Right now, I'm devouring Empire of the Summer Moon, an account of the conflicts between the Comanche and, well, everyone else in the world. It would have been about the Apache or the Navajo fighting with everyone else, but the Comanches got to the horses first and drove the Apache and Navajo off their ancestral lands.
Question: When we give America back to the Native Americans, who gets the Great Plains?
Anywho, I'm at the part where the Great White Father sent his emissaries to sign a peace treaty with the injuns in 1867. The Smithsonian has a predictably one-sided version of the thing. Dig this tidbit.
A mere two years had passed since the end of the Civil War, and Americans were still reeling from the bloodshed and social upheaval. As more and more settlers moved westward in hopes of starting anew, and workers assembled the transcontinental railroad, conflicts between Native Americans and the United States erupted in pockets of violence. In 1863, military expeditions attacked a Yanktonai encampment at Whitestone Hill, killing at least 300 men, women and children; in 1864, cavalrymen attacked a group of Cheyenne and Arapaho in Sand Creek, Colorado, killing more than 150 women and children and mutilating their bodies; and just a few months earlier in 1867, Major General Winfield Hancock burned down the Cheyenne-Oglala village of Pawnee Fork in Kansas.
Yep, whitey whacked the Indians a few times. Sometimes it was because the white leaders were racists, sometimes it was because the whites had gotten fed up with Indian raids. For their part, the Indians always attacked anyone on their borders because that's just what they did. Raping, torturing, kidnapping and robbing were central to their culture. In the end, American inventiveness in the form of repeating rifles and revolvers defeated the Indians.
Back the point of the post.
At the meeting between the savages and the diplomats in 1867, the Great White Father offered land, seeds, technology and instruction so that the Comanches could become farmers. It was such a better way of life! Safer, more peaceful and far less dependent on unpredictable hunting expeditions.
They might as well have told the Comanches to become theoretical chemists. Comanches didn't farm, not no way, not no how. It was a ludicrous offer. Anyone with some knowledge of the Plains Indians would have known that.
The story made me think of our efforts in Afghanistan. The Great White Father offered elections, economic development, education for the women and all kinds of super-neato things that are all the rage with the Ivy League set. Who wouldn't want all of that cool stuff? Why, if you spend any time at all watching TED talks, you know that's the way to go.
We might as well have told the Afghanis to become theoretical chemists. Devout Muslims aren't all that interested in elections, place faith ahead of economics and don't want their women educated, not no way, not no how. It was a ludicrous offer. Anyone with some knowledge of the Afghanis would have known that.
Critical Race Theory In Our Schools
Closer to home, the Great White Father is offering to teach our children about Modern Nazi Race Theory. It's so great! You'll learn to see everything through the lens of race and oppression! No longer will your children wander around in an uneducated daze, making friends with whomever they please. Instead, they'll know to walk on eggshells around anyone with a slightly different complexion.
When we deplorables respond like the Comanches and Afghanis, the educrats shake their heads and click their tongues. Such savages! What ignorance! Can't they see that if they just do as we tell them, their lives will be better?
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
|Face it. Like the Comanches and the Afghanis, we're just ignorant extremists.|