January 29, 2009

No colonization, no United States?

Another goofball comment that I have to respond to from "Go Back Where You Came From":Those [colonizers] that are descended from the Europeans that founded the United States and built the country are the true natives, for without the original European colonisers, there would be no United States today!My response:

For starters, the colonists at places like Jamestown and Plymouth would've died if the Indians hadn't given them charity (i.e., welfare handouts) in the form of food. So there might be no United States today without the Indians either.

Writers have speculated what would've happened if disease and warfare hadn't killed so many Indians. I've discussed this speculation in Was Native Defeat Inevitable? Short answer to the question: No, it wasn't inevitable. If history had changed at one or two key points, a patchwork of multiracial, multicultural Native and Anglo nations might inhabit North America today.

And who's to say if this patchwork would be any better or worse than the United States? Has world history suffered greatly because North America was split between Canada, the US, and Mexico? Would things have been better if the US controlled the entire continent rather than only 40% of it? If you think so, prove it.

If splitting the continent into three large countries plus several smaller ones was no impediment to progress, who's to say splitting it into seven or ten medium-sized countries would've been an impediment? Spain and Great Britain established worldwide empires from much smaller land bases than the US has. So greatness has no necessary correlation with size.

Again, the "necessity" of European colonization is something you'd have to prove--and of course you can't. So spare us your supremacist talk of how the US is perfect and unique and irreplaceable. None of these things is necessarily true.

A modern Indian nation

If Europe hadn't colonized North America, it might've come to be dominated by the United States of the Haudenosaunee (USH): a peaceful and democratic nation founded on the principles of the Iroquois League. Perhaps this nation wouldn't have cleared the forests, killed the wildlife, and polluted the air and water, so the continent would be much better off environmentally. Perhaps this nation wouldn't have imported slaves from Africa, so it wouldn't have needed a Civil War or a civil rights movement. Perhaps the lack of genocide would've inspired Adolf Hitler to stick to house-painting rather than instigate World War II and the Holocaust.

Again, who knows? If you disagree, prove your case. Don't bother me with worthless opinions about how great the United States is.

In any case, being a successful "colonizer" still doesn't make you a "native." The two words are still near opposites. So your "Europeans as 'true natives'" comment is flatly wrong.

But thanks for demonstrating the ideology of white supremacy so plainly. Europeans "made" this country, so they "own" it. Everyone else--blacks, Latinos, Asians, even Native Americans--is unimportant or irrelevant. Congratulations on finding an incredible (but stupid) way of redefining "non-native" as "native."

For more on the subject, see The Myth of Western Superiority and Multicultural Origins of Civilization.

Below:  America's first welfare recipients.



"Please, sir, I want some more."

14 comments:

Simone said...

uhm..I will send my left leg to one country, my right hand to another and the rest of me will stay right here where it could waste precious time wondering what would have been rather than dealing with what was and is and getting on with it...

dmarks said...

Well, some of us do like reading Harry Turtledove and other "alternate history" novels.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps this nation wouldn't have cleared the forests, killed the wildlife, and polluted the air and water, so the continent would be much better off environmentally."

In an alternate reality where Indian nations adopted technology that still might have happened. It was greed we have to thank for those terrible attacks on the environment and greed isn't exactly limited to the various European cultures.

"Perhaps this nation wouldn't have imported slaves from Africa, so it wouldn't have needed a Civil War or a civil rights movement."

Let's see considering that several tribes owned slaves, it's a fair bet that a wealthy Indian nation might have imported them.

"Perhaps the lack of genocide would've inspired Adolf Hitler to stick to house-painting rather than instigate World War II and the Holocaust."

Considering that Hitler was also influenced by the Armenian genocide and the Boer concentration camps it still would have happened. I'm guessing you didn't pay very much attention in history class.

Anonymous said...

Heh for some reason forgot this..

"Perhaps this nation wouldn't have imported slaves from Africa, so it wouldn't have needed a Civil War or a civil rights movement."

Also there's the fact that the civil war was not about slavery; that's a complete myth.

dmarks said...

The Civil War was about slavery.

You do make some good points about how a different America might have been as "bad" or worse in different ways.

All we can say for sure is that this alternate America would not have been called America.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm still no reply from Rob 'Americans are ignorant' Schmidt. *Watches tumble weed blow by.* Not exactly a surprise.

Rob said...

Here's a reply, cowardly Anonymous who won't sign his name and can't quote accurately:

I've addressed the differences between Western and Native views of the environment at length in postings such as Ecological Indian Talk and Dennis Prager and The Ecological Indian. Read 'em and educate yourself.

