May 04, 2007

Virginia's Indians tout "mythology"?

Who speaks for the American Indian?Chief Adams is not talking about the unprovoked mass murder of 347 of men, women and children on March 22, 1622, by Opechancanough, half-brother to Wahunsonacock, commonly known as Chief Powhatan. Nor is he talking about Powhatan's ruthless policies towards fellow Indian tribes. Adams, like Custelow, is fudging on the facts.

He and others like him are capitalizing on America's birthday at Jamestown to train people to reject the last 400 years of historical interpretation in favor of what I call "the new mythology" of Jamestown.

This new mythology is "new" because it has recently been invented.

It's trendy. It's hip. It's also baloney.

And it's even more insidious than the absurd portrayal of a provocative Pocahontas and her environmentally conscious animal kingdom presented by Walt Disney.

The new mythology teaches that America was founded by ruthless Christians who, very much like Nazis, engaged in a "holocaust" against an innocent and peace-loving people. One "new mythology" exhibition in Jamestown portrays the Indians as "in harmony with the life that surrounds them." On the other hand, America's Founding Fathers, we are told, came from a land of "limited opportunity" ravaged by economic despair and governed by a "small elite."
Comment:  So Europeans weren't ruled by a small elite? Then who exactly were they ruled by? Talk about your invented mythology.

Phillips thinks Indians are rewriting history because their oral traditions lack documentation. In contrast, Europeans wrote down their beliefs and motivations. Let's see what they thought in their own words:[W]e bestow suitable favors and special graces on those Catholic kings and princes, ... athletes and intrepid champions of the Christian faith ... to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and ... to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate ... possessions, and goods, and to convert them to ... their use and profit ...

Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455
[King George] has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers . . . the merciless savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1776
Gee, it's good to know those Europeans didn't intend to harm the Natives. I'd hate to think what would've happened if they did.


Michael Collins Dunn said...

This is the kind of nonsense one sees a lot from WorldNet Daily,which has a far-right fundamentalist flavor. The fact that the Jamestown 400 folks have been as open as they have to the Virginia tribes deserves credit, I think.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
We should not waste the opportunity to get Don Imus and David Yeagley included here as modern fundamentalists. Their background families MUST have come through Ellis Island, after all. There was a special on TV today that said 30% of America's current population had such an arrival. writerfella thinks that such a figure way is low and the actual percentage is far higher. Natives, it should be noted, knew of the island and picnicked there quite often. But none of the Native people had that place as their original landing spot...
All Best
Russ Bates