"The United States did not follow a policy of genocide; it did try to find a just solution to the Indian problem. The consistent idea was to civilize the Indians, incorporate them into the community, make them part of the melting pot. That it did not work, that it was foolish, conceited, even criminal, may be true, but that doesn’t turn a well-meant program into genocide."
A former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ed Woods--who has made it his life's mission to prevent Leonard Peltier's release from prison--recently had the audicity to use the above quote to refute Leonard's use of the word "genocide" with regard to Indigenous Peoples.
For your edification, Ed:
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.
A legal definition of "genocide" is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:
"...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
-- killing members of the group;
-- causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
-- deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
-- imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and
-- forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
Perhaps you'd prefer the term "ethnic cleansing" better, Ed? A 1993 United Nations Commission defined it specifically as "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous."
Simply? Denying historical facts about the ongoing genocide of Indigenous Peoples is just not acceptable.
Shame on you, Ed.
07/12/2010 Update: Ed now accuses us of misquoting him. We did not. The above quote (authored by Stephen Ambrose) was used to make a point... One we heard loud and clear. Ed now states the following:
"This writer subscribes to Ambrose’s conclusions; they are factual and accurate, based on years of intelligent research, and properly summarize the devastation of the Native American historical experience."
And, so, we were not at all mistaken.
Ed, we refer you to the definition of "genocide". The world view, Ed.
But Ed, no doubt, is also a holocaust denier.
Shame, shame, shame.