It's fairly hopeless to argue with someone who doesn't know, or feigns not to know, the difference between an immigrant and a colonist or settler. The 'immigrant' is generally understood to be seeking entrance to an established country with a functioning government and with some sort of rules and regulations governing who enters and who stays. Our ancestors came to a rather sparsely-populated continent with large wilderness areas still unsettled. There was no functioning government or 'country' here. There was no single nation of people, certainly not some mythical ''Native American" group which was inclusive of all tribal peoples who lived here and there on this continent.
Our adversaries insist on believing or feigning belief in some kind of mystical pan-tribal nation that included all the hundreds of tribes, bands, and assorted groupings of Indians on this continent. Nowadays there is a mistaken presumption that all "Native Americans" fit into one cohesive grouping, which is not true. Culturally, linguistically, and genetically, there are a number of differing groups who are lumped together as ''Native Americans" these days. And today, to the untrained eye, it may look as if there is some kind of pan-Indian unity, a sense of brotherhood among various tribes. I would say that to the extent that it exists, it is mostly a product of White rule in this country, a kind of artificial unity based on the common experience of being conquered and displaced by White European-descended people. There is now a kind of cultural cross-pollination with various tribes mingling at events like pow-wows and other such functions. There is also an Indian elite of sorts, mostly the college-indoctrinated liberal Indians, often academics who teach 'Native American studies' or other such ethnocentric courses. Much as with other minority elites, these people are much more leftist than their non-elite brethren, and they make their living at promoting their group's ethnic interests. If they write books, it is about their ethnic experience, usually based around 'racism' or other injustices to their people. If they write poetry, it is about their ethnic anguish and humiliation. If they work in any other medium, it's the same. If they become lawyers, it's to fight their ethnic battles via the court system. This is true of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians.
I suppose we can't fault them for putting their people first.
So there is, today, a kind of surface unity among the tribes which did not exist in the early days of White settlement of this continent.
The tribes, at the time of the first European explorers and colonists, fought and skirmished continually. They often displaced each other from their various territories.
Some of the romanticizers of Indian culture will tell you that Indians ''didn't believe that Mother Earth could be owned; nobody can own Mother Earth or put fences on her to claim the land."
Indian cultures and religions were enmeshed with nature, for they felt themselves entwined with the universe. Mother Earth and Father Sky were more than mere expressions; they represented the Indians' very being. Land, a part of the universe, belonged to all, particularly the tribe. Individual land ownership did not exist, since all were entitled to the fruits of nature. Users' rights were protected and specified in various traditions, but there was no such things as land "ownership".
If that's true, then I wonder how they rationalize the idea that this country ''belonged to the Native Americans"? If the land ''belonged to all", does that not mean that the European colonists had an equal right to be here?
Whether or not Indians believed in land ownership or the rather European idea of establishing a nation-state, their territorial claims seem to have been rather fluid, with various tribes driven out by stronger tribes. Warfare was not a genteel affair either; some tribes beheaded enemies,
or mutilated their bodies.
'Raiding was frequent on the coast. It was carried on to avenge an insult or simply to seize other people's wealth. The warriors burned houses, took food, artworks, and slaves, and beheaded their foes.''
Furthermore, slavery was not unknown.
The slaves consisted of prisoners taken from neighboring tribes, chiefly women and children; and, among most tribes, of their descendants. Over most of the area in question there appears to have been a regular traffic in slaves, the source of a considerable part of the private wealth. Jewett states in his Narrative (1815) that a Nootka chief had in his house "nearly fifty male and female slaves, no other chief having more than twelve." Simpson estimated that slaves formed one-third of the population of the Tlingit. The price of an adult slave was about $500 in blankets; of a child, 50 blankets, about $150...''
Captives from enemy tribes were often enslaved by their captors.
In some tribes, slaves might be publicly killed simply as a display of power and wealth. (Slaves being a form of wealth and property, it was thought that killing a slave would show an indifference to wealth, much as in the old stereotype of a rich man using $100 bills to light his cigars. The idea was that of having ''money to burn.")
So conflict and warfare were common, life was dirt-cheap, and life on this continent as in most of the non-Western world was 'nasty, poor, solitary, brutish and short." This is the reality, in contrast to the idyllic image which has to some extent existed for generations: the 'noble savage', the primitive savant, the unlettered but wise heathen, who lived a simple, wholesome life. That flattering stereotype has existed for a long time, and Rousseau is probably the most famous popularizer of the 'noble savage' myth, the idea that 'indigenous' peoples possess some kind of childlike-yet-wise mystique.
