Political correctness is a tyrant which forces an otherwise free country into unwilling silence.
Some political correctness silences “hate speech” (I’m against hate speech, and hate in general), but some political correctness silences good sense and fairness.
HISTORICAL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
This is particularly true regarding history.
Let me tell you where I’m coming from.
I’m not a Conservative.
I’m politically Independent, find any kind of political extremism distasteful and twice voted for President Obama.
But I detest intellectuals and writers who denigrate historical figures, and whole peoples, because these figures and peoples did not meet today’s moral standards.
Most of the intellectuals and writers who take this stand are politically liberal.
GOOD GUYS versus BAD GUYS
Many believe tribal peoples were the heroes while white Americans were scoundrels, the founding fathers were morally unsuitable hypocrites because many had slaves and Thomas Jefferson was despicable because he probably had a slave mistress, among other examples.
None are correct judgments.
First, white settlers and tribal peoples both committed terrible wrongs while some on both sides tried to do the right thing.
For every atrocity a white person committed, so did an Indian.
American colonial militia massacred 90 Delaware Indians in 1782, actually invading a Moravian church in Ohio where the Delaware were worshipping.
I could cite dozens of other horrible deeds white people committed against Indians, including the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre (well, maybe, Greg Michno has a different view and you can read all about it on this website).
On the other hand, tribal people committed horrible deeds against white people; burning them alive, using fire as torture (hanging captives upside down over slow fires so the blaze would cook their brains while they were still alive), women raped or kept as sexual slaves, etc.
Many say, well, the white people took the Indians’ land, so the whites got what they deserved.
NOTHING IS SIMPLE
White settlers did not understand what seemed to be empty land was actually hunting territory for nomadic tribes.
Many a white settler was so ignorant of the territory they were planning to travel, or settle, they filled a wagon and took off with no further information.
Many of these clueless settlers were murdered by Indians, died of thirst, hunger or exposure, or expired from cholera and other diseases.
The road west was littered with graves.
By the time everyone understood Indians had territory they would defend, the level of hate between the races was so high it was impossible to stop war and killing.
White Americans did break treaties. So did Indians.
White Americans revenged themselves on Indians by killing stray Indians unconnected to any original incident.
So did tribal peoples.
Ironically, the U.S. Army and militias would not have won the west (meaning everything from New England to California) if tribal peoples had not helped them do it.
Tribal peoples hated each other so much they scouted and fought for the U.S. Army against each other.
Tribes that fought together found themselves on opposite sides just a few months down the road.
Just to give you a few examples, Apache scouts and police working for the U.S. Army, Cheyenne turning on the Sioux just months after helping them massacre Custer, Tonkawa scouting for the Army in Texas.
It’s been said the American continent was a peaceful place until the whites showed up.
Wrong. The tribes massacred each other, not sparing women nor children.
In the 18th century, the Comanche tried so hard to kill every Apache they could lay their hands on the Apaches were forced to take refuge in Texas missions.
It’s so easy to be morally superior in historic hindsight.
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
Slavery was introduced onto the American continent as soon as the first white people got to this continent; by Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery and Portuguese slave traders, among others.
By the time Americans revolted against the English, slavery was integrated into the economic system and culture and was considered morally acceptable (as it had been all over the world, since the beginning of time).
It was not possible to outlaw slavery in 1776.
Proof? It took 85 years more years, filled with turmoil and invective, and a Civil War, before slavery was abolished in the United States.
Many of the founding fathers hated slavery, but could not establish a consensus in the Continental Congress, or society, how to end human trafficking.
Many felt it was better to do half a job, free white America from England, than do nothing at all.
Put yourself in their place. You would sacrifice the Revolution because you couldn’t abolish slavery? Really?
Sally Hemings was probably Jefferson’s mistress. DNA establishes that Jefferson, or one of his close family members, fathered Sally’s children.
People think this makes Jefferson a hypocrite and a bad person.
We don’t know the situation. She may have loved him. Why not? Romantic emotions are not generally politically correct and they are unpredictable.
We take great moral chances when we attempt to establish certain things are right and wrong (forcing sexual relations on helpless slaves) by vilifying people we know very little about.
Jefferson had other slaves; a lot of them. So did thousands of others in Colonial America.
Who do we want to condemn?
Why condemn at all? People live by the light, as they see the light.
I’ve published four books. I’m sure you know this or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
My tagline for Scalp Mountain is “Everyone was right, everyone was wrong, and everyone got hurt.”
I stand by that.