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Democracy in America > Week 8: DIA Vol 1 Part 2 Ch. 10(XVIII) - 10(XVIII): Present state and Probable Future of Indian Tribes

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message 1: by David (last edited Apr 23, 2019 09:09PM) (new)

David | 2680 comments Vol1 Part 2, Chapter 10
SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE PRESENT STATE AND PROBABLE FUTURE OF THE THREE RACES THAT INHABIT THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES


First, why does he include these chapters in a book about democracy?

Did anyone else cringe at this quote?
Seeing what is taking place in the world, might one not say that the European is to men of other races what man himself is to animals? He makes them serve his needs, and when he cannot bend them to his will, he destroys them.
In the previous chapter we were asked to consider:
. . .if complete equality were ultimately inevitable, would it not be better to choose to be leveled by liberty rather than by a despot
In this chapter he seems to say neither choice may be a good one:
The Negro exists at the ultimate extreme of servitude, the Indian at the outer limits of freedom. The effects of slavery on the former are scarcely more disastrous than those of independence on the latter.
The following seems out of place and stands alone here; why does he say it and is it an indictment against this sort of governing:
Savage nations are governed by opinions and mores alone.
Tocqueville seems to be sympathetic toward the Native Americans, but he continues to exhibit his monocular and controlling vision in only seeing things from his own perspective and how he thinks the Native Americans should behave:
By contrast, the Indian’s imagination is filled with the supposed nobility of his origins. He lives and dies amid dreams inspired by his pride. Far from wishing to bend his mores to ours, he clings to barbarity as a distinctive sign of his race, and he rejects civilization not so much because he hates it, perhaps, as because he is afraid of resembling the Europeans.
He concludes this section with a story about an encounter with all three races outside of a pioneer’s cabin: a little white girl, attended by a Creek woman, attended in turn by a black woman. He describes the dress and apparent attitude and hierarchy of each. The story ends when the Creek woman pushes the child away and the three move away deeper into the woods. This brief, four paragraph story, is pregnant with detail. Why does Tocqueville include it here, and what can be taken from it?


message 2: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments Vol1 Part 2, Chapter 10
CURRENT STATE AND PROBABLE FUTURE OF THE INDIAN TRIBES INHABITING THE TERRITORY POSSESSED BY THE UNION

Tocqueville lists a few of the tribes that were destroyed and displaced. A sobering footnote tells us that only 6,273 Indians remain in the thirteen original states. Another footnote succinctly explains this came about by the dwindling natural resources the Indians relied on by the advancement of European settlers:
“The time is long since past when the Indians could obtain necessary items of food and clothing without recourse to the industry of civilized men. . .The Indians do not want to live like Europeans, yet they can neither do without Europeans nor live entirely as their fathers lived.
Previously, Native American options were to forceably eject the earliest white settlers before they became too strong, or to become civilized equals with the Europeans. The time to kick the settlers out had passed, and of becoming civilized Tocqueville says:
It is easy to foresee that the Indians will never want to become civilized, or else that, by the time they do want to do so, it will be too late. . .Not only do the Indians fail to possess this indispensable prerequisite of civilization, but it is very difficult for them to acquire it.
As to why the Indians will never want to become civilized he tells us of they view labor as an evil out of pride in their own mores and culture resists efforts to do so as much as their laziness. Now the Native American are consigned to a misery that Tocqueville says only consists of two options left to those migrating away from their original lands; hunger in the resource-stripped lands behind them and war with the tribes whose land they had to migrate to ahead of them. In cases where the North American Indian does join the whites, they trade in their freedom to be consigned to the lowest ranks of the poor and ignorant. We are also told the Indians were poorly equipped to compete on an agricultural level with the Europeans.


message 3: by David (last edited Apr 24, 2019 10:12AM) (new)

David | 2680 comments Vol1 Part 2, Chapter 10
CURRENT STATE AND PROBABLE FUTURE OF THE INDIAN TRIBES INHABITING THE TERRITORY POSSESSED BY THE UNION
Continued.
In a less prejudiced note, Tocqueville says the Indians efforts to compete with the Europeans is hampered by time more than a lack of talent:
In what little these Indians have accomplished, they have surely demonstrated as much natural genius as the peoples of Europe in their more ambitious enterprises. But nations, like men, need time to learn, however intelligent and industrious they may be.
What I shook my head in disbelief at the most in this section was the stress on the legality of what was being done:
the conduct of the Americans of the United States toward the Indians exhibits the purest love of formalities and legalities. . .

