Another response to Genocide by Any Other Name...:
One day I stumbled across this discussion of Indian genocide:
Indian genocide is a controversial subject on the internet and on this site. Genocide and Holocaust are words that are easy to throw around, often to grab a reader's attention, but proving them is something else. What one group calls genocide, another group may call progress. This statement is used in the same context as the saying...one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines genocide as the systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Based on this definition, genocide was not carried out by the United States Government against the Indian Nations. It can be argued that Government policy was directed toward wiping out an ethnic culture, but not genocide of an ethnic group. President Jefferson wrote (Wallace):
"The Indian of North America was as ardent as the white man, free, brave, preferring death to surrender, moral and responsible without compulsion of government, loving to his children, caring and loyal to family and friends, and equal to whites in vivacity and activity of mind."
President Jefferson believed that the American Indians were fully capable of being integrated into the American way of life, but not in the savage state.
Based on a broader definition of genocide used by the United Nations, www.preventgenocide.org, genocide was carried out against the American Indians. A more realistic view than the United Nations definition on genocide is given by a reader below.
In response, I sent the following message to O. Ned Eddins:
A comment on your statement:
The American Heritage Dictionary defines genocide as the systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Based on this definition, genocide was not carried out by the United States Government against the Indian Nations. It can be argued that Government policy was directed toward wiping out an ethnic culture, but not genocide of an ethnic group.
First, one could argue that there were many ethnic subgroups within the Indian "race." The US eliminated many of these subgroups, which fits the "ethnic" portion of the definition.
More important, the dictionary definition includes the destruction of national and political as well as racial and ethnic groups. The Indian tribes were and are national and political entities, as confirmed by court cases dating back to the 1820s.
In fact, Indians often adopted white or black captives, runaways, or slaves into their tribes. Although they were predominantly Indian by race, they included people of mixed Indian, white, and black "blood." That explains why the courts have recognized them as political rather than racial entities.
If you doubt this, read some American history. The British and American governments made treaties with the Indian nations on a government-to-government basis. The Constitution recognizes this when it equates Indian tribes with foreign nations in Article I, Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power...to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
You tacitly acknowledged this point yourself when you wrote of the destruction of "Indian nations." Destroying a nation is the same as destroying a national group, which fits the American Heritage definition. So yes, the US government committed genocide even by the narrowest of definitions.
For more on the genocide issue, see Genocide by Any Other Name....
The debate begins (2/7/06)
>> I read your article and started to reply on a statement by statement basis, but decided it would be an absolute waste of time. <<
I presume that's because you couldn't touch my arguments. You misstated the dictionary definition of genocide and I called you on it.
>> People that bend, twist, and use half-truths to write their own version of history do not let facts, or even common sense, stand in the way of idiotic statements. <<
Yes, which is why I wrote you about your whitewash of the European genocide against the Indians.
If you know some facts about the genocide of Native people that I don't know, I'd love to hear them. I'm guessing you don't.
>> An example is this paragraph. . . "Statements like this ignore the reality of the situation. First, killing was a deliberate policy, as we've already established. Europeans committed genocide against whatever Indians they encountered"... based on this assumption, there would have been no fur trade, or any Indians left alive when the barbaric Europeans finally reached the Pacific. <<
I didn't say every European committed genocide against every Indian. And the definition of genocide includes more than just killing, as we've already established. But the wording of that section could be more precise. I'll try to revise it.
>> You suggested I read some American history. Who do you suggest Ward Churchill, or Tim Wise? <<
How about Dee Brown, David Stannard, or Vine Deloria Jr.?
>> I could care less about Ward Churchill's idiotic 9/11 statements. What I do care about is his total fabrication of an article on the 1837 smallpox outbreak among the Mandan. The man has lied about his Indian heritage, and worse for a "tenured college professor", he is professionally and intellectually dishonest. <<
I haven't defended or even commented on Churchill's smallpox claims. I credited him for noting the UN's definition of genocide because he's the first one I know of who noted it.
>> Here are two factual quotes on Ward Churchill — <<
I guess it's a fact that Owens and AIM criticized Churchill. But their statements about Churchill are opinions, not facts.
>> Quoting and defending Ward Churchill demonstrates the extent that some supposed "historians" go to in distorting the truth to fit a biased preconceived agenda that appeals to activists and radical left-wing liberals. <<
I haven't defended Churchill except tangentially. And no one that I know of has questioned his arguments about the genocide against Indians. Whether he's an Indian, Anglo, or Martian, his arguments on that issue stand unless someone can refute them.
>> I would be the first to admit that a great many wrongs and tragedies were inflicted upon the American Indians, but a deliberate government policy of killing every Indian is ridiculous. <<
Let's leave Churchill out of it so you can address the issue intelligently rather than emotionally:
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
All clear? To reiterate, this comes from a UN document, not from Ward Churchill.
If you think the US or state governments didn't pursue any of these genocidal acts as official or unofficial policy, you're sadly mistaken. Read any survey book on Indian history and learn the truth of the matter.
The debate continues (3/31/06)....
In response to Eddins's message of 2/21/06, I sent the following reply. I also forwarded Eddins's message to some of my correspondents. Al Carroll replied on 4/3/06 as follows:
I can't say I'm too surprised by what Mr. Eddins says. Most of his writings are on the fur trade, and he seems like many other Indian-haters, enamored, envious, and willfully blind about what he can never have and never be.
The huge errors in what he says fly fast and furious. Most of what he claims as defense of his racism were common claims in history about 50 years ago, but few would buy them now.
I've combined my comments (in normal font) and Al's (in italics). This is what you get when you don't have your facts straight. <g>
>> Two things that I take exception with in the Gill article is referring to smallpox as a virus and inferring that British troops were immune to smallpox. In the context of the time, people didn't even know what a germ was let alone a virus. <<
I've heard these kinds of apologist arguments before, and they're nonsense. Here's why:
1) Whether Europeans understood germ theory at the time is irrelevant. They understood the simple cause and effect: Europeans move into an area with Indians, Indians die in huge number from disease. Therefore they ARE guilty of deliberate mass murder by spreading the disease.
2) Further, as David Stannard pointed out in American Holocaust, it was deliberate starvation tactics that made Indians so vulnerable. Without those tactics of burning crops, burning food stores during winter, slaughtering buffalo, etc, Indian disease rated would've been comparable to Europeans during the Black Plague, 30-40% instead of +90%.
3) As far as ignorance as a defense, no judge in any court of law would buy that. By analogy, think of when the AIDS epidemic first hit. Many states passed laws saying if you knew you had AIDS passed it on AIDS to someone through sex, you were guilty of manslaughter. Many people thought AIDS was " a gay disease" that straights couldn't catch including Pres. Reagan at first. But very few people would buy that as a defense.
>> This is the definition that I used: The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. <<
Yes, and that's the definition I disputed. One could say Indian tribes are national, racial, political, or ethnic groups. They're definitely political groups according to the key Supreme Court decisions. So the actions against them were genocidal based on any of these four words. No reference to the broader UN definition is necessary.
Your American Heritage definition says "systematic" and "planned," not "total." I go by my American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition, which defines genocide as "the systematic and planned annihilation of a national, racial, political, or ethnic group."
The genocidal actions were definitely planned and were arguably systematic, especially toward the end. By this definition, the actions didn't have to be total to qualify as genocidal. If "planned" is the standard, the actions didn't even have to succeed to qualify.
