Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do U.S. Citizens Feel Guilty For What Happened To Native Americans?

[H/T Mark]

Mark sent me an
interesting link the other day via email about Obama giving tribal people the option of buying back their land from the United States. Even after reading the link, I was a little confused about the hows and whys of this whole situation. I know that our forefathers did "take" this land from the Native Americans and honestly, I do feel bad about how all of that happened. Some people that came over here did brutalize the Native Americans, but others did have peaceful encounters so don't commit a fallacy when talking about the origins of our country.

An interesting conversation resulted from my questions to Mark.

I asked:

So, the way I'm understanding this is that tribal people will buy back land and then clear out the buildings and such to live like third-worlders? I'm pretty sure I'm not understanding the purpose of tribal people buying back their land. If I do understand correctly, there are reservations for tribes and also, wouldn't you agree that probably 99% of "tribal" people enjoy being a U.S. citizen? I would like to know your thoughts about the article.

His response:

Well, some Tribal people enjoy being U.S. Citizens, but like conservatives are learning, they already learned, it comes with a price. As the liberals railroad education, and take away teaching U.S. History, and the Constitution, Tribal People had their history taken from them, their way of life, to make them, more like 'us'. They would like to keep some of their old ways, and pass along a very proud heritage to their young, but are prevented from doing so, and that is unfair to them. We lied to them, made treaties with the Western Tribes, while pushing them off their lands, and then making them second class citizens. Even now the Tribal People are almost all in poverty, except those that were able to open Casino's in order to make money, but even then, their 'partners' in the casinos and Uncle Sam get part of their profits, and they don't get all they should.

We as a nation should carry more guilt about what we did to the Native Americans then we should over slavery, as yes, we bought the slaves, but we didn't capture them, their own people did that to them, not us, we were just the end users.

As for the idea of addressing their grievances and selling them back land, I think it is a bad one. The land they would 'get to buy back' will have no value to US and will leave a bad taste in their mouths for the dealings with the government. So no, don't do it, but find a way of making things right for the past injustices. Take the money that we spent in Iraq and spend it on the tribes, giving them better health care and education, that also involves their own customs and history, and allowing them to be proud again.

I think I agree with Mark that we as a nation don't care as much as we should about how some of our ancestors treated the Native Americans; there was a lot of bloodshed. Of course, mankind's history is filled with bloodshed, I just wish, overall, that our ancestors' encounters with the Native Americans could have been more peaceful.

Do you think our nation carries plenty of guilt for what happened to the Native Americans? Or should our nation carry more?

Read the original article by clicking here.

Read Mark's posts on my blog:

What is a democrat?

Church and State

Glee, God, and Unsupported Faith

Spending our way to a better economy?

Personal responsibility, compromise, and failure

Know what you believe

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