A Nation of Natives, Immigrants and the Children of Former Slaves

The title is paraphrased from something Christian Picciolini said in his interview on Waking Up with Sam Harris,

Waking Up with Sam Harris #121 – White Power (with Christian Picciolini)

Here is Christian’s TED talk,

TEDx, Christian Picciolini, My descent into America’s neo-Nazi movement — and how I got out

A fascinating glimpse into the minds of these types of people. I really don’t have anything more to add. 

#MAGA: Nativism

The guy on the left is a native. The guy on the right is a Nativist. A Stormtrumper.

The Star & McKinnon on Artizans

“A white man and an elderly Native man became pretty good friends, so the white guy decided to ask him: “What do you think about Indian mascots?” The Native elder responded, “Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we are not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare.”

Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf Nor Dog

A hat tip is owed to another social internet user for putting this quote and this image together. They so masterfully compliment each other that I really hope the quote is accurate, but I haven’t read that book to confirm the veracity. I did take time to track down the author of the book and link his work, as well as track down the artist for the political cartoon, and link his work as well. Due diligence is a particular obsession of mine, some of you may have noticed this about me.

I am reminded of a book I read recently, Steve Inskeep, Jacksonland, a masterful work that puts you right in the middle of the Indian Removal Act and the profits that accrued to Andrew Jackson and his friends as they stole land given to native American tribes; stole it over the objections of the Supreme Court of the time. The narrative of Jacksonland balances the views of Jackson and his cronies with the views of Jackson’s counterpart in the Native tribes, Cherokee Chief John Ross.

Andrew Jackson, who defied a direct order from the Supreme Court being the only president before Donald Trump to demonstrably commit a High Crime and not be impeached for it. We’re 2 & 0 so far.

Apache Tears – Hardcore History 20

Dan Carlin in his latest Hardcore History talks at length about the Apaches. I don’t want to be too critical here, but if the Apache were acting like your average highwayman (OK, super average highwayman) I’m not surprised they were nearly wiped out. You be the judge, go by the site and have a listen. Or pick up a copy of the reference works he cites, listed here. He had high praise for the works of Eve Ball, you might want to start there.

For myself, I have a passing interest in the subject. I’ve read Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, and I’ve read several accounts of Custer’s Last Stand, one or two from the native perspective.

If you are lazy, don’t think you can just watch the HBO film, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee and get the cliff notes version of the book. The movie is a lame adaptation of the book that tries to make a linear narrative out of the varying stories contained in the book, told from what is essentially one native’s point of view. There were several scenes imposed on the storyline that were meant to assuage the guilt of the white eyes, but they just end up sticking out like sore thumbs.

I have more of an interest in the architecture that the natives left behind (as you might imagine) consequently I’m more interested in relics of the Pueblo cultures than I am in nomads like the Apache. Still, a line from a podcast I listened to recently keeps echoing in my head, a lamentation that we had the misfortune to stumble across the last vestiges of a stone age culture, at a time when Western society was ill equipped to do anything other than destroy it. So much insight into our shared history could have been gained if we had only taken the time to study the American natives, instead of pursuing the genocidal goal of converting or killing them.

Immigrants mucking up our country

Listening to Boortz today (Yeah, I know it was a repeat, so what?) He goes raging on about closing our borders so as to deflect terrorists and preserve “our way of life”. I like to listen to the guy, but a libertarian he is not.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that I’ve noticed a disturbingly repetitive mantra going around for the last few years concerning closing borders and (like the title says) keeping out “those immigrants mucking up our country”. From where I’m sitting, the immigrants that are “mucking up the country” are the descendents of the European immigrants (those pesky ‘white’ people) who seem bound and determined to destroy liberty in the name of security.

I’d just like to point out that, unless you are a brown-skinned ‘native’ (what the average ‘white’ American thinks of as ‘Mexican’ but are most likely people who aren’t from Mexico at all; merely true ‘Native Americans’, those pesky ‘indians’ that white settlers have never been able to get rid of, or the native populations of America that the Spanish subjugated and abused for hundreds of years. Chicanos, Hispanics, whatever you want to call yourselves) then you are the descendant of an immigrant. You have no more right to be here than those being called ‘illegal aliens’ today because they crossed some line drawn on a map by people who have never been to the area in question.

And “closing the border” is an impossibility. You can patrol it, and turn back the migrants, but truly closing it can’t be feasibly done. Nor do I think that it’s desirable in the long run to do the limited amount of patrolling that can be done. Why? Because migrant workers do most of the ‘work’ in the South and Midwest, and not just because they work cheap. I don’t know any immigrant (white) guys who are willing to work out in the sun all day, every day for a living; but I can’t count the number of ‘natives’ that I’ve worked with over the years who don’t even blink at doing so. If the border could be effectively closed, the resulting price spikes for construction and food production (not to mention manufacturing) would probably devastate the economy.

So what would work? Allowing in and documenting anybody who was willing to work (one of the only things the sitting president has said that I have ever agreed with) Ending 9/10’s of the welfare programs (including corporate welfare) that act as a lure, and a crutch, for people who aren’t willing to work. Ending the empire building and military meddling around the globe that the US is engaged in. Get back to the core of what this country was about to begin with (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and stop thinking that we have the ‘right’ to demand whatever we want of the world.

And the Terrorists? Frankly, the only terrorists that we’ve seen on our own soil were trained by terrorists that we trained in Afghanistan. We seem to be our own worst enemy, or as people more poetical than me have said “We get the best enemies money can buy”. I think we should stop buying them.

I’m sure the mantra will go on. It’s a mindset that sells in this day and age; fear of ‘others’, fear of those ‘outside’. However, if you are going to go raging on about ‘closed borders’ and ‘true Americans’, you are going to eventually look like an idiot, because the reality of the situation won’t be corrected by that type of rhetoric. But then I think that time has come and gone when it comes to Boortz. Mighty Whitey, indeed.