• Carmen Milligan

Rick Santorum is part of what is wrong with America

Updated: May 5

"This land is your land, this land is my land..." A nice sentiment and a catchy tune, but means nothing. This land belongs to the rich, the powerful, the ... well, white (mostly Protestant) males. The same ilk that came over on the Mayflower, slaughtered indigenous peoples, the Native Americans, and forcibly took over. But we forget that. We think that everything started in 1776. We think that we are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.


Along those lines, this week, Rick Santorum, a white Catholic male, insists he meant no offense when he told a conservative youth group last week that “we birthed a nation out of nothing.” His exact words:


"We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn't much Native American culture in American culture".


Are you fucking kidding me?


Santorum claimed he was only referring to the lack of input by Native Americans to the colonial founding fathers who created the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.


Lack of input? You mean before or after the Trail of Tears? The forced march from rich and fertile land (because we needed it to plant cotton with our other "partners" in country-building, African Americans) to the desolation of the west (until we discovered oil and gold, then they had to move again). And when I say "march", that's exactly what I mean. 100,000 Native Americans suffered starvation, disease, and exposure, killing thousands during the "Indian Removal". Thanks, Andrew Jackson! I think we will put you on the $20 bill, name a lot of schools and roads after you, and maybe even some cities!


Readers, white people have GOT to get a grasp that we stole this country. We landed in the name of freedom, then we took the freedom (and lives) of those who stood in our way. We didn't "start" anything, except maybe the devastation of the land. But that's okay, we're trying to get to Mars so we can kill that planet next. Another topic for another time.


And the impact of Native Americans on today's American culture? Agricultural practices, language, and here's something that Mr. Santorum missed in history class: Iroquois leaders became frustrated with trading with the individual colonies, so they urged our founding fathers to form one representative government. Eventually, the U.S. adopted a model similar to that of the Iroquois. Do you know what the symbols of the Iroquois are? The eagle and a cluster of arrows. Sound familiar?


I guess Santorum meant things like kayaks, syringes, baby bottles, snow goggles, hammocks, and oral contraceptives. Oh, wait! All of these things were developed and used looooong before we arrived on this great land. Developed by whom, you may ask? Why "Indians", of course. But I guess he thinks no great cultural impact has been made by these items.


We do not live in a vacuum. We (all of us) are here because of others. We didn't start anything. We may have built upon it, but we also need to recognize those things lost during the "improvement". Bigger is not always better. More is not always a positive. Instead of looking at yourself and swelling with pride, Mr. Santorum, and all who think like you, look around you and see what is still to be done. Get off your high horse, stop talking about things you know nothing about and own the one thing that will always be with you: your ignorance.

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