I don’t understand patriotism, especially in Americans. I mean, America hasn’t been here that long, and we didn’t even discover it. People were already living here and we make up cute rhymes and “acceptable history” to teach grade school kids to distract from the fact that Columbus was a murderer. He came in, saw something he wanted and took it, that’s like the equivalent of a two-year-olds decision-making process: see, like, steal. Why is he celebrated? As though he’s some kind of hero for “discovering” a place that had already been discovered by Vikings [which I don’t know about you, but I don’t picture Vikings as being the kindest group.. like, I’m pretty sure their whole schtick is “rape and pillage”, but hey, maybe that’s why they respected the Natives, huh? Because they were also a nomadic people.] and already had an entire indigenous population.
It only gets worse, too, we don’t really ever redeem ourselves. We make treaties with the Natives, and even though rival “uncivilized” tribes can make peace with each other to participate in the treaties, us “civilized” folk can’t even keep up our own set terms. Instead we just murder a bunch of them, slaughter their food supply–the buffalos–and stuff them onto tiny tracts of their own land. Since they don’t have any more food and we’re to blame, we make up for it by giving them grade c and d cast-offs [think cat and dog food grade] and a great big dose of diabetes a few years down the line. We stuff them onto reservations, where they die a slow, alcohol fueled, depressed life, and enjoy 3x the national average of diabetes, alcoholism, poverty and suicide.
As if that’s not enough, we start taking their kids away to live with “proper white American families” where they can become westernized and acclimate. We cut their hair, change their names, forbid them from learning their own language or practicing their religion–I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty hard for me not to draw the parallel between the Hitler Youth and concentration camps at this point. We brainwash the young ones, “kill the Indian to save the man”, and in the matter of a couple of generations lower the group as a whole to a dependent, depressed lot, doomed to be lost in the cycle. The only likeness I can’t draw to the Nazi regime is that we still give Germany shit for the Holocaust, but skillfully evade our own flawed past and ignore the Native’s and their current plight.
We chopped the reservations out of our proud United States, give them their own tiny islands where at least we don’t insult them with taxation, but where they can live and die in the obscurity we’ve carefully constructed. Then every year on Thanksgiving we make a mockery of them by putting on ridiculous school plays that retell history in a sickly sweet, oh-so-adorable way, and continue perpetuating our racist retelling in the textbooks reservation kids study. Also, we enslaved another entire race of people under the guise that they’re “less than human” because their skin is dark, and continue to treat them as less than especially when law enforcement is involved. Our country is founded on racism, murder and deceit and we’re proud to be Americans?