Monday, May 27, 2013

Native American Veterans Want Race-Based War Memorial

May 27, 2013 - Should any single ethnic or racial group have it's very own memorial? Some Native Americans are asking for just that. Is a racially segregated memorial really something that American soldiers have fought and died for?

2nd Lt. Ernest Childers, 26-year-old American Indian
from Tulsa, OK, receives the Congressional
Medal of Honor from Lt. Gen Jacob L. Devers.
Image found at
"Before World War II and in the decades since," says an AP story, "tens of thousands of American Indians have enlisted in the Armed Forces to serve their country at a rate much greater than any other ethnicity. Yet, among all the monuments and statues along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., not one stands in recognition."

AP says that a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been meeting with Native American leaders; a memorial "is a real possibility" if land is located and private funds are raised.

Well, fine, they can do whatever they want with private funds. But whatever "land is located" had better not be publicly owned, not for a something that is racially and ethnically exclusive. No sir. We don't, after all, want to be politically incorrect, do we? Hmmm?

I don't want to diminish the contributions of Native American veterans. I really don't. God bless them all. Their contributions and sacrifices were great and many. But the push for a Native American-only memorial, driven largely by the National Congress of American Indians, seems to discount the fact that virtually every group of Americans made sacrifices and contributions to U.S. military efforts during wartime.

"A good deal of credit must go to the Native Americans for their outstanding part in America's victory in World War II," wrote Thomas D. Morgan for the U.S. Army Center of Military History. "They sacrificed more than most-both individually and as a group. They left the land they knew to travel to strange places, where people did not always understand their ways. They had to forego the dances and rituals that were an important part of their life. They had to learn to work under non-Indian supervisors in situations that were wholly new to them. It was a tremendously difficult adjustment; more than for white America, which had known modem war and mobilization before. But in the process, Native Americans became Indian-Americans, not just American Indians."

Navajo Code Talker veterans at the 2012 Fourth Annual White House
Tribal Nations Conference at the U.S. Dept of Interior in
Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.
Photo:, found at Indian Country Today
Even so, a separate memorial makes no sense. By their logic, we should also have statues and whatever on the National Mall for every other group. But are there any monuments or statues designed to specifically recognize U.S. military veterans who are, specifically and exclusively, of Italian decent? How about U.S. military veterans of German, Nigerian, Swedish, Chinese, Armenian, British, Egyptian, Mexican or any other group?

The African American Civil War Memorial is my only exception to any objection to a racially based war memorial. This one makes sense. Although it's race-based, it memorializes the "over 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors [who] served to keep the United States whole and to free permanently over four million people in forced servitude." In other words, they helped free fellow Black people who were slaves because they were Black

The uniqueness of the Civil War, and the importance of race to the causes of that war, justify an African American Civil War Memorial.

Please watch this excellent video
That said, however, I would be opposed to an African American Vietnam War Memorial just as much as I would be to, say, a European American Vietnam War Memorial.

I can think of no other war, or of anything else, that would justify a memorial for any other ethnic or racial group.

So why should the Native Americans get their own ethnicity-based memorial? Why should any ethnic group get one? It is offensive, frankly. While I value this nation's diversity -- people of different backgrounds living, working and playing together -- I despise multiculturalism, which is antithetical to the "melting pot" that has helped make this nation great. Our strength may be in diversity but only so long as multiculturalism insanity does not get the best of us. Look at Canada and the faux nation of Quebec within its own borders. Quebec is the result of multiculturalism madness: Division and separation.

The memorials on the National Mall are a good example of the beauty of diversity; they do not discriminate. What the Native Americans are asking for, however, is an example of the poison of multiculturalism. That's not what American soldiers fought and died for throughout our history.