. . .The Americans of the United States achieved both results [extermination and prevention of the Indians sharing their rights] with marvelous ease, quietly, legally, philanthropically, without bloodshed, without violating a single one of the great principles of morality in the eyes of the world. To destroy human beings with greater respect for the laws of humanity would be impossible.
That last line is probably the most disturbing expression in a section of disturbing descriptions.


message 4: by Gary (last edited Apr 25, 2019 08:57AM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments David wrote: "What I shook my head in disbelief at the most in this section was the stress on the legality of what was being done..."

Without wanting to downplay how distressing this week's reading is viewed in the context of our own time, I believe T's remarks on the "legality" of the mistreatment of native peoples were meant be sardonic. He adds a footnote to the "formalities and legality" paragraph that David quite rightly highlights which suggests that he does not buy into this legal double-talk.
In regards to a report asserting that "the Indians had no right[s]," T notes that "Reading this report, which incidentally, is written by a clever man, one is astonished by the facility with which the author, from his very first words, disposes of arguments based on natural rights and reason, which he calls abstract and theoretical principles. The more I reflect on this, the more I think that the only difference between the civilized man and the uncivilized man with regard to justice is that the former contests the justice of rights, while the latter is content simply to violate them."
Goldhammer trans, Chap 10, Note 29
Moreover, I don't think that T as a son of the Enlightenment would so cavalierly disregard "arguments based on natural rights and reason."


message 5: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments I found it a great shame to my country that so neutral and indeed sympathetic an observer as AdT would give to damning an appraisal of the treatment of native Americans.


message 6: by Rafael (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 329 comments This section is quite cringy. He try but he is unable to see the history through the eyes of an outsider. He is european in every aspect. He says that the indian race will vanish because they are too stubborn to become "civilized", but why they should?


message 7: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments Rafael wrote: "This section is quite cringy. He try but he is unable to see the history through the eyes of an outsider. He is european in every aspect. He says that the indian race will vanish because they are too stubborn to become "civilized", but why they should?"

In short to survive (at least culturally). Civilization in the roughest sense is an ability to maintain a larger population on the same territory, and thus more ‘civilised’ people replaced less.

For me, these chapters were also very uncomfortable reading, not because de Tocqueville saw European civilization superior to their culture (in the same sense it was), but because he claimed it was due to their stubborn nature or cultural obstacle. They were very apt to adopt European technologies and innovation. He later conceded to time needed to change. But what he did not see (and I suppose no one did) that smallpox and measles almost annihilated the indigenous population and that produced the effect of empty land that could and should be populated. Moreover, drastic depopulation in the long run turned thriving Mississippian culture into what Europeans saw as primitive savages. 


message 8: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments It's odd that AdT does not even mention the crushing blow that Old World diseases dealt to native American cultures.


message 9: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments I doubt that it was known to them and they could see that depopulation caused radical simplification of material culture and collapse of the complex social structures.


message 10: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments I can understand how T might miss the toll disease took on the native populations, but how did he miss all of the wars?

Colonial period (1540–1774)
At least 12 wars, or series of wars
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...

East of the Mississippi (1775–1842)
At least 5 much larger wars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...

The "without bloodshed" part of that last paragraph must have been meant to be as sardonic as the rest of it.


message 11: by Gary (last edited Apr 25, 2019 09:47AM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments None of what T says about native populations should surprise given his previous comments in DiA. Here he expands on and justifies what he said earlier. I think we should approach this whole train of thought as offering an insight into the thinking of early 19th century American elites. It's not pretty. I have to add that this kind of thinking about native peoples in America persists today. Like so much that is ugly in American history, it hasn't disappeared; it has gone underground.

