The current U.S. president, Joe Biden, said during the campaign, “We’re finally now getting to the point where we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country.” Biden was referring to the several hundred years of slavery in America, and the resulting problems of racial discrimination that have existed, even today. Nowadays, not only has the problem not been alleviated, it has become more and more serious with many minorities, including Asians and African Americans, outraged. To the surprise of the outside world, the U.S. has not dealt with its own sins but has globally played the human rights card, irresponsibly critiqued other countries, and has frequently imposed “sanctions” on other countries under the pretext of protecting human rights. It should be pointed out that the U.S. has committed many other sins in violation of human rights; racial discrimination is merely one of them. It’s time for the U.S. to account for its sins!
Starting today, Reference News Network will release a series of commentaries titled, “It’s Time for the U.S. To Account for its Sins.” The following article, “Colonial Crimes Too Numerous To Count,” is the first installment. Reported by Wen XiangYang, April 4.
When it comes to the U.S.’ original sin as far as human rights is concerned, colonialism is absolutely the first crime. The history of America’s success is one of continuous colonial expansion, and the crimes it has committed during this process could be described as heinous and too numerous to count.
When Americans write their own history, they always like to start with the arrival of the Mayflower, boarded by European colonizers, to a new world in 1620, a new world colonizers called the land full of hope given to them by God. Unbeknownst to them this new world was not really uninhabited; the Indians were the indigenous people of this land. On July 4, 1776, the 13 colonies in North America declared independence from Britain. At this time, U.S. territory was concentrated east of the Appalachian Mountains, with only about 800,000 square kilometers of land. However the U.S., not content to stay on the Atlantic coast, soon aimed its guns at the Native Americans who had helped them, and walked down the same path of colonial expansion that it had once been so determined to rebel against. Thus the U.S. committed its first sin, colonialism.
“The more [Native Americans] we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next war, for the more I see of these Indians, the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed.” “’The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” Such cold-hearted words from the American Civil War “hero,” William Sherman, is definitive proof of the U.S. genocide against Native Americans. Within nearly 100 years of the founding of the country, the U.S. massacred Native Americans in order to plunder land and resources. By the beginning of the 20th century, the population of Native Americans within the U.S. had plummeted from 5 million in 1492 to 250,000. Today, Native Americans only account for 2% of the total population.
Shannon Keller O’Loughlin, chief executive and attorney of the Association on American Indian Affairs, issued this strong statement in 2020, “The modern history of the American Indians is a history of colonization and genocide.”* This is by no means a false statement. The genocide committed against Native Americans was a systemic act led by the U.S. government. In 1814, President James Madison issued an ordinance that would pay a reward of $50 to $100 for every Native American scalp turned in. Abraham Lincoln enacted the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any U.S. citizen 21 years or older to pay a $10 registration fee to acquire 160 acres of land in the Western region of the U.S., and this further contributed to the slaughter of Native Americans. “Some (Native American) peoples who survived well have disappeared from the earth without a trace, so that their names have been erased from people’s memory, their language has been lost, and their glory forgotten.”* Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian who visited the U.S. in the 1830s, wrote this in lament over the plight of Native Americans. Tocqueville witnessed the forced relocation of Native Americans to reservations and had heard about the genocide. Today, the New York Times and other American media outlets have acknowledged that the U.S.’ treatment of Native Americans is the “most disgraceful chapter” in American history.
“And as for a flag for the Philippine Province, it is easily managed. We can have a special one — our States do it: we can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and crossbones.” This sarcastic remark was written by the American author Mark Twain, who denounced the massacre committed by U.S. colonizers in the Philippines. It also shows that the colonial crimes of the U.S. have not just been limited to U.S. soil. Although much of the world had already been divided by the great powers when the U.S. began its expansion beyond the North American continent, it continued to start bloody wars in attempts to acquire more colonies, occupied the Philippines, annexed Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam, and participated in the Eight-Nation Alliance’s invasion of China. In the process of all of this, the U.S. has committed unforgivable crimes against humanity. American politicians have always kept silent when it comes to addressing these dark stains of genocide and inhumanity throughout American history. A country with this kind of shoddy track record that doesn’t even think about repenting, which not only ignores the plight of the Native Americans, who are treated as second-class citizens, but also accuses other countries of committing genocide, is the most ridiculous thing in the world!
*WA editor’s note: These quotes, though accurately translated, could not be independently verified.