Monday, April 10, 2006

Scalping the Pioneers

One of the big ways in which liberals are trying to improve the lot of mankind these days is to tear down a statue in Bronson Park. The statue, entitled "The Fountain of the Pioneers," depicts an Indian bowing before a Pioneer. (See a picture here.) So far, the debate has gone roughly as follows:

Point: The statue depicts the oppression of the noble native American by the evil white colonialists, so it should be torn down.
Counterpoint: The statue depicts the oppression of the noble native American by the evil white colonialists, so it should maintained as an eternal monument to how horrible America is.

Everyone seems to think that the statue depicts something horrible. Am I the only person who is glad that the Pioneers won?

I, for one, am glad that America was settled. Can anyone seriously defend the notion that the Pioneers shouldn't have won?

Yes, I know, some bad things happened to the Indians, blah, blah, blah. The Indians did some bad things, too. Bad things always happen, particularly in wars. That doesn't change the fact that the Pioneers were in the right.

Western civilization is culturally superior to what it replaced. What? How dare I insult the native peoples! Doesn't multiculturalism say that all cultures are equally valid? Well, they aren't. Cultures that have practices such as slavery, cannibalism, bride-burning, child sacrifice, genital mutilation, etc. are, all else being equal, worse than those that don't.

The Indians had a stone-age society. They hadn't even invented the wheel. (That might have something to do with why they lost.) Western Civilization has given us cars, computers, houses, books, indoor plumbing, and advanced education.

Even assuming that there is no moral difference between the two, we can deduce the superiority of Western Civilization based on the fact that none of the people who advocate tearing down the statue actually live like Indians. Their actions prove the superiority of Western Civilization even if they won't admit it.

It seems that after combing through the ten million works of "art" occupying space on our nation's public lands, liberals have found the one statue that is pro-America. Naturally, they want to tear it down. When conservatives objected to taxpayer funding for the desecration of crosses and pictures of the virgin Mary, liberals cried that we were horrible "censors" trying to silence ideas that we don't like. Now, who are the censors?

Make no mistake. Liberals object to this statue specifically because it says that it is good that America exists. If this doesn't prove to you that liberals hate America, nothing will.


Dan said...

I agree. I'm glad America was settled. Sure some crappy stuff happened, but it was an important moment in history. At that time, Europe was pretty much all monarchies. Had it not been for America becoming the Republic that it has and starting the fall (or should I say decrease in the size) of the British Empire, then who knows how this world would have turned out. America is a beacon of what a Republic can be. And had it not been for America becoming the Western influence that it has been, then that beacon would not exist today.

Gregor said...

On behalf of my fellow Native Americans, we are not Indians. We are not from India, we are from America and we were here before the Europeans were. Please refer to us as Native Americans.

(I may only have a very small amount of Native American blood in me, but I can still speak for my kin - that lost to my other kin.....)

Saying that "Western Civilization" shouldn't have defeated the Native Americans is like saying that people shouldn't convert to Christianity because it is mean to those who aren't Christian.

Allan said...

Historical accident though it may be, "Indian" is the best term. That's what we have used for hundreds of years.

The term "native American" is longer and less precise. The only possible logical meanings for native American are everyone who was born in America (including me) or anyone whose ancestors were always in America (nobody). Either way, it doesn't mean what you want it to mean.

I'm not giving in to political correctness (cultural Marxism). I would accept the term "American Indian" if there was any possibility of confusion.

I'm glad that many Indians did assimilate to Western Civilization.

A.J. said...

I do love this country, and it is the greatest in the world, by far. I am proud of what it has become, and the rich history that has shaped our nation is a lesson for all developing nations- with exceptions of course.
I think that Manifest Destiny was a crock. The Trail of Tears was a travesty. I'm not sure that "Yes, I know, some bad things happened to the Indians, blah, blah, blah," is really fair either. These things weren't bad. They were devastating, and an entire people were crushed by these things. People didn't inhabit this country and move west because they thought that's what God wanted, they did it because that's what they wanted. People didn't go to San Francisco because it had a good Christian name and God wanted them to. They went because that's where the money was.
As far as Western civillization being more superior than what it replaced, I don't know. I think there is a difference between being advanced and being superior. More advanced, absolutely. More progressive, definitely. But you get into "moral relativism" and symantics when you talk about superiority.

