Re: Casting Stones

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Posted by Kathy S on July 28, 2000 at 21:52:47:

In Reply to: Re: Casting Stones posted by Bill R on July 28, 2000 at 19:15:24:

: : :
: : : : I have often wondered, should the French and the English pay reparations and apologize to the Indians?

: : : : Regards,
: : : : Victoria

: : : No more than the American settlers and subsequent American government. Eradication of the Indians was a joint effort.

: : : Gayle

: : America has made some attempts, however badly carried out and begrudged. The French and the English, however, swore on a stack of bibles that they were friends, more than friends, their fathers, and that they would take care to always be the friends and benefactors if they would fight on their side during the French and Indian War. Most Indians, including the Iroquois League, were staunchly neutral, and only succumbed after intense lobbying and pressure tactics and even economic blackmail. Each country, moreover, made great efforts to use religious leaders to sway them and convince the Indians of the moral and religious rightness of their side. Then, at the treaty at the end of the F&I War, the French gave the Indians over to the British, along with the land, as having "belonged" to them, after having assured the Indians up until that point that they were in no way the subjects of France. Once convinced that they should look to the British as their new "fathers", some Indians were convinced to fight against the Americans, causing great animosity and subsequent retaliation by the Americans who made no distinction between those that fought for or against the American cause. Both the French and the British viewed themselves as knowledgeable, civilized, and with a set of laws to illustrate their cultural superiority. Therefore, it can be said, they knew what they were doing, and should be held accountable in some way for the position their put their friends, "brothers", and allies in.

: : Victoria

: Well here I go again, probably speaking when I should just shut up.

: Victoria, it will never happen. If any one government was to concede that, it would be the start of innumerable lawsuits for all kinds of mistreatment or slights throughout the ages. Then protestant should file suit against catholic and vice versa. Descendents of settlers raided and scalped should file suit. Disenfranchised and expelled Tories should file suit, as should those whose homes were burned by the British. But against whom?
: I am no lawyer, but I thought it was a basic tenet of law that the sins of the fathers shall not be visited upon the sons, and vice versa. In other words, if my father mistreated somebody, I cannot be held accountable by law, only he. Moreover, the government generally refuses civil suits against itself on behalf of its officers. If President Clinton, for example, uses Executive Privilege to accrue gains personally, we cannot sue the government for reimbursement, only sue or prosecute the man, Mr Clinton. I guess what I am saying is, if for example President Jefferson started the concept of Manifest Destiny, and Congress supported that concept with all its implications - an today we consider that a wrong - tough. Who are you going to sue? Who pays? The taxpayers of today? For something that was not illegal at the time 200 years ago and even if it were, the culprits are long dead?

: Never happen. It's a can of worms no government or sensible officer of the law will willingly open. Taken to its logical extreme, I am living on Oisconsin land. I don't even know if any of that tribe exist anymore, but if one individual did, should he be entitled to disposses me and take back "his" land?
: If we say yes, and he comes to claim my land and house, leave your own door open Victoria as surely somebody will visit you with a writ. And take yours. And where does it end? Back how many generations?

: Nope. That dog won't hunt.

: Bill R

Hi Bill,

I think your're right. It seems unfair to hold anyone accountable for the deeds of another, especially generations later.

My ancestors got a raw deal. Their lands were taken, their language and religion were outlawed. They were starved and slaughtered into submission during the 17th Century. The justification for this treatment was that they were "savages". Sound familiar? In fact the technique worked so well, that it was later used on the American Indians.

I'm of Irish descent. It would be ridiculous to expect anything from the current batch of British taxpayers in the way of reparation. They didn't do anything to my ancestors or me.

But, I do think that financial compensation is sometimes warranted. For example, in the case of Americans of Japanese descent who lost their property and were interred in camps during WWII, why shouldn't those who are still alive be compensated in some way. Not their children, just those who are living and were affected at the time. My next door neighbor lost everything. I think it was wrong.

Kathy S

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