Palefaces versus Indians

When the first European explorers arrived and confronted the residents on the shores of the Western Hemisphere they called them Indians; they thought they’d landed in India. These Indians and their strange tongues weren’t mentioned in the Bible – the major cultural reference point among Eurpopean countries – so the explorers didn’t know how to classify them. They were considered by many Euros to be some form of animal life. It wasn’t until a century-and-a-half later that the leaders of the Christian Church decided that the Indians were humans. By this time, the gold had been taken and, to the north, the Indians’ land was already being settled.

This may sound archaic, but it’s no different than how we treat today’s Indians, half-a-millennium later. Today, however, our strategy is 180 degrees from what it was in the 16th century. Where we were once the aggressors, we are now sandbaggers, effusing the same passive-aggressive mode of operation that seems to be in all our intercultural relations, from the Vietnam and Iraq conflicts, to Civil Rights.

The Indians want some land back. Not necessarily their land; that’d be most of America. Just some land, almost any land would do. But the spinal cord of our passive-agressive society – the legal system – is using its tools to delay decisions regarding whether we palefaces should give land back to the the Injuns. How much land? Which land?

Having researched the Indians for some articles I wrote, I realize that we did take land away from them, going against our own Pickering Treaty. I was upset by the fact that we were ignoring the Indians’ requests. When they got too loud and we couldn’t ignore them, we simply put them on legal “hold” via the various courtroom tactics we have.

But as I watch time pass, and see all the casinos being built, and watch the busloads of retired people spending their money at the slots and the tables, as I read about oldsters re-mortgaging their paid-for homes to raise money to throw on the tables, I’m beginning to realize that the Indians are indeed winning back their land, one nickel and one chip at a time.

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One Comment on “Palefaces versus Indians”

  1. paolo. Says:

    Oh, if it were so -but it’s not. Over 90% of the profits that come out of Indian Casinos go to the “moneymen”who developed the land and built the gambling palaces.

    Once again, white guys are exploiting red guys – just like in the old days.


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