Thursday, November 25, 2021

Native Americans And Thanksgiving

Many Native Americans see Thanksgiving as a day of mourning because it signifies the day the pilgrims in Massachusetts gave thanks for basically surviving their first year in the new world.  And, it was President Lincoln that made Thanksgiving a National Holiday during the Civil War in an attempt to unite our country.   Native Americans see this national holiday as the beginning of European colonization and the stealing of their lands.  And in that sense, they would be correct. 

Millions of Native Americans died of diseases brought from Europe that they could not resist and at the hand of European settlers who often fought battles with them to take over Native American lands.  Native Americans also died during long marches to resettle them on to the reservations put aside for them by the federal government.  This sad chapter of American history is just as bad as the slavery that is also a stain on our history.

Though the federal government has provided Native American tribes billions of dollars over the years and continues to do so in restitution along with various tax benefits, Native Americans are among the poorest of our citizens suffering from both poverty and very high rates of alcohol and drug abuse.  And, though many tribes operate profitable Indian casinos on their lands, these monies never seem to make it to individual Native Americans.  There is something very wrong with this picture.  

The Reservation system that is designed to preserve some of their native lands is a form of Communism.  So rather than individual Native Americans owning their own acreage, the tribes own the land communally.  The end result has been tribal governments getting billions of dollars to administer; but very little benefit actually going to individual Native Americans.  Maybe it is time to reconsider this system.  After more than 150 years, it is not working.  Many Native Americans still living on Reservations are poorer today than ever.  The original tragedy and injustice experienced by Native Americans is compounded by a lack of progress for many of these Americans.  It is time for some creative ideas to address the injustices faced by Native Americans.   Same old same old is not working because Communism has failed everywhere in the world it has been tried.  This is no exception to the rule.  

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