>> Here are more English Language Dictionary definitions of genocide.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
The murder of a whole group of people, especially a whole nation, race or religious group.
College Edition New Webster's Dictionary
Deliberate mass murder of a race, people or a minority group. <<
Too bad you didn't use these definitions instead of the American Heritage definition in your original essay. If you had, I wouldn't have pointed out your mistake.
Of course, these definitions require more definitions to work. How many people are in a "whole group"? How many murders does it take to make a "mass murder"? A hundred? A thousand? A million?
I trust you see the problem. Based on the first definition, Hitler didn't commit genocide against the Jews, since he killed only a third of them, not the "whole group." Is it your position that genocide has never occurred?
>> These are the definitions of genocide that I accept, and I believe most other people do as well. <<
The US committed mass murder against several Native peoples or groups when it killed everyone at Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, and Washita. So you admit that these massacres, at least, fit the dictionary definition of "genocide"?
Most Native people wouldn't accept these definitions as the only definition of genocide. Based on experience, they understand that depriving a people of their land and culture can lead to a slow death. And no one said genocide can't be slow as well as fast.
Most non-Native people might accept these definitions because they don't know any better. But again, these definitions aren't the American Heritage definition. You defined "genocide" yourself using the American Heritage definition, then said it didn't apply. You were wrong because this definition does apply.
>> Only by liberals, Indian activists, or on college campuses like Berkley and Boulder are the UN definition of genocide accepted, or even known. <<
The US agreed to this definition just as it agreed to the Geneva Conventions. I believe the UN Convention qualifies as a treaty, and treaties are the supreme law of the land according to the US Constitution. That means you can add American courts and officials to the list of people who accept the UN definition of genocide.
>> If you can find one English Dictionary that uses the UN definition for genocide, please let me know. <<
No need. What we did to the Indians qualifies as genocide according to the The American Heritage Dictionary. That was my main point and you've yet to offer a persuasive counterargument.
Every single dictionary he quoted from uses the definition first utilized by the Geneva conventions on war, and a short time later the UN. The very term genocide did not exist until it was first invented and defined by Raphael Lemkin, acting on behalf of these institutions.
>> The last poll I saw, the majority of Americans were in favor of getting out of the UN, so why would they accept the UN definition of anything <<
If the US signed a treaty with the UN, Americans will accept the UN's definition because they don't have a choice. The Constitution requires them to.
Interesting claim. Why do virtually no congressmen, even those on the Right, favor getting out of the UN? Why did so many conservatives argue that one of the main reasons to overthrow Saddam was that he defied the UN and broke UN agreements? Anti-UN sentiment is generally the province of two groups, those who believe the US can do whatever it wants overseas, and conspiracy types who think the UN is some kind of harbinger of the Number of the Beast, etc. I'll leave it to Mr. Eddins to tell us which group he's part of.
>> It is indisputable that the U.S. Government committed every one of these acts against Native Americans. It is also indisputable that Indians committed every one of these acts against other Indian tribes and Europeans. <<
Indian tribes tried to physically destroy other tribes or prevent births within other tribes? What's your evidence for this?
I think you've confused warfare with genocide. A warring group intends to inflict losses on its opponent, but it does not necessarily intend to destroy the opponent. If there's no intent to destroy, there's no genocide, no matter how intense or prolonged the warfare.
This is one of the most bizarre things I've ever read, and one that anyone with any knowledge of history knows is dead wrong.
1) A and B would not be accepted by any scholar or institution I know of as constituting genocide.
2) How could Indians have possibly "caused mental harm" to Europeans?
3) There are no instances of Indians trying to wipe out all Europeans.
4) Indians had neither the means nor the desire to prevent births among Europeans or other Indians.
5) There are no instances of Indians trying to wipe out other Indians before European arrival.
6) The only instances after European arrival are those when they were allied with a European state.
Indians committed genocide against Indians?!
>> The Iroquois, often cited as the model for our constitution, was the worst. Has a liberal, or Indian activist, ever claimed that Indians committed genocide against other Indians or the Colonists? <<
I'm happy to admit tribes warred against each other. This warfare usually consisted of skirmishes or raids rather than all-out onslaughts. It was the opposite of the European style of warfare that eventually led to genocide.
The Aztecs or Incas may have warred to such an extent that they effectively wiped out opposing tribes. But did other tribes commit genocide—i.e., the systematic and planned extermination of a political or racial group? I don't think so. Show me the evidence if you have any.
The Indians definitely did not commit genocide against the colonists, since there was no systematic or planned attempt to wipe out an entire political or racial group. FYI, a single cabin, fort, or village does not constitute a political or racial group. Unless I'm missing something, Indians acting alone (i.e., not as part of a larger Anglo force) never attacked anything larger than a heterogeneous group of perhaps a few hundred Anglos. Absolutely no genocide was possible under those circumstances.
Not just liberals, not just Indians, as far as I know, NO historian has ever claimed that because it's contrary to every known fact. It'd be laughable if it wasn't based on the worst kind of race baitiing.
Nedder doesn't seem to know the most basic things about Indian warfare, that by its nature it was extremely LIMITED. It was never intended to conquer or destroy, just raid for food, get control of hunting or fur trapping areas, or get personal revenge for individual losses.
Since I've just written my first book on Native military veteran traditions, let me point out to him that every Native spiritual tradition I know of says warfare is UNNATURAL, something to be avoided unless ritually prepared for.
He doesn't have to take my word for it, as much as he asks us to take his. Let him read David Stannard, James Loewen, Tom Holm, or even conservative British military historian John Keegan, who points out Europeans have the most brutal military tradition on the planet, bar none.
>> A great many of these Indian tribes were victims of Indian genocide and had disappeared from the Americas long before Europeans reached this country. <<
They were victims of Indian warfare, you mean. Such warfare may have caused a tribe to move to another territory or to split into smaller tribes—neither of which constitutes genocide. But I'm waiting to hear the first example of one tribe actually exterminating another.
Nedder seems to be making this up purely out of his own imagination. Could he cite even one credible source for this?
>> With the exception of possibly diseases, Indians killed more Indians than the Europeans ever did. <<
"Possibly diseases"?! Disease almost certainly killed more Indians than any other cause. I'm guessing Europeans and Americans were the second greatest killer of Indians, with other Indian tribes a distant third. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, this is all speculation.
Nonsense. Europeans and their descendants killed at least 75 million Indians by the LOWEST estimate, perhaps as many as 112 million. Columbus alone killed at last 1 million by the LOWEST estimate, perhaps as many as 8 million.
>> The main reason Tecumseh could not unite the various Indian tribes against western expansion was this long-standing distrust and hatred between tribes. <<
Nedder doesn't seem to know the most basic history. Tecumseh DID unite most of the tribes. Most historians think his alliance failed because of his brother, The Open Door, and his rash actions.
Tecumseh obviously concentrated on the tribes in the Ohio Valley region. Whether "most of the tribes" in this region constitutes a union or not is a matter of semantics. Let's list the tribes in Tecumseh's coalition and let the readers decide whether he succeeded:
Tenskwatawa's religious teachings became widely known, and he attracted Native American followers from many different nations, including Shawnee, Canadian Iroquois, Chickamauga, Fox, Miami, Mingo, Ojibway, Ottawa, Kickapoo, Delaware (Lenape), Mascouten, Potawatomi, Sauk, and Wyandot. Although Tecumseh would eventually emerge as the leader of this confederation, it was built upon a foundation established by the religious appeal of his younger brother.
>> First, killing was a deliberate policy, as we've already established.