But the modern-day 'scientific' Boasians and the Romantics in the tradition of Rousseau have continued to exalt the image of indigenous peoples, not just American Indians, but all Third-World peoples, as being our moral superiors. They, the noble primitives, are pure while we are corrupt; they are simple and childlike in the best sense, while we are jaded and calculating, or so goes the popular thinking of liberals on the subject of nonwhite peoples.
And the liberals and leftists, who usually do not believe in Biblical precepts such as original sin, become believers in original sin when it comes to Whites only; Whites are apparently stained from birth by the propensity to ''racism" and "hate" while nonwhites are innocent, and can only be victims, never victimizers.
This seems to be a strangely 'religious' scenario, a Manichean idea of the struggle between dark and light in a literal sense. In the liberal/leftist world, dark(skin)=good, and light(skin)=bad.
So, whenever we discuss our present situation as Americans, the moralistic left will climb into the pulpit and start telling us how we sinned against the Indians, and now we must accept our just punishment.
This argument should be easily disposed of, if our adversaries were honest people who would follow logic and reason. However, as we all know, this is not the case. They are zealots who simply want to preach hellfire-and-brimstone sermons about the sinfulness and the guilt of Whites, especially our forefathers who settled this continent.
I've often used this response: were the Indians right to fight the settlers for control of ''their" lands (which supposedly they didn't believe anyone could own, anyway)? Or were they xenophobes and racists who hated our forefathers because they were ''different" or because of their skin color?
The liberal of course cannot process this; to them it's a given that the Indians had every right to want to repel the colonists and to drive them out, even by violence, such as sneak attacks at night, burning out the colonists, slaughtering women, children, and the old. Suddenly the liberal reverts to his ''nonjudgmental'' pose when discussing things like this. Just as when they refuse to condemn Moslem violence today, giving Moslems a pass, they give Indians a pass on the atrocities they committed. The usual response is to counterattack viciously with the old canards about ''smallpox-infested blankets" and massacres by Whites. There were some massacres by Whites, but in a great many of these cases, the attacks were responses to unprovoked attacks by Indians. And in some cases I've come across in the Massachusetts records, some rogue Whites were hanged for attacking Indians unprovoked. Did the Indians similarly punish their brethren for such things? Not likely.
But the deliberately obtuse liberal or apologist for nonwhites will not listen to such questions.
If the liberal/leftist insists that the Indians were right to defend their territory and to act in their own interests, he or she should be made to answer why we are in the wrong for even talking about doing those things for ourselves and our posterity.
Of course, double standards are not a problem for liberals and leftists. They are not bound by logic, honesty, consistency, or any other such encumbrance. For them, any argument will do, no matter how inconsistent and upside-down, as long as they succeed in putting their opponent on the defensive, or as long as they can simply wear their opponents out with their pigheaded refusal to concede anything.
I notice that the subject of the Indians and our history with them has come up on a couple of blogs recently; once on Western Critique
in a post called "On the right of group self-preservation', dated 27 November. (There seems to be no permalink to the entry, so scroll down to the post by title or date.)
...Anyway, this morning I received an unexpected phone call from a friend I had a quarrel with over Barack Obama and race in general. I talked about this last week on this blog. He wanted to speak specifically about the right of European Americans to claim the United States as their own land. Going back to our earlier heated conversation he thought I was wrong in thinking that Europeans as colonisers of North America had a right to the land by that action given the Indians had lived there well before that. I acknowledged the Indian genocide was a tragic episode in North American history, yet the settlers nevertheless founded the United States of America as a nation and that the descendants of the founding majority have a right to preserve their heritage and culture. He accused me of showing no remorse for the Indian genocide in those formative years. In my defence I argued that I was not so aggrieved about that compared to the present issue because it was hundreds of years ago. That doesn't mean I am unfeeling to what happened to them incidentally. I humbly admit I don't know the intricate history of it to develop a strong opinion or involved passions about it. At least some tribes survived and enjoy protection today even if they were involved in legal wrangles with the federal government. It's another subject to read up on one evening. But what I do know is that there was brutality on both sides of the European settler and Indian conflicts.
No self-respecting people are going to want to relinquish an established successful culture just because of past mistakes. He proposed that the demographic changes taking place in the US were simply societal evolution. That's really not the right description I would use. The immigration and identity crisis the US faces is not natural evolution, but really the result of a tiny number of bureaucrats who shaped government immigration policy, starting with the landmark 1965 immigration Act. He didn't take that too well. But anyway he doesn't know as much about the topic as I do. Fortunately he eventually calm down and then accepted my argument of preservation of Euro-American heritage on the basis of self-respect rather than that of being colonisers.''