By the way, I detect a trace of self-awareness in T when he writes:
"It has been the misfortune of the Indians, however, to come into contact with the most civilized - and, I would add, the greediest - people on earth at a time when they themselves are still half-barbarous ..."



message 12: by Gary (last edited Apr 25, 2019 09:47AM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments David wrote: "I can understand how T might miss the toll disease took on the native populations, but how did he miss all of the wars?"

Thanks, David, for bringing this up. The number of these named wars in the Wikipedia article you referred to is sobering. These are the wars that aren't taught in high school history classes. Some have called these wars genocidal.

Although not wars as such, one would have to describe the forced removals of native populations as genocidal as well. For more about these "Indian removals," see Chapter 7, "As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs," of Howard's Zinn's excellent history, A People's History of the United States.


message 13: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments David wrote: "I can understand how T might miss the toll disease took on the native populations, but how did he miss all of the wars?

Colonial period (1540–1774)
At least 12 wars, or series of wars
https://en.w..."


I don't think the "without bloodshed" remark was sardonic. Bad as it was, outside of actual hostilities, there was not a lot of bloodshed. AdT would have compared it to regular campaigns of extermination, like the Mongols in central Asia or the Israelites in Canaan.


message 14: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments The "delusional" legal policies used to rationalize the displacement of the native populations are one thing and the results were far from bloodless. However, I am not convinced the impact from all of the wars is too big ignore in describing the current state of the Indians, not just in loss of life, but all the racial hatred they fueled. T barely gives the armed conflicts even honorable mention here.

Perhaps he does not want to stir up bad feelings from his French readers by mentioning France's part in all of it by reminding them of the French and Indian War? Perhaps he does not want to ponder the alternate outcome of France winning that war and being in the same position creating the same policies concerning Indian Affairs as the Americans have.

Is a democracy better equipped to handle the native populations, or would some European government have made better choices?


message 15: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments As AdT wrote, France was engaged in the conquest of Algeria.


message 16: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments David wrote: "Is a democracy better equipped to handle the native populations, or would some European government have made better choices? "

British Empire had provided a good portion of examples. I may cite South Africa where the Empire's rule was more tolerable than Commonwealth's and much more than Republic's (wit apartheid).

But we do not need to go that far - one of the conflicts that led to the American Revolution was British policy to honour treaty with Indian tribes and colonists' intention to grab their territories.

Even if the intentions of the colonists and metropolis were the same, colonists were usually more radical in dealing with the native population (NZ for example).

Thus it can be said that European power usually made better choices, yet even in these examples it is clear that good but imposed settlement is not sustainable. Sustainable peace and cohabitation should be achieved locally.


message 17: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments In a previous chapter Tocqueville indicated George Washington stood firm against the passions of the people who wanted to go to war. Here Tocqueville says:
Washington, in one of his messages to Congress, said: “We are more enlightened and more powerful than the Indian nations. It is for us a matter of honor to treat them with kindness and even generosity.” This noble and virtuous policy has not been adhered to.
Is the disregard of Washington's advice a failing of a democracy and its production of leadership with abilities far less than the founders? Is it another example of unchecked tyranny of the majority and a failing in sovereignty of the people in making better choices?


message 18: by Rafael (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 329 comments Alexey wrote: "Rafael wrote: "This section is quite cringy. He try but he is unable to see the history through the eyes of an outsider. He is european in every aspect. He says that the indian race will vanish bec..."

I agree, Alexey. I don't remember the exact number, I guess someone told it in another thread, but it was at least 50% ( I am conservative here I am sure) of the population wiped out by diseases, in some regions the rate was even worse.

Looking at the Wikipedia it says:

The spread of disease from European contact was not always accidental. Europeans arriving in the Americas had long been exposed to the diseases, attaining a measure of immunity, and thus were not as severely affected by them. Therefore, disease could be an effective biological weapon.

During the French and Indian War, Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, Britain's commander in chief in North America authorized the use of smallpox to wipe out their Native American enemy. In his writings to Colonel Henry Bouquet about the situation in western Pennsylvania, Amherst suggested that the spread of disease would be beneficial in achieving their aims. Colonel Bouquet confirmed his intentions to do so.


