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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

This Non Sequitur cartoon equates the grievances of the Pilgrims and Indians. It implies both were equally at fault, their complaints equally valid (or invalid). Not so.

In fact, the Indians generously welcomed their uninvited guests. The Pilgrims took advantage of this hospitality. The Indians owned the land; the Pilgrims stole it. The Indians signed treaties; the Pilgrims (okay, their descendants) broke them.

So the two sides weren't equally right or wrong in their disputes. The Indians were generally right and the Pilgrims were generally wrong. This cartoon misrepresents that truth and promotes a Eurocentric view of affairs.

How does that hurt anyone? Well, if Indians are equally to blame for any problem, why should the rest of us do anything to rectify the situation? Let them take care of their own mess. That's a reasonable conclusion if you buy Non Sequitur's unreasonable premise.

Also note the implication that no real solutions were available to the conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans. In reality, they were available. The Europeans simply had to live up to their word, obey the precepts in their Bible. They didn't need an extraordinary solution, such as a horse conciliator, because they instigated the conflicts. They could've stopped them as easily as they started them.

Related links
Ten little Pilgrims and Indians
Those evil European invaders
Native comic strips vs. comic books

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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