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The Indian-Oz Connection
(7/16/02)


Another response to The Indian-Oz Connection:

From the article on this web page:

"Hitler advocated the extermination of Jews. [L. Frank] Baum advocated the extermination of Indians. The only difference is, Hitler had the means and opportunity to carry out his wishes."

How true! ~That's~ the only difference! But it doesn't go far enough. Baum should more adequately be compared to Josef Stalin, as "Uncle Joe" slaughtered more people than Adolf Hitler. Stalin simply had more time than Hitler to carry things out. But golly, can't we make it even worse? Let's see...

In terms of numbers Pol Pot was an amateur.

How about Baum = Mao Tse Tung? Mao was more about allowing brutal repression under his watch than wholesale murder, though he certainly did his share...

Baum = Rape of Nanking?

I have it! Baum = the Bubonic Plague!

Patrick Maund

Rob's reply
>> How true! ~That's~ the only difference! <<

Baum and Hitler obviously have many, many differences. I meant that was the only difference in this limited context. But I'll take out the word "only" to prevent this kind of confusion.

>> I have it! Baum = the Bubonic Plague! <<

Hmm. I wonder if Patrick is being sarcastic.

Something about the banality of evil comes to mind. Hate and racism and genocide don't start with a mad scientist plotting in a cave somewhere. They start with ordinary people making ordinary choices. Such as what they write in children's books or newspaper editorials.

[W]e had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.

L. Frank Baum, January 3, 1891

So Baum acknowledges that Wounded Knee was wrong, but can't think of a better solution than eliminating the rest of the Indians. He ambivalently advocates genocide. That he didn't do anything more than write two editorials reinforces the idea of his ambivalence. It doesn't contradict what he wrote.

Rob


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