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Post Was the US Treatment of Native Americans a Genocide?
Created by John Eipper on 08/13/20 7:32 AM

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Was the US Treatment of Native Americans a Genocide? (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 08/13/20 7:32 am)

Timothy Ashby wrote, "Genocide is when a collective source of power (usually a State) intentionally uses its power base to implement a process of destruction in order to destroy a group (as defined by the perpetrator), in whole or in substantial part, dependent upon relative group size. Numerous atrocities were committed against Amer-Indians (my preferred term, as I am a native-born American, although I think Indigenous tribes is better) by US military forces and Amer-European settlers. However, I do not believe that there was an official US government policy against the Amer-Indians that meets the definition of Genocide."

Based on this, JE commented on Gary Moore's latest post: "Given its [genocide's] status as the gold standard of crimes against humanity, many instances of 'mere' slaughter or mass murder have been called genocidal. Seen from the other angle, to say 'X massacre was not genocide' tacitly lessens the severity of the incident."

In my view, genocide is simply the act of killing people due to racial/ethnic hate perpetrated by individuals or groups against a group with the intention of completely eliminating it. How is that different from acts of war or atrocities committed against groups for reasons other than race/ethnicity? To me the litmus test is the willingness to kill innocent people: children and non-combatant women and seniors. I disagree with Timothy that because there was not "an official US government policy against the Amer-Indians" then there was no genocide. Only a very stupid government would make such declarations. It is much "smarter" to just send the military to pacify the natives, kill women and children when "necessary," put the fear of the Christian god into them, take their land, put them into reservations, and break treaties with them whenever convenient. Or put in a blunt way, burn them out of the wilderness so they can become good taxpayers.

JE comments:  Tor, I often disagree with you, but not here.  The Anglo-American policy towards the Native Americans had many of the traits of genocide.  Not Wannsee Conference levels of blueprinted, mandated genocide, but genocide nonetheless.

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