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White Native Americans

A branch of our local library is hosting a discussion about a recent work of popular fiction, One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus. I’m thinking of stopping by to puke.

The novel begins by alluding that its unspeakable historical premise has factual merit. ALLEGEDLY the author’s great great aunt, a “May Dodd”, left a journal about her life experience, hidden all these years in shame by her family. The author takes it upon himself to tell her repressed tale, and because it is the untold fate of 999 nameless more, we infer it to be one of the dark secrets of the American national identity.

The story concerns 1000 white women who were traded to the Indians in exchange for resettlement and peace. One thousand white women. The title does grab you. It has undeniable where-the-white-women-at? appeal.

Another prominant White IndianThe phenomena also shares something with the White Indian Series by Donald Porter. That’s a western series for readers who couldn’t be bothered to know about the lives of the Native Americans unless they were WHITE Native Americans. These readers can’t sympathize with Indians as victims, unless they are white Indian victims, and then preferably of course they should be white Indian victims of Indians.

The mythic white Indian abounds on film, and it’s not just Indians. The story of The Last Samurai had to be about a white man in Japan (Tom Cruise) or who would care?

Here you have the fate of 1000 women sold, sacrificed or let loose down the river to become Indian squaws. One part romantic fantasy, several parts feminist grudge, (1000 parts rape fetish?), all at the hands of red heathen.

To be fair, the author does provide a disclaimer that 1000 white women never changed hands. Fergus implies however that an original Cheyenne proposal to be given 1000 white women was real and asks readers to ponder, what if?

If true, it’s a piercing lesson on the embarrassing legacy that can come from sarcasm.

How deeply insulting is it to suggest that Indian tribal leaders would have asked the army negotiators for white women? And as a condition of laying down their weapons? I think it’s indescribably racist to be susceptible to thinking that Indian fathers and braves sought white mates with whom to raise new generations of their tribe.

Neither in-breeding nor poor education are excuses enough for this prevalent self-centered bigotry.

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Comments

Comment from John   (IP: 75.80.11.155)
Time: April 2, 2012, 4:50 pm

Well, I believe you are what you would call a very biased source. Native Americans were mistreated by settlers, and many millions of them were killed by European diseases, but to say that an author writing one such story about a proposal is racist… BAH. Many tribes HATED the white man, considered white people as being their enemy, which was the same way they felt about some other tribes. The fear settlers had towards Natives was founded because they heard stories of people being scalped, and YES, women were a commonly traded commodity between tribes just as Cherokee (to whom I am related) traded in slaves. The bottom line is that the “white man” invaded north america much in the same way that many other areas were “invaded” by many other people throughout the course of history. The fact that we then bred with them, and the fact that they happened to be on the losing end of the battle means that you have some sort of unrealistic sympathy for them and that you somehow blame a race (European) for something that a group of honkey’s did 100-250 years previous. SUCH IS THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD… It’s a mongol eat european, european eat african, Muslim eat african, china eat tibet place, and it’s been this way for roughly.. HMMMMM about as long as we can all remember.

Do I need to discuss the death of TENS OF MILLIONS due to MAOISM? STALIN?

Comment from Tony Logan   (IP: 184.99.8.233)
Time: April 2, 2012, 6:14 pm

I really don’t believe that the injustices that the people from White European background did to the indigenous of the Americas is something non current and only of the way distant past as you apparently do, John. Plus, one can always hear this ‘it’s a dog eat dog world’ sort of apologism for one’s group’s own crimes, from those always still engaging in criminal injustice to others, and it’s really not very convincing. One simply get’s rather sick of always hearing in the US, the ‘I got to climb to the top of the heap on the backs of others, or otherwise they will do the same to me’ stuff.

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