I covered the slavery issue in Indians Owned Slaves. Short answer: Native slavery wasn't as inhuman as Western slavery. Again, read it and educate yourself.

I discussed the sources of Hitler's genocidal impulses in Adolf Hitler: A True American. Once again, read it and learn.

Rob said...

Considering I wrote "perhaps" on all my suppositions, your stupid rejoinders are just that...stupid. What a colossal waste of time to say things that might've happened, might not have happened. Thanks for that "deep" insight, Anonymous.

Clearly you're clueless that I've been writing about Natives for more than a decade. That I've published dozens of articles on them. That my website has some 1,900 pages on them. That this blog now contains some 5,500 postings on them.

I look forward to the first time you tell me something I don't know and haven't covered. Alas, it hasn't happened yet. I suggest you try an area other than math, science, art, history, culture, politics, or religion, because these are some of the things I've studied.

Yes, keep trying. One of these days you'll find something you're less ignorant about than I am. Good luck with your hunt...you'll need it.

Rob said...

Simone, you could say the same thing about every book, article, or speech. Not to mention every work of fiction or art--every movie, TV show, novel, short story, comic book, cartoon, play, performance, video, photograph, painting, sculpture, album, or concert. Are you seriously arguing that we should never "waste precious time wondering"? That we should just roll up our sleeves, pick up a hammer or shovel, and "get on with it"?

What's your solution when Americans aren't aware of or don't understand a Native issue? For instance, Indian mascots? Is there some physical action that will eliminate offensive mascots faster than educating people in writing? If so, what is it?

In short, thanks for letting us know that every Native artist and intellectual is wasting his or her time. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure they'd disagree with you. And so do I.

Anonymous said...

"Here's a reply, cowardly Anonymous who won't sign his name and can't quote accurately"

Like I posted before I don't have a google account and I don't need one so I don't see any reason to sign my name. Plus what exactly does my bravery have to do with the argument at hand? Unless you're planning to challenge me to a knife fight I don't see how that's relevant.

"I've addressed the differences between Western and Native views of the environment at length in postings such as Ecological Indian Talk and Dennis Prager and The Ecological Indian. Read 'em and educate yourself."

That's not my point; the point is that people of all races are equally capable of being greedy corporate 'rapists' of the environment. I wasn't trying to paint ancient Indians as being harmful to earth just for the record.

"I covered the slavery issue in Indians Owned Slaves. Short answer: Native slavery wasn't as inhuman as Western slavery. Again, read it and educate yourself."

First of all slavery in general is horrible no matter how 'humane it is. Secondly wealthy Indians who belonged to the confederacy owned slaves 'white man style' all of this proves my point; that slavery would have still existed under Indians in this alternate world of yours.

"I discussed the sources of Hitler's genocidal impulses in Adolf Hitler: A True American. Once again, read it and learn."

You're missing the point, even if you take away the influence of the Indian genocide his rise to power and the holocaust still would have happened. However if the social conditions were different and if the Armenian and Indian genocides had never occured and if the British empire had never existed then yes Hitler wouldn't have come to power. Not to mention that paper of yours leaves out how the Armenian genocide and the british empire influenced him.

Anonymous said...

"Considering I wrote "perhaps" on all my suppositions, your stupid rejoinders are just that...stupid. What a colossal waste of time to say things that might've happened, might not have happened. Thanks for that "deep" insight, Anonymous."

Yeah and I pointed out how such suppositions are historically inaccurate or probably wouldn't have turned out that way. It wasn't that much of a waste of time; I always enjoy discussing history.

"Clearly you're clueless that I've been writing about Natives for more than a decade. That I've published dozens of articles on them. That my website has some 1,900 pages on them. That this blog now contains some 5,500 postings on them."

Yeah I'm clueless about your past because I don't really care.

"I look forward to the first time you tell me something I don't know and haven't covered. Alas, it hasn't happened yet. I suggest you try an area other than math, science, art, history, culture, politics, or religion, because these are some of the things I've studied."

Tell me does your spine ever get sore from patting yourself on the back too much? I wouldn't give yourself too much credit; you seem to be unable to argue without resorting to childish insults.

*Note: the words 'ancient Indians' were a poor choice of words, that was a mistake.

Rob said...

Re "what exactly does my bravery have to do with the argument at hand?" What do Ward Churchill's quotes or generalizations about American ignorance--things you keep bringing up--have to do with the argument at hand? Hypocritical much?

