Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Well, I’ve been banned from Twitter for violating their rules; truth is now “hate speech” or some other insanity. “Truth is its own defense”, was a principle first set forth in Crown v Zenger (1735) when Andrew Hamilton successfully defended John Peter Zenger on trial for libeling the royal governor of New York. That principle is now proscribed by Twitter.
My purge arose from a story of Massachusetts changing the state seal because it was racist, a symbol of white supremacy and offensive to the descendants of the aboriginal population, i.e., American Indians, of the state. How the seal is a symbol of white supremacy is beyond the comprehension of any rational person, but there you have it. The seal even features an Indian. Only someone who considers the black Larry Elder the “face of white supremacy” could conjure up such nonsense
Knowing the history of the region and the wars of the colonial period I couldn’t let the nonsense in the Boston Globe story go unanswered and posted a reply:
Upon being banned, aside from a few choice words questioning the mental capacity of the “keepers of the flame,” I suggested they check the historical record found among other sources of which is Francis Parkman’s great treatise on the French and Indian War, France and England in North America, which describes cannibalism and the torture techniques of the “native Americans” – fingernail pulling, mutilation, and hostage roasting. Twitter also shuns the history of pre-colonial New England. Life among the tribes was not idyllic even without the English, for instance, from Wiki:
In the early 1660s, the Pocumtuc [a Connecticut tribe] were shattered as a nation due to conflict with the aggressive Mohawk, the easternmost of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, who were located west of Albany in the Mohawk Valley and raided into New England.
Another example of intra Indian relations concerned our old friend Squanto of Thanksgiving legend. From the web:
Squanto, his tribe having been wiped out by disease three years before the Pilgrims landed, spent the rest of his life with them. Squanto, however, was not above pulling a fast one on other Indians. When he tried it on Massasoit, a livid Massasoit wanted to wring his neck, but another incident arose, Squanto narrowly escaping “Indian justice”.
The New England Indian wars were brutal and devastating. The Plymouth settlement, which had had peaceful relations by and large with the Indians found that ended with the Pequot War where they got caught up in the dispute between the dominant Pequots and the Narragansetts with the English allying with the Narragansetts. By war’s end the Pequots were just about wiped out.
Next on our parade is “King Philip’s War,” again pitting English against Indian and Indian against Indian. The Pilgrims had lived in comity with Massasoit’s Wampanoags until his death 1675 when a series of unfortunate events ended the peace leading to King Phillip’s war in which mutual savagery tore New England apart. Philip (Metacom) was a spendthrift who could only pay his bills by selling off land to the Pilgrims. His resentment grew as Pilgrim cattle drifted into Indian fields and moonshiners peddled rot gut liquor to the Wampanoags. Philip plotted revenge but was found out, hauled into court, and fined which ruffled his feathers even more. It got worse. Samuel Eliot Morison’s Oxford History of the American People described how the war erupted:
War was brought on by the murder of Sassamon, a Harvard-educated Indian who had been Philip’s secretary, and who tipped off Governor Winslow of Plymouth to the “king’s” latest plot. The Indian murderers were arrested, tried, found guilty by a jury that included redskins [Wiki does not mention Indians as jurors], and hanged. That was too much for Philip. Indians thought it all right to kill in a fight, or to torture a prisoner to death; but to hang a man after trial violated their deepest feelings of morality. Two weeks after the hanging, on 24 June 1675, war broke out with an attack on Swansea, a frontier settlement near Philip’s headquarters on Mount Hope, Narragansett Bay.
Massachusetts Bay (they were separate from Plymouth) quickly entered the fray and soon the entire New England Confederation was arrayed against the Indians, who lacking unity of command were brutally crushed. One of the leaders, Canonchet, was shot by Pequots loyal to Connecticut and Philip was betrayed by one of his own who for some unknown reason held a grudge against him.
The wars were a clash of civilizations, modernity vs. the stone age. And because of modernity, the descendants of those old tribes live a far better life than they would have otherwise. Life for the Indians of old was Hobbesian – nasty, brutish, and short. Europe was once equally barbaric, only civilized by the Roman lance and the Christian cross. It was a process that lasted longer than the Roman Empire itself taking until the 10th Century to convert Denmark, the 14th to convert Lithuania. The Lapps weren’t converted until the 18th. That long walk from barbarism to civilization is forgotten or ignored by the grievance lobby who must think civilization popped up fully developed like Athena from the head of Zeus.
Today history is to be suppressed, the white man is always evil and his story of overcoming the natural and political environment must be extinguished, his monuments and symbols erased in the name of a fictious “diversity, inclusion, equity” which isn’t remotely equitable. If Metacom had faced today’s Massachusetts pusillanimous politicians he would have regarded the government with contempt and easily triumphed over a people who no longer had confidence in their own history and rectitude.
As for Twitter, as my late mother would have said, “It’s hard to fight stupidity.”
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