Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This land is our land!

It has often been suggested that the descendants of the Europeans who came to the North and Central American continents should see the error of their ancestor’s ways and go back to Europe; leaving the infrastructure and riches that they had spent the last several centuries building up behind them of course.

Let us for the moment ignore the fact that those who came from Europe won the North American continent over centuries of military engagements. The North American and Mexican inhabitants, who were no strangers to armed conflicts, simply were beaten by a superior force. This was no David and Goliath story. The conflicts with the “Native Americans” in both North America and Mexico more resembled an encounter between Goliath and a club sandwich. This is neither here nor there. The Mayan and Huron Indians didn’t seem to mind picking on weaker opponents when they were on the winning side of the equation. Once again, let’s ignore this and assume we can wave a magic wand and give everything back. If we are going to be “fair” in those regards, we can’t have our compassion end there.


The Sioux had generations of warfare against the neighboring Pawnee tribe. Over time they had taken land from the Pawnee and committed war crimes that included the killing of women and children. So when the Europeans are gone, do the Pawnee get the land that Sioux had taken from them?


The Iroquois were to eastern tribes of Native Americans what the 72 Dolphins were to the NFL. So do we follow their chain of conquest and give back all the territory they conquered to the remnants of their victims? I wonder how long it will take to find the real last of the Mohicans?


If we are going to continue down this road, The Aztecs pretty much conquered anybody worth conquering in what is now Mexico. So when the evil Europeans are gone, we need to find the people brutalized by the Aztecs and give them back the land that was taken by their aggressive, human sacrifice enabling, oppressors.


If we are going to even entertain the idea that the conquest by Europeans was somehow reprehensible we have to apply the same moral standards to the conquests that happened before Columbus got lost on his way to India and give land back to the conquered people of North and Central American’s all the way down the line.


One of the oldest human fossils found on the North American continents was the skeleton found in Washington that was dubbed Kennewick Man (The oldest being a skeleton found on the Santa Rosa Island). The 9,300 years old bones had more in common with Eddie Haskel than they did George Lopez. In short, it was quickly clear that this was the remains of a Caucasian who, at the very least, shared the land with the ancestors of the people who are screaming that whites are simply European squatters who need to leave.

In an attempt to prevent any research on the skeleton, Indian tribes quickly locked the remains up with court orders to prevent any further research. Despite the lawyer enabled efforts to push these bones into an unmarked Indian grave and pretend they don’t exist, it is undeniable that this changes the landscape of the debate over who were the first Americans.


So, let’s give them their wish, and follow the chain of conquests back to the start, giving ownership of the land back to those who had been beaten until we come back to the very first person who was wronged. Seeing as there were no Caucasians here when the Vikings or Columbus came over, apparently Kennewick Man had been conquered, so in the spirit of fairness, the land should go back to him. In the end it all comes back to a white guy anyway. Doesn’t it feel great to have this settled now?

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