I don't know who the we is in this statement. There is no proof whatsoever that the official policy of the United States Government was to exterminate the Indians. <<
Did I say "official" or "United States Government"? No. I've already addressed this argument at length in my posting at The "Official Website" of George A. Custer.
>> If it was, why from 1790 through 1832 did the government try to protect Indian Territory and rights by controlling the Indian trade through the Trade and Intercourse acts, the Factory System, and the sale of alcohol to Indians? <<
Because some parts of the federal and state governments were more genocidal than others, and because the genocide didn't culminate until the Indian Wars of the late 19th century.
>> The basic outline of the Federal Indian Policy was formed by the Trade and Intercourse Acts (Avalon Project). <<
This is the basic outline of the official policy, you mean. The unofficial policy was to ignore the official policy and pursue the extermination of Indian tribes and cultures.
"Protection"? Those acts were intended to control Indian trade, make Indians more dependent economically.
>> If the Government's policy was total extermination, why move eastern Indian Tribes west of the Mississippi, setup reservations, and Indian Schools? <<
If the government's policy wasn't extermination, why move Indians to land that couldn't support their traditional cultures? Why establish reservations and then refuse to fulfill the treaty obligations to provide food and supplies? Why let white settlers continue to march through, occupy, and eventually possess land "guaranteed" to the Indians?
Why did the US allow the near extinction of the buffalo, the primary food source and way of life for the Plains tribes, if the US intended these tribes to live contentedly? How exactly were these tribes supposed to feed themselves...by converting from hunter-gatherers into farmers, a transition that took Europeans centuries? Talk about sink or swim...the Indians had to make unproductive land productive within a few months or they were likely to starve.
So whatever the official policy was, the unofficial policy was to push the Plains Indians into extinction or submission. If any survived, the US would extinguish every shred of their culture, which was a sure recipe for causing them to die of alcoholism, illness, or suicide.
By the end of the Indian Wars, the remaining Indians were faced with a stark choice: surrender or die. That was the US policy; I don't believe the US contemplated any other outcome. So the only way the Indians avoided extermination was by surrendering. If they hadn't surrendered, the US would've completed the systematic, planned campaign of genocide it began against them.
As for the schools, the policy was to remove the Indian children and convert them to the Christian-capitalist culture against their will. The boarding school system was a systematic, planned attempt to "kill the Indian to save the man," so it was a fundamental part of the genocide.
>> If it was, why pass these laws? Why not just kill them as Hitler did the Jews, Gypsies, and other races that he felt inferior to the Aryan race. <<
It was cheaper to throw tribes a bone than to defeat them militarily. And Hitler openly used Indian reservations as a model for his camps.
No government policy of killing?
>> I would be the first to admit that a great many wrongs and tragedies were inflicted upon the American Indians, but a deliberate government policy of killing every Indian is ridiculous. <<
Killing every Indian isn't required under the American Heritage definition of genocide.
>> There is no question that the United States Government instituted a policy of cultural genocide against Native American, but there is no evidence for a government policy of ethnic genocide, or total extermination. <<
Cultural genocide is still genocide. "Ethnic" is only one of the categories you can commit genocide against. "Total" is your word, not the dictionary's.
>> I challenge you to supply, other that Captain Eucyer, one documented example. <<
[E]very redskin must be killed from off the face of the plains before we can be free from their molestations. They are of no earthly good and the sooner they are swept from the land the better for civilization....I do not think they can be turned and made good law abiding citizens any more than coyotes can be used for shepherd dogs.
—Major John Vance Lauderdale, US Army surgeon, 1866
If the savage resists, civilization, with the Ten Commandments in one hand and the sword in the other, demands his immediate execution.
—Andrew Johnson, message to Congress, 1867
The idea that a handful of wild, half-naked, thieving, plundering, murdering savages should be dignified with the sovereign attributes of nations, enter into solemn treaties, and claim a country 500 miles wide by 1,000 miles long as theirs in fee simple, because they hunted buffalo or antelope over it, might do for a beautiful reading of Hiawatha, but is unsuited to the intelligence and justice of this age, or the natural rights of mankind.
—New Mexico Supreme Court, United States v. Lucero, 1 NM S. Ct. 422, 1869
In 1871 Francis A. Walker, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, considered Indians beneath morality: "When dealing with savage men, as with savage beasts, no question of national honor can arise."
—James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me
[T]he great triumvirate of the Union Civil War effort [Grant, Sherman and Sheridan] formulated and enacted military Indian policy until reaching, by the 1880s, what Sherman sometimes referred to as "the final solution of the Indian problem," which he defined as killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places . . . . These men applied their shared ruthlessness, born of their Civil War experiences, against a people all three despised, in the name of Civilization and Progress (emphasis added).
—Thomas J. DiLorenzo, How Lincoln's Army 'Liberated' the Indians
I've posted more examples at The "Official Website" of George A. Custer. Note that I've quoted government and military officials who were in a position to put their beliefs into practice. These beliefs formed the official or unofficial policies of the federal and state governments, the Indian agencies, and the military.
There's also dozens of books on the topic that one could point to. I'd recommend Mr. Nedder start with Stannard's American Holocaust, or Russell Thornton's work.
>> You stated, "If you know some facts about the genocide of Native people that I don't know, I'd love to hear them. I'm guessing you don't." <<
This remains true. I still haven't heard anything about genocide that I didn't already know.
>> So far all you appear to know about is applying the UN definition for genocide, and accepting a bunch of liberal writings as factual, which as far as I am concerned is a bunch of hogwash. <<
My postings on genocide are as well-sourced as yours are, if not more so. This posting is a prime example of that.
This seems to be Mr. Nedder's last line of defense, slap the dreaded "liberal" label on anything you can't refute and then dismiss it. Facts are facts, regardless of the ideology of the person saying them. Most of the sources I point to are not liberal, and neither am I.
>> My copy is the tenth edition and nowhere in the text is there any mention of Indian genocide. If as you infer everyone knows that the government had a deliberate policy of extermination, why doesn't two of the highest regarded and honored American historians mention it? <<
The American Pageant is one of several textbooks that whitewash American history to protect "innocent" college students from the truth. Read Lies My Teacher Told Me for a thorough dissection of these textbooks and their sanitized version of history.
[Why?] In a word, because of money. Because they deliberately censored their own works in order not to offend confused, excitable types such as Mr. Nedder. Mr. Nedder should read Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me for a detailed analysis of all that's wrong with general textbooks like Kennedy's.
His main gripe in the extended rant that followed is that "politically correct" are out to destroy the country. In other words, he believes in a rather ludicrous conspiracy theory. The PC movement was tiny, died quickly, and had little effect. It's still common for me to hear a baseball bat referred to as a "nigger beater" for example. And in Wyoming, where Mr. Nedder is, you hear the phrase "prairie nigger" as often as hello.
The bigger problem with the PC movement was that it tried to slap a bandaid on problems like racism. Barring someone from saying epithets won't change much. Showing people why these epithets are wrong and have a history of slaughter behind them is what's needed. But then again, Mr. Nedder opposes that too. He lives in that fantasy world supplied by right wing talk radio that imagines whites are somehow persecuted by those nasty dark skinned people.
Churchill's writings on genocide
>> The Genocide That Wasn't: Ward Churchill's Research Fraud. Thomas Brown, PhD. Assistant Professor of Sociology, Lamar University Beaumont, TX 77710
Spare me. I'm well aware of the criticism of Churchill's specific claims about the 1837 smallpox epidemic. I was referring to his general writings about the genocide of Indians as a whole. Brown's narrow criticism doesn't touch Churchill's claims about anything except the 1837 incidents.
