I’ve pretty much avoided Jonah Goldberg’s A History of Stupid White People: An Autobiography because, well, I refuse to buy it, but I have to say that he has turned his readers into the most observant people on Earth. They see fascism everywhere, from Rockefeller Center to the Hoover Dam to Coit Tower to JFK (the man, not the airport, although…now that you mention it…) to that piece of toast you probably eating right now.
Having opened his readers eyes to the fact that everything is fascist including the fascist nose on your fascist face, a new craze is sweeping the nation:
From a reader:
Jonah, I just finished your book and loved it. I work in the environmental compliance field and I’ve been witness to some of the fascist tendencies among environmentalists. You nailed them.
However, I was struck by one thing that you didn’t go into in your book – no doubt to keep your sanity. I think the Federal government’s policy toward Native Americans in the early 20th century may qualify as the ultimate Progressive experiment. The damage these policies – breaking up reservations, boarding schools, etc. — caused to the tribes is now clear, and post-modern anthropologists categorize the anthropologists and others responsible for the policies at that time as colonial oppressors, racists, hegemonists, capitalist swine, or whatever. But these people were often do-gooders who thought they were helping the Native American assimilate into the national culture and escape cultures that were unsuited to modern life and doomed to extinction.
I’m a far cry from an expert on this period, but some of what the early Progressives were saying (as quoted in your book) sound similar to what the people responsible for Indian policy said at the time.
Is it just a coincident(sic) or were they strongly influenced by Progressive thought. You got me interested, and I’m going to be doing some more research into this.
Me: Sounds interesting, but I know very little about early 20th century policy toward the Indians, and that’s an understatement.
Much like the popularity of break dancing, I don’t necessarily see the appeal of this latest fad, but if it keeps them out of gangs and away from drugs, what can it hurt…