You are no doubt aware of the plight of untold numbers of refugees who have fled Syria and other war-torn Middle Eastern countries. It’s a crisis which cries out for (and can only be solved by) a massive humanitarian response by multiple countries. Some nations, such as Canada and Germany, have opened their borders (with, one assumes, appropriate security screening) to many of these immigrant families; the reaction of other countries and sultanates, including the U.S. and Donald Trump, has ranged from hello to hostile or hell no (biblically speaking).

Now consider another flood of immigrants 200-300 years ago, and imagine what it would have been like for Europeans immigrating to the new world if Native Americans in those days had proven as intractable and well-armed as some of the countries from which the Europeans came. Or, try putting yourself in the place of those long-ago Native Americans:

The whole world is coming,
A nation is coming, a nation is coming,
The Eagle has brought the message to the tribe.
The father says so, the father says so.
Over the whole earth they are coming….
–Sioux ghost song

Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery —
if you are a welcomed immigrant….
or the surest form of getting flattened —
if you were a Native American.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The four-leggeds and the winged ones stirred and moaned and no one slept that night. Our [Kiowa] wise men said it was a bad sign…that the falling stars [meteor showers, winter 1833-34 ] were like the white men falling by the thousands upon our land…coming at first a few at a time, but now coming in great streams, pouring from the east upon the lands promised to us for all time.*
*(“The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians: their lands and property shall never be taken from them.” — U.S. Congress, 1789)

“That those tribes cannot exist near our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor a desire for improvement. Established in the midst of our superior race, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.” –U.S. President Andrew Jackson, December 3, 1833

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ancient history? Yes — if you think that time conveniently acquits past sins. Those Native Americans were of course human, not saints (tribes warred against each other long before the white man came, for example). But who didn’t keep their word? Who believed The only good Indian is a dead Indian?** And what is the statute of limitations on arrogance?

**General Phillip Sheridan, January, 1869



  1. leggypeggy says:

    A very moving post. Thank you for reminding so many people that they, too, are migrants or the descendants of migrants.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. arekhill1 says:

    The happy thing is, the grandchildren of today’s immigrants will become the nativists of the future, angrily demanding that the flow of future immigrants be stopped, checked, screened and denied. It has always been so, and there’s no reason to think it won’t always be. The repetition of history can be so soothing, as long as you maintain the right frame of mind for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    Ricardo, as an empathetic cynic, you are a man after my own heart.


  4. mike says:

    It is so. Unlike the Natives, perhaps our collective nation wishes to avoid the fate of the ‘Indians’ by stopping the invasion?!

    That is why we need spaceships to send people to other places to invade. They laughed at Newt when he said he would put a base on the moon (maybe we already have one) and now they are talking about sending people to Mars. If we quit exploring, it won’t matter in the long run. No one will be here to care…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mistermuse says:

    Anyone who would laugh at Isaac Newton SHOULD be banished to a base on the moon! 🙂
    P.S. Coincidentally, yesterday was Isaac’s birthday (Jan. 4, 1643). Newton (Newt) Gingrich may have been named after him. Whether his fame will live (as long) after him is doubtful, but fame isn’t everything (are you listening, Donald Trump?).


  6. BroadBlogs says:

    Good questions, all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mél@nie says:

    just back from California, USofA… we visited Death Valley National Park and we met Shoshones Native Americans… like we also met other Native Americans several years ago in Arizona & Utah… their life stories have simply been heart-breaking:”this is our land and we’ve been forced to live in reservations, prisoners in our own country…” 😦
    * * *
    btw, Isaac is a Cappy guy, like me… 🙂 speakin’ of wiggy-wigged racist ignorant moron, can’t imagine for a sec’ that he could ever be the POTUS!!! what kinda “bothers” me is his wife’s forename which is mine, too… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mistermuse says:

    It seems but yesterday that Ivana was Trump’s wife. I have little interest in his private (?) life, so I didn’t realize that, since then, he has been divorced twice and is now on his third wife (Melania). A few more divorces and wives, and he may become known as Donald TRAMP (although such pejoratives are generally reserved for female floozies).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie says:

      she’s only(sic!) 25 years younger… she needed a rich papa! 😉
      * * *
      btw, you certainly know this famous song, sung by 3 Italo-Americans: Sinatra, Bennett & Gaga: 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse says:

        I have several versions of this Rodgers & Hart classic in my record collection, but this is the first time I’ve heard it sung by Bennett & Gaga…btw, her hair looks like a style Donald Trump might have tried and rejected (why, I don’t know, because if you’re Trump, you can never draw too much attention to yourself). 🙂


  9. mistermuse says:

    P.S. Re “wiggy-wigged,” I ‘ve been told that’s his real hair. Whatever it is, this woman is certainly taken by it (and/or his face, which I’m told is also real):

    Liked by 1 person

  10. RMW says:

    And the Martians should be very very worried…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mistermuse says:

    That’s what I call donating to a worthy (but costly) cause, so unless you have a spare few billion bucks laying around, more help is needed. I propose a lottery, the winner of which gets to press the lift-off button to launch his space station on its way. The only problem might be that they couldn’t print lottery tickets fast enough. 🙂


  12. Resa says:

    Interesting! I’m Canadian & hope this taking in of refugees works out over here. Nonetheless, when I heard on the news today about the New Years mob of men, apparently refugees, raping & robbing in Cologne, Germany, my heart skipped. Should I even believe the news?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mistermuse says:

    Resa, I think your question gets to the lot of the human condition as a whole: it is often impossible for human beings to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in a given situation. So, what to do? With the understanding that there are seldom perfect answers, is there a better answer here than to do the right thing regarding accepting immigrants, at the same time doing everything humanly possible to screen out the bad guys? We can either do empathy with a high but imperfect level of security, or do bunker mentality with minds closed by fear.

    In short, don’t let the (unattainable) perfect be the enemy of the good.


  14. hooklineandinkwell says:

    I wonder if anyone in a position to make decisions regarding immigration actually thinks ahead? While reading your article I could not help but recall a recent conversation.

    A few days ago I had a chat with a friend living in a neighbouring town who told me that his church was looking to provide homes and necessary materials for two immigrant families. In the same breath, he also told me that a neighbour’s son goes to school hungry, every single day. My heart gores out to anyone suffering in war-torn countries, but perhaps we should make sure we can look after our own first before we open our doors to thousands of immigrants.


  15. mistermuse says:

    The plight of the immigrants would be hard enough to resolve even without the many complications beyond providing for so many thousands, such as security concerns, political pandering and fear mongering. I agree that “in a perfect world” we should and already would be taking care of our own first, but (with imperfect, divided and dogmatic human beings in charge) what are the chances of such wishful thinking ever being a reality?

    What is needed is a combination of empathy and common sense, thorough security screening — particularly with regard to single males in their late teens to early thirties age range from Middle Eastern and north African countries who are the most likely to be potential terrorists. I think it’s safe to say that by far the bulk of the immigrants are families who simply want to escape life-threatening brutality and give their children the same chance that children everywhere deserve.

    Do we really believe that “Where there’s a will, there’s a way?” That is the question we must face.


  16. Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing these truths which many seem to want to forget or are ignorant of. Here in Australia, it is shameful how our Indigenous population has been treated and the effects of that terrible period in history are still impacting the current generation. Unfortunately, we still have a lot of racism in our country. We took over their country and yet many do not want to extend a hand to refugees. I feel ashamed when some of our government and civilian comments are reported in world news.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mistermuse says:

    Thanks for your comment. You’re right, of course. Despite hundreds of years of civilization since the Dark Ages, it seems the human race still has farther to go than it has come. What more can I say?


  18. Sharron says:

    Thoughtful post. We all need to take a look at our values. I love your response above. That is exactly how I feel. (What is needed is a combination of empathy and common sense, thorough security screening — particularly with regard to single males in their late teens to early thirties age range from Middle Eastern and north African countries who are the most likely to be potential terrorists. I think it’s safe to say that by far the bulk of the immigrants are families who simply want to escape life-threatening brutality and give their children the same chance that children everywhere deserve.) Thanks for the articulate expression of that. Also, thanks for liking my last posts! I so appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mistermuse says:

    You are very kind to take time to comment. I don’t know how anyone with a conscience and sense of empathy could look at the obscene suffering (particularly of innocent children) in Syria and elsewhere, and refuse to be affected by it. I can only conclude (as I said before) that the human race still has a lot farther to go than it has come.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s