Not celebrating Columbus Day is perhaps a first step, but it won’t solve the problem that has perplexed our government for centuries. People are starting to come around to the idea that celebrating invasion, genocide and conquest may not be the best way to represent the federal holiday. We also can’t blame an event that happened over 500 years ago on the current 3rd world conditions many Native Americans face. It’s just not that simple.
Like it or not, all people within our country are supposed to be equal to one another in the eyes of the law. Our laws are supposed to afford all legal citizens the rights our country was founded on. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence all support these rights as 'god given', and are applicable to all people recognized as Americans...so why are the nation's original American's not afforded this same protection?
Known to some as America's deepest scar, it is no secret that at one time these human rights were forcefully (often violently) ripped away from our nation's first people. Inalienable rights, promised to all by our government were stolen from the Native Americans nearly 500 years ago, and is a problem that still plagues the reservation people today. They are the only people in the US that live under a separate set of rules and regulations. They are treated like children by the government, who as the parent makes decisions for them that are 'for their own good'. Even concepts as simple as land ownership are different on the reservation; these people don't even have sole ownership of the land that they were once forced to occupy! Undoubtedly, this is one of the most difficult domestic issues our country faces today and hiding behind courts, lawsuits, appeals, laws, government regulation, rules and regulations just makes all of these problems go from horrible to despicable.
The world is watching how we treat our indigenous people. It is alleged that Hitler was once an advocate for the way we've treated our "Indian problem". Do we, a country so driven by freedom, want our mistakes to go down in history as inspiration to the most hated and despicable oppressors ever known to man? Then it is time we right our wrongs and restore the rights of the Native Americans. Although it will be painful and expensive, it is the right thing to do.
The percentage of Native Americans that serve our country in wartime is just amazing. As soldiers they sacrifice their lives to defend us against the astronomical amount of global terrorism that occurs today. Wouldn't it be prudent of us to take the initiative and restore their human rights as citizens in repentance to these sacrifices. Einstein once stated that the thinking that created the problem can never solve the problem; the solution must come from a higher or different form of thinking. As a nation, let's start to think bigger.