A Brief Guide to American History Teachers


Carter Revard

Q: Name several American Holocausts,
the nations involved, and the places where these were accomplished.

A: Missouri, Illinois, Miami, New England, Virginia,
and most place names in the United States. For more advanced students, the answer
can extend to North and South America.

Q: What kind of un-American creep would give that answer?

A: A Native American. Of course,
a truly patriotic American might have known better than to ask the question. In such cases, silence is the only effective way to avoid acknowledging guilt. There have been no American Holocausts, and we all should realize this truth. It is self- evident, since we believe all men are created equal, that we would not do what those nasty Europeans did. They are racist bigots, We are the people who got rid of the old prejudices and refused to do terrible things. We have pure hearts, pure motives, and pure history.

Q: What advantages are there to the true Americans
if they deny that there has been any American Holocaust?

A: It allows them to be outraged at other monsters. Also, it lets them
focus on the terrible things done overseas so that no one will notice what is still going on here. Since there was only the one Holocaust, we can be wonderfully virtuous in supporting its victims, and we know that we do not have to worry about being on the right side. So this justifies our putting up a monument in Washington, D.C. to that one Holocaust, and not putting anything there which hints that there was anything like it in this country.

Q: Is this matter relevant to the origins, makeup, and functions of the
United Nations?

A: Yes. I do not dare, however, answer in more detail. No true
American can afford to consider the question of whether Native American nations are truly sovereign. De facto, de Deo, must be their only refuge. When Franklin Roosevelt, about 1942, discussed the postwar realignments with Winston Churchill, he reminded Churchill of what the English were doing in their African colonies. Churchill then reminded Roosevelt of two cases: blacks in Mississippi, and Navajos in Arizona. Roosevelt shut up. It is the only safe answer.

Q: So your conclusion is that American history should not be taught?

A: Of course not: it never has been, and this is no time to begin doing so.
From Returning The Gift, ed. Joseph Bruchac, Vol. 29, in Sun Tracks, an American Indian Literary Series, University of Arizona Press. © 1994 Carter Revard
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