Y’all know our dear President Andrew Jackson, Old Hickory (Bless his heart!), was a racist, right? Yes, tough, hail fellow. He did not personally discriminate and he grew up around blacks (and “owed” them!), but in the true spirit of racism-the-system, he signed the Indian Removal Act (first cousin to Old Yella’s Executive Ban on Muslims–no, Muslim countries; no, terrorists sponsors; no, refugees–well, battle savaged, vetted refugees and potential security threats for 120 days).
The Indian Removal Act proffered the exchange of federal lands with Indian nations. The exchanged lands were all east of the Mississippi, and Jackson remarked these exchanges would eliminate the discrimination and hardships Indian groups faced in the Southeast. Their removal and resettlement after the swaps would be at government expense!
The Seminoles and Cherokees resisted and 7,000 Army troops were assigned to send them packing. They didn’t have time to secure their belongings! (Which the soldiers promptly stole!)
So began “The Trial of Tears.” The military-driven relocation of 16,000 Indians, 4,000 of whom died along the way. (Must have been the lousy cooking; hunger was a main cause of death. And the cold and disease. The government didn’t provide footwear or cover healthcare.)
If Trump really wanted to celebrate Jackson, he would remove his shoes and walk barefooted for the last mile; knowing for once what it’s like to stand in someone else’s suffering shoes, and getting a real feel for the meaning of policy beyond the realm of hate-fantasies of greatness through cruelty and power. As a real estate mogul, he is celebrating the largest land grab in America’s history through force and legal manipulation, using military troops. Does he have moral memory? Has he shown any regret or shame?
Native Americans were removed from their lands at bayonet-point and held in stockades, but mothers were not separated from their children (as Trump is exploring in his resettlement/removal of undocumented immigrants).
Trump joins Reagan in salutin–and following–this architecture of America’s second greatest domestic violence. His is the culture of greatness IA’s Steve King celebrates when he says “we can restore greatness with somebody else’s babies.” (Others are rarely so cruel.)
Question of the day: are we only a magnitude or two away from bare-foot marches; do others see in the zip ties–the box cars, the clanging fences?