Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Voters Of Michigan Say Thanks For Bailouts Like Settlers Thanked Native Americans For Helping Them Survive

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat, a regular contributor to this blog, is reading the book Boone–A Biography by Robert Morgan.

Boone is a very good book. It shows Daniel Boone as a real person instead of some wild person out in the woods.

All people have complexities. Or–at the least—all people have the potential for complexities if they can avoid intellectual laziness and only seeking out the easiest solutions.

Here is a review of Boone.

Daniel Boone had complex relations with Native Americans. He came into conflict with them at times, but also had unusually strong rapport with many tribes.

Boone–in this case I’m referring to the book—discusses how Native Americans helped white settlers learn how to hunt and trap and helped them survive the long winters.

Look how the natives got repaid.

Reading this last night made think about the voters of Michigan.

The people of Michigan benefited greatly from the bailouts. General Motors is profitable again and many layoffs at auto firms and at related business places were averted.

The voters of Michigan repaid this helpful and proper use of government authority and resources by voting Republican in 2010. Others who gained from the bailout no doubt stayed home on Election Day.

Our national character has both good and bad aspects.

November 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recreation Of Pilgrim Ready To Voyage On Mayflower—The Mayflower Compact

With Thanksgiving Day almost here, it is time to consider the voyage of the Mayflower and the impact of that voyage on history.

In the picture above, I have sought to recreate what it must have been like for a Puritan ready to board the Mayflower.

Such a person would have packed a bag, put on his Pilgrim hat, left home and headed over to the port for the long voyage ahead.

I feel the picture above shows exactly what that departure must have looked like back in the 17th century.

It is as if you were there.

A book I’ve not yet read but that is on my reading list, is Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower. It was very well-reviewed. The link is to an interview with the author.

When the Pilgrims reached Cape Cod, the Mayflower Compact was signed to provide a framework and guidelines for the task ahead.

At the bottom of this post is the text of the Mayflower Compact.

As is well-known, the arrival of the Mayflower was not good news for the native population.

As well-known as this fact is, it always merits repeating. Where we live today was quite possible land once occupied by someone who did not wish to leave.

As our day-to-day lives go on, it easy to forget the larger context in which we exist.

Here is the link the excellent C-Span broadcasts about Mayflower Compact author William Bradford. If you click the video archives link on the left of the screen, you’ll be able to learn about Mr. Bradford and what it was like to live in Plymouth after the arrival of the Mayflower.

Here is an essay from the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, Massachusetts about relations between Europeans and the native population of New England.

If you know history, you will have a better understanding of who you are and why the world is as it is.

The Mayflower Compact—-

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King,Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coolidge And Obama With Native Americans

Above is Calvin Coolidge with the Sioux in 1927.

Below is Barack Obama with the Crow in 2008

Hopefully we’ve moved ahead in 81 years.

June 19, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Maybe We’re Afraid Hispanic Immigrants Will Treat Us The Way We Treated Native Americans & Others

I’ve been reading A Different Mirror—A History Of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki.

This book is an account of the different races and ethnic groups that have lived in America.

In detaling grievous British abuse of the Irish in the 15th and 16th centuries, portrayed in Different Mirror as a precursor for the mistreatment of blacks and native Americans by British colonists , Takaki uses the following poem from the period written by Angus O’Daly

O body which I see without a head,

It is the sight of thee which has withered up my strength.

Divided and impaled in Ath-cliath,

The learned of Banba will feel its loss.

Who will relive the wants of the poor?

Who will bestow cattle on the learned?

O body, since thou are without a head,

It is not life we care to choose after thee.

Takaki also uses the following quote from a Sioux tribesman named Luther Standing Bear—

The white man does not understand the Indian for the same reason he does not understand America…Continuing to troubled with primitive fears (he has) in his consciousness the perils of this frontier continent…The man from Europe is still a foreigner and an alien. And he still hates the man who questioned his path across the continent.”