"You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians, by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race." — Jeffery Amherst

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_...


message 19: by Gary (last edited Apr 26, 2019 01:37PM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments David wrote: "In a previous chapter Tocqueville indicated George Washington stood firm against the passions of the people who wanted to go to war..."

Washington wasn't alone in this. Others among the founders also took a more generous view toward native Americans. Thomas Jefferson is an interesting case in point. As Washington's Secretary of State, he wrote that where Indians lived within state boundaries they should not be interfered with, and that the government should remove white settlers who tried to encroach on them. As President, Jefferson adopted an assimilation policy towards the Indian nations, as he referred to them. [Sources: Zinn; Wikipedia] However, by the end of his second term, under pressure from the southern states, from speculators, and from Congress, he had moved away from his earlier thinking and committed the federal government to relocate native peoples to the west [Zinn].

The answer to David's good question, I think, is that it's all about the tyranny of the majority. In the American system of government even the ablest leaders, men such as Jefferson, are ultimately subject to the will - wise or not - of the majority. It's an old saw, but true, that Americans get the government they deserve.


message 20: by Michele (new)

Michele | 40 comments Far from wishing to bend his mores to ours, he clings to barbarity as a distinctive sign of his race, and he rejects civilization not so much because he hates it, perhaps, as because he is afraid of resembling the Europeans.

I am guessing that at this point most Europeans/white Americans had no real conception of how indigenous peoples governed themselves. I suspect that T (and many others) were blinkered by having a very limited definition of "civilization."


message 21: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 80 comments Michele wrote: "I am guessing that at this point most Europeans/white Americans had no real conception of how indigenous peoples governed themselves."

I suspect you're right, Michele. And, like Gary says, while Zinn (1980) provides the oft-forgotten perspective, it comes nearly 150 years after AT's account. I'm wondering if anyone has any links to any texts closer to the early part of the 19th century.


message 22: by Gary (last edited Apr 27, 2019 03:26PM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments Michele wrote: "Far from wishing to bend his mores to ours, he clings to barbarity as a distinctive sign of his race, and he rejects civilization not so much because he hates it, perhaps, as because he is afraid o..."

I wonder if T is more than a little ambivalent about American Indians. I detect admiration in what he says about their core principles, their self-governance, and the relative simplicity of their lives. In this he echoes the "noble savage" idea attributed to Rousseau and which was a strong thread in European thinking at the time. https://www.britannica.com/art/noble-... On the other hand, T bemoans their pride and resistance to change which he is certain will be their downfall. In this he reflects the anti-Indian feelings in the country during his visit, as evidenced by the election of Andrew Jackson. See also following post.


message 23: by Gary (last edited Apr 27, 2019 03:26PM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments Kyle wrote: "while Zinn (1980) provides the oft-forgotten perspective, it comes nearly 150 years after AT's account. I'm wondering if anyone has any links to any texts closer to the early part of the 19th century..."

Here's a link to an article published in the North American Review, January 1830, a year before T's visit, that pretty thoroughly discusses what American elites were thinking about native peoples. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25102818...

One line from the article pretty much sums it up: “A barbarous people depending for sustenance upon the precarious and scanty supplies furnished by the chase cannot live in contact with a civilized community.”


message 24: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 80 comments Gary, thanks for sharing the link. I'm assuming that the authors of this review were of European descent. I'm wondering where the earliest Native American writings that share this time period from a Native American perspective might be found, as well.


message 25: by Gary (last edited Apr 28, 2019 11:25AM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments Kyle wrote: "I'm wondering where the earliest Native American writings that share this time period from a Native American perspective might be found ..."

Not exactly easy, Kyle, as the American Indian Nations did not have written languages. Some developed writing systems later, the best known being the Cherokee who formally adopted a written language, but not until 1825.

The only written sources that (perhaps) reflect native perspectives at the time are tribal leader speeches translated and written down by local (white) newsmen and published in their papers. Follow this link to a small but meaningful collection of such speeches: http://www.eacfaculty.org/pchidester/...
Scroll down to the speeches by Red Jacket of the Seneca and Tecumseh of the Shawnee which are of the same era as DiA.

