Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

In terms of offensiveness

Dear M,

Dying for someone is much easier than living for someone.  That's why there are lots of people I would die for and few of them I would marry*.  I would die for my country but wouldn't live for all humanity.


It's why genocide is less offensive to me than slavery.  It's why black people have it worse than our Indians.  The Indian may have been wiped out, but what's left of them have lands and free money and to some extent their sovereignty.  They never went as a people through slavery -- unless we consider their being enslaved by other tribes of Indians.

The Indian's dignity is impaired but he still hires his own policemen.  He says he's poor now, but is he any poorer than where we found him?  Only in terms of land, which back then was being constantly disputed anyway.  In terms of heating, transportation, housing, clothing, medicine, free cash, quantity and variety of food, and types of entertainment, he is immeasurably richer.  In terms of personal safety, only his neighboring tribesmen make him immeasurably poorer.  White people not only leave him alone, but are habitually robbed by him at casinos.

He says the white man stole his land.  But can he say anything worse about us than about the Apache, or the Comanche?  Can the Cherokee say any better about the Delawares?  Can any Indian tribe say it about the Cherokee**?  We won but we weren't any worse.  The Indian is upset not because of what we've done, but because he wasn't able to do it to us first.

Your father,
-J

*H.L. Mecken writes of marriage in his not-to-be-missed Second Chrestomathy,
Where [suffragettes] run aground is in mistaking the nature of marriage. They seem to believe that it is a purely contractual relation and that its terms, in consequence, may be changed like those of any other contractual relations—either by free bargaining, or by duress of law. It is, in fact, nothing of the sort. Marriage is not a contract; it is a way of life. Its essence, when it is sound, is a complete surrender of many of the natural rights of the individual. It is not comparable to buying an automobile or joining the Elks; it is comparable to entering a monastery or enlisting for war.
**H.W. Brands writes in his life and times of Andrew Jackson
When whites attempted to arrange a peace settlement between the Cherokees and the Tuscaroras, the Cherokee leaders objected: “We cannot live without war. Should we make peace with the Tuscaroras, we must immediately look out for some others with whom we can be engaged in our beloved occupation.” 
 Our liberals may put that in their peace pipe and smoke it.

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