8 September 2016 - DrSunshine.org

American history

The extermination of the native population by American settlers isn't a new story, but a new book by UCLA historian Benjamin Madley carefully details just the California part of this horrific genocide. Richard White points out in a review of Madley's book that the founder of Stanford University, where White is a professor, presided as governor of California over some of the worst years of the 28-year genocide.

The message seems particularly relevant in light the recent use of attack dogs by oilmen against protesters in South Dakota and in view of the popularity of Trump's vitriol against non-whites. Here, from the book, is a sentence from a California newspaper editorial from 1850 articulating the "necessity" of the extermination of the Indians:

Such is the destiny of that miserable race, and ... we are but fulfilling our own by the enactment of scenes on the Pacific similar to those which have stained with blood our Indian history ... from the first dawnings of civilization.

This sentiment is no doubt echoed in many comments about non-whites, especially Muslims, on the Breitbart website under the leadership of the CEO of Trump's campaign. It plays a prominent role in the campaign's appeal.

The story presented in White's review of Madley's book scrambles whatever may be left of Dr Sunshine's sanity.

Dr Sunshine

Update, 4 Jul 2017: A history by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz documents the broader picture of Americans (that is, European immigrants and their descendants) as bad actors from the outset. The historian pointed out that years before the Constitution was ratified, George Washington sent an instruction to one of his generals about suppressing the indigenous population: "to lay waste all the settlements around ... that the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed ... you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected. ... Our future security will be in their inability to injure us ... and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them." Washington's instruction inspired atrocities like this: The Pennsylvania militia operating in the Ohio country in 1782 rounded up nearly a hundred natives. To protect them from harm, the militiamen said. The natives knew better, but could do nothing but to pray all night. To the wrong god, apparently. The next day, the militia bludgeoned them to death. All of them. Forty-two men, twenty women, thirty-four children. One of the militiamen bragged that he had personally killed fourteen with a hammer, until his arms failed him, whereupon he urged one of his compatriots to "Go on with the work." The Founding Fathers established a well-regulated militia to protect "the security of a free State," they said, by which they meant to protect white settlers against interference from indigenous residents. Foreseeing that such a militia could kill more Indians with guns than hammers, they established an uninfringeable right to bear arms. No doubt the right was intended to apply only to a subset of the population, just as it does today. A white subset.

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