>> NO LICENSE TO LIE — Standards for Impartial Judgment In the Churchill Tenure Investigation
There's nothing in this review about genocide except Brown's charges re the 1837 incidents. This is irrelevant to what I wrote, since I was referring to Churchill's arguments as a whole.
>> Who else can you name that is a tenured college professor with a Masters Degree from a little known college? <<
Churchill's heritage and qualifications are irrelevant to the point I made, so I'm not debating them here.
>> In a collection of essays titled "The State of Native America — Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance," a contribution from a writer named Simon J. Ortiz (quoted from his "From Sand Creek") states the following: "The situation [genocidal treatment of Indians] is compounded by such apparently willful early experiments in biological warfare as Lord Jeffrey Amherst's inculcation of smallpox among the Ottawas in present-day Pennsylvania during the late 18th century and the U.S. Army's introduction of blankets laden with the same disease among the Missouri River Mandans during the 1830s." <<
Yes...so? We have one documented instance of smallpox-infected blankets on the Plains, and we know Amherst considered using such blankets. Whether he executed or abandoned the idea, considering it is arguably an "experiment"—if nothing else, a thought experiment.
So Ortiz's statement seems technically true, though he probably overstated the case. If I were him, I wouldn't spend more than one sentence on this extreme example of genocide. I'd focus on the less extreme and more common examples.
>> The allegation is one of many shocking revelations contained in "The State of Native America," which apparently is being used as a textbook for Native American studies courses at least two colleges I know of and some students (namely, my kids) are reading it and accepting the allegation (along with many others) as gospel. <<
The "allegation" seems technically true to me, so what's the problem? I doubt The State of Native America is more biased than the textbooks proved to be biased in Lies My Teacher Told Me.
>> It is this kind of responses from website users that makes me believe the greatest threat to America is from liberal college teachers who are re-writing American History based on total fabrication and unsubstantiated "facts". <<
If Ortiz's allegation is an overstatement, it isn't a huge "rewrite." Many forms of genocide took place against the Indians, so it's valid and important to discuss them.
And the "greatest threat to America"?! Talk about your wild-eyed fanaticism unsupported by facts. This is a far more ridiculous statement than anything Ortiz or Churchill said. The political, cultural, and racial paranoia of you conservative types continues to amaze me.
This is a common misconception, a bogeyman created by the Right Wing. Most professors are NOT liberals. Not in business schools, not in military colleges, law schools, A & Ms, or even most science departments. Science departments often have some of the strongest anti-union sentiment, for example.
Even in the supposedly "liberal" social sciences, most of them would reject the label as too anal, too narrow, too reductionist. If you ask most history professors, most of them would insist on giving you a whole lengthy essay to describe their POV. And well they should. Dogmatic thinkers make for very poor historians.
>> That this argument is being taken seriously by politicians in Mexico, and their supporters in the United States, is an illustration of the impact politically correct revisionist history can have on present day foreign and domestic policy. <<
No one except a few fringe leftists is taking this argument seriously, and Rome doesn't provide any evidence to the contrary. Can you say "straw-man argument"?
>> there are those in the international community (and unfortunately here at home) that have not been able to adjust to the new reality that began in September of 2001. <<
Yes, we're all having a hard time adjusting to an endless "war" against people (Iraqis) who didn't attack us, the tens of thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost, the escalation of terrorism because of the war, the trillion-dollar cost of the war, the international loss of prestige and clout, the systematic torture of prisoners, the domestic spying on citizens, the suppression of legitimate dissent, the suspension of the right to trial, and the establishment of an imperial presidency unbounded by law. That is what Rome was referring to, isn't it?
>> They cling to politically correct dogma while refusing to recognize that the era of myopic self-satisfaction that fostered it is certainly over. <<
As all but a few myopic commentators have concluded, 9/11 wasn't the end of an era after all. It did not fundamentally change the world in any significant way.
Bring on the straw men
>> That the United States should now consider 150-year old grievances from a country conquered in war is not worthy of consideration, especially when we consider the immeasurable strain currently put upon our state and federal services by illegal immigration. <<
No one worth mentioning is asking the US to consider Mexico's grievances, so this is a straw-man argument. And Bush's illegal and immoral war on Iraq is causing a much bigger strain on our budget than illegal immigration is.
>> The utterly specious argument that giving land "back" to Mexico might somehow improve their economy, or stem the tide of illegal immigrants is indicative of the lack of reality applied to politically correct foreign policy theory. <<
Rome's utterly specious straw-man argument is indicative of his lack of reality.
>> Realities like these are rarely considered by the self-appointed interpreters of history who have decided that all the events of the past can only be fully understood when viewed through the prism of politically correct victimology. <<
Ironically, you conservatives are the biggest proponents of victimology, the biggest crybabies. Boo-hoo, liberals like Churchill get all the academic positions. Boo-hoo, Indians aren't buying the sanitized version of history in textbooks. Boo-hoo, the government is spending money on poor people instead of giving it to rich people.
>> Indian tribes that were infamous for their savagery against other tribes are redefined as Disneyesque merchants of wisdom and peace. <<
Indian tribes were only "infamous" for their savagery because Europeans and Americans stereotyped them to facilitate the dispossession of their land. See Red, White, and Black: The Origins of Racism in Colonial America for more on this stereotyping. As a group, the Europeans and Americans were more savage.
>> South American civilizations that practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice are now redefined as platonic and friendly victims of European "oppression." <<
Only a tiny number of tribes practiced cannibalism, I believe, and then only as part of special ceremonies. They didn't consume people as part of their regular diets. And human sacrifice was pretty much limited to the Maya and Aztecs. The Aztecs, a nation that existed only a few decades, were the only ones to practice widespread human sacrifice.
This is rank stereotyping and falsification of the facts. If 999 tribes didn't practice cannibalism or human sacrifice and one did, guess what? It's correct to say tribes didn't practice these things as a whole.
In short, it doesn't require revisionist history to understand the truth. It requires only history that's reported and analyzed accurately, as I've done here.
>> Mexico has as much chance of having the southwest United States "returned" as Vatican City has laying claim to Europe. <<
And yet Rome spends a whole column rebutting this claim. He practically admits he's knocked down a straw man to score points against his imagined enemies.
>> My biggest grip against liberals is that they use words like genocide and extermination, not based on facts or dictionary definitions, to gain reader attention and sympathy. <<
Luckily, I've based my claims on the facts and dictionary definitions.
>> Ask the average American what genocide is and the emaciated survivors of the gas chambers in Nazi Germany's death camps come to mind. <<
Exactly. Most Americans have been taught their own version of Holocaust Denial. In Europe or Latin America they'd be rightly regarded as nuts, out of touch with reality. In the US, such bizarre and offensive nonsense like Mr. Nedder believes is all too common.
Please pass this along to him, Rob.
Dr. Al Carroll
Others weigh in
Eddins didn't respond again, but he did post the following comment from a correspondent on his site:
Another Reader's View on Genocide
Genocide means killing each and every member of group. The word genocide literally means killing a gene and the way to do that is to kill each and everyone who has that gene. The UN definition of genocide applies even if one member of a group is killed or mistreated. Let's face it if you use the UN definition of any crime then US is guilty because according to the UN the US is guilty of everything.
