What is truth and what are facts?
It is said that truth lies in the eye of the beholder and facts are created by the conqueror. But what is justice? Can it ever be achieved?
This overview has been based on a few well-researched books that attempt to represent truth and facts (Appendix). Further reading is encouraged as but a few of the many treaties that were forced on the Native Americans (Indians) and then broken by the US government, along with the sufferings this created, could be provided in this overview.
Genocide Committed against the Native Americans (Indians)
While the words genocide and ethnic cleansing could not have been used when the first books documenting the atrocities committed against the Indians were written, such as the bestseller Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee –A History of the American West (1971), these words are now used more openly such as in the excellent documented Atlas of Indian Nations (2013) published by National Geographic.
Given the country’s history in the atrocities committed against the Indians, a true attempt at reconciliation and a true apology has never been forthcoming. Alohahawaiionipaa.org there-fore supports as a meaningful step of reconciliation a national holiday that honors the Native Americans and replaces Columbus Day, a still insensitive insult to most Native Americans to this day, as the “Discovery by Columbus of America” started the genocide against the Native Americans by Europeans in North and South America.
We have to become more sensitive to the wrongs committed against minorities by the white majority in making this country “great” in their eyes. Would a Native American or Black or anyone else, carry a twenty dollar bill in his or her wallet that displays a picture of General and President Andrew Jackson if he or she knew the true history of the man that made him great in the white men’s eyes?
Instead, in the eyes of the general public, the genocidal war against the Indians and the loss of moral authority and dignity by the US has been covered up to this day on a world-wide scale by the doctrine of divine destiny (the white Europeans and their descendants were ordained by Godly destiny to rule America and beyond) and subsequently by the Hollywood movie industry which largely vilified the Indians as savages and depicted the whites as victims. It takes much more soul-searching to acknowledge the genocidal wrongs committed than, for example, the misleading words expressed in the National Park Service’s Guide to the Trails at Big Hole National Battlefield still handed out as of this date. Item #16 states:
“Like most fields of death, Big Hole Battlefield elicited an emotional response from battle survivors on both sides, which continues today. Not every soldier or volunteer who fought here was convinced that the Nez Perce were a deserving enemy, and some clearly disagreed with Gibbons implication of a military victory. Others, however, believed that the benefits of subduing or assimilating American Indian tribes were of primary importance to the expanding United States. For them, no individual person’s or group’s honor was too great a price to pay.
Can you discover similar philosophical differences and their consequences in national and international events today?”
Are we rationalizing here genocidal atrocities committed as a nation as inevitable clashes of cultures.
Was Colonel Gibbon’s pre-dawn attack on August 9, 1877, butchering men, women and children of a sleeping Nez Perce Indian camp anything but a genocidal attempt to wipe out the remnants of an Indian Nation? One of the first tents (tipis) overrun by his soldiers was a maternity lodge occupied by a woman, a newborn baby, and her midwife. The women were shot to death and the baby’s head smashed by a boot or gun breech.
At least an attempt at reconciliation with Native Hawaiians was attempted through Public Law 103-150, also known as the 1993 Clinton Apology for the collusion by the United States government in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 (stealing the kingdom without compensation).