Still civilizing the savages
Weird. The New York Times published a review of a new book on Andrew Jackson right after I put up my last post. Coincidence or a sign of intelligent design?
Anyway, here are some snippets from what they have to say about his treatment of Native Americans:
Jackson's role in fighting Indians should be understood in light of the danger they posed on the frontier. [ed. tr. defending their homes and culture] But less easy to defend is the expulsion of Indians who had Americanized themselves, notably the Cherokees of Georgia who practiced agriculture, developed a written language and abided by the white man's law [ie. good tame Indians who abandoned their savage culture]... Brands rightly condemns Jackson for his hypocrisy in maintaining that expulsion was a humane solution, although he qualifies this by saying that nearly all white people agreed with Jackson that no good alternative to his Indian policy existed...It is nice to see some small dim recognition of what a monster he was, but coupled with a complete obliviousness about the right of Native Americans to defend their homes and culture, it still makes me a bit ill. Racism against Native Americans is apparently not only alive and well in the 21st century, it is still respectable.
Expelling the Cherokees, and most of the other "Five Civilized Tribes," from their lands east of the Mississippi may have been popular but remains a crime against humanity... unlike George Washington, another and greater man with humble roots who became an entrepreneur, general and president, Andrew Jackson makes your blood run cold.