This holiday a time to recall our past

By Eric Krol

The last minute column …

While it’s obvious society has lost the meaning of Christmas, somewhere along the course of history we also screwed up the spirit of Thanksgiving, too.

Just think, if the Indians were greedy, none of us would be here.

After all, it was the Indians who ran in and made the save when the white-bred Pilgrims didn’t have enough “street smarts” to feed themselves.

How were the Indians repaid, I ask you rhetorically?

Well, we took their land, introduced them to alcohol and herded them on to reservations.

And the reservations weren’t at Chez Paul, they were in god-awful Oklahoma. However, as bad as Oklahoma sounds, it could have been worse—they could have sent them to Rockford.

They named the worst baseball team of the modern era after them—the Cleveland Indians. In addition to the obvious bad reputation of the city itself, Cleveland hasn’t won the pennant since the 1940s.

But seriously folks, the Indians were treated horribly. Most everyone who has been awake in history class during discussion of that boring period of history, the 1830s, knows the “trail of tears” story and how Andrew Jackson was such a mean guy.

The relentless pursuit of manifest destiny caused us to give the Indians “more thanks” throughout the rest of the 19th century.

A slightly closer examination of the “Indian problem” reveals the dilemma of cultural relativism

We wanted to push across to the Pacific Ocean and the Indians were in the way. In retrospect, this was a bad idea. Just look at the California culture for reasons why.

Anyway, it was impossible to negotiate with the Indians because of the vast culture barrier. So, we proceeded to impose our culture on them, even if they were kicking and screaming along the way.

Was this necessarily wrong? I mean, if there was no way for the two sides to communicate their differences, in nature usually the strong shall rule.

Granted, that certainly doesn’t excuse the horrible treatment of the Indians.

However, it is not the intent of this column this week to offer an answer to that question or even offer an opinion.

Simply stated (and yes, it is a cliche), just remember why you’re sitting at your table eating turkey and watching the Bears beat the Lions. Many years ago, some Indians saved the Pilgrims’ butts.

Oxymoron of the week: “meaningful fling.”

Student Life Building Update—No, we still shouldn’t stick the students with the tremendous cost of this thing.

Kudos to the Student Association. They finally came out against the building. Let’s hope they continue the battle against those who want to “help” us get this project built.

Finally, last week Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley said NIU administration will get no benefit from the building, just the students. If the building is constructed, doesn’t it in effect become a monument to those who helped get it built?