The Ultimate Irony of the 'Native American Elder' and the MAGA Hat Kids
This past weekend’s big news was a big media frame-up of kids and the beating of a leftist drum by a little Indian. There’s no need now to elaborate on how the Covington Catholic High School students may end up being 2019’s most unfairly maligned group; their innocence has already been established. But suffice it to say that with video-recording devices ubiquitous today — and with incidents such as last Friday’s Lincoln Memorial affair shot by multiple people from many angles — if there’s no footage of something that allegedly happened there, it didn’t happen, period.
What did happen was that Talking Bull (Nathan Phillips), a professional agitator and American Indian separatist, was given a forum in which to spew nonsensical ideas. Here’s a prime example: “I heard them [the students] saying ‘build the wall, build that wall,’” he said,” as Vibe reported. “This is indigenous land. We’re not supposed to have walls here. Before anyone came here there were no walls….”
(Actually, the Indians built plenty of walls, as old ruins attest.)
But something occurs to me here: If the Indians had effective border security, perhaps they wouldn’t have been overrun and conquered.
So, what’s the message? “We lost the continent…and we can show you how to lose it, too!”?
Talking Bull followed up his anti-wall blather by adding that American Indians “never even had prisons,” either.
Well, most of them also didn’t have the wheel, a written language or anything beyond stone tools. What’s the point?
Mine is this: We all could conceivably wax romantic about our primitive ancestors’ days. Yet it’s silly. I don’t want to live as my savage European forebears did in, let’s say, 500 B.C. any more than Talking Bull desires to live as American Indians did in 1500 A.D. Typical of activists, Talking Bull is all talk.
It’s reminiscent of an old Sanford and Son episode in which the Lamont character, claiming embrace of his African roots, dons a dashiki and assumes an African name (video below). To the show’s credit, it later illustrated how he knew nothing about African traditions and was just childishly playing African.
Likewise, Talking Bull & Co., with their ceremonial pipes and drums, are merely playing Indians and Indians. Had Western civilization never existed and the dreaded white man not ever arrived on these shores, the Indians would still be living a stone-age lifestyle. The “noble savage” suckers may romanticize this, but neither they nor Talking Bull want any part of it. They could withdraw into the wilderness and live like the Sentinalese, but they don’t. They love our modern conveniences, luxuries and prosperity too much.
In truth, we all had ancestors who once were conquered or colonized. And the European tribes subdued by the Romans surely had many of the same complaints today’s grievance groups do: that their cultures were being trampled, their values eviscerated. Yet should we lament those Roman conquests and demonize Italians?
In reality, we’re all better off for the Romans having spread Christianity, Western civilization and technology and having built infrastructure throughout Europe (e.g., roads, aqueducts, amphitheaters). We still use today much that they birthed, too, from our calendar to concrete to plumbing to sanitation to fast food to trademarks and beyond.
The Romans, of course, had gotten much from the Greeks and Etruscans. This Western civilization then spread to the rest of Europe; later to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand; and to a lesser extent elsewhere, influencing and enhancing the whole world.
Thus did a Zambian man I knew once argue that African colonization was good; it’s why a fellow from India I knew despised Mohandas Gandhi (who was phony, but that’s a different issue), condemning the Indian leader for driving experts and expertise from the country. Shocking? These men understand how civilization spreads.
Of course, it would’ve been better if these glories had been spread via suasion and salesmanship than by the sword, but that’s a non-starter. Not only wasn’t this history’s norm, but would they have spread to the same degree sans sword? Would the world really look better today?
If any of us could be transported back to our primitive ancestors’ time and place, there’s a good chance they’d view us as aliens, suitable, perhaps, for slavery or stew. Speaking of which, it was Western civilization that ultimately outlawed slavery and birthed our modern concept of human rights.
The point is that, however our glorious civilization came to be, be happy we’re part of it — and not living in barbarism.
But, again, the world’s Talking Bulls don’t really want their ancestors’ ways, just their image. They live in modern homes (presumably with walls), drive cars, shop at supermarkets, visit doctors and use high-tech recording devices to frame unsuspecting youths. Dispense with Western civilization’s fruits? Never! They just want their own ethnic dominance while gorging on them. They don’t love what’s behind them as much as they hate what’s in front of them.
It also should be said that — contrary to common misconceptions — the Indians were not the first Americans. Ernie LaPointe, great-grandson of Sitting Bull, made this point in 2010 when responding to Barack Obama’s inclusion of the famed Indian in a “great Americans” children’s book. He said that Sitting Bull “never was an American” but “a Lakota.”
Of course. “America” is a European-derived word, taken from Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci’s name; “America” is also a Western concept and the United States a Western creation.
Nonetheless, Westerners did dominate the Indians. And the Etruscans initially dominated the Romans, who later dominated the Italian peninsula’s other groups and ultimately were dominated by “barbarians” West and Muslims East. The Aztecs dominated other tribes as did Africa’s Shaka Zulu. Many European groups were actually subsumed, which is why you don’t hear about Goth, Frank, Lombard, Alan, Burgundian, Gaul and Frisii lobbying organizations. Heck, the politically correct documentary series The West mentioned that the Lakota justified their dominance of other tribes to the U.S. government by saying they were only doing what “we” were doing; in fact, it quoted a modern-day Lakota as stating (I’m paraphrasing), “We were very good at what we did.” So what’s the complaint?
That Westerners were better?
This isn’t to imply might makes right, only that it’s insane to think the West should commit cultural suicide unilaterally to atone for a universal human sin. We have a civilization here, now, today — the greatest to grace the planet — and preserving it is our duty.
Speaking of which, the lesson to learn from the Indians, and the aforementioned history of conquest, is that demography is destiny. Thus should we have built a wall, both physical and technological, a long time ago, along with altering our suicidal, nation-rending immigration regime.
As for Talking Bull, there’s no point taking him too seriously. His problem isn’t that he wants off the reservation — it’s that he’s on the leftist one.