This is what genocide really means:
Genocide is an official policy or an accepted policy where:
1. Every member of a certain group is killed in battle whether they surrender or not.
2. Killing every member of a certain group after they surrendered to authorities.
3. Preventing the escape of every member a certain group so they can be killed.
4. Killing any one who is a descendent of a member of a certain group.
5. The use of forced sterilization to prevent members of a certain group from reproducing while they are being held for eventual extermination.
Eddins endorsed this as the real definition of genocide...to which another of his correspondents responded:
You contradict yourself. So, which is it, Ned? Is it the killing of every member of a group, or, as you later modify your definition to better suit your argument, merely the *attempt* to kill every member of a group?...This fits Rob's definition whom I admire because he signed his name and left an email address
By your modified definition, there was no genocide committed against the Jews by Hitler's regime. They didn't succeed, therefore, no genocide.
The second correspondent is correct. If the above definition of genocide is the right one, it doesn't apply to the Holocaust. Nothing happened to "every member" of the Jewish ethnic group. Two-thirds of the world's Jews survived the Nazi horrors. (Source: Wikipedia.)
The definition above excludes all the biggest mass murders of history: the Russian peasants under Stalin, the Jews, the Armenians, the Cambodians, the Rwandans, et al. That's because they were not rubbed out to the last person. Ironically, the definition applies mainly to certain indigenous tribes, the only groups small enough to be completely exterminated.
The debate continues (5/17/07)....
After seeing my comment that he didn't respond (to me), Eddins finally responded on 11/27/06:
On your website you state that I never replied to Carroll's comments. I did not receive anything from you about this idiot. The only reason that I am wasting my time responding now is because of the sheer stupidity of his claims. If he and Churchill [by the way, nice picture of the long-haired jerk] are the kind of people you rely on, you better get off your genocide kick and start reading some basic Indian history.
I don't have a Ph.D. in history, but I can probably spot Carroll a couple of hundred University credit hours, and still have more hours. Over the last fifty years, my interest in the Plains Indians and Mountain Men has shown me that the vast majority of Indians don't know diddlysquat about their history, just as most "whites" don't know diddlysquat about their history. My point is, being an Indian does not automatically make you an authority on Indian history, and being a non-Indian does not disqualify you from studying Indians. The one thing I agree with Carroll on is one of us knows little about Indian history. The question is which one?
These are a few of Carroll's moronic comments –
>> Nedder doesn't seem to know the most basic history. Tecumseh DID unite most of the tribes. Most historians think his alliance failed because of his brother, The Open Door, and his rash actions. <<
My degrees (B.S., M.S. D.V.M., and a two-year post-doctoral in Molecular Biology) are in the sciences where you were required to know the pertinent literature for any comments you advanced as being factual. Based on his Tecumseh comment, this is a totally foreign concept to Carroll. I agree that while Tecumseh was in the South trying to gain support from the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek Nations, Tenskwatawa hurt the possibilities of any kind of an alliance by engaging Harrison at Tippecanoe.
Regardless of this, Tecumseh did not unite most of the tribes. With the exception of a warrior society in the Creek Nation called the Red Sticks, none of the southern tribes joined his alliance. Not even the majority of the Shawnee (his own people), Delaware, and Miami Nations supported Tecumseh's alliance. A major reason the tribes would not join in a united confederation against the white man was because of old hatreds, grudges, self-interests, and tribal warfare. Indian tribes hated and distrusted each other more than the white man that was out to, according to you and Carroll, "exterminate" them.
Tecumseh was one of the truly great men of American history. One thing that set him apart from the vast majority of Indians and white men was his intelligence, oratory skills, and the fact that he did not allow warriors with him to torture and mutilate prisoners; a real contrast from Geronimo and the Apache.
>> This is the basic outline of the official policy, you mean. The unofficial policy was to ignore the official policy and pursue the extermination of Indian tribes and cultures <<
Since there are no facts to support this ridiculous assumption, Carroll justifies the unofficial policy by quoting army and government people that hated Indians. These are statements, not facts. A Ph.D. historian with any intelligence ought to know the difference…a college degree indicates that you have completed the required curriculum; it does not mean that you are overly bright, which is pretty obvious in Carroll's case. Makes me shudder to think what a bigot like Carroll is teaching junior college students as being factual.
>> It's still common for me to hear a baseball bat referred to as a "nigger beater" for example. And in Wyoming, where Mr. Nedder is, you hear the phrase "prairie nigger" as often as hello.
Has this idiot ever been to Wyoming? My grandparents homesteaded in Wyoming in 1890, and I have never heard of, or read of, the term "prairie nigger." Unless it is some bigot like Carroll, I doubt if you could find anyone in Wyoming that has heard that term. Carroll's boldface fabrication proves my point about bigoted activists not allowing the truth to stand in the way of their ridiculous rantings.
>> Nedder doesn't seem to know the most basic things about Indian warfare, that by its nature it was extremely LIMITED. It was never intended to conquer or destroy… [What a bunch of garbage], just raid for food, get control of hunting or fur trapping areas… [Yes, by killing, or enslaving, the people that were already there], or get personal revenge for individual losses. Since I've just written my first book on Native military veteran traditions let me point out to him that every Native spiritual tradition I know of says warfare is UNNATURAL, something to be avoided unless ritually prepared for. <<
Carroll's dissertation and book starts with World War I, so what makes him any kind of an authority on early Indian warfare? Warfare for an Indian was as NATURAL as breathing. The only way a young brave could advance himself within the tribe was through warfare. An example, in order to be a batsé tse, or chief, among the Crow, a warrior had to achieve the following war honors: 1)lead a successful war party, 2)steal a picketed horse from an enemy village, 3)count a first coupe, 4)take an enemy's bow or gun. And yes, a war party leader sought spiritual guidance through a vision quest, or paid the owner of a medicine bundle to intercede for him. And yes, many tribes did not rank killing an enemy as a top war honor. If Carroll's idea of Indian warfare does not include stealing horses as a major goal of war parties…which he doesn't mention above…then he is totally ignorant of Plains Indian warfare.
>> I can't say I'm too surprised by what Mr. Eddins says. Most of his writings are on the fur trade, and he seems like many other Indian-haters, enamored, envious, and willfully blind about what he can never have and never be. <<
This is my favorite statement for utter bigoted stupidity. I doubt if Carroll has read the smallpox article, or any other article on my website. If he did and still has the above opinion, he better go back and take a basic class on how to read, and after that, take another class on understanding what he reads. Wish I had these insights into a person's beliefs and character…must be a bigoted Indian thing.
Carroll is not the only one to write a book on Indians. Eighteen Indian reviewers of the Council for Indian Education must not have agree with Carroll's profound insights. The Council for Indian Education published my first book. Here is a comment from the Intertribal Education Board…well researched with good descriptions of various tribes and cultures.
>> The huge errors in what he says fly fast and furious. Most of what he claims as defense of his racism were common claims in history about 50 years ago, but few would buy them now. <<
By fifty-years ago, Carroll must mean when the pot smoking, anti-government, longhaired, university hippies started rewriting American history. Last week my websites received 446,000 hits, so far in November, there have been nearly 1.5 million hits. The two sites are referred to by over 2300 other Internet sites from all over the world. The overwhelming majority of these are educational sites, including many Indian sites…it is amazing that these huge errors that fly fast and furious have been referred to by so many other sites. Wonder how many hits Carroll gets on his New Page 1 site?
