Okay, first a little (shameful) family history. All my childhood I was told by my Dad that he was ¼ Iroquois and that we kids were 1/8th. . It was not a huge deal there are plenty of people that have Tribal heritage, but I was really into it. I learned all the nations names for the Iroquois Confederacy, learned important points in the history, and being a kid bragged about it my heritage more than a little.
As I got into my 30’s I did some genealogical research, just for fun. To my dismay I found out that there is not a single drop of Native American blood in the whole Egnor clan. My Dad’s branch of the family started using that myth as an attempt to get some land sometime after the Civil War and it just became the “truth” of our family.
So, while I have no real Native American background, I still have a pretty good understanding of the really tragic history of the 500 nations that were here before the Europeans came. With that understanding it just makes me nuts when people like professional douche-nozzle John Stossel says things like “Native Americans have had more help from the government than any other group”.
Now to be fair he meant to have scare quotes around “help” his point was that if we leave people alone they would do better. Check out the clip yourself:
He even says that we stole their land. What he seem to forget is that we also put them on the reservations. We broke the treaties we, as a nation, signed with the Native Nations and then we dumped them far from their traditional lands, in places where there were no resources or so we thought.
When we found resources on tribal lands the United States moved the “manage” them for the Native Nations (their such children you know) during that management the government basically stole the resources and then did not come close to paying for them. There have been multiple multi-billion dollar suits that the tribes have one against the BIA.
The point here is that if you are conservative shill like Stossel you might be able to make the point that the Government makes things worse by helping, but what we have done to the Native Nations over time can not really be considered help. The Trail of Tears was a genocide by today’s standards. The numerous massacres of whole villages by Cavalry Troops, the decades of neglect of our treaties all are shames but they are not anyone’s common view of the verb “to help”.
I can’t speak for actual tribe members, but as someone that thought he was at least a little Native American for a long time, I can be pretty pissed off about him using the tragedies of the First Peoples for conservative political points.
What is on your minds tonight Firedogs? The floor is yours.