>Every time in literature when we as Americans of the modern day stumble across a written piece characterizing the relocation of Native Americans – such as one of Chief Seattle’s speeches or a religious, Christian-crusading statement made by Andrew Johnson in the 1860s – we come away sharing the same sentiments: Oh, those poor Indians. It was terrible what we did to them – they were here first. We should have been the ones trying to learn their ways instead of us promoting all our shit to them.
But are such expressions really exemplary of the notion that we’ve learned anything from moving in and forcefully stealing land from these people? For instance, would we have gone about it any differently if present day Americans with present day knowledge and ambitions had been the ones who sailed from Europe and came face to face with the Native Americans? I’m going to go with no.
To refrain from exploiting the Indians would be to rid ourselves of our love for aggressive imperialism. Since it’s very nearly a self-made American right to reap the benefits of out-working someone else (in this case, it’s taking land from peoples they defeated in battle, a.k.a. the Indians), a lot of people would do the exact same thing as our forefathers did. Think about it: how many American-involved conflicts and wars have had imperialism somewhere at their basis?
We should really stop trying to portray the idea that we feel bad about screwing the Indians over. We do to a slight extent and kind of wish it hadn’t happened, but only until taking it back meets giving up some of the things that make us so American. If we had not of exploited the Indians, we wouldn’t have these great, amazing things like house boats, processed food, love for the stock market, disregard for our families, SUVs, beach houses, one-sided Christian beliefs, domesticated animals, appreciation for things that deplete the ozone, cotton- and nylon-based clothing produced by illegal aliens, military-issued firearms, McDonalds and obesity.
Maybe this romance of the Native American way of life has gone to my head and I give it far too much credit. I’m obviously guilty of loving the conveniences of modern day America, too. But the honor of such a great race deserves more tribute than a half-hearted note of sympathy. We may never know how to make this right and therefore never will do so, but pretending to be sorry is like being two-faced; it takes a shot at people’s intelligence and admirable men like Chief Seattle don’t deserve that. Just do what you do to all the people you’ve oppressed at some point in your history, America: forget it even happened.