>> There are no instances of Indians trying to wipe out other Indians before European arrival. <<
It is inconceivable to me that a "Ph.D." historian would make such a claim. What happened to the Anasazi? More and more evidence is coming out that intertribal warfare, including cannibalism, was a contributing factor in the Anasazi abandoning their villages and joining the Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo Indians. Carroll certainly hasn't read, Indians of the High Plains: From the Prehistoric Period to the coming of Europeans by George E. Hyde. A good portion of the book deals with the Padouca or Apache. This will come as shock to him, but there were good books written by ethnologist who lived with and studied various Indian cultures most of their adult lives. Not that it will do any good, but I suggest he starts reading some of them. In one sense, Carroll's stupid statement is true, there is certainly no recorded instances…before the arrival of Europeans, no one could read or write.
Carroll may be a Mescalero Apache and have a degree in history, but except for quoting statements that support his own bigotry, his knowledge of Indians must be limited to the Apache. . .in order to understand something, you have to have an open mind, which he obviously lacks. At best, his comments indicate a superficial knowledge of the Plains and Northwest Territory Indians.
I could go on correcting Carroll's moronic statements, but arguing with a bigot is a waste of time. Carroll states that he is not a liberal. Liberal or conservative, he is still a "poorly educated" bigoted racist. A University professor told me once that if you graduated from college with an inquiring mind and knew how to use a library you were well educated. From Carroll's comments, he lacks one of these and doesn't know how to use the other.
What bothers me about him and other Indian activists is what they are doing to their own people. This spring, I was on the Navaho, Hopi, Havasupai, and Mojave Indian reservations. Being there to trace the travels of a Franciscan Friar, Francisco Garza, across the Mojave Desert and on to Old Oraibi, I asked questions. Not once did I find a young person (late teens through twenties) that knew anything about Garza, or much worse, anything about the local history, but from the expression in their eyes and mannerisms, they certainly knew about being anti-white. Not knowing Garza was to be expected, few people do, but not knowing anything about the history of their area and the People is a shame.
Another small point, if you are going to have all of this profound insight on someone, you at least ought to be intelligent enough to consistently spell his name right.
Please pass these comments on to Carroll.
Rob, I admired and respected your opinions. As far as I was concerned, the only thing we really disagreed on was the definition of genocide, and whether or not, genocide of the American Indians was the official policy of the United States Government. A lot of the statements you attributed to me on your website were either twisted, or I did not make them. If this is the kind of garbage you put on your website, don't bother to reply to these comments. Your email address has been added to my junk mail folder, and I won't even see it. Junk…has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
Rob's and Al's reply
I forwarded Eddins's message to Al Carroll. Al sent me a response on 1/17/07. Here's our joint response to Eddins's latest, with Al's comments again in italics:
The timing of this is more than a little ironic. I sent Mr. Eddins a reply near Thanksgiving. He responds after Christmas and New Year's, times of goodwill towards all men and thinking about turning over a new leaf, and before Martin Luther King Day. His extended clueless racist rant shows he managed to miss the spirit of all four holidays.
On your website you state that I never replied to Carroll's comments. I did not receive anything from you about this idiot. <<
Lie Number 1, as both Rob and I know. And already Eddins is showing his low character by some very childish name calling.
To reiterate, I sent the previous response (the one under the second "The debate continues" heading) to Eddins on 3/31/06. When I wrote that Eddins hadn't responded to me, he hadn't. In fact, he didn't respond until 11/27/06, when he apparently came across this page.
>> The only reason that I am wasting my time responding now is because of the sheer stupidity of his claims. If he and Churchill [by the way, nice picture of the long-haired jerk] are the kind of people you rely on, you better get off your genocide kick and start reading some basic Indian history. <<
Think if a neo-Nazi who denied the Holocaust made the same kind of statement. "You better get off claiming six million Jews were killed and read some basic Jew history."
I've read about 100 books on Native history and culture, Ned. I presume Al has read more. How about you?
>> I don't have a Ph.D. in history, but I can probably spot Carroll a couple of hundred University credit hours, and still have more hours. <<
Eddins, do you realize how unintentionally funny you're being? You make it sound like you took three or four times as long to get your degree as most people.
>> Over the last fifty years, my interest in the Plains Indians and Mountain Men has shown me that the vast majority of Indians don't know diddlysquat about their history, just as most "whites" don't know diddlysquat about their history. <<
Actually, I'd agree with you, but disagree on the causes. Let me suggest a truly great book to you, Mr. Eddins, Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. The main reason most Americans of all backgrounds don't know history is precisely because of the very boring Man On Horseback/John Wayne version of history that you and most older history books peddle.
And actually, if Eddins had ever been around Natives he'd find that those who get their history from their elders and oral traditions are incredibly knowledgeable. It's not unusual to see Six Nations kids who can recite broken treaties and know each clause by heart, along with what their ancestors did in response.
>> My point is, being an Indian does not automatically make you an authority on Indian history, and being a non-Indian does not disqualify you from studying Indians. <<
Eddins, you might have better luck arguing with me about things I actually said instead of nonsense you make up. You are the one who claimed no Indian can be trusted to be truthful about Native history. You are the one who claims skin color guarantees "objectivity," a concept most social scientists reject anyway.
>> The one thing I agree with Carroll on is one of us knows little about Indian history. The question is which one? <<
Let's see: I was trained by some of the finest scholars in the country at Purdue and Arizona State, and received degrees from both, and a great deal of praise for my work from both dissertation committees. The scholars who evaluated me were both Native and white. Look them up yourself and prepare to be impressed:
Peter Iverson, the premiere scholar in the country for Navajo history and President of the Western History Association.
James Riding In (Pawnee)
Donna Akers (Choctaw)
Donald Parman and Charles Cutter, who are both conservative whites. Cutter is so conservative, Opus Dei (a conservative Catholic organization) tried to recruit him.
So they would all tell you that I do know what I'm talking about, and you don't. So would the university presses that have published my work.
>> These are a few of Carroll's moronic comments – <<
This is yet another instance of Eddins showing himself to be childish when he can't refute my arguments.
Let's note that Ned is blocking our e-mail because he refuses to hear any more discomforting facts. That's hardly the tactic of someone who's sure of his position.
>> My degrees (B.S., M.S. D.V.M., and a two-year post-doctoral in Molecular Biology) are in the sciences where you were required to know the pertinent literature for any comments you advanced as being factual. <<
Oh brother... This is bad science on your part, Eddins, and you know it, or should.
>> I was trained at USAMEOS at Fitzsimmons AMC in the Army as a medical equipment repair technician. The 38 weeks of accelerated military schooling is equal to an Associate's degree. But I know damned well it didn't give me any grounding in the social sciences. <<
Your science degrees don't give you any training in the social sciences, anymore than my PhD would make a good surgeon. Apples and oranges.
>> Based on his Tecumseh comment, this is a totally foreign concept to Carroll. I agree that while Tecumseh was in the South trying to gain support from the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek Nations, Tenskwatawa hurt the possibilities of any kind of an alliance by engaging Harrison at Tippecanoe. Regardless of this, Tecumseh did not unite most of the tribes. <<
Tell it to the Smithsonian, Eddins.
>> Indian tribes hated and distrusted each other more than the white man that was out to, according to you and Carroll, "exterminate" them. <<
According to us? No. What you're doing, Eddins, is being racist towards whites by lumping them all together. You may not realize it, because what you do is quite common in the older history textbooks, trying to "normalize" racism by making it sound like "Everybody was racist back then."
