NATIVE AMERICAN GENOCIDE
DARK ORIGINS OF THE "AMERICAN DREAM"
Genocide is as old as history. It has been a part of the human condition
from the very beginning. There are two main forms of genocide. One
is direct genocide, a deliberate campaign to kill all members of an ethnic
group. The second form of genocide is indirect genocide, which achieves
the same result by seizing or destroying the land, the crops, the livestock and
other essential items needed for survival. In World War II, for
example, the Germans used both forms. Direct genocide took place in the
gas chambers. Indirect genocide took place via programs like "Operation
Hunger" where food was diverted from local Slav populations.
In the European conquest of North and South America both
forms of genocide were also used although by far the predominant form of
genocide was indirect genocide. A particularly horrible aspect of
this tactic was the near extermination of the buffalo herds.
We do not know the exact number of people
killed in the Americas. There was no one back in the time of Columbus compiling a census or doing a mass survey.
However, we conclude that a figure of 75 million is reasonable.
A death toll of 100 million figure has been documented by the authors D.E. Stannard,
American Holocaust, D.E. Stannard has said, "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and
away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world."
. And apparently it didn't take long for the Europeans to get this genocide
there are only around 5 million Native Americans left in the United
States (Navajo Times).
Is it really likely that the area encompassing the U.S. only had 5
million people when the Europeans arrived? We doubt that. After all, as a
point of comparison, the population of Africa had approximately 86
million people in the year 1500 (Demography: Analysis and Synthesis, Four Volume Set: A Treatise in Population, p. 42).
Necrometrics, by as early as the 16th century,
the Native American death toll had already reached an estimated 60 million.
The Spanish historian Bartolomé de las Casa wrote about genocide in his time.
In 1561, Bartolomé de las Casas, wrote that
Spanish colonists had slain 12 million men, women and children in 40 short years.
(A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Bartolomé de las Casas 1552).
Volume 1 of The Penguin history of the United States, History of the
United States Series by Alan Taylor, also discusses the different theories about how many
Natives populated the Americas before European colonization.
THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST AND AMERICAN HOLOCAUST DENIAL
Unfortunately, there are those who wish to engage in
holocaust denial. A common myth is the effort to blame the massive death
toll exclusively on diseases brought by the European invaders. Like
all deceptions in history there is an element of truth here. Many native
Americans did die of European diseases. However, there is a very
convenient effort to ignore the fact that all too many of these people became
vulnerable to disease when their essentials of life were either stolen or
disrupted by the invaders. Furthermore, the campaigns of direct and
indirect genocide certainly killed millions all by itself.
From the initial invasion by Columbus native Americans
were the targets of hundreds of years of war from the invaders. Does
any honest person really believe that these wars had only minor death toll?
In the USA native Americans were driven off 99% of their
land and herded into so-called "reservations", where they were subjected to some
of the worst poverty and horrible living conditions in the country.
CHRISTIAN ROOTS OF GENOCIDE AND RELIGIOUS
A troubling reality is the religious justification for
genocide. More than any other major holy book the Christian Bible
celebrates and endorses genocide. The "good guys" in
the Bible are the people who commit genocide. Saul, for example, is very
specifically rebuked by Samuel for the "sin" of not completing an act of
genocide that he was ordered to carry out. Religious totalitarianism in the Bible
is also framed as a very desirable goal. The "good guys" in the Bible are the people who
slaughter people of other religions, and stamp out other religions, and crush any
other form of religion. The "bad guys" are the people who tolerate supposedly
Here are just a few examples of the support for genocide in the bible:
"You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you." Deuteronomy 7:16.
"The LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:2
The Puritans and other American Christians openly proclaimed
America as the new Zion and celebrated the slaughter of the native
AMERICAN GENOCIDE: AN INSPIRATION FOR NAZI GENOCIDE
Americans don't like to discuss the fact that Hitler saw
America's campaign of racial war against the native Americans as a very specific
model for the racial war he planned to unleash in his conquest of Russia.
Our report contains very specific quotes and documentary information on this.
here to read.
CHRISTIAN TOTALITARIANISM, ANTI-SEMITISM
AND RELIGIOUS MASS MURDER
It is very important to understand the ferociously brutal
nature of the Spanish regime that sent Columbus on his journey and then
proceeded to conquer all of what we call, Latin America, Mexico and
everything to the south except for Brazil, which was taken by Portugal.
of Ferdinand and Isabella was a murderous anti-Semitic religious totalitarian
state. They launched the most massive campaign of racial anti-Semitism prior to
the Holocaust, leading to expulsion of 100,000 Jews from Spain under the most
horrific circumstances. Ferdinand and Isabella also presided over the
totalitarian nightmare of the Spanish Inquisition. So this is
the system that was unleashed in the so-called "New World."
Now to get more into
the specifics of what happened when Spanish first came to America, we'll
look at Columbus's description of his own experience.
“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found,
took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give
me information of whatever there is in these parts," Columbus penned in his journal
(Journal of the First Voyage (Diario del Primer Viaje)
"They ought to make good slaves for they are of quick intelligence,
since I notice that they are quick to repeat what is said to them, and I
believe that they could very easily become Christians, for it seemed to me
that they had no religion of their own. God willing, when I come to leave I
will bring six of them to Your Highnesses so that they may learn to speak…"
Columbus additionally raided nearby villages and used their residents for the gold mines,
sexual slavery or the montería infernal. The montería infernal was a horrific practice
of allowing war-dogs to chase and maul Native people. Traffickers
from Europe actively searched the islands for young girls too, some no older than nine (8 Myths and Atrocities about Christopher Columbus (Indian Country Media
Dominican friar and historian Las Casas noted that Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola,
Puerto Rico and 30 neighboring islands had been depopulated by 1542.
The former slave owner could not believe the sheer barbarism he witnessed:
slave labor, infanticide and forced relocation (Brief
Account of the Devastation of the Indies (Gutenberg Press)).
Las Casas grimly mentioned "my eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I
write. As for the vast mainland [Mexico]… We can estimate very surely and
truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the
infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than
12 million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe
without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like
UNLEASHING A SEXUAL REIGN OF TERROR
THE MASS MURDER OF NATIVE
THE OPPRESSION OF NATIVE WOMEN
used huge dogs to maul to death native American gay people)
When the European Christians came to the New
World, they were appalled by the sexual practices of the indigenous
people, seeing the natives as sexual heathens, deviants in their
tolerance of different sexual practices. Homophobic and misogynistic
violence happened often as colonization expanded
throughout the Americas. Punishment for same-sex relations could entail anything
from flogging, fines, spiritual penance to execution (Colonial Mexico (GLBTQ Archives)) . This followed in
the spirit of the Spanish Inquisition. From 1656 to 1663 in San Lazaro, hundreds
of gay Mexicans were put to death (Colonial Mexico (GLBTQ Archives)). Balboa also participated in montería infernal against
non-heterosexual Native Americans
(A Timeline of Gay World History).
Many of the European explorers were also disturbed by the power that
women held in some of these societies. As Barbara Alice Mann said in Unlearning the Language of Conquest, 'Worse, from the
European perspective, was the level of political clout wielded by woodlands
women" (Continuing "The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies (Native Roots)). The European explorers were also not too pleased
about the different hierarchy (or genders) they encountered.
RELIGIOUS AND LEGAL DECREES FOR THE CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAS
Biblical verses and passages, royal decree and papal
approval all made American conquest possible. The Treaty of
Tordesillas also divided up newly discovered land between Portugal and
Spain. Both countries ratified in 1494. Any territory 370 miles west to Cape
Verde belonged to Spain.
In 1509, Spanish juror Encisco even
cited papal support for colonization in West Indies. "The
king has every right to send his men to the Indies to demand their
territory...because he had received it from the pope. If
the Indians refuse, he may quite legally fight them, kill them, and enslave
them, just as Joshua enslaved the inhabitants of the country of Canaan (The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying
the Church (G. Boyd))."
From Connecticut to
California, Native scalping earned $12 or more ($174 in 2016) (Inflation Calculator (Bureau of Labor Statistics)).
Christian states allowed and goaded this.
The Colonial Charters also made reference to the "God Given" right to conquer.
Issued by King James I.
"To make Habitation ... and to deduce a colony of sundry
of our People into that part of America commonly called Virginia
... in propagating of Christian religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness ... [to] bring ... a settled and quiet Government."
Source: Ebenezer Hazard (ed.), Historical
Collections: Consisting of State Papers and other Authentic Documents:
Intended as Materials for an History of the United States of
America, vol. I, (Philadelphia: Dobson, 1792), pp. 50-51.
Issued by King Charles I.
"Our said People ... may be so religiously,
peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderly
Conversation may win and incite the Natives of [that] Country, to the
Knowledge and Obedience of the only true god and Savior of Mankind, and
the Christian faith, which in our Royal Intention ... is the principal
End of this Plantation."
Source: Norman L. Geisler, Is Man the Measure: An Evaluation of Contemporary Humanism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1983) p. 119.
Issued by King Charles I to Lord Baltimore.
"Our well beloved and right trusty subject Coecilius Calvert, Baron of Baltimore ... being
animated with a laudable, and pious Zeal for extending the Christian
Religion ... hath humbly besought Leave of Us that he may transport ... a
numerous Colony of the English Nation, to a certain Region ... having
no Knowledge of the Divine Being."
Source: Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History, (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948), p. 21.
CONQUEST OF NORTH AMERICA
THE LARGEST CAMPAIGN OF RACIAL WARFARE
In Northern America you had a form of
genocide where the local populations were not ruled over, like they were in South America. They were
driven out, and this obviously did not
have a very good affect on their ability to survive.
AMERICAN IMPERIALISM AND RACIAL WAR
A MODEL FOR HITLER
Hitler even used America as the model for the racial
war that he wanted to launch in European Russia, and the idea of settling
European Russia with Aryan blonde haired blue-eyed colonists. This was
very much so modeled after what Hitler saw as a
racial war in the United States to seize land and then displace these people
from their land.
A popular way to justify genocide in the United
States was the concept of "Manifest Destiny." It was during the 19th
century that this concept became popular. This was the idea of setting
up a U.S. nation that stretched from "sea to shining sea." It was a
concept that people saw as justifiable and inevitable. It was believed
that there was a special virtue of the citizens of the U.S, and because
of this special virtue, these citizens had the God given right to do
whatever was necessary to take native lands for themselves. These ideals
eventually became enshrined in law.
Constitutional law placed Native power under federal control. Clause
3, section 8, article I of the U.S. Constitution states “The Congress
shall have Power to regulate Commerce with Indian tribes and, through this
and other constitutional authority; Congress has plenary power over Indian
affairs" ( Congress’ Plenary Power, Tribal Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights (Citizens Equal Rights Alliance)). Plenary power's an
alternative phrase for absolute dominance. Federal
government played a pivotal role in American conquest-development.
In 1838, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act
into law to trade lands east of the Mississippi for the western territories (Trail of Tears and the Forced Relocation of the Cherokee Nation (National Park Service)). Five
Indian Nations traveled a nightmarish 400 miles west to Indian Country (now
Oklahoma), with their ancestral homes overtaken.
General Peter Carlton had murderous plans as commander of New Mexico. The Navajo's Long Walk of 1864 was meant to ethnically
cleanse and relocate Native Americans from "white man's land". 10,000
Mescalaro and Navajo Indians were interned at concentration camps (Navajo's Own Trail of Tears (NPR)). A third
could not survive the terrible conditions in Bosque Redondo, and the U.S.
Army refused to let the tribes leave.
Memorials have been built to
commemorate both tragedies. But they only address part of the genocidal
RACIST THOUGHTS FROM U.S. LEADERS
“Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state
of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by
the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of
— Governor Henry Harrison of Indiana (1800-1812) (Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media
"This unfortunate race, whom we had been taking so much
pains to save and to civilize, have by their unexpected desertion and ferocious
barbarities justified extermination and now await our decision on their fate."
— Thomas Jefferson,
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (1813) (Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media
"They [Native Americans] have neither the intelligence, the industry, the
moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable
change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior
race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to
control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere
— Andrew Jackson, U.S. President, 5th Annual Message to
(Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders
(Indian Country Media
war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until
the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected. While we cannot
anticipate the result with but painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the
race is beyond the power and wisdom of man to avert. Situated as California
is, we must expect a long continued and harassing irregular warfare with the
Indians upon our borders and along the immigrant routes leading to the
California Gov. Peter Burnett, "State of the State Address"
(1851) (Peter Burnett. Executive Orders (California State Library)
SAND CREEK MASSACRE
Kettle had been promised a peaceful conference at Fort Lyon.
In 1864, 700 men killed 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho.
Two-thirds were women
and young children.
Eyewitnesses saw human trophies
taken by the
soldiers. Roosevelt said about that horrible day, "...as righteous and
beneficial a deed as ever took place on the frontier." ( Theodore Roosevelt and
the Idea of Race
A Joint Committee on the Conduct of War investigated the atrocity, but let
Chivington and the participating militias free of all charges. Both tribes
signed a 1865 treaty for reparations. Nothing manifested from the
“If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in
order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not
improbable that rum may be the appointed means." (Shocking Quotes on Indians by U.S. Leaders (Indian Country Media
— Benjamin Franklin
"Ordered that of the Indians and Half-breeds
sentenced to be hanged by the military commission, composed of Colonel
Crooks, Lt. Colonel Marshall, Captain Grant, Captain Bailey, and Lieutenant
Olin, and lately sitting in Minnesota, you cause to be executed on Friday
the nineteenth day of December, instant, the following names, to wit [39
names listed by case number of record...]"
- Abraham Lincoln's Order of December 6, 1862, Authorizing
the Execution of Thirty-Eight Dakota (Lincoln's Order Authorizing Execution of Sioux (University of Missouri))
are sure to come when a masterful people, still in its raw barbarian
prime which finds itself face to face with the weaker and wholly alien race
which holds a coveted prize in its feeble grasp".
— Theodore Roosevelt ( Theodore Roosevelt and
the Idea of Race (T. Dyer))
Some hero. Theodore Roosevelt also went on to say white
expropriation of Native land was a good and natural thing, "ultimate
beneficial as much as inevitable." ( Theodore Roosevelt and
the Idea of Race (T. Dyer))
And this nugget of wisdom during an 1886 speech: "I
don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but
I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely
into the case of the tenth." (Theodore Roosevelt: ‘The Only Good Indians Are the Dead Indians’ (Indian Country Media Network))
"The only good Indian[s] I ever saw were dead."
— General Philip
Sheridan (1869) (Philip Sheridan (The Latin Library))
"The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed
against the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians with their
associates and adherents. The
immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their
settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as
possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and
prevent their planting more."
— George Washington, Orders to Major
General John Sullivan (May 1779) (From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 31 May 1779” (Founders Online, National Archives))
These racist remarks are all connected to a
pervasive campaign on Native sovereignty and lives. The Gold Rush years
highlighted expansionist dangers even further.
California's Native population experienced colossal devastation as
white working men and their families immigrated to the Pacific Northwest. 300,000 Indigenous Americans
lived in California
mid-16th century (The Great California Genocide (Daily Kos)). But this would change.
Junipero Serra established a harsh system of Christian missions along the Californian
coast in 1769, using them as a front for exploitation (An Introduction to California's Native People (Cabrillo College)). Carey
McWilliams wrote in
Southern California: An Island on the Land, "the
Franciscan padres eliminated Indians with the effectiveness of Nazis
operating concentration camps".
At the Gold Rush's height in 1850, the number of California natives dropped precipitously.
California's Native peoples counted 85,000 total in 1852. Within thirty years, only 18,000
were left (An Introduction to California's Native People (Cabrillo College)).
land developers stole vast amounts of Native land for mining operations.
John Sutter was a vicious venture capitalist in the late 1870's, and
notoriously forced hundreds of local Miwok Indians to work for him.
Most had been kidnapped.
The North California newspaper Yreka Herald
wrote in 1853: "We hope that the Government will render such aid, as
will enable the citizens of the north to carry on a war of extermination
until the last redskin of these tribes has been killed. Extermination is no
longer a question of time—
the time has arrived, the work has commenced, and let
the first man that says treaty or peace be regarded as a traitor." (Where the Buffalo Roam? The Story of the American Bison
DESTRUCTION OF OTHER NATURAL LIFE
Another form of genocide in America was to
destroy the resources the natives needed to live. One particularly
gruesome event was the total and complete annihilation of the American
The population of a thriving 60 million pre-European bison
population had been depleted to 1,000 when that photograph above was taken (Hitler's Inspiration and Guide: The Native American Holocaust (Jewish Journal)).
"Hide-hunters" chased bison along five rivers
in the Great Plains (Navajo's Own Trail of Tears (NPR)). 50,000 buffalo could be killed in four days . This cleaned
out an enormous region for further economic and land gain. When the North
Pacific Railroad laid tracks toward the West, hunting and ecocide accelerated.
COMING TO TERMS WITH GENOCIDE
In today's partisan world of American politics there is a
bipartisan consensus on one issue, sweeping the troublesome issue of native
American genocide under the rug. There is a reason for this.
Any effort to discuss the genocidal origins of America would create two very
severe problems. In the first place it would raise questions about the
moral authority of the American system at home and the moral authority of
American imperialism abroad. A second major problem would be that a frank
look at US origins would mandate trillions of dollars in reparations to native
Meanwhile, the living conditions of native Americans are among
the worst in the nations
A particularly amusing aspect of modern America is the hysteria
about "illegal immigrants" from Mexico. Who are the real "illegal
immigrants". Frank discussion about this is to be avoided at all costs.
However, the past does haunt the future. Karma is powerful
force. History is a long term game. There are reasons to fear
for America's future if the sins of the past are not recognized. This
article to stimulate debate here.
The truth matters. You cannot live a lie.
America has many positive aspects. However, a frank look
at the darker aspects of the past really is necessary if we are to build a
WORLD FUTURE FUND ARTICLES
Christianity and Slavery
The Bible and Genocide
Christian Persecution of Pagans in Ancient Rome
Medieval Christian Totalitarianism and Anti-Semitism
Destruction of Africa's Culture
Racist Roots of Religious Right
Racist Aspects of US Christianity
OTHER EXTERNAL SOURCES
Buffalo (Journal of American Hunting)
- The Arkansas, Canadian, Cimarron, Platte and Red Riversheds all
experienced devastation from ranchers and hunters.
Death Tolls for Wars, Massacres and Atrocities Before the 20th
Native American Cultures (History.com)
The Native American Genocide and the Teaching of U.S. History (Truth-Out)