Steve-0 said...

I for one can't see what visual cues identify the one block of cement as a pioneer, and the other block of cement as a ... hmm ... non-pioneer.

I think Allan could have said it in a more gracious and careful way, but I do agree with him and Marvin Olasky ( to the basic idea that not all cultures are equal (I do, however, believe all men are created equal, and I believe all races are equal!). I don't believe in moral relativism of any kind.

ynnod said...

For me, I agree more with a naturalist/conservationist ideal (of the native, at least my surface understanding of it) than with this capitalist model which wreaked what i consider genocide on the native population and similarly has affected some of the natural earth cycles, increased pollution, etc. Regardless of who has the more advanced culture, it's the genocide, for me, that really sticks it to the notion that we are the advanced culture.

Certainly war is ugly, and it's true that some native cultures were as bound to war as the white people, but many of the stories i'm aware of indicate a very ugly nature of european immigrants to begin with: unfair trade with unsuspecting natives (manhattan islands?); offering blankets infected with disease; slavery; (i'm sure there are others, forgive me for my lack of examples). I don't consider that advanced or better, i think it is disrespectful, criminal, etc.

Immigration is common the world over, but since many republicans feel that those who immigrate to america must assimilate, where is this principle in history when our european ancestors come to a new land and instead of assimilating, follow through with the actions of 'manifest destiny'?

"Yes, I know, some bad things happened to the Indians, blah, blah, blah." -- it sounds to me something like 'yeah, some bad stuff happened to jews in the 40's, whatever..' -- how did you get so callous about the freedoms and liberty of all peoples, if this is the doctrine of the right?
it seems to me an exremely dangerous view that genocide is ok, if you consider whoever is doing the killing above the sacrificed, socially.

"slavery, cannibalism, bride-burning, child sacrifice, genital mutilation, etc." -- i had no idea that the native population held these beliefs so dear.. please expound!

a side point:
Although the monarchs are a poor form of government, IMO, it seems that other european countries have moved away from that form without the intervention of the U.S. -- Current politics makes me think we are living under a near-monarchy, which, since your group seems to support the Bush administration in whole, i wonder where the point came from that the monarchy is bad -- if you do not respect liberal/moderate opinions and programs, but subscribe to the Bush doctrine in whole, is there really such a gap between this "democracy" and a monarchy for your group?

monarchy seems a little off, though, given that of the ten main points of fascism, this administration adheres to at least seven of them.

anyway, i think the statue serves a good purpose regardless of what it looks like or stands for, as long as a context can be given for it's creation -- then people might learn something from it, instead of be confused and angry about it. i think that place is a museum, and not a public park.

"I, for one, am glad that America was settled. Can anyone seriously defend the notion that the Pioneers shouldn't have won?"

it would be different if the whites had found a way to co-exist, instead of just taking over everything in sight. again, this is the position of the right concerning new immigrants, but is not applied to historical actions -- instead, the great takeover is heralded as some positive achievement. Wouldn't it have been a greater achievement if the pioneers would have worked to take over the monarchs in their native lands instead of bringing guns and cannons against some bows and arrows? it seems like some weak bully-type stuff to me, and look at how our political system has grown further in this direction ever since? you will probably disagree because your group is in line with the powers that be, but when there is a problem, the american solution is often to take the bull by the horns.. while in this historical case, they ran out on the bull and murdered millions of innocent natives to get their way.

Allan said...

The above comment is obviously too inane to merit a serious response. I will note, though, that it confirms the main point of my post.

To wit: liberals hate America. They see our country as being a genocidal murderer of millions. Thanks for proving my point.