I do the opposite with my classes. I take care to point out many whites were NOT racist, from De las Casas to today.
But the policy of extermination was quite clear in the words of the Founding Fathers:
"George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack Iroquois people. Washington stated, "lay waste all the settlements around...that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed." In the course of the carnage and annihilation of Indian people, Washington also instructed his general not "listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected." (Stannard, David E. AMERICAN HOLOCAUST. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 118-121.)
In 1783, Washington's anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves: "Both being beast of prey, tho' they differ in shape," he said. George Washington's policies of extermination were realized in his troops behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois "from the hips downward to make boot tops or leggings." Indians who survived the attacks later re-named the nation's first president as "Town Destroyer." Approximately 28 of 30 Seneca towns had been destroyed within a five year period. (Ibid)
Thomas Jefferson... In 1807, Thomas Jefferson instructed his War Department that, should any Indians resist against America stealing Indian lands, the Indian resistance must be met with "the hatchet." Jefferson continued, "And...if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe," he wrote, "we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi." Jefferson, the slave owner, continued, "in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them." (Ibid) In 1812, Jefferson said that American was obliged to push the backward Indians "with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains." One year later Jefferson continued anti-Indian statements by adding that America must "pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach." (Ibid)
Theodore Roosevelt... Roosevelt once said, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth." (Stannard, Op.Cit.)
Needless to say, Eddins presents no evidence for his claim that Indians hated and distrusted each other more than they did the white man. That's because no such evidence exists.
But evidence for the opposite position does exist. Tribes united several times to fight the encroaching Americans, which shows they distrusted the white man more than each other.
Tecumseh great, other Indians not?
>> Tecumseh was one of the truly great men of American history. One thing that set him apart from the vast majority of Indians and white men was his intelligence, oratory skills, and the fact that he did not allow warriors with him to torture and mutilate prisoners; a real contrast from Geronimo and the Apache. <<
More racism from Eddins. Oratory has always been highly valued by every NDN nation I know of, something often commented on by just about everyone.
Yes, Ned, you're starting to slip up. Did you really want to imply that most Indians were unintelligent, inarticulate savages?
You can see some of the quotes Al refers to on my Savage Indians page.
Let me recommend another book to you, Eddins. War Without Mercy by Dower. Read about how white American soldiers routinely mutilated Japanese, used their body parts for trophies, etc.
Or if you want to bring up torture, how about explaining Abu Ghraib? Explain the Iraqi officers beaten to death with Donald Rumsfeld's full knowledge.
>> Since there are no facts to support this ridiculous assumption Carroll justifies the unofficial policy by quoting army and government people that hated Indians. These are statements, not facts. <<
You claim to be a scientist, but don't know that statements CAN BE facts? Get a dictionary.
Actually, the claim about the unofficial US policy was mine, not Al's. In case you don't know how history works, we deduce what people meant by what they said and did. The statements of Washington, Jefferson, et al. are prima facie evidence of what they believed the US policy to be and what they intended to do about it. Regardless of what was written down, they were the ones who determined what actually happened.
The best example of that is probably Andrew Jackson. The US Supreme Court told him what the official US policy toward Indian sovereignty was. He ignored the court's ruling and made his own policy: to force the Five Civilized Tribes on a semi-genocidal march to Oklahoma.
So which is it, Ned? Was the Trail of Tears an official US policy or an unofficial one? Does it matter? Either way, it's an example of a genocidal US policy toward the Indians.
In fact, the official US policy was to sign treaties with Indians and honor them. Are you seriously arguing that the US government carried out these official policies to the letter? That the government did nothing to the Indians except what was written in these official policies?
This is so specious an argument that it barely deserves comment. Every broken treaty is an example of an unofficial policy trumping an official one. For starters, Ned, you have some 400 examples of unofficial policies (broken treaties) to deal with. Good luck.
>> Makes me shudder to think what a bigot like Carroll is teaching junior college students as being factual. <<
An unapologetic racist like Eddins calls me a "bigot" for pointing out racism? Truly Orwellian.
>> Has this idiot ever been to Wyoming? My grandparents homesteaded in Wyoming in 1890, and I have never heard of, or read of, the term "prairie nigger." Unless it is some bigot like Carroll, I doubt if you could find anyone in Wyoming that has heard that term. Carroll's boldface fabrication proves my point about bigoted activists not allowing the truth to stand in the way of their ridiculous rantings. <<
Eddins, do you ever bother to check his facts before making a fool of yourself repeatedly? Obviously not.
"One thing about Cindy is an ex-boyfriend she had. Joe was what in Wyoming we called a prairie nigger." call a prairie nigger. I'm sure that in other states they call them that too, but here it sounds worse. So the prairie nigger, Joe, Cindy's ex-boyfriend, turned up dead in the hills
A quick search turns up almost 200 sites that mention the term being used in Wyoming.
And yes, Eddins, I lived and worked in Wyoming for a while, heard the term all the time.
I've never been to Wyoming, but I've seen the phrase "prairie nigger" several times on the Internet. It's enshrined in my Stereotype of the Month contest if you want to see it for yourself. I'm afraid your ignorance of the term tells us more about you than it does about us.
>> Nedder doesn't seem to know the most basic things about Indian warfare, that by its nature it was extremely LIMITED. It was never intended to conquer or destroy [What a bunch of garbage], just raid for food, get control of hunting or fur trapping areas… [Yes, by killing, or enslaving, the people that were already there], or get personal revenge for individual losses. <<
Like most of what you write, Eddins, a lot of anger over your bigotry and racist hatred of Indians being challenged, but no facts.
See Louis L'Amour's Last of the Breed for more on Indian warfare.
>> Carroll's dissertation and book starts with World War I, so what makes him any kind of an authority on early Indian warfare? <<
Learn to read, Eddins. My book starts in colonial times.
Warfare as natural as breathing?
>> Warfare for an Indian was as NATURAL as breathing. The only way a young brave could advance himself within the tribe was through warfare. <<
There goes your racism again, Eddins, claiming "all Indians are the same."
What about these tribes?
By some estimates as much as 70% of all tribes had relatively peaceful or even pacifist traditions. Even the supposedly most warlike, the Apache, were at peace for long stretches of history. Look up the history of Apaches at the Janos Presidio.
I haven't seen any statistics, but again, I've read many books on Native history. Al's 70% tallies with what I've read. Namely, that most tribes were peaceful as a rule.
Advancement for its own sake is a largely western or "white" value. Advancement within a tribe is based on what you can do for your people. Medicine people, clan mothers, peace chiefs, great orators or wise elders all are highly regarded without having to be great warriors. You've been reading too many Social Darwinism books.
>> a war party leader sought spiritual guidance through a vision quest <<
Your ignorance of the most basic Indian cultures and histories is showing again. Vision quests are for adolescent boys.
>> or paid the owner of a medicine bundle to intercede for him. <<
Paying for ceremony is considered highly offensive. New Age people think it's OK, Native traditionalists don't. Nobody "owns" medicine bundles. They have keepers who guard them.
>> If Carroll's idea of Indian warfare does not include stealing horses as a major goal of war parties…which he doesn't mention above…then he is totally ignorant of Plains Indian warfare. <<
Let's see, let's count the ways you've been ignorant so far Eddins. The best you've been able to do is point to your own misunderstandings. Obviously raiding includes raiding for horses. Give yourself the Homer Simpson "DOH!" Award.
