Ota Benga lived in a cage at the Bronx Zoo with the monkeys in 1906 and became a hugely popular exhibit as proof of evolution. Ota was a Pygmy from the Congo when the Congo was the playground and money making property of King Leopold of Belgium.
The pygmies were competitors in the ivory trade and were systematically killed off; the rationale being that the pygmies, so small and stupid, were obviously just one evolutionary tick away from the little monkeys. Darwin once wrote: “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace, the savage races throughout the world.” No biggie. Science was the new religion–minus the love and compassion.
Ota came to America after he was purchased by a noted American explorer from South Carolina, Phillips Verner, who planned to exhibit him at the 1904 World’s Fair. Falling on hard times, Verner searched for someone to take Ota off his hands. In New York Herman Bumpus the director of the Natural History Museum gave him a home with the stipulation that he’d have to entertain the richie riches when they came for lunch. When Ota threw a chair at Florence Guggenheim Bumpus was like, ” I’m so done with you.”
Off Ota was sent to the Bronx Zoo. When Christians (especially southern black ones) protested that evolution was at best an unproven theory and at worst an invitation for race extermination The New York Times retorted: “It is most amusing to note that one colored brother objects to the curious exhibition on the grounds that it is an impious effort to lend credibility to Darwin’s dreadful theories . . . The reverend colored brother should be told that evolution, in one form or another, is now taught in the textbooks of all the schools, and that it is no more debatable than the multiplication table.” And: “As for Benga himself, he is probably enjoying himself as well as he could anywhere in his country, and it is absurd to make moan over the imagined humiliation and degradation he is suffering.”
Eventually Ota was freed. He went to see how much it would cost him to sail back home and shot himself in the chest.
Story retold from The Political Gene by Dennis Sewell
Have you ever been tolerated? It’s not quite like being loved, is it? Toleration is clenched teeth and the inability to even look at the person without having your blood boil. What a strange thing to teach our kids. What about love?
The reason some of us hate the Bible (if we’ve ever bothered to read it) is because it shows us how we really are, not how we wish we could be, or how we someday will be if we just tinker with the system a little more. The road to hell lies in the intentions of tolerant people.
Through clenched teeth each generation has a smoldering tolerance for those others out there who produce too many babies. Those Irish, those Africans, those dirty white trash. Aren’t they the cause of disease in the city? Aren’t they the cause of global warming?
Through clenched teeth, do we laugh along with Bill Gates as he arrogantly talks about reducing population in third world countries? Not us, but THEM. Do we sorta agree that the poor should be sterilized?
I agreed. Before I was poor I agreed, but when I was poor I loved my children. We worship the powerful and blame the poor. This is as old as time. There’s a great bit in the Bible when the apostle John asks Jesus if they should call down fire on a group of people who don’t like Jesus. Jesus is like, “Man, you still don’t get it.”
The Jukes lived in Upstate New York. Who were the Jukes? They were a bunch of people the scientific community threw together in the 1870’s and said were related (turns out they weren’t). This “family” supposedly had the gene pool of criminals and whores. Science proved it (just like it’s proven now that there’s a climate problem we can fix). The Jukes were used as the perfect example of why poor white trash men and women should be sterilized.
If you think we’ve passed all that messy stuff, you’re sadly mistaken. “I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.” Prince Phillip said in the 1980’s–note he still wants to live himself even if it’s as a virus that kills off the unwanted humans. Thank God we have abortion clinics now and hate the words abstinence and hard work.
The Jukes still live in our hardened hearts. They’re the people who eat meat, the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims, the ignorant, the poor, the fertile, the ugly, the unlovable. Here’s why we hate the Bible: Love thy Neighbor.
Try it. Okay we all can do the tolerance thing, but the history of the world proves it’s nearly impossible to do the love thing. But there is this quote from the book some of us just can’t tolerate:” Nothing is impossible with God.”
“The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race
I sort of get Margaret Sanger‘s bitterness. Her family arrived in the New World fleeing the Irish Famine (see the real and disturbing causes HERE). Her mother had 18 pregnancies and died young. So young Maggie gets it into her head that some babies are better off dead–not her, of course, but some other babies.
