Native Americans and Racism

I’m part native American, part a bunch of other stuff. I wasn’t raised on a reservation. Neither would I ever want to have been. I don’t want to be supported by someone else. That’s not a gift. Society has advanced, there’s no reason a group of people should be given incentives to live like they lived 1,000 years ago.

Anyway, I heard a quote from a native American leader awhile ago that got me thinking. It was by a guy a couple hundred years ago, and talked nasty about how American Indians wouldn’t be around in the next century. The guy who quoted it was making a point about Native American culture disappearing.

But here’s my objection to that. Native Americans haven’t disappeared. They’ve permeated the culture. A big percentage of people we call “American” today can claim some sort of Native American heritage. Yes, the culture isn’t like it was 1,000 years ago, but since when did humanity try NOT to advance?

We’re all people, plain and simple. And sometimes, with white people guilt, the government tries to give back what some of our ancestors took from Native Americans, or even black people. But that’s all in the past. And pampering a people group, giving them everything free, is not necessarily a gift.

The fact that Europeans killed Native Americans is a sad historical fact. But Indians killed white people, too. Thankfully, a lot of our ancestors got over that. My great-great-great-great-grandfather (or something like that) was a Frenchman who married an American Indian lady. They encountered racism. But that ancestry stayed, and strains of her blood have mingled with all the other races that make up me.

So the people who said American Indians would disappear were wrong. They haven’t. Instead, we find them everywhere in our culture. Not necessarily on the reservations. In the dark hair of your mother, the heavy eyes of your best friend, the dreams of your daughter who wants to befriend wild horses.

America is a mixing pot of races. And mixing requires everyone to give up aspects of their previous identity, and contribute others to the collage. This isn’t a bad thing. God made all of us. He didn’t tell us to stay in our various cultures. He told us to forgive. And racism will never leave if we just keep bringing up old hurts and not forgiving.



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