It’s not as if a racist, Marxist, anti-American organization like Black Lives Matter has to try to be obnoxious, but nonetheless, it treated Thanksgiving celebrants with that holiday message this week. Normally Comment of the Day posts that arrive in an Open Forum are accorded guest blogger honors, but I couldn’t figure out a clean way to unlink the two comments presented here. I apologize to P.M. and Steve.
The “stolen lands” indictment has rankled me for a long, long time, and the two Ethics Alarms regulars between them have done an excellent job of covering the issue.
First up is Steve-O; P.M. Lawrence will take over later.
steal [stēl] VERB [stolen (past participle)}: 1. take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. “Thieves stole her bicycle” ·
synonyms: theft · thieving · thievery · robbery · larceny · burglary · shoplifting · pilfering ·
2. dishonestly pass off (another person’s ideas) as one’s own. “Accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying”
synonyms: plagiarize · copy · pass off as one’s own · infringe the copyright of · pirate · poach · borrow · appropriate
conquer [ˈkäNGkər] VERB 1. overcome and take control of (a place or people) by use of military force. “The Magyars conquered Hungary in the Middle Ages”
synonyms: defeat · beat · vanquish · trounce · annihilate · triumph over · be victorious over · best · get the better of · worst · bring someone to their knees · overcome · overwhelm ·
So tell me, which of the above definitions more accurately reflects what happened here in the US? To steal something from someone, the other person must first possess it. Can you really steal from those who don’t believe anyone can own land? Not really. But you can conquer that area.
Unfortunately, history is almost nothing but conquests. It’s not the story of people becoming friends. History has been about conquests since Sargon of Akkad conquered the Sumerians and since Joshua led the Hebrews over the Jordan to attack and take the city of Jericho. In fact, if you go all the way back to the earliest Biblical stories, the Hebrews first came to be when and because a sheik in the Bronze Age Mesopotamian city of Ur answered a call that came directly from the man upstairs promising him the land originally promised to Caanan, grandson of Ham, because Ham proved himself unworthy by seeing Noah drunk and uncovered in his tent and doing nothing about it. Most of the rest of the Old Testament is about the Hebrews getting, losing, and getting back the land promised to them by God. Most of us grew up reading of Joshua bringing the walls of Jericho down and cheering on David as he stood up to Goliath, giving Saul’s army the chance to defeat the Philistines, and never once asking the question of whether they were right. However, come to the modern state of Israel, and suddenly it’s stolen land, stolen from the Palestinians, who were never a nation to begin with, and at any rate were Johnny-come-latelys since the Caananites, Hebrews, Seleucid Greeks, Romans, Persians (briefly), Byzantines, Crusaders, and Turks had the territory before them.