What a grim holiday season this has turned out to be. Talk about the Grinch who stole Christmas! There are more wars going on around the planet than we’ve had in years and, with the exception of Donald Trump’s impending dictatorship looming over us, hardly anything has gotten more attention than the subject of “genocide”—how merry and cheery is that? Maybe it’s partly because, as a West Pointer, I tend to be suspicious of the Ivey League, but like a lot of folks, this humble spirit was appalled when the presidents of Harvard, UPenn and M.I.T. all told a Congressional hearing that advocating for the genocide of the Jewish people could be considered free speech and thus allowable on their respective campuses.
One got the impression those three women would have damn well turned green and fallen over dead before they condemned what is clearly antisemitic hate speech. It depends on the “context”?! In what “context” would the indiscriminate mass murder of millions of people for no reason except their race, religion or ethnicity be acceptable? Committing genocide is the absolute antithesis (on steroids!) of everything the Ivey League academe claims to stand for. To put it mildly, it’s a far cry from progressive DEI, at least as I understand it. Talk about an embarrassment to three hallowed institutions! It’s not very often that I agree with Elise Stefanik, but watching that hearing I wanted her to get up and smack those three silly fools senseless.
This former Confederate officer can’t claim much expertise when it comes to the conflicts in the modern-day Middle East, but there is some consensus that Hamas is not synonymous with the Palestinian people, just as Netanyahu’s fanatical right-wing government (including its support of West Bank settlers!) should not be considered synonymous with the nation of Israel or the Jewish people. Sadly, however, given the time and place from which I come, I do know a good deal about the subject of genocide. Yes, unfortunately the slaughter of indigenous Americans—a long, slow process that took almost 300 years—was undeniably part of the world in which I lived. The farm where I grew up in northeast Alabama was on land that had belonged to the Muscogee (Creek) tribe until 1832, when President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal bill forced them out and sent them, along with four other tribes, to Oklahoma, a journey known as the “Trail of Tears,” on which it’s estimated that 13,000-17,000 people died a miserable death.
Failing to Condone Genocide is Hardly Politically Correct or Woke.
When I was at West Point in the late 1850s, not a single cadet questioned the notion that America was a white man’s country in a white man’s world, and it was our prerogative to determine everyone else’s fate, whether it was bondage (for the “Negroes”) or confinement to a reservation or out-and-out slaughter (of the ”Indians”). Both prior to and after the Civil War, that terrible war in which I gained fame but lost my life, most newly graduated cadets were stationed on the “frontier,” where they were responsible for bringing “civilization” (i.e., reservations and/or slaughter) to the western states and territories.
Case in point, I’m not very proud to say that one of my buddies at the “Point” was George Armstrong Custer of Little Big Horn fame. Yeah, I died fighting for the Slave Power, and Custer (“Autie” as he was known to his friends) died fighting native Americans to near extinction. This humble spirit is not only radically opposed to killing anyone based on their race, religion or ethnicity, but trust me when I tell you that committing genocide, as well as any and all crimes against humanity, may not do its perpetrators a check of a heck of a lot of good either.