Sunday, November 29, 2009

Race Driven History

I remember an elementary education very different from that taught today. Take the Thanksgiving Holiday for example. In my school Pilgrims were the good guys. The Indians that joined them at a table in the woods for a wonderful turkey dinner were happy and friendly Indians. The Pilgrims and the Indians were the best of buddies despite their differences.  Hah!  In schools today they are taught that the Pilgrims were bigoted scoundrels who thought the only good Indian was a dead one, and they sure as hell wouldn't invite one to dinner. 

As it turns out, today's version is closest to being correct. We know now that the Pilgrims considered themselves SUPERIOR beings and thought the Indians were ignorant, dirty, heathen savages. Indians were hardly considered human. 

Skip forward 100 years or so to the 1700's.  America by this time has  welcomed  more immigrants, many of whom were looking for adventure but more were running from poverty, the English King, or religious intolerance. Most of our Founding Fathers arrived in the 1700's. They were pretty smart guys. A few were schooled by the church and a few at home. The more advanced  read the classics of the day; Plutarch, Plato, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Dante,  Descartes, and particularly the Holy Bible.  Almost all of the Founders were religious to some degree, but not all were Christian. Many were diests and a few were not religous at all. 

Nearly all of the Founding Fathers were RACIST to the core.

They believed that white men were SUPERIOR to anyone who had a darker skin.  They grandly believed they were naturally more intelligent and certainly destined to rule the world. During the 1700's the (darker) Indians were in the way of the white man's progress and therefore were enemies to be killed on sight. The westward venturing WHITE ANGLO-SAXON explorers, adventurers and settlers did a good job of it. They murdered Indians by the thousands - and subjugated the rest. It was not a proud time in America's history.

By the 1800's America the majority of America's population was WHITE ANGLO-SAXON. Negros were imported as slaves until about 1865. Most slaves were used as agricultural laborers and servants. It's worth noting that several of our esteemed Founding Fathers, including George Washington, owned slaves.

By this time, say about 1865,  most remaining Indians were concentrated on reservations. Their lands had been taken from them, their hunting grounds drastically reduced, and their free way of life was now fenced in. 

And after 1865 the Negro slaves were free - but most had no where to go. America still treated them as second class citizens, and the only jobs available were the ones no WHITE person wanted. Many freed slaves chose to stay on the farms or plantations where they were formerly slaves. A comparative few went north in search of jobs and better opportunities.

It was around 1900 that my forebearers arrived in America from Great Britain. It was also the time that one of my heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, was prominent in political circles. After reading James Bradley's book (THE IMPERIAL CRUISE), old Teddy has fallen off his pedestal. Before reading the book I didn't know he was such a pompous, self promoted, bigoted and predjudiced man. His personal interactions with the Negroes, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, were despicable.

Christianity also fell down a peg.

In  Bradley's book he states; ". . . Christianity was jealous and exclusionary and demanded a choice be made". Another quote; ". . . Christianity was a conquest religion in the service of state militaries". And lastly; "The European powers endndeavor to attack all nations in the world. The wicked doctrine of Jesus is an aid in this endeavor".

Bradley quotes Thomas Hart Benton as saying " . . . Asians were inferior to the American Aryan and, like all the rest, must receive an impression from the superior race whenever they come in contact", and commented that; "For decades, Roosevelt had defended race cleansing because of the salutary result: American civilization had followed the sun".

More later . . .

1 comment:

Rain said...

Interesting. I watched Arrowhead the other night where Charlton Heston plays the good guy scout and Jack Palance plays the bad guy Apache and it was amazing to me how much I have changed how I saw it. Before it was just cut and dried-- hero villain. Now I see it that both men were doing what was required to try and save their own cultures. They fought how they could fight and eventually one had to win. The same thing was true with the first settlers here. Nice guys or bad, they wanted the land that someone else lived upon. Sometimes our nation did it by fighting and sometimes sneakily but I just see it differently for how the people felt and what they were doing.

Today we face the same basic thing with trying to protect our way of life and we may lose or win but we will have to fight to get it right because someone else always comes along who is going to take it from us if they can and sometimes it's our own people.

Recently we were talking in a group about different ideas and I heard something I had never heard before. Someone said they had heard a relative saying black people were evolved right here on earth and white people came in on space ships. That's what we are dealing with today for how differently this one country sees things. Kind of amazing isn't it!

Of course, if it was true *wink* then the earth belongs to people of color and whites are the intruders who must be pushed out...