I take it that the two principals in the discussion are both non-Americans and that perhaps they don't have an accurate or full picture of the colonial era in our country and the long-running Indian wars. I suppose it's not to be expected that they know such things; the sad fact is that most Americans don't know the full picture themselves, especially those born during the reign of political correctness. And everybody's idea of that phase of our history has been colored by Hollywood caricatures of reality. In recent years, Hollywood has hewed to the politically correct dogma more than ever. So there is a great deal of misinformation and distortions in the minds of most people.
The subject of Indians in the context of our own threatened displacement comes up on this discussion thread, with some interesting exchanges:
I’m on record, incidentally, as advocating a Red Indian nation in the U.S./Canadian west for the past six or seven years: this is not a new position for me. Something has to be done, or the North American Indian of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains will go extinct. He’s not extinct yet but is teetering on the brink. Someone has to help him. I believe the only way to fend off his extinction is to give him enough land for his own country. (What to do about the Eastern Woodland branch of the North American race is a whole other subject one could talk about.) The current reservation system won’t keep these Indian tribes/races alive. It’ll almost guarantee their disappearance.''
If it is right for Indians to get their land back, there is no reason to stop at a few states, why not give them the whole continent back if that is the morally correct view? In a few generations their small numbers could fill it all up, it doesn’t matter that they are currently few, they hold the genes of the original native inhabitants of the land and giving the entire continent back to them is the only way to reach ‘status quo ante,’ after all no referendum was given to Indians on whether they wanted whites to take all their land. Red men reclaiming their entire continent would be the only just outcome, anything else is a compromise with admittedly evil actions. The right of conquest has been practiced all across time and to me is still just as legitimate and moral as before, to suddenly label it immoral would require we undo everything our ancestors have done as the only way to properly make amends for it. This might be good for Europeans but not me! I’m an American and I’d prefer a morality that justifies my existence not one that declares it some sort of mistake or necessary evil.''
I tend to agree with the latter comment. If we concede that we were wrong to conquer this continent, then we are open to demands that we 'give back' the whole continent. And if a separate ''Native American" state were to be carved out in a breakup of the U.S., I would not expect that Indians from other regions would care to move en masse to the Plains states or whichever area was to be theirs. Only the Plains tribes would probably want that area to be theirs. Such a move would also be likened to the ''Trail of Tears", the Cherokee removal, which is to this day used as an example of White cruelty and ''genocide."
And again, there's that word, ''genocide'' which is used so loosely and carelessly today. Most of our enemies insist that we committed ''genocide'' against Indians. Well, if a homicide requires a dead victim, then genocide surely should mean that the victims are no more; they would be extinct if they had been victims of ''genocide." Victims of genocide are not walking around. What those who cry ''genocide'' mean, probably, is that the population of American Indians was greatly diminished by the Indian wars, by ''White man's diseases'' against which the Indians had little or no immunity, and yes, it was diminished also by intermarriage with Whites, or in some areas, with blacks, as on the East coast.
And when we talk about reduced populations of Indians, the fact is, we have no real way of knowing precisely how many Indians lived on this continent when the Whites arrived. The Indians had no records on such things. All the numbers we read in our PC history books or on Wikipedia very likely overestimate the number of Indians who lived here circa 1600. So we can only guess at how many Indian lives were lost, or by how much their total numbers were reduced. It's mostly guesswork and speculation.
See this very biased webpage to see the kind of propaganda that is put out there for our young people. A page that cites the fraud and impostor "Native" Ward Churchill as an authority is hardly credible.
There was no ''genocide'', which in its true dictionary meaning, refers to the destruction of a group or people. The suffix '-cide' refers to killing. And American Indians are still in existence, though reduced in numbers for various reasons.
The canard about ''smallpox blankets'' notwithstanding, there was no plan nor was their a systematic effort to kill all Indians. Had our ancestors been so inclined, they had the numbers and the technological ability to do it, but they did not, because they were not so inclined. Our ancestors have been raked over the coals, accused of 'genocidal' cruelty and every atrocity, so that far too many of us are willing to accept the smears and the slanders. Time to stop accepting those lies and accusations without challenging them.
Even many of us who are realists on racial issues are too willing to accept the half-baked arguments and the lies of our politically correct foes. Maybe this tendency to accept guilt is hindering us from defending our own interests as heartily as we must, if we want go on existing and if we want to preserve our country and our nation.