The Hidden Past
Native Americans have been constantly treated badly throughout our history. Their struggles have been covered up and hidden by the American’s nationalist views. We seem to believe that we are better than the Natives, even though we were the ones who stole their land and took advantage of them. We must see this history and study it because otherwise we wont see the problems that the Natives have and still are facing. I believe that Native Americans should be more focused on in US history classes and that their current struggles should also be discussed. Before this class I knew a little bit about Native American history from taking APUSH however I really didn’t know how awful it was in full. I believe that if more people knew the native AMerican history they would be more considerate towards them and want to change the way they are treated. As Michael Roberts says “We don’t show up in Media, we dont show up in textbooks, and we don’t show up in everyday conversation”. We are neglecting the people and their past. I also think we more often need to involve the word “genocide” to this native American removal. Since we are American’s we like to sugar coat our history but we must realiuze that this was literally a genocide and an attempt to remove a whole group of people.
Stereotypes are placed on people because others want to feel more power over them. Something that really amazed me was the forced sterilization of Native people. Lawrence in this article says that doctors believed that Natives (as well as other minority groups) did not have the intelligence to use methods of birth control properly. This is something that is straight up wrong. These doctors took away Native women's right to have children because they thought they were too dumb to take care of themselves. Between 20-50% of Native Women in 1970-1976 were sterilized. This sterilization was mostly performed without permission and therefore was again an act to try to get rid of the Natives and take away their rights. This was less than 50 years ago. These acts were justified by stereotypes of these women being dumb. If we learn about Native American’s deeper we can learn that they as people were never stupid, however, the American’s just took advantage of them and had more people and power against them.
There are so many apologies that we need to make towards the Native people as of now. We need to make the past abuse towards them clear instead of continuing to celebrate Columbus and the foundations of our country. Trump is still referring to COlumbus as a “great Italian” and “legendary figure” which he said in the Proclamation on Columbus Day, 2020. We must acknowledge that America isn’t all great and that we founded our country on the backs of the Natives, just to push them all out. At this point I think it is really hard to make amends towards the Natives, however I think that just recognizing the pain we’ve caused them is definitely a start. On Top of that we need to protest against any injustices that are still happening towards them today.
The murder of the Natives is something that is hard for people to address. They don’t want to see that America would do something like this, because we consider ourselves the land of the free. We will hold countries like Germany accountable for their past (holocaust) however, we don’t want to see that we are just as evil and how we valued our country’s success over the lives of these people. We need to realize that we murdered these people just because we thought we were better and smarter than them. Inorder to do this I think we need to talk about it more and not try so hard to hide it. If topics like these showed up in the media and the news more often we would see the evil and the pain that we’ve cause the Natives.
It is definitely time for us to more foward with the Natives and move past our discrimination towards them. In order to do this we must show our support towards them by educating ourselves and pushing for change. NAtives are a small group and they can’t fight for change all alone. They need all Americans to come together and realize that they need justice for what they are going through to this day. They should have an equal ground and equal opportunity as anyone in America does. If we move past the discrimination we still have against them we can give them equal oppurtunities to thing like jobs and healthcare that can really help them.