Maybe the hostility some feel towards rising numbers of immigrants in the United States, reflects an awareness of the brutality of our forefathers. We know what we did to conquer the United States and we know that this violence has a history that goes back even before the settlement of the Americas.

Maybe what some are afraid of is being treated the same way.

Or maybe the fear is  we will somehow over the years be erased from the collective memory, just as was attempted with Native Americans.

In any case, many new people are coming to the United States. Nothing is going to stop that process.

We can find ways to live with these new folks. Or we can operate from fear and anger.

The choice is ours collectively. 

January 16, 2008 Posted by | Books, History, Immigration, Poetry | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is Houston A Sanctuary City For Immigrants?—I Sure Hope So

Is Houston, Texas a so-called sanctuary city for illegal or undocumented immigrants?

This is an ongoing subject of debate in Houston.

The core of the matter is do police and other officials ask people they come in contact with, if they are legally in the United States.

It seems that on the whole, whatever city officials might claim, the basic policy of Houston and much of the surrounding area conforms with the idea of a sanctuary city.

Though here is a conflicting view from the Houston Catholic Worker.

From the Catholic Worker article, here are some proposed immigration policy guidelines from the Catholic Bishops of California.

–Easily available temporary visas for those willing to work

– Improved border security and enhanced humanitarian training for border guards

– Fair and equitable rules and reasonable time frames for processing applications to become legal permanent residents

– Compassionate rules and practical time frames for family reunification for legal resident aliens and naturalized citizens

– Reasonable requirements for legal residents to become citizens.

– Recognition of the impact of globalization and free trade on patterns of migration.

I support the idea of  Houston being a sanctuary city for the following reasons—

1. It is the job of the federal government to police immigration. The federal government can’t come up with a coherent policy.

2. Allowing immigrants to go about their affairs reflects the fact that much of our local economy turns of the work these people do, and that Houston residents don’t complain about cheap prices brought about by cheap labor.

3. It would inject a measure of humanity into a city that has, justifiably, pollution, massive freeways lined with billboards, and longstanding poverty, as a large part of what it is know for across the country.

Of course the promise of sanctuary is only as good as the people making the promise.

Here is an example of a pledge of sanctuary in 19th-century American history from a book called Sitting Bull and the Paradox of Lakota Nationhood by Gary Anderson.

From the book—

“Several hundred Cheyennes and Arapahos had settled at Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado after the army had assured them of the regions’ safety. Unfortunately, a vengeful colonel in the Colorado militia, John Chivington had no intention of honoring this sanctuary. He attacked the village and killed several hundred people.”

I’m not suggesting city officials in Houston or elsewhere in America will shoot undocumented people. You don’t have to shoot them when they die crossing the desert or sink while coming to America on a leaky boat.

Who cares how they got here as long as we can get cheap labor when needed, or have a ready made political issue when that is what is required?

Promises of sanctuary are as good as the political needs of the politicians, and as good as the morality of the electorate when they feel under economic stress.

Which in short means that Hispanic folks and other immigrants from across the world had better start registering to vote and taking part in the political process.

January 10, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Immigration, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should Genocide Resolutions Be Considered For Nations That Exterminated Western Hemisphere Native Populations?


With the recent discussion about a Congressional resolution declaring Turkey guilty of the genocide of Armenians between 1915 and 1918, should parliaments and congresses across the world consider similar resolutions against nations responsible for the extermination of Native American populations in the Western Hemisphere?    

These nations would be Portugal, Spain, France, England and the United States.

Portugal for the widespread death and servitude brought to the Tupi people of Brazil.    

Spain for a trail of genocide extending through the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, Peru, Florida and present day New Mexico and Texas.

France for deaths of natives in Canada and throughout North American New France.

England for the liquidation of native peoples in, among other places, Virgina and New England.

The United States for a long history of wiping out native populations.  

I think such debate and resolutions around the world might only be fair.  

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Colonial America, History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments