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Dear Editor:
I write in response to the latest response from Justin in Chicago, IL. His letter directed to Ali Alexander is manifestly unfair. Justin manages to blame all of the economy's present ills on a president he calls an idiot and Ali Alexander a racist for wanting to insist that immigrants at least aspire to lawful behavior and some basic acceptance of American culture. First of all, unlike myself, Ali has made it quite clear that he is as stalwart a Democrat as Justin and likely agrees with Justin's critique of the president. I find it startling that Justin can accuse others of racism. He is the one who recently uttered the whopper that American Indians met regularly in councils to resolve inter-ethnic disputes in a peaceful way before the evil white man came and dispossessed them. That is not only wrong for most pre-Colombian and even pre-subjugation indigenous American peoples, it is also grossly racist to lump American Indians into one broad category. American Indians differed from each other at least as much as Caucasian Europeans did. Most were displaced more by devastating diseases to which more urbanized Europeans had greater resistance than by the warfare that generally capped their sad process dispossession. Further, while some tribes were generally peaceful and decent to their own members and neighbors, it is indisputable that warfare, torture and slavery were significantly more endemic to their cultures than they were to Europe, Christian or Muslim. Just as Christians facing the Turks often fell because they were more interested in fighting each other than defending Christendom, so too did American Indian tribes make temporary and permanent alliances with European settlers in order to gain the upper hand against native rivals and enemies. To present the American Indian as an undifferentiated noble savage tragically falling to the evil white man is both ignorant and racist.

Honza J. F. Prchal
Birmingham, AL



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