The Plains is only one of seven or eight subregions of Indian culture. Like many Americans, Eddins may have confused Plains Indians with all Indians. Plains tribes engaged in warfare more often then others, but they comprised a small minority of the total number of tribes.
>> This is my favorite statement for utter bigoted stupidity. <<
This is one of my favorite statements for Eddins' bizarre hypocrisy. For a man who claims skin color guarantees objectivity to call anyone a bigot is just plain amusing.
>> I doubt if Carroll has read the smallpox article, or any other article on my website. <<
Actually I did, and you know it, Eddins, because I replied to a number of points your articles falsely claimed.
Yes, Ned, it's patently obvious that Al read your article. You're either growing forgetful or deliberately fibbing about how we got to this point.
>> Wish I had these insights into a person's beliefs and character… <<
More unintentional humor from you, Eddins. You just admitted you have no insight.
>> The Council for Indian Education published my first book. Here is a comment from the Intertribal Education Board <<
Have they read your claims that genocide never happened? I doubt it, or you would have made a big deal about it.
>> By fifty-years ago, Carroll must mean when the pot smoking,anti-government, longhaired, university hippies started rewriting American history. <<
This is hilarious! Eddins, you must search under your bed every night for those hippies you hate and fear so much!
Your ignorance of the most basic historiography is really telling. The hippie counterculture didn't have much influence on writing Native history.
Do you not know how to count? Guess not. Fifty years ago was the mid 1950s, well before hippies.
Hippies rewrote Native history?
Actually, World War II was a far bigger influence. The defeat of the Nazis and the revelation of the Holocaust made it much harder to defend bigotry in history like Eddins' writing. In anthropology people such as Melvin Herksovitz introduced cultural relativism.
The civil rights movement finally started to make an impact on the history field by the '70s, with more nonwhites moving into the field. But the hippies? Almost no influence.
Incidentally, Eddins, the only longhaired men I've met in academia have been other Indians. Never seen pot at a history gathering. Historians parties are pretty dull. No one drinks more than a few beers and everyone goes home by ten, sometimes by nine.
Offhand, the only hippies or ex-hippie I can think of in academia is David Horowitz, and he's a hard right conservative, some would say a reactionary like yourself.
>> Wonder how many hits Carroll gets on his New Page 1 site? <<
Since I don't have a "new page 1" site, I wonder what you're talking about.
Eddins may be referring to Al's entertaining blog on David Yeagley.
In any case, Ned, this site is getting about 60,000 hits a day, according to the latest stats. How's your site doing in comparison? I hope you're pleased with the exposure you're getting here, because I sure am.
>> What happened to the Anasazi? More and more evidence is coming out that intertribal warfare, including cannibalism, was a contributing factor in the Anasazi abandoning their villages and joining the Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo Indians. <<
You partly answered your own question, Eddins. They joined other nations. They weren't "destroyed" or "wiped out." The Hopi call them their ancestors, Hisatsinom, People of Long Ago.
You'd know that if you bothered to do something fairly basic [research], like Ask An Indian, instead of relying on dubious nonsense like the "cannibalism" claim. Most archaeologists and anthropologists believe the "cannibalism" so called "evidence" is likely erosion, animal toothmarks, or other far more likely explanations. The fact that you'd bring up something so dubious says a lot about how you love to believe the worst about Indians, no matter how feeble the evidence.
Even if the Anasazi engaged in cannibalism in a few cases, it's no different from Americans, who also engaged in cannibalism in a few cases. There's no evidence that cannibalism was a culturewide practice among the Anasazi.See Indians as Cannibals for more on the subject.
>> This will come as shock to him, but there were good books written by ethnologist who lived with and studied various Indian cultures most of their adult lives. <<
No shock at all. Once again, you'll have better luck arguing with me about things I actually say instead of nonsense you make up because you can't answer my arguments.
>> there is certainly no recorded instances…before the arrival of Europeans, no one could read or write. <<
That's incredibly ignorant of you yet again, Eddins. You never heard of Aztec codices?
The Iroquois Law of the Great Peace?
The Lenape Red Record?
Or the many dozens of other Native writing systems from pre Columbian times?
Cree and Blackfoot
To be fair, the last example seems to have occurred after the Europeans arrived. But I'd say Al is winning the battle of the scholars here. He's cited many more sources than Eddins has.
Eddins knows Indians...or not
>> This spring, I was on the Navaho, Hopi, Havasupai, and Mojave Indian reservations. Being there to trace the travels of a Franciscan Friar, Francisco Garza, across the Mojave Desert and on to Old Oraibi, I asked questions. Not once did I find a young person (late teens through twenties) that knew anything about Garza <<
Oh brother. Look up Eurocentric, Eddins. It's what you are. Just because a missionary is important to you is no reason he would be important to Indians.
In fact, since few Navajos and even fewer Hopi are Catholic, obviously Garza didn't have much luck converting people.
>> but from the expression in their eyes and mannerisms, they certainly knew about being anti-white. <<
The amazing Eddins! He can read Indian minds just by looking at their "expression in their eyes and mannerisms!"
Since you come across as incredibly racist, not to mention obnoxious and patronizing, did it even occur to you they were responding to your lack of the most basic manners and human decency?
Obviously not. Eddins, you have trouble seeing past your own nose, much less understanding Indians. In fifty years of "study" you understand next to nothing.
Again, Eddins presents no evidence for his claims. All he says is that he can tell Indians don't know their own history by the look in their eyes. This is flatly ridiculous.
These side issues are irrelevant to the main issue: whether the US committed genocide. But as Al said, they reveal a lot about Eddins's thinking. According to Ned, Indians are savage and warlike, lacking in intelligence, and ignorant of their own history. Can you say "stereotypical"?
>> Rob, I admired and respected your opinions. As far as I was concerned, the only thing we really disagreed on was the definition of genocide, and whether or not, genocide of the American Indians was the official policy of the United States Government. <<
Sorry Eddins, but I think I know Rob a little bit better than you. He can see through your pretty blatant appeal for White Solidarity Against the Mean Dark Skinned Savages. It's a pretty amazing reversal from before, when Eddins was spitting insults at Rob with almost every sentence.
Eddins, you remind me more than ever that one must pray for one's enemies. I truly pity you, and not simply because you probably spend much of your time gulping down Maalox and Tums to cope with all the bile and venom in your system. Someone who spends his life studying and seeking to understand what he hates and envies, as Eddins does Indians, will never truly grasp what we are about until he gets to know us. And someone with such hatred that he screeches "Bigot!" at anyone who dares question racism may be beyond hope.
But he can serve as an example to everyone of what not to be.
Thanks for your input, Al. A few more comments:
>> A lot of the statements you attributed to me on your website were either twisted, or I did not make them. <<
This statement is flatly false. Everything I've attributed to you comes directly from your website or your e-mail. I can prove it to anyone who's interested.
>> If this is the kind of garbage you put on your website, don't bother to reply to these comments. <<
No bother. It's part of my mission to educate the uneducated. Now you've learned why you were wrong about the definition of genocide. And many other things as well.
>> Your email address has been added to my junk mail folder, and I won't even see it. Junk…has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
Three-word translation: "Ignorance is bliss."
Let's pass over the name-calling for now and return to the main issue. I questioned Eddins because he said the US didn't commit genocide according to the dictionary definition of the word. I said it did. Here's the point Eddins hasn't touched:
Destroying a nation is the same as destroying a national group, which fits the American Heritage definition. So yes, the US government committed genocide even by the narrowest of definitions.
Do you have a rebuttal, Ned? If so, let us know.
. . .
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