Friday, May 28, 2010

"Old Hickory" and AH

Today is Friday, 28 May 2010.

On this date in 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed into law the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Act authorized the President to steal Native American lands west of the Mississippi, and “give” them to Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi, thus “encouraging” the latter to move, thereby enabling white gangsters to steal their land.

In his Second Annual Message to Congress a few months later (6 December 1830), Jackson wrote that "[i]t gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation.”

The “happy consummation” of “the benevolent policy” was the Trail of Tears of 1831-1839, when members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole tribes (among others) were death-marched by white US Army terrorists from their homelands to concentration camps in Indian Territory (now eastern Oklahoma). The most well-known of these crimes against humanity is the Cherokee Death March of 1838-1839, when more than 4,000 out of 15,000 were assassinated.

Andrew Jackson and his criminal friends were thus predecessors in “ethnic cleansing” of A. Hitler and S. Milosevic. Jackson continues to be honoured by the USA/USE for his crimes, through his portrait on the $20 bill.

It’s as if Hitler were honoured on the euro.

(Some might object that Jackson, etc. never killed as many as the Nazis, but it was for lack of technology, not for lack of will or trying.)


Anonymous rtr said...


The facts are sufficiently odious without the hyperbole. I have family photos of my ancestors who were "encouraged" to travel west so I would not characterize myself as a person who would leap to Old Hickory's defence with respect to his fundamental attitudes toward race.

Relying on Meachem's relatively balanced biography as a starting point, I don't know that you have made any more than a rhetorical case for including Jackson in the ranks of a Milosevic. Perhaps Andy had the benefit of 'unclaimed' (by the US anyhow) land to serve as a removal location thereby providing an alternative to executing a plan of ethnic cleansing through murder to extinction.

Oklahoma may be somewhat more harsh in climate, flora and fauna than the hills of Virginia, Tenessee and the Carolinas, but characterizing Oklahoma in the first half of the 19th century as a concentration camp seems a bit over the top.

On the other hand, Oklahoma of the first half of the 21st century...

4:52 PM  

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