Point of View Columns

Reflections on Indigenous People Day

If you follow American history and believe in the myths, legends and fantasies you will never be disappointed in that there will always be one more way that this country can abuse the environment along with any and every non-white component of the so-called Melting Pot.

On the other hand, with even a rudimentary knowledge of history you view this country with a jaundiced eye, you will never be disappointed as there appears to be no limit to the lies, fantasies and hypocrisies that are presented as the “true story” of America.

Take, for example, the celebration of Indigenous People Day – which is not a national holiday, by the way, but rather an aspirational observance of the presence of indigenous people in this country due a presidential proclamation by Joe Biden. The day is meant to “honor the sovereignty, resilience and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world”.

This would be all well and good except for the fact that the indigenous people of the United States were subjected to genocide and the land theft of historic proportions. The land theft part is pretty simple to quantify – every square inch of these United States were held by indigenous people, and now their territory is confined to a number of “reservations” have cemented their lower class status in the United States as a part of national policy.

The genocide is also a matter of historic proportions. It is estimated that in 1600 approximately 60 million indigenous people lived in what is now the United States. By 1900 the number of indigenous people was 237,200. That is not a misprint.

But somehow American hypocrisy and the failure of this nation to atone for the crimes committed against millions of men, women and children has been sanitized and air brushed in order to present the false legend of American “expansion” and the establishment of the United States of American.

To “celebrate the resilience” of the indigenous people in this country rings hollow and false in the face of the reality of American history.

America has, from time to time, proven that it can do better. Now is could be of those times.

And true reparations would be a good place to start.

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