A friend sent me a meme with the picture (not sure it if is a photo or a drawing) of a Native American person and the following words: “The biggest genocide in human history didn’t occur in Nazi Germany but on American soil. 100 million Native Americans were slaughtered and lost their homeland. Historical fact: Most of the people doing the slaughtering were Christians. Sorry if you can’t handle the truth.”
Now the person who sent this to me is not a fool. He is a professor of economics, well published, and well respected in his field. When I questioned him on the assertions in this meme, it was clear from his response that he believes the assertion to be true. I think any of you who have read articles I have written know that I am avid student of history and have read more than 1,000 history books (and not in college). Based on what I have read, I do know that European settlers in the United States did not treat the Native Americans (known as Indians through most of the US history) well. We know of numerous Native American massacres that occurred during our nation’s history. Unfortunately, some of these massacres occurred at the hands of the United States Cavalry. But is the meme that my professor friend sent to me true, or not true? Let’s look into it.
First, is there any truth to the statement that 100 million Native Americans were slaughtered and lost their homeland? I suspect the 100 million number comes from the work of David Stannard who authored the book American Holocaust. In that book he claims that the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as 100 million people after the arrival of the Europeans. But note that his claim is for the “Western Hemisphere.” The Western Hemisphere goes from the Arctic Circle to the tip of Patagonia and today includes some 35 countries. So, if the assertion 100 million were slaughtered, they were slaughtered in the Western Hemisphere, not America. My colleague points out that before the United States was formed, the America’s included North America, Central America, and South America. However, the meme was not sent out before the United States was formed. It was sent out a couple of weeks ago and today when anyone talks of America, the reference is to the United States of America. Someone in India who says “I am moving to America” does not mean he or she is moving to Chile or Suriname and no one hearing that would understand anything other than intent to move to the United State of America.
On the surface 100 million seems like a lot of people. What was the population of the Western Hemisphere when the European’s arrived? Well, we don’t really know. Estimates range from 8 million to 112 million. However, one researcher who seems very well respected in the field, William Denevan, puts the population at around 54 million of which about 4 million lived in what is now the United States. So, if the Native American population of the United States was 4 million, how could Americans slaughter 100 million? And even if you take all the Americas (what are now 35 countries) how could the Europeans in those 35 countries slaughter 100 million Native Americans when there were only 54 million to begin with?
Research also shows one of the greatest tragedies of Europeans coming to the Americas is that the indigenous people did not have immunity from European diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza. The effect of disease was so bad that the native population declined to less than 6 million by 1650. However, if 54 million Native Americans were reduced to 6 million by disease, then how did Americans slaughter 100 million? Dying of disease is not slaughtering. Also the population of what was to become the United States in 1640 was only 26,600 Europeans, half of whom lived in Massachusetts and Virginia. How could those 26,600 people, whose only transportation was by horse of foot, manage to kill 100 million people? (Remember if the population went from over 100 million to only 6 million by 1650, it must have been those 26,600 people who slaughtered the 100 million people claimed. They must have been really busy people with really fast horses!!)
While we know, as previously stated, that the Europeans who came to the Americas did not treat the Native Americans well in many instances, it is not true that Americans (and specifically Americans as in the United States of America) slaughtered 100 million Native Americans.
The meme also stresses that the people doing the slaughtering that never actually happened were Christians. Yes, those nasty Christians again. The worst people on the planet. Or are they? Author and scholar Matthew White wrote the book on the 100 greatest atrocities of human history. The website probaway.com ranks them. Among the top ten are Chinggis Khan, the fall of the Ming Dynasty, Timur the grandson of Chinggis Khan, the An Lushan Rebellion, and The Xin dynasty. Oops. No Christians on the list. The point is that if you want to find people in history who have done nasty things you certainly can. But to somehow single out Christians as demons when evidence show some of the greatest atrocities of history were committed by non-Christians is disingenuous.
So why would someone send around a meme that claims that Americans and Christians engaged in genocide and slaughtered 100 million Native Americans when it is clearly not true? What would be the motive? If you want to make America look bad, send out a meme with a Native America picture and a statement that the United States Army massacred as many as 300 people, including women and children, at a place called Wounded Knee is 1890. That is true. But there is a big difference between 300 people and 100 million people. Of course, it would have been better if the United States Army had massacred no one. But history is full of incidents that by today’s standards we can judge harshly.
I probably don’t have to explain why someone would send out a false meme claiming that Americans and Christians committed genocide and slaughtered 100 million Native Americas when it is not true. It is because the person or people sending out this meme, and those like my colleague who forwarded it to me, want to somehow prove that the American model, as in the United States of America, is deeply flawed, has really not worked in the past, and will not work in the future. Of course, that is the furthest thing from the truth.
So why attack America? Because America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the concepts of personal freedom and liberty and the idea that the government is a servant of the people, as opposed to the people being servants of the government. And because America works today those fundamentals are at risk. The globalists, the progressive left, and the elites just don’t buy into the American concept. The very idea that people know what is best for them irks them to no end. They believe the average person needs the guidance of someone in power who can protect those people from themselves and who can orchestrate their lives for them. They don’t want people believing in God. They want people believing in the elites in power. The American experiment singularly stands in their way. And the more success America has, the madder they get. So, they do everything they can to tear America and the Judeo-Christian value system down. The world is in big trouble if they succeed.