When I first read Ms. Huff’s, my initial impression was that she wrote in seething anger about the Confederate military, but she failed to articulate precisely what it was that was causing such intense rage and venom. [“Here Come the Letters, Part 1,” Dec. 5, 2013] Surely her animosity couldn’t be towards the Confederate States of America. How could she be when she wasn’t even around then. Additionally, she resides in Tennessee, which seceded from the Union. How would she feel if someone told her that she needs to move north of the Mason-Dixon line? I know of people who live in the North, but I have no reason to be bridled towards them, especially not over something that happened around 150 years ago.
I acknowledge that at one time, there was a war against the British, French, Spanish, German mercenaries called Hessians, Mexicans, the Germans during World War I, and then again along with the Japanese and Italians during World War II. There have been a few others since 1945, but officially those aren’t wars since Congress never formally declared war. I even had several relatives who were in World War II. Yet, I have no hate towards Germans, Italians, and Japanese people. Most British people viewed the American Revolution as act of treason against the British Empire. Americans couldn’t figure out why Germans would follow Hitler, but they are insistent that the United States could do no wrong even as it provided support to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Even to this day, most Americans claim that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was a good-will gesture, even as these endeavors have left these nations even further in ruin and the United States $17 trillion in debt and a very strong police state under the guise of protecting the people. But then again, it is all about perspective.
While going on this rant about something that happened around 150 years ago, she conveniently ignored the conduct of the United States government particularly as it relates to Indians. Operating on the mantra of “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” throughout its history, the United States government signed numerous treaties with Indian tribes, only to break them later on.
The official policy of the United States government was basically genocide. But most historians who happened to write the history books prefer to ignore this for the sake of making the U.S. government appear to be this pious organization. The number of atrocities towards the Indians is too numerous to list, but to list a few examples:
The Trail of Tears, the ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the route to their destinations. It has been estimated that around 10,000 died during this death march. European Americans and African American freedmen and slaves also participated in the forced relocations.
Abraham Lincoln himself on Dec. 26, 1862 ordered the hanging of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minn., in the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
The Wounded Knee Massacre on Dec. 29, 1890 in South Dakota. Around 300 Indians were killed including 200 women and children.
In addition to this, the United States government has fomented coups and invasions of numerous countries during its 225-year history. Many of the puppet regimes that were propped up by the United States government murdered or imprisoned tens of millions of people. One estimate puts U.S. involvement overseas to be at least 200 times since 1800. If genocide, coups and invasions are benevolent, then this country has a long ways to go before it can claim to be about liberty and justice for all.