Took me a long while to read this. It wasn’t that it was a boring read. Far from it. But it was a disturbing read and the fact that each chapter follows virtually the same pattern made it that much harder to read. You knew from the start how it would end, though you desperately hoped it wouldn’t.
Dee Brown’s book should be required reading for every US citizen and on the booklist for anyone considering US citizenship. It tells the true story of what the US was built on. Far from what is often claimed, the country was not built on Christian principles of freedom but rather on what every other country, including my own, was built on: oppression and greed. It isn’t that that troubles me. I’m not that naive. What troubles me is how this flies in the face of the many claims I hear that the founding of the US differs from any other in the humanity and any reasoning that this places it uniquely in the modern world as the arbitrator of global “justice.”
The catalogue of crimes against humanity detailed by Brown is chilling but I was shocked at where the guilt for these crimes lies. I had originally thought that the Native Americans were suppressed and wiped out by settlers, miners, ranchers and mercenaries. Although they may well have pulled the trigger on more occasions that most, I was stunned by how often the proud and truly great people of that continent were betrayed by the US government and military. Promise after promise was broken. Lies were deliberately told for national gain at their expense from Presidents down. It is a shameful story of the greed which fashioned the US into the nation it is today.
The worst thing about it all is that over 35 years since Brown’s book was published that the average US citizen mentions nothing as to how their country was really founded and the west won. It was not won at all. It was stolen outright. It is a humbling endictment of what some claim is the greatest nation the world has ever seen. If this is the greatest nation the world can come up with, we have truly seen that humanity is rotten to the core when we discover that “the land of the free” is no longer “the home of the brave.”
Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun.
lariat: An open-ended, long strand necklace. Sometimes looped into a knot or used with a slide so that the two ends hang free.
sardonic: Scornfully or cynically mocking
“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” ~ Red Cloud
terrible > poor > mediocre > okay > good > very good > excellent > superb
2007 – Apr