Here are stirring words from Tecumseh's 1811 speech:
"Our broad domains are fast escaping from our grasp. Every year the white intruders become more greedy, exacting, oppressive and overbearing. Every year contentious spring up between them and our people and when blood is shed we had to make atonement whether right or wrong, at the cost of the lives of our greatest chiefs, and the yielding up of large tracts of our lands. Before the pale-faces came among us, we enjoyed the happiness of unbounded freedom, and were acquainted with neither riches, wants, nor oppression. How is it now? Wants and oppressions are our lot; for are we not in controlled in everything, and dare we move without asking, by your leave? Are we not being stripped day by day of the little that remains of our ancient liberty? Do they not even now kick and strike us as they do their black faces? How long will it be before they will tie us to a post and whip us, and make us work for them in their corn fields as they do with the black faces? Shall we wait for that moment or shall we die fighting before submitting to such ignominy?"



message 26: by Gary (last edited Apr 28, 2019 11:28AM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments I know I am putting up more posts than I should on this topic, but I feel very strongly about the destruction of indigenous peoples whether accidentally by disease, violently by wars and vigilante actions, or insidiously by forced migrations, discrimination, addiction, and deceit. Lest we forget.


message 27: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Gary wrote: "I know I am putting up more posts than I should on this topic, but I feel very strongly about the destruction of indigenous peoples whether accidentally by disease, violently by wars and vigilante ..."

Gary, although I haven't been very active in these readings, I do keep up with the messages. And for what it's worth, I think your posts are very relevant and make a significant contribution to the discussion. We don't have a quota on the number of posts an individual can make, so no worries about "putting up more posts than I should."

BTW: Years ago I read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn that you mentioned in #12. Like you, I thought it was excellent.


message 28: by Michele (new)

Michele | 40 comments @Gary, great link.

"...LET US FORM ONE BODY, ONE HEART, AND DEFEND TO THE LAST WARRIOR OUR COUNTRY, OUR HOMES, OUR LIBERTY, AND THE GRAVES OF OUR FATHERS..."

Compare to the last lines of the Declaration of Independence: "...declare that these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States...for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

I suppose it goes to show that any (human) leader in a crisis is bound to invoke similar themes. Kind of sad, though, that with all these similarities humans couldn't (and still can't) manage to live together peacefully.


message 29: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments People should be aware that Zinn's A People's History of the United States is not dispassionate history. It is polemical, one-sided, and simplistic. Among the critical appraisals in Wikipedia is this: "a black-and-white story of elite villains and oppressed victims, a story that robs American history of its depth and intricacy and leaves nothing but an empty text simplified to the level of propaganda."


message 30: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Roger wrote: "People should be aware that Zinn's A People's History of the United States is not dispassionate history. It is polemical, one-sided, and simplistic. Among the critical appraisals in Wikipedia is th..."

Ouch! :)


message 31: by Gary (last edited Apr 29, 2019 12:46PM) (new)

Gary | 205 comments Roger wrote: "People should be aware that Zinn's A People's History of the United States is not dispassionate history. It is polemical, one-sided, and simplistic. Among the critical appraisals in Wikipedia is th..."

The thing about critical appraisals is that they are seldom in agreement, and the thing about Zinn's history is that it is controversial. From the Wikipedia article Roger referenced: "A People's History of the United States has been praised and criticized by historians from across the political spectrum." For those who may be interested in the controversy, here's a link to that article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Peopl... Scroll down to "Critical Reception."


message 32: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments I have not read Zinn, but I have skimmed parts in the bookstore and read enough reviews that lead me to believe it is a very good secondary history book that adds depth and nuance to temper the history you were probably already taught, but it should not be a primary source, and never a solitary source, for history.

Can the same be said of Tocqueville here? Do we get a balanced and unbiased view or an unbalanced bias view of the conditions between the native Indians and the Americans? Keep this question in mind during next week's discussion on slavery in America.