In Nicaragua I met a lot of unwashed, under-nourished children and not one of them asked me to put them out of their misery. In fact some had dreams of America or finding a cute boy to have a baby with (like people have done since the beginning of time). The girls liked having their nails painted and the boys were big flirts.
As a fifth grade teacher I met kids with alcoholic parents, criminal parents and neglectful parents. Some of these kids loved poetry and being read to.
Poor Maggie transferred her bitterness onto others. Yes, poverty is horrible, but it seems to me that extermination is a little worse (even if it’s done for the supposed good of the children or the environment). Case in point: Buster, the baby born to criminal parents who turned out alright.
The pristine heaven on earth created by some people who may have gotten to the “new” world first was destroyed by adorable, playful tricksters. Yes, before that ugly Columbus came there was the evil seal laughing as it spread tuberculosis. I wonder as we go to war with a group of crazies we helped create and fund how we continue to believe in revisionist history and a corporate political class that keeps us all at each others throats. We fail to think, Hey wait! They wanted to go to war last year, but a few brave people said no way in hell. And here we are a year later. As the seals might say, it seems a little fishy.
But back to the past with a fascinating article about the seals:
I was going to write about a charming little bookstore I visited recently, but then I happened upon the horrifying photos of beheaded Christian children still in their adorable kid clothes. I really wanted to just escape back into the past or at least into a charming bookstore. I wanted to flip through books that showed how people bandaged wounded soldiers who are long since dead. I wanted to see books on genocide and pass them by because, thank God, the holocausts were over. I wanted to still be able to imagine that I could use the word evil lightly as if the meaning of the word had lost it’s essence and was just a funny remnant from the past.
I bet most Germans browsed bookstores, wrote novels and gossiped as the powers of evil rolled by carrying people to camps. My neighbor sends his beef cows to market but I never see them shoved into the truck that carries them away.
We see. Everyday we see things on television. How many innocent people are murdered every week in Chicago? Would a big counter in the corner of our screen make us give a damn? If we want we can read Bertrand Russel’s disturbing idea’s about education and see as we sit before our computers that his ideas may have become reality. I’m just as dumb as the next person–the person who thinks that couldn’t happen here; that couldn’t happen now. And why is my coffee cold?
What is that numbness that so paralyzes us all? That sense that it might be a bit rude to question evil? But once questioned the problem still exists for the sort who like quiet bookstores–what’s to be done? Do we have a right to say someone is evil or is that a little too judgmental? Maybe the very same people who manage to write sonnets and invent telescopes and love their children have no control over their actions. Bookstores magically appear and child butchering is explained away–they couldn’t help it.
“It’s hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed’s system … The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.” Kenneth Ackerman Tweed biographer
People love a colorful criminal. Why is that?
I’m glad after so many years of progress that our politicians have improved on their skills.
I could go on about this book FOREVER!!! If you love intrigue and corruption, avarice and stupidity all assembled in a breathtakingly well-researched and witty BIG read, then here’s the book for you. If you like flawed though strangely lovable characters, then again, here they are presented to you on a silver platter. There’s the intellectual railroad man, Charles Adams and the blustering, risk-taking old grump Collis Huntington to begin with, but it’s Richard White’s depth of knowledge and insight into humanity (about the fairest book I’ve read about anything in a long time) that steal the show.
As you know, I hate easy answers, simple villains and preachy one-sided visions of humanity and Richard keeps everyone in perspective. This is no Howard Zinn good worker vs. evil corporate manager fantasy. Everyone’s corrupt from top to bottom. Everyone’s blind to their own flaws. America’s youth and all of the waste and foolishness that came with it bursts from the pages! Yes, I adore this book.
It even explains what a short stock is in a way I understand!! Now that’s something. You might wonder if it is a depressing story (I felt like giving up on life after reading Zinn’s junk), but this book is too full of wit–as if the author has the sense of humor of someone who doesn’t expect people to be anything near perfect–just interesting.
“The next morning as they were breaking camp they were attacked by a war party of Cheyennes led by Chief Medicine Water. John and Lydia German, their son Stephen, and daughters Rebecca Jane and Joanna were killed and scalped. The Indians then took any goods they deemed usable and set the wagon afire. Captured and eventually taken into the Texas Panhandle were Catherine, age seventeen; Sophia, twelