Cultural pandering often takes the form of voicing regret over such things as the slave trade, or projecting guilt on this current generation of Americans for being identified as citizens of the only nation on earth that has used an atomic weapon in warfare.
Author and journalist, Sue Lani Madsen’s latest piece, “Migration, displacement are constants in our history” [Spokesman Review – April 20, 2023] is written as a response to woke politicians and/or public speakers who find it fashionable to begin a speech by apologizing for past cultural wrongs. Madsen’s article is a refreshing look at some of the stark facts of history while also revealing insights into the realities of the human condition.
Acknowledging that the world is often a violent place and that people can act like dumb, brute beasts, does very little to dissuade superficial displays of politically motivated guilt. It has become quite fashionable for liberal apologists to seek approval from the descendants of those who previously occupied some portion of the American landscape, those who are commonly referred to as “indigenous” peoples. Under the pretense of reconciliation, such self-deprecating guilt-tripping is tops on my current list of gripes due to the obvious manipulative aspect. Seeking approval for one’s view of history as a demonstration of political wokeness is not the same as seeking forgiveness for one’s personal actions.
While Madsen’s article stands on it’s own merits, I would like to add some additional perspective related to the environmental movement as well as from the documented history of the Americas. For starters, the fact that the indigenous (pre-Columbian) tribes were anything but kind to each other is beyond dispute. Attempts to portray “native” Americans as living in perpetual peace and harmony with all of creation despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, is far more than an honest mistake. It is a calculated deception.
In the pre-Columbian southwest, the Anasazi lived in defensible cliff dwellings for a reason. The Hopi word “navaho”, translates as “head pounders” and refers to the violent people who migrated into the area from the north and murdered Hopi men while trying to steal Hopi women. (The people who are known as the “Navaho” actually refer to themselves as Dine’é , or “the People”). The tribes of California were constantly warring with each other and were known to set fire to the landscape on a regular basis in order to thin out diseased riddled forests and force the ground into producing grasses and edible plants.
A review of world history reveals that Europeans did not invent the practice of slavery. A multitude of cultures throughout the world, including here in pre-Columbian America, owned slaves. Most tribal peoples were in a nearly constant state of war with their neighbors. Some even practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice.
In ancient Mexico the Olmecs, Toltecs, Mayans, and Aztecs each took their turn dominating the region through warfare, intimidation, and unspeakable acts of cruelty. Cortez, “the killer”, has been especially vilified for conquering a culture dominated by blood thirsty human-sacrificing cannibalistic death-worshipping cut-throats (the Aztecs). While Cortez was certainly guilty of multiple acts of brutality, in comparison to the deeds of the Aztecs, he was a model of restraint.
Uncovering the truth about people and historical events is essential in maintaining a healthy perception of reality. To ignore reality and close one’s eyes to the facts of history in order to support a cultural agenda or promote a biased political narrative is unconscionable. Unfortunately, many people are so entrenched in their own narrow minded narratives that it would be easier to dig out a post set in concrete than attempt to change or expand their minds. Too many people won’t even entertain listening to alternative viewpoints, no matter how gracefully they are presented. They just don’t have ears to hear.
Speaking the truth is not an exercise in how best to craft a particular narrative or spout a few talking points, as if one or two introductory sentences are sufficient to define the whole book. Madsen’s article reminded me of what one of Hitler’s most notorious henchmen, Klaus Barbie, reportedly said following his capture. Barbie pointed out that “those who win the wars write the history books.” I can’t help thinking that maybe Barbie should have added a disclaimer, something to the effect that those who read the history books are responsible for checking the facts!
When it comes to today’s environmental movement, the past is supposedly the key to the future. Environmentalist’s chant, “THEY WERE HERE FIRST!” to justify all manner of blather about extirpated people’s and/or extirpated animal rights. The “First Nations” mantra has become the rallying cry for a generation of brain-dead self-righteous dolts who want to return the entire planet to their own warped version of paradise.
Forcing this current generation of Americans to pay reparations for the practice of slavery that ended over 160 years ago, (instead of acknowledging the sacrifice of our ancestors who bled and died fighting a war to end the practice), is morally bankrupt. Similarly, the fact that wolves and grizzly bears once roamed freely across the American landscape has morphed into a sense that restoring these “iconic” species to their historic populations and historic distribution is essential for maintaining an “ecological balance” and/or “healing broken ecosystems”. Such thinking is not just scientifically absurd, but betrays a profound ignorance of history.
Conservationists promote the proliferation of large high-impact predator species as if doing so provides restitution or compensation for humanity’s destructive impacts on the planet. Morally superior emotionally challenged sociopaths claim “we” (meaning you and I), must return the land to its rightful owners, whether they be two-legged or four. We must abandon our greedy lifestyles and pay the price for Anglo-European cultural and population expansion that has brought with it nothing but catastrophic climate change, ecological ruin, cultural genocide, and the extinction of species.
As I’ve previously written, historical revisionism is not a bad thing if it is based on hard evidence that gives us a clearer understanding of human history. Nobody wants to be accused of being closed minded and viewing the past through rose colored glasses or distorted lenses. We should work towards reconciliation with the desire to correct past wrongs and promote fellowship. Not only do we have plenty of our own sins to account for, but the entire planet is suffering under the consequences of the sins committed by previous generations. That said, we need to be skeptical and cautious about the motives of those who want to heap additional guilt upon us in order to gain leverage over us. We should be ever watchful about those who are preoccupied with spouting propaganda and half-truths intended to vilify a specific individual, attack a particular group, or who seek personal gain or political advantage.
Demanding restitution for past cultural misdeeds or errant political policies, or making hand wringing apologies for some perceived past cultural wrong, is not just harmless rhetoric. Pontificating about one’s personal sense of morality, when one’s own actions are demonstrably immoral, is not just hypocritical, it is the equivalent of practicing witchcraft and deception. The attempt to manipulate those who had nothing to do with actual past events in order to make them feel guilty for things their ancestors may or may not have done, is the antithesis of projecting wisdom, grace, love, and reconciliation.
One thought on “CULTURAL GUILT UNMASKED: Practicing discernment in a society of sociopaths”
After reading this article, I think you would enjoy a book my granddaughter had me buy on Amazon titled “The Storm Before The Calm”. It is a fascinating book about cycles America has been through, the reasons, and the prediction for the future. It tracks to what you have said about the so-called Indians. Don Brockett