Thankful for what?
Photo by Edward S. Curtis/WikimediaCommons
A dim-witted proponent of colonialism got owned in a Reddit fight recently and the burn was so hot, it went viral on the Murdered By Words subreddit. In the thread, an unknown person made the point that Native Americans are better off after their land was colonized by Spaniards, British, and African Americans.
But his point is woefully lacking because he didn’t take slavery or genocide into consideration.
(Or they’re someone who doesn’t think that genocide and slavery were all that bad, which would make them a sociopath.)
So a brave Redditor rode up on his or her white horse and set the colonialist straight with facts and some basic morality.
According to History, when the Europeans first arrived, there were an estimated 5 million to 15 million indigenous people living in North America. By the late 19th century, after the U.S. government authorized over 1,500 wars, attacks, and raids on Native Americans, fewer than 238,000 remained.
So Native Americans have zero reason to “thank” European settlers.
In fact, when Native Americans had the option of leaving their communal existence and joining the more commercial, individualistic, and technologically-advanced society created by European settlers, few took the offer.
“When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian ramble with them, there is no persuading him ever to return,” Benjamin Franklin once noted.
Conversely, when European settlers were taken prisoner by Native American tribes many refused to return to their old life.
In 1782, Hector de Crèvecoeur wrote, “Thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those Aborigines having from choice become European.”
New York Times columnist David Brooks noted this phenomenon in a piece entitled, “The Great Affluence Fallacy,” and it caused him to reconsider whether people are actually happier living in an individualistic society. “It raises the possibility that our culture is built on some fundamental error about what makes people happy and fulfilled,” Brooks wrote.