Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Stephen W. Russell (
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 07:44:17 -0500

On Sun, 4 Aug 1996, Matt Silberstein wrote:

> How can you justify to
> dividing the population into Indian/Native American/? on side and
> Whites/Bubbas/? on the other. How does responsibility follow skin color
> or previous national origin? IMHO, a major source of evil in this world
> comes when we divide humanity into Us and Them. Indians have been
> horribly mistreated and they continue to be mistreated to this day. But
> do not fool yourself. Given the opportunity, if they had the technology,
> they would have done the same to others. We are all humans, with
> weaknesses and strengths, good intentions and selfish. Work to eliminate
> the evil, work to correct the problems, but don't see a Them or you will
> (if successful) just create a new evil.
I can't justify it, but I'm not the one who did the dividing. As I said,
Indians did not all become citizens until 1924. We are now about one
half of one percent of the population. Even if we are as evil as you
say, I cannot see what threat it would pose to allow us a measure of
self-sufficiency and autonomy on reservations. It is certainly true that
my ancestors staked out quite a large territory by warfare, so you may be
right. It is also true that the traditional beliefs that built in
limitations to both our war making and our hunting are followed by few
these days. But if we go to hell in our own way and by our own means, we
are unlikely to take very many non-Indians with us.

There is a quote from Justice Hugo Black that always appears in dissenting
opinions in Indian law cases, as a signal that the Indians are about to
get screwed again: "Great nations, like great men, should keep their

Steve Russell>