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“Their” Land


By “Mark Andrew Dwyer”


April 27, 2006



Yesterday, I was listening to Al Rantel show when one of his callers, who introduced himself as native American, begun making claims to ownership of the North American continent on behalf of "indigenous" people. He insisted that all whites are illegal (immigrants) in this country and should be deported back to Europe. When Al tried to engage him in rational debate and pointed out various benefits of his living in the U.S. (as opposed to cave in the midst of undeveloped land), he kept saying that Indians would have built a much better country if it weren't for white settlers that took the land away from his people.


During the heated exchange, Al made a number of valid points, like that he (Al) was born in America so that he is as native here as anybody else around here, and that no ethnic group grew up from the ground that they claimed as theirs but they came from elsewhere, instead. After all, Indians were nomads that were roaming the continent after they came here from North-East Asia (as opposed to being created on American soil). Al was also appealing to his caller's sense of equity (“We are all equal”, he said) but, as one can easily guess, the caller remained unimpressed: no amount of reason or persuasion could stop him from repeating his ridiculous claims and sounded astonished that Al flatly rejected them all.


Which brought these two questions into my mind. What actually is the basis of "indigenous" peoples' claims to American land? And would the ones alive today really be better off should the pilgrims and settlers and immigrants not arrive?


Let's start from the second one. Although the caller in a way characteristic to many American Indians claimed that America would have been a better country if whites stayed where they came from, one doesn't have to go any further than to an Indian reservation to see what kind of "better" did they have in mind. It's obvious to everyone, except perhaps for a stubborn liberal, that if it weren't for federal government handouts, ripping off American gamblers in tribal casinos, and tax-free tobacco sales, Indians living in reservations would gradually resort back to the caveman era - the point of human evolution that they were at when Columbus discovered America in 1492. As a matter of fact, many of them, including Al’s caller, voted with their feet which country, Indian or American, was better as they moved in droves to American cities and suburbs in search for life better than their tribal culture could offer1. (Those who claim that Indians cannot fully utilize their civilization building talents and creativity while living in reservations will have to explain to me first what exactly is holding these Indians back so that they did not build anything astonishing by themselves yet.)


Speaking of the first question, their claim that this land is their property is ridiculous. (All liberals thoroughly brainwashed in American post-1965 public schools and colleges will certainly disagree.)


First of all, when the European settlers came to North America, there was no country here. Loose groups of nomadic (and fiercely fighting each other) tribes of savages did not develop a sense of ownership of land, and eagerly sold to whites what they thought belonged to nobody. What they got in exchange for useless (for them), uninhabited, and undeveloped land was more than generous: various products (ornaments, steel tools, firearms) of Western civilization that was some 2,000 years ahead of theirs.


Even if one assumes that these nomadic tribes had some kind of verifiable legal lien on part of American land that they did or didn't trade, the bottom line is that they died without heirs. Some of them were killed while fighting with white settlers and free-roaming outlaws, and that's unfortunate. But vast majority of them died of diseases that the settlers brought with them, for which Indians had not have a chance to develop any immunity (and that was unfortunate, too). Now, some other Indians who came from elsewhere claim their rights now to that left inheritance even though they are not in line of descendents of those that died, or at least there is no proof for it. (Mexicans are particularly good at making such claims.)


But the most ridiculous assertion of all was that land ownership is determined by the race of the claimant. The "rationale" that supports it goes like this. Indians by the very fact of being Indians own North American continent, together with all the improvements that white civilization built upon it. Moreover, if one tribe of Indians dies out, another tribe or group of the same or similar race automatically "inherits" rights to their land. (This is the basis of Mexican migrants' claims to the U.S. and its land.) In other words, anthropologic similarity to past inhabitants gives one the right to the land (and to all improvements on that land, even if built by someone else), while a lack thereof is a basis of refusing it to others.


That's about as absurd as it gets. Moreover, that's exactly what most staunch national socialists of NAZI party were saying. Now, you tell me, who are the "little Eichmanns" here?



Note1 Some liberal academics (particularly, revisionist historians) keep telling us that we should “give back” America to the “indigenous” people in order to save the environment. However, this wishful doctrine is not supported by historic facts. If Amerindians did not totally wreck the environment they inhabited then it was only because they were nomads that were unable to support populations large enough to inflict more serious environmental damage. When their campsites became unlivable, because of accumulation of feces and refuse, and extinction of edible animals, they moved to other encampments. This is why they had to maintain their nomadic culture and did not develop permanent settlements. High infant mortality, unstable supply of food, frequent, if not permanent, bloody wars that they fought with each other - in pre-Columbian times about 70% of them were in a war at any given time, with about 60% of them all the time - or, in other words, short life expectancy, kept their populations in check. We would easily keep America’s air and water clean and her wilderness pristine should our population not exceed few million (est. population of Amerindians around 1492).



 Past commentary (April 23, 2006):  They Pay More In Taxes Than They Receive In Services (Or Do They?)


Past commentary (March 29, 2006): Liberation and Socialism, Or The Marching Morons?


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