniciously false attempt to camouflage history at worst.

American Indians owned slaves, including African Americans, and they conquered several competing tribes long after Columbus arrived on the continent. They burned villages, kidnapped children, raped women, and scalped their enemies. They behaved like savages. They did all this while remaining outside the historical process and contributing nothing of lasting significance to Western civilization or world civilization at all. …

Uplifting the natives:

Tragically, it took conquest — facilitated by the Europeans — to transplant the indigene into the historical process by inserting him into the civilization crucibles of Judeo-Christendom, with its emancipatory moral narratives and an evolving political philosophy that discovered, recognized and protected the inalienable rights of man. These include freedom and liberty, the right to the pursuit of happiness, freedom of conscience and speech, the right to bodily integrity, and the right to property.

The Aztecs were hated by their neighbors for their human sacrifices

Freed from repetitive cyclical conceptions of life, the descendants of today’s indigenous Native American ancestors are endowed with a legal and public personality and recognized as being beyond exclusion from the human condition. This endowment is an historical achievement. …

The United States often has functioned like a great eugenics program in the moral and political sphere. It has allowed people to reverse the accidents of birth that would have kept them enslaved in lower forms of life, into an advanced realm of consciousness that now sees them existing as co-equals with their compatriots. This viewpoint is predicated on the fact that not all cultures are equal, and not all forms of life establish optimal conditions for human flourishing.

Pretty much the same applies in Australia, New Zealand, and of course Canada.

hat-tip Stephen Neil