Also, for as easy as it is to be critical of the relations between native populations and the Americans, I have yet to read a work that describes the problem and and provides solutions instead of providing impressions of blame for mostly one side, or the other. What were the options? What should have happened instead of what did happen?


message 33: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments David wrote: "Also, for as easy as it is to be critical of the relations between native populations and the Americans, I have yet to read a work that describes the problem and and provides solutions instead of providing impressions of blame for mostly one side, or the other. What were the options? What should have happened instead of what did happen? "

After reading these chapters, I thought about this question. In short, what was inevitable:
- destruction of the ingenious population by European infections;
- the collapse of the *civilisation* after massive depopulation (the way of life in the de Tocqueville's times was not *natural* it was an adaptation for the new situation);
- wars to drive out tribes further west due to immense demographic pressure.

What could have been avoided:
- the forced relocation of the tribes;
- ill-considered policies to settle the western territories.

In some areas of Latin America indigenous population has survived, preserved their culture, and become a vital and integral part of the modern nation. What they have in common -- the absence of mass immigration -- natives were not outnumbered and drove away -- they have time to restore their population, reinvented their social institutions, and adopted new institutions and technologies from Europeans.

Thus it seems that de Tocqueville was right writing that they need time. If the native population has this time to adapt without further blows to their culture and lifestyle, they could probably become an equal part of the US nation.


message 34: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation.


message 35: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments Roger, I hope that this is not only what they say but also a true state of affairs.

Two things that could be different: 1. Tribal territories and their population are not fully integrated in the U.S. 2. Indians are very small part of the U.S. population. And I think these make this topic so emotional for many people here.


message 36: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4421 comments I think Indians are treasured by Americans more as a story than as a people. Poverty rates on the reservations are astonishing, unemployment is high, and education levels are low.. Casino gambling has helped, but most Indians who do succeed manage to do so by leaving their families and culture behind and becoming "civilized" in the way Tocqueville describes -- i.e., homogenized with the dominant culture.


message 37: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments Roger wrote: "I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation."

There are those that would look at at that expression critically as somewhat two-faced and hypocritical in some cases, with a mix of hope for the future tempered by past and still ongoing oppression and maltreatment.

One of Tocqueville's associations and their newspaper website: The American Indian Movement (AIM) is one such group still fighting for their dignity and other things.
https://www.aimovement.org/

The profile page outlines their purpose, which includes Indian Sovereignty. . .
Pledged to fight White Man's injustice to Indians, his oppression, persecution, discrimination and malfeasance in the handling of Indian Affairs. No area in North America is too remote when trouble impends for Indians. AIM shall be there to help the Native People regain human rights and achieve restitutions and restorations.
words by respected Mohawk elder Louis Hall, December 1973
http://www.aimovement.org/ggc/index.html
Tocqueville said in this chapter all the Indians needed was time to become civilized to compete/join the Americans. If this is true, hasn't enough time passed by now? If so, what then is preventing better relations such that sites and attitudes like AIMs are necessary?


message 38: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 1527 comments Thomas wrote: "I think Indians are treasured by Americans more as a story than as a people. Poverty rates on the reservations are astonishing, unemployment is high, and education levels are low.. Casino gambling ..."

In addition to the points Thomas raised, Native American women have the highest rates of rape and assault. Over 90% of these are committed by non-tribal members.

https://www.hcn.org/articles/tribal-a...

From the article:
Currently, tribal courts do not have the jurisdiction to prosecute non-tribal members for many crimes like sexual assault and rape, even if they occur on tribal land. This is a huge issue, because non-Native American men commit the majority of assaults against Native American women. There are also few resources for tribal criminal justice systems, little backup from local law enforcement, and hardly any funding from the federal government to improve these systems. And all of this contributes to the exceptionally high rates of sexual and domestic violence.

If you scroll a couple of paragraphs into the article, you will find a link to a Department of Justice Study on the issue.


message 39: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments David wrote: "Roger wrote: "I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation."

There are those that would look at at that expression critically as so..."


And those would be viewed by yet others as smug self-righteous contemptible gits. In some cases.


message 40: by Alexey (new)

Alexey | 289 comments David wrote: "Tocqueville said in this chapter all the Indians needed was time to become civilized to compete/join the Americans. If this is true, hasn't enough time passed by now? If so, what then is preventing better relations such that sites and attitudes like AIMs are necessary?"

