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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

A correspondent brought the following website to my attention:

Early American Pioneers Held Captive or Killed by Indians

Natives reply

[Y]our post about the bounty is, to say the least, racist and uncalled for. Nowhere in this did there appear to be a reflection of sympathy, disgust, whatever, at such a practice. I'd wager, you are unaware the term "redskin" comes out of this practice. Bounty was paid for scalps (a French bright idea and taught in this country) and a "redskin" was worth twice as much as a white one. Now you may realize why Native People abhor the Washington's team's use of this label?

Sympathetic posts about all notorious mass killers over time would not be allowed. To use this bounty topic on such an obviously "slanted towards the Europeans" site is gross, racist, and in very poor taste.

Firehair Shining Spirit


[C]onsider what a people would do in order to defend themselves, their families and their way of life against a brutal, invading force. It seems to me they would have 2 choices...1) roll over and say, oh please annihilate us, our families our children and our values or 2) fight to defend their home with any means at their disposal. I never said that the Indians didn't fight back. In fact they did, ferociously! But that was after they had exhausted all peaceful means to convince their new neighbors to respect them, their land and their way of life.

It really seems to me that you are not interested in presenting a balanced accounting of history, nor are you open to the fact that there is ALWAYS at least two sides to every story. The perpetuation of such one-sided, racist thinking is what I consider to be, in great part, responsible for all the hatred, intolerance and misunderstanding in the world.

I'm sure it has never occurred to you that your web site, in its current form, has caused pain to many people and helped to perpetuate intolerance and misunderstanding. But I do ask you to consider how a web site representing the Holocaust as being the fault of the Jewish people (if they had just left when things started getting bad, all those innocent Germans wouldn't have had to die) would be interpreted by the Jewish community. Because that is exactly what you are saying.

First Nations people were subjected to a Holocaust of their own. And it was at the hands of the Europeans and eventually (and especially) the Americans. And you know something? They were much more successful wiping out the Indian than Hitler was with the Jew. Both events were examples of human beings at their most evil and most intolerant.

But, in America, our children are only taught about one Holocaust, because a large percentage of people such as yourself, consider (and teach) that what happened to us was really our own fault. Right? All we are asking for is a little sensitivity. Do we not at least deserve that?


Rob's comment
Almost every page on this site or linked to it presents only the American colonists' view of Indian warfare. Even the title's use of the high-minded word "pioneer" is prejudicial. It presumes the colonists were doing something noble rather than ignoble.

To give a good example, the following page

Colonial and Indian Policy:  King Philip's War

presents an extremely one-sided view of the war. A more balanced presentation would include the Indians' position. In contrast, consider this excerpt on King Philip's War from Lies My Teacher Told Me:

Perhaps the most violent war began in 1676, when white New Englanders executed three Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoags attacked—King Philip's War. One reason for the end of peace was that the fur trade, which had linked Natives and Europeans economically, was winding down in Massachusetts. Textbooks could present students with the Native side of this conflict by quoting the Wampanoag leader Metacomet, whom the English called King Philip:

The English who first came to this country were but a handful of people, forlorn, poor, and distressed. My father was then sachem; he relieved their distresses in the most kind and hospitable manner. He gave them land to plant and build upon. They flourished and increased. By various means they got possessed of a great part of his territory. But he still remained their friend until he died. My elder brother became sachem—he was seized and confined and thereby thrown into illness and died. Soon after I became sachem they disarmed all my people. Their land was taken; but a small part of the dominion of my ancestors remains. I am determined not to live until I have no country.

The "Captive" site does note that "our Indian brothers & sisters have their own stories to tell regarding their way of life among the whites." Yes, and Anglo and Native historians also have views of these events—views that aren't represented here. As Ms. Firehair says, "Putting up more information that continues the whitewash and Clorox job doesn't help."

The site's owner, Margie Glover-Daniels, claims the site is for "family historians descended from those who were taken captive by Indians." And that its purpose is "family genealogy." How a gruesome litany of Indian scalp markings contributes to Anglo family genealogy isn't clear. Postings like this seem only prejudicial.

In any case, those descended from Indian captives may have Indian blood themselves, or want to know the facts about their ancestors' captors. Either way, that requires accurate and unbiased information. Ms. Glover-Daniels should note her site's biases or, better yet, eliminate them.

Related links
Savage Indians

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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