It’s that time again, Thanksgiving is upon us and as usual so are the self-loathing left with their accusations of Indian Genocide and stolen land. If anything they are predictable. So I compiled a few notes that draws heavily upon “The 10 Big Lies About America” by Michael Medved, to dispel these myths:
*The first Thanksgiving resulted in 50 years of peace with the neighboring Indian villages.
*Neither the colonial governments nor, later, the U.S. government ever endorsed or
practiced a policy of Indian extermination.
*Disease overwhelmingly killed more Indians than war. Infectious diseases brought about between 75 and 95 percent of Indian deaths after European settlement began. Throughout the Americas, diseases introduced with Europeans spread from tribe to tribe far in advance of the Europeans themselves, killing an estimated 95 percent of the pre-Columbian Native American population. The main killers were Old World germs to which Indians had never been exposed, and against which they therefore had neither immune nor genetic resistance. Smallpox, measles, influenza, and typhus rank top among the killers.
*The notion of Small Pox blankets stems from an isolated incident involving British officials, not Americans, and remains inconclusive. Pontiac's Rebellion (1763) in which Chief Pontiac said “It is important for us, my brothers, that we exterminate from our lands this nation which seeks only to destroy us.” resulted in the natives wiping out eight forts and murdering hundreds of troops and settlers, including women and children. Victims were variously tortured, scalped, cannibalized, dismembered, and burned at the stake. As a result of desperation British Commander Field Marshal Lord Jeffery Amherst and Colonel Henry Bouquet briefly discussed the idea of infecting the Indians with Small Pox blankets. However there are no evidence indicating that Amherst actually went through with the idea. At no point did the British commander issue orders or make a policy declaration regarding extermination of the Indians. Both whites and Indians suffered from Small Pox, which the Indians could have received the diseases from a number of sources. Ultimately it was It was Colonel Bouquet, not the smallpox virus, who finally rescued Fort Pitt.
*In addition to the massive numbers killed by disease, Native American tribes lost untold millions to assimilation and intermarriage.
*Atrocities were committed on both sides. Lord Jeffery cited the monstrous cruelty he had observed from his adversaries (scalping alive for souvenirs, branding, cutting out and occasionally devouring hearts, torture through slow skinning, piercing bodies with as many as a hundred arrows)
*Societies among the Indians and all other aboriginal peoples conducted devastating wars against one another that at times became struggles for domination, conquest, replacement, or even extermination. The hundreds of native tribes that occupied North America warred against one another for thousands of years, dispelling the myth of the "Noble Savage".
*The more developed New World cultures of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca not only turned their slaves into brutalized and mutilated beasts of burden but also used their conquered enemies to feed a limitless lust for human sacrifice.
*The U.S. experience with our indigenous populations strongly resembles any and every encounter between peoples at vastly different stages of development.
*Once a stone aged culture came in contact with a more powerful and advanced civilization there became only two inevitable outcomes, fight and lose or assimilate, either way their old life was over.
*In the words of Mark Twain, ”There isn’t a foot of land in the world which doesn’t represent the ousting and re-ousting of a long line of successive “owners” who each in turn, as “patriots” with proud swelling hearts defended it against the next gang of “robbers” who came to steal it and did— and became swelling-hearted patriots in their turn. . . . Patriotism is a word which always commemorates a robbery.”