One of the most popular posts ever is this one about the Trail of Tears. It showed up on the top ten most popular posts for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. I wrote about the Trail of Tears in response to the American Family Association’s spokesman Bryan Fischer’s incendiary comments about Native Americans. Fischer said English settlers were morally superior to Native Americans which justified cruel and dishonest treatment of native people by whites. Later, David Barton made similar arguments. Below is the first part of the article; to read the whole thing, click through to the 2011 post.
The Trail of Tears was a low point in American history when the United States government brutally carried out a systematic removal of Native Americans from locations throughout the South to the Indian Territory (now eastern Oklahoma). Broadly the forced removal began in 1830 with the signing of the Indian Removal Act and culminated in the forced death march of the Cherokee in 1838 and 1839 where 4,000 of an estimated 17,000 travelers died. The last Cherokees arrived in present day Oklahoma in March, 1839.
The Trail of Tears has been obscured in the retelling of American history. It seems obvious that the American Family Association does not grasp the significance of the event and has spread misinformation to their millions of listeners and readers about the relationship of the United States and native peoples.
This is not a partisan issue. In 2004, conservative Senator Sam Brownback authored a resolution apologizing to the Cherokee and other native people for the Trail of Tears. It was not passed until 2009 and signed by President Obama on December 19, 2009. According to the American Family Association and Bryan Fischer, the US had nothing to apologize for.
To read the rest of this post, click here.