"If they were assimilated, within a decade they'd probably be doing as well as the rest of us."
By Julian Brave NoiseCat
Ingraham did not point out Paul's historical revisionism, but Democrats and Native leaders did.
The Democratic National Committee said in a press release that Paul revealed a "shocking lack of historical and cultural awareness" about Native people.
This history includes warfare, forced removal, broken treaties and unkept promises, as well as the more recent, but often forgotten, record of abuse and cultural genocide suffered by Native American children through the boarding school system of the 19th and 20th centuries. That assimilation policy was designed to "kill the Indian and save the man."
"Sen. Paul's statements harken back to a disastrous era of federal policies that aimed to terminate tribal governments and eradicate Native American cultures," said PaaWee Rivera, a Pueblo of Pojoaque tribal member and the DNC's director of Native American engagement, in the press release.
The statements are controversial and offensive to many, as they reflect a continuation of colonial settler ideology that sponsored assimilationist policies, which had horrible repercussions for Native and Indigenous communities throughout the Americas.
"If only Indians would become Christians and capitalists," think conservatives, "all their problems would be solved." Never mind that Indians tried these approaches and they failed miserably.
Of course, conservatives never let facts get in the way of their fantasies. Like Dick Cheney, they create their own realities where America works perfectly for everyone.
For more on assimilation, see Ralph Lauren's "Assimilation Aesthetic" and Assimilation in 1950s Movies.