AFAIK, Indians until 20th centuries was kept busy with removing, relocating, and destroying of them. In all examples of integration native people and European migrants in one society it takes more than a century of more or less peaceful cohabitation.

As for the AIM, I do not think that restitution and restoration is helpful in the way to integration, more vice versa. But I am not sure that their goal is integration (though personally do not see another way for Indians to improve their conditions except integration in the American society).


message 41: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments I much of Latin America, the peoples did merge, so that most of the population is mestizo, of mixed Indian and European ancestry (with a little bit of African). The downside is that Indians were given no reservations and their culture lived on only insofar as it became part of the merged national culture. In a few places--Guatemala, Paraguay, parts of Peru--the population ratios were such that the merged culture was more Indian than Spanish. Such is my understanding, anyway.


message 42: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5030 comments Roger wrote: "I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation."

Roger -- your statement surprises me. Is it sardonic? If not, the key "evidence" that leads you to your view?


message 43: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments Lily wrote: "Roger wrote: "I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation."

Roger -- your statement surprises me. Is it sardonic? If not, the key ..."


Not sardonic at all. It represents the opinion of every friend I have heard express themselves on the subject.


message 44: by David (new)

David | 2680 comments First, I agree, that anecdotally Indians may appear to be viewed as equal and even a treasured part of our nation. I too have not met with anyone that would say otherwise. However, this positive sentiment becomes rather superficial as it stands sharply juxtaposed to to the very real and present living conditions of far too many Native Americans defying expectations towards something that is said to be treasured.

Here are just two contrary examples on current living conditions:
http://www.nativepartnership.org/site...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...


message 45: by Lily (last edited May 03, 2019 03:38PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5030 comments David wrote: "However, ... positive sentiment becomes rather superficial as it stands sharply juxtaposed to to the very real and present living conditions of far too many Native Americans ..."

With only limited personal experience, but with a little knowledge of some of the issues associated with Sioux/Dakota reservations and their surrounding communities, although mutual respect may vary widely, I could not affirm it as a general condition. (I am aware that some of our finest soldiers have included Native Americans. Nor is the military the only place where Native Americans are highly respected. )


message 46: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments It is well-known that many American Indians live in poor conditions. I don't think that justifies dismissing positive opinions about their place in the national culture as "superficial." That is a disparaging and insulting term.


message 47: by Lily (last edited May 03, 2019 09:05PM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5030 comments Roger wrote: "It is well-known that many American Indians live in poor conditions. I don't think that justifies dismissing positive opinions about their place in the national culture as "superficial." That is a ..."

I read that the use of "superficial"as not a "disparaging and insulting term" towards the Native American, but rather that treatment by the surrounding political and cultural environment may speak more loudly than words. (Not unlike how slow trash pickup schedules in poorer areas of a city speak to attitudes about familial economic conditions.)


message 48: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1722 comments Perhaps if we think so highly of Indians, we should be doing more for them.


message 49: by Michele (new)

Michele | 40 comments "I think now most Americans would say that the Indians are an equal and in fact a treasured part of our nation."

Perhaps a more precise statement would be that most present-day Americans now recognize how shamefully and unjustly indigenous peoples have been treated, both by the Europeans who came here -- whether as refugees or conquerors, explorers or invaders -- and in the centuries since. Whether those injustices have been appropriately, or sufficiently, redressed is I think an open question.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 304 comments I'm not sure if it's because of the translation, but I thought this was a quite damning picture of American policy. I did not even get the sense that T thought it was the responsibility of the Native American tribes to 'civilize'--the impression I got was that he was looking at the facts on the ground (through, of course, 18th and 19th century spectacles), and realized that neither course--civilization nor traditional--was immediately available, though adaptation was probably the best course, considering that there were elements of the European culture that the native inhabitants valued.

Considering his background, and the little time he spent in America, I thought that T. was remarkably perceptive in his evaluation of Anglo-American behavior, and condemnation of it (I think he gives the French a bit of a pass though.) Like others have said, I think he is particularly cutting with the concluding lines.


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