Re "I pointed out how such suppositions are historically inaccurate or probably wouldn't have turned out that way": Pointing out that some Indians were greedy and owned slaves isn't the same as pointing out historical inaccuracies, since I didn't claim Indians were never greedy and never owned slaves. Again, I don't see any evidence that you understand the concept of a generalization.

Re "First of all slavery in general is horrible no matter how humane it is": I never said it wasn't. But the Native version was generally more humane than the Western version.

Re "wealthy Indians who belonged to the confederacy owned slaves 'white man style'": White man-style includes buying and shipping slaves across oceans and continents. No Indian nation ever had a slave system as horrific as that.

Re "even if you take away the influence of the Indian genocide his rise to power and the holocaust still would have happened": That's your opinion, not a fact. Since we can't know what Hitler would've done in different circumstances, don't bother asserting that we can.

Re "that paper of yours leaves out how the Armenian genocide and the british empire influenced him": I wasn't trying to be comprehensive. I was trying to highlight an aspect of Hitler's mania that isn't well known.

I discussed the Armenian genocide in one of my Hitler pages. Again, if you knew what I'd written, you wouldn't be wasting time chiding me for ignoring things I haven't ignored.

Re "Yeah I'm clueless about your past": You could've stopped at "Yeah I'm clueless" and saved time. ;-)

Re "Tell me does your spine ever get sore from patting yourself on the back too much?" No, but my leg is getting sore from kicking your butt.

Re "you seem to be unable to argue without resorting to childish insults": Funny coming from the hypocrite who wrote:

"I'm guessing you didn't pay very much attention in history class."

and

"Hmmm still no reply from Rob 'Americans are ignorant' Schmidt. *Watches tumble weed blow by.* Not exactly a surprise."

In case you haven't noticed, my so-called childish insults are closely attuned to your childish insults. Stop attacking me personally and I'll do the same.

Stephen said...

"What do Ward Churchill's quotes or generalizations about American ignorance--things you keep bringing up--have to do with the argument at hand? Hypocritical much?"

Where do I mention Ward here? My point about how you quoted him was he's an extremely bad or dodgy source (even before the facts about him came
out).

"Pointing out that some Indians were greedy and owned slaves isn't the same as pointing out historical inaccuracies, since I didn't claim Indians were never greedy and never owned slaves. Again, I don't see any evidence that you understand the concept of a generalization."

I never mentioned anything about Indians being greedy ('grats on putting words in my mouth) sadly slavery was widespread throughout the world; hence no reason to single out Indians as 'greedy'. Also you completely missed my point; if some Indian tribes owned slaves it's a fair bet that an thriving Indian nation would have imported them? You see the logic?

"I never said it wasn't. But the Native version was generally more humane than the Western version."

You miss my point.

"White man-style includes buying and shipping slaves across oceans and continents. No Indian nation ever had a slave system as horrific as that."

While they didn't import them the Confederate tribes did own them the same a rich southern did (which is why all the Blacks claiming Cherokee ancestry are funny in a sick way). Also let's say the tribes who had their own version of slavery survived to be powerful and prosperous; why wouldn't they import and export slaves? Of course we're getting hypothetical.

"That's your opinion, not a fact. Since we can't know what Hitler would've done in different circumstances, don't bother asserting that we can."

Point taken.

"I wasn't trying to be comprehensive. I was trying to highlight an aspect of Hitler's mania that isn't well known."

Actually you said your piece was about his impulses in general, so I thought you were trying to be comprehensive.

"I discussed the Armenian genocide in one of my Hitler pages. Again, if you knew what I'd written, you wouldn't be wasting time chiding me for ignoring things I haven't ignored."

My mistake, I missed it. Also this quote:

"If you have evidence Hitler was as familiar with the Armenian genocide as he was with the Indian genocide...or that he denied the American influence in favor of other influences...go ahead and provide it. I'll add it to my site. Until then, you haven't undermined my argument...as usual."

Makes me doubt how much you know about how the Armenian genocide (which isn't as widely known as the Indian genocide) influenced Hitler.

"No, but my leg is getting sore from kicking your butt."

Classic example of someone giving themselves a little too much credit.

"Funny coming from the hypocrite who wrote:"

When I mean insults I'm talking about calling someone names and so on, the stuff I wrote falls under the category of sarcasm (I didn't critique you for that).

Stephen said...

Also the title 'Hitler: A True American' is a tad offensive; 'Hitler: A True American President' would be better.