Throughout our semester weve learned certain patterns of thought and behavior, such as propaganda, dehumanization, and obedience which leads to repression to others. WeVe also learned that with repression and genocide, theyre always earlier signs of intentions to destroy. IVe chosen to write about the “Removal of Native Americans and the trail of tears” because I believe America destroyed our history and reputation. Everyone around the world sees America as a role model but are we truly role model’s? Is our history going to haunt us forever and our dark moments from the ast never forgotten?
Everyone wants to be a Judge but no one wants to be prosecuted, American propaganda can only take you so far. eventually “Double Killing” will have its justice. I wanted to do some research out of curiosity and since as an American it’s important to know about your history, lye chosen to write about this. It’s always interesting to learn about other country’s’ past and malicious moments, so why not learn about ours first. Should we be Judging and pointing fingers at other countries for their dark moments, meanwhile we have our own?
We always learn about what ther countries did like; Hitler and the holocaust; Hutu and the Rwanda genocide; but never about American and the Trail of Tears. ” what America did wasn’t rght but you don’t hear much of It In todays history. The Trail of Tears was a dark chapter In American history and happened around the 183(Ys. It began before Andrew Jackson became president and signed the “Indian Removal Act” of the 1830’s. He was long before that an advocate of the “Indian removal” as a general in the Army.
The signing of the “Indian Removal Act” gave federal government the power to exchange Native American lands in the east for ands in the west Over 19 million of Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in America before the Europeans came and discovered our country now known as the United States, These Acres of land were left to them by their ancestor before they were resettled to Indian Territory, Gregory H. Stanton, President of the Genocide Watch, wrote “The 8 stages of Genocide. ” In his article he tells us the early signs and operational process of Genocide.
The eight stages of genocide are classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial. These stages, according to Stanton, are early signs of intent to “Gain property or eliminating a rival for power. ” Stanton also tells us, “An act of genocide may arise in a culture that considers members ot another group less than human, where killing members of that group Is not considered murder,” Genocide Is not only mass murder but a massacre and the only way to understand It Is by understanding the eight stages.
Classification Is how humans distinguish and classify objects and people. All cultures have different categories In order to distinguish their believes from others. re different than us and since we are better than them we can classify them. In the “Removal of Native Americans and the Trail of tears”, Native Americans were classified as uncivilized people without manners. So President George Washington thought, the best way to civilize the Native Americans were to teach them to be more civilized and American like.
Only five tribes out of many (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee) embraced the customs and were then known as the Five Civilized Tribes. “President George Washington, believed that the best way to solve this “Indian problem” was simply to “civilize” the Native Americans. Symbolization was then used to name and signify the classified group. People symbolize others according to their believes and physical characteristics. Besides the Native Americans looking and dressing different, the English lost their sense of openness towards them and became more independent once the Native Americans were outnumbered.
Proposing the Natives Americans to be more English American, they made one attempt to convert them to Christianity. They basically said “Well if you’re going to live among us you need to basically become us, because we cant live with people who are different from ourselves”. Once the Native Americans were classified then symbolized as different uncivilized people without manners, the Europeans had then started to dehumanize the Indians. Dehumanization combined with classification and symbolization, according to Stanton, is the starting steps to a genocide which kills without impunity.
The dehumanization of the Native Americans started once the Europeans were scared to be around the Native Americans. To the white Europeans, the features and scary look that the Native Americans had were “Unfamiliar alien looking”, compared to what the white Europeans were used to seeing. The Native Americans that refused and fought against changing their culture were segregated from everyone and a new solution was being organized for them. The Europeans then started to see there wasn’t any hope helping the Native American people. So, they stated to come up with a plan on how to get rid of them without losing their lands.
The Europeans weren’t going to leave valuable cotton money making land with the Native Americans or “Ignorant people”, as they were referred to. All the lands that belonged to the Native Americans were good rich lands which the Europeans believed didn’t belong to them. The only way to get rid of these “Aliens” is by torturing and harassing the Native Americans. So, the Europeans started to steal livestock; burn and loot houses and anything they can do to scare and force Natives Americans to leave. State government then Joined in this effort to push Native Americans out of the south. Several states passed laws limiting Native American sovereignty and rights and encroaching on their territory. U. S. Supreme Court objected to these practices and affirmed that native nations were sovereign nations “in which the laws of Georgia [and other states] can have no force. Even so, the maltreatment continued. ” The Choctaw, one of the civilized five, became the first Indian tribe to be expelled from their land. They travelled on foot through the “Trail of Tears” some with chains and without any food, supplies, or help from the government. “Thousands of people died along the way. It was”, one Choctaw leader told an Alabama newspaper, a “trail of Lands located in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, were targeted as valuable acres of land to keep. These parts of land were known as “cotton growing fortunes” for the Europeans and grew to be more coveted as white settlers looded the region. So, the Europeans had to prepare another plan and faster way to get rid of the Indians since looting and harassing them wasn’t working. The English had already tried subjugation and when that failed then they felt the only thing left was extermination.
Extermination had begun when the Native American tribes were forced to pick up and leave without taking supplies. After a few years of “negotiating” and harassing Indians, President Andrew Jackson signed the “Indian Removal Act” in the 1830’s, which gave government the power to exchange Native American land in he east of the Mississippi for land in the west, in “Indian colonization zone” that was acquired for them specifically as part of the “Louisiana Purchase. ” This land was called “Indian territory’ and was located in present-day Oklahoma.
A few years passed and not all Native Americans had left yet, some had stayed and fought for their lands. In 1836, 15,000 Creeks had set out for Oklahoma as part of the Indian removal process, 3,500 did not make it. By 1838, Cherokee people were divided and 2,000 had left their home as part of the Indian removal process. “President Martin Van Buren sent General Winfield Scott and 7,000 soldiers to expedite the removal process. Scott and his troops forced the Cherokee into stockades at bayonet point while whites looted their homes and belongings. Denial is the final stage of genocide and ideological reasons are motives for denying genocide. Even more troubling are when Americans who weren’t directly involved with the genocide, have their own ideological reasons for their denial. Just by Americans claiming that the deaths were inadvertent, they’re acting in denial. “Rationalize the deaths as a result of tribal conflict, coming to the victims out of the nevitability of their history of relationships” is genocidal denial. Elie Wiesel calls Denial a “Double killing” because “it strives to kill the memory of the event. ” American propaganda is what IVe seen and heard as a kid.
IVe always thought America was a sacred and proud place to live in but after doing some research and seeing what America does now in days, I would say we haven’t changed much. We were role models for other countries but what better are we now when we were inspiration to other genocides. John Toland wrote “Hitler’s concept of concentration amps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to the studies of the United States history and he often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of Americas extermination by starvation and uneven combat of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity. What America did wasn’t right but you don’t hear much of it in todays history. Everyone wants to be the Judge but no one wants to be prosecuted. Shouldn’t we Judge as if we were the ones being prosecuted, fairly? It’s a kind of propaganda to teach what you want others to know and only mention what you want them to hear. During the genocide of the Native Americans through the “Trail of Tears” there were 19 million Indians that were living in America.
By the year 1970, there were only 260,000 left; as of today, there are only 560 federally recognized Native American tribes left in the United States. – General Phillips Sheridan, U. S. Army “Jews represent the lowest form of human beings. My first and foremost task would be to annihilate them. “