Another response to the Stereotype of the Month entry on The "Official Website" of George A. Custer:
I am very, very familiar with the Battle of the Washita, and it is perfectly clear by the opinions expressed here, that few other people are. For starters, Sand Creek is continually confused with Washita. There are profound differences between the two and anyone who would despise Custer for the attack on the Washita has a deep desire to hate; a desire so deep that it completely lacks reason and refuses truth. And about the "policy of genocide", the "government sanctioned policy" -- what policy? This lie has been perpetuated and believed by fools and hate-mongers, but never quoted -- wonder why? And quit ridiculing the English usage of non-English speaking persons. Ridicule diminishes any argument you might have and paints you as a dolt and a cad.
>> I am very, very familiar with the Battle of the Washita <<
So am I.
>> it is perfectly clear by the opinions expressed here, that few other people are. <<
If you're responding to the Stereotype of the Month entry on The "Official Website" of George A. Custer, there's no mention of Sand Creek there. And no confusion about the massacre at Washita or Custer's role in it.
>> There are profound differences between the two and anyone who would despise Custer for the attack on the Washita has a deep desire to hate <<
What profound differences? The similarities are more relevant than the differences, in my opinion. The key similarity is the massacre of peaceful Indians by the US Army.
>> a desire so deep that it completely lacks reason and refuses truth. <<
I don't know what "truth" you're talking about. If you're unclear about the facts of Washita, read any of the hundreds of Web postings on the subject. For instance:
If you find any mistakes in these postings, let me know. We can discuss the specifics of Washita and what may or may not have happened there. Until then, your message is unpersuasive, to put it mildly.
>> And about the "policy of genocide", the "government sanctioned policy" -- what policy? <<
Are you serious? The federal and state governments have offered bounties on Indian scalps, forced tribes to relocate to barren lands, kidnapped their children and put them in boarding schools, and tried to terminate them out of existence. These policies were codified in executive orders, laws passed by legislatures, court decisions, and the innumerable decisions of government agents.
If you want to start your education somewhere, how about with The Removal Act of 1830? And don't bother telling me the act didn't literally order anyone's death. If you're not aware of all the aspects of genocide, read up on them at Genocide by Any Other Name....
In summary, if you haven't read or heard of these government policies, you have no business discussing the subject of genocide. Educate yourself first and opine later.
>> This lie has been perpetuated and believed by fools and hate-mongers, but never quoted -- wonder why? <<
First, a policy doesn't have to be written to be a policy. A policy is whatever our government leaders do in an organized or systematic fashion. For instance, President Bush has a policy of keeping information from the American public—but you won't find that written down anywhere as one of his official goals.
Second, no single written policy stated the United States' goal to eradicate the Indians. This policy was mostly implicit, not explicit. What was explicit were the many, many individual policies—laws, orders, decisions, and rulings—that made up the implicit policy. These explicit policies made the implicit goals of the government clear.
Whole books have been written to document the federal and state governments' genocidal policies against Indians. For instance, almost any book by Vine Deloria refers to a myriad of such laws and policies. Which of these books have you read: any?
Read the voluminous evidence first and then we'll discuss its shortcomings, if any. I'm not going to debate a Big Lie with you. Yes, the Holocaust did happen and yes, the American government(s) wanted to eliminate the Indians.
>> And quit ridiculing the English usage of non-English speaking persons. Ridicule diminishes any argument you might have and paints you as a dolt and a cad. <<
Says you. I say it highlights their inability to fashion a coherent argument or sustain a debate on their flawed beliefs and claims. Those who can't write clearly can't think clearly.
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
Writing is thinking on paper.
Considering the popularity of my site and the praise it receives, I'm not worried if one or two visitors think badly of me. I'll go with the majority opinion on how effective my arguments are.
Rob challenges correspondent again
Feel free to list all the statements on my site that are demonstrably untrue. As I've done, please cite and quote the evidence to support your claims. If you have any valid points, I'll be glad to update my postings.
Incidentally, a "government-sanctioned policy" doesn't necessarily mean a government policy. It includes any policy the government supports whether it's inside or outside the government itself. So if municipalities, businesses, or individuals had policies against Indians and the federal or state governments supported them, those would be "government-sanctioned policies." They wouldn't have to be federal or state policies and they definitely wouldn't have to be written.
So I wrote what I meant and I meant what I wrote. Too bad people can't read as clearly as I can write. <g>
But if you want evidence of policies, go to Uncivilized Indians. This page has a long list of statements by government officials that are either explicitly or implicitly genocidal. These were the people in charge—the people who decided policy—so their positions were the government's policy.
We must leave it to yourself to decide [whether] the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal. ... The same world would scarcely do for them and us.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Indian fighter George Rogers Clark, William Clark's older brother
It is universally admitted that the earth was designed for improvement and tillage, and the right of civilized communities to enter upon and appropriate to such purposes, any lands that may be occasionally occupied or claimed as hunting grounds by uncultivated savages, is sanctioned by the laws of nature and of nations.
Noah Noble, governor of Alabama, 1832
No State can achieve proper culture, civilization, and progress...as long as Indians are permitted to remain.
Martin Van Buren, 1837
Do I really need to explain how an informal policy works? A president or general or governor orders a director of Indian Affairs to eliminate the Indian-related problems—usually by eliminating the Indians. The director orders the local militia to harass the Indians, block their food or supplies, or ignore the crimes committed against them. Indians have to surrender or move and because of it end up weak or dying from hunger or disease.
None of these orders have to be written down for them to have the force of law. One must look at the logical consequences of an order, too. If a president orders people removed to an inhospitable place and they subsequently die, the fault is his. He can't simply say, "I ordered them removed for their own good, but I didn't expect them to die. That they died after they moved was unfortunate, but it was beyond my control."
More genocidal policies
Here are some of those genocidal policies I mentioned:
Past Genocide of Natives in North America
In the early 18th century, the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey promoted a genocide of their local Natives by imposing a "scalp bounty" on dead Indians. "In 1703, Massachusetts paid 12 pounds for an Indian scalp. By 1723 the price had soared to 100 pounds." 10 Ward Churchill wrote: "Indeed, in many areas it [murdering Indians] became an outright business." 6 This practice of paying a bounty for Indian scalps continued into the 19th century before the public put an end to the practice. 10
In the 18th century, George Washington compared them to wolves, "beasts of prey" and called for their total destruction. 4 In 1814, Andrew Jackson "supervised the mutilation of 800 or more Creek Indian corpses" that his troops had killed. 6
Extermination of all of the surviving natives was urged by the Governor of California officially in 1851. 4 An editorial from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, CO in 1863; and from the Santa Fe New Mexican in 1863 expressed the same sentiment. 6 In 1867, General William Tecumseh Sherman said, "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux [Lakotas] even to their extermination: men, women and children." 6
In 1848, before the gold rush in California, that state's native population is estimated to have been 150,000. In 1870, after the gold rush, only about 31,000 were still alive. "Over 60 percent of these indigenous people died from disease introduced by hundreds of thousands of so-called 49ers. However, local tribes were also systematically chased off their lands, marched to missions and reservations, enslaved and brutally massacred." 12 The price paid for a native scalp had dropped as low as $0.25. Native historian, Jack Forbes, wrote: "The bulk of California's Indians were conquered, and died, in innumerable little episodes rather than in large campaigns. it serves to indict not a group of cruel leaders, or a few squads of rough soldiers, but in effect, an entire people; for ...the conquest of the Native Californian was above all else a popular, mass, enterprise." 11
For the official policy of the state of California, see:
Local California Chronology
4: The US Invasion
Spanish law clearly and absolutely secured to Indians fixed rights of property in the lands that they occupy...some particular provision will be necessary to divest them of these rights.
Senator John Fremont, 1850
A war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races till the Indian race becomes extinct.
John McDougal, California's second governor, in his first message to the California legislature, 1851
Never before in history has a people been swept away with such terrible swiftness.
Stephen Powers' report to the Government, 1877
Rob challenges correspondent yet again (5/24/05)....
I'm back with another reply, so....
>> I don't know you and only responded to what I honestly saw in your website. <<
Whatever you saw is still there. Quote it and then we'll discuss it.
>> My intention is that the truth be told about Washita and American history in general. <<
Is it? When you say things like "And about the 'policy of genocide', the 'government sanctioned policy' -- what policy?" that's hard to believe. Every schoolchild knows that the government (federal and state), the military, the church, land developers, ranchers and farmers, and the public had it in for the Indians.
I've told the truth about Washita in postings such as The "Official Website" of George A. Custer. And the truth about the genocide against Indians in postings such as Genocide by Any Other Name....
>> I am familiar with Horsley's account -- he hasn't the slightest idea of what the facts of Washita are. <<
Did I say anything about Horsley's account? I don't think so. I mention Neal Horsley the antiabortion activist on one page, but no historical expert named Horsley.
>> 10,000 troops in the 7th at Washita?! There were around 700 -- the 700 were divided into four battalions which surrounded the village and attacked. <<
I don't think this is something you read on my website. You must have my site confused with someone else's. Which is why I said "Quote it and then we'll discuss it."
>> Now, as to my English usage remark... I happen to be part American Indian. I don't know where you live, but I think you would be shocked at how many Americans have American Indian blood. <<
I live in Los Angeles. We have the largest or second largest concentration of urban Indians in the country. I work for Victor Rocha, an enrolled Pechanga Indian, who lives a few miles away. My former sister-in-law was a quarter Cherokee. Etc.
I've linked to some of the Census data on Indians at The Essential Facts About Indians Today. It's possible some Indian statistics might shock me, but I doubt it. As a former math major, I know my way around numbers.
>> (I see your name is German -- Americans, you now, didn't make lampshades out of Indians, we married them.) <<
Despite my surname, I'm mostly English. We've traced my family's earliest known ancestor to Connecticut in 1636. Another ancestor supposedly came over on the Mayflower.
>> And my family, instead of worrying about the wrongs of the past and who "owes" us, are busy taking advantage of what this great nation has to offer (including going to school at West Point) and getting on our knees in thanks that we have the amazing privilege of living in this country. <<
As my Stereotype of the Month contest shows, there are plenty of wrongs in the present.
>> I think you write well, Mr. Schmidt, and you express your thoughts very well -- those are your weapons. <<
>> But I would prefer your weapons to be your heart and the content of your character -- and, perhaps, compassion for the human experience. <<
What makes you think I lack compassion? Because I stopped being polite after David Cornut attacked me with such insults as the following:
You're a publisher, aren't you ? Who is the man who engaged you ? I am sorry for your boss.
You are the most stupid and the most fool man I've ever seen.
This is equivalent to someone coming into my home and screaming at me. You can endure such insults if you want to, but I'm not going to.
If you're worried about people without compassion, write Cornut and his brother at:
Tell them you don't appreciate their painting Indians as murdering savages with no redeeming values. Their postings are the real issue here, not my response to them.
Luckily, the Cornuts have toned down their Indian Offences page and have added a (white) Massacres page. Their site is no longer as one-sided as it once was. That's because people like me criticized them and told them they were wrong.
Scalping, torture, and mutilation by Indians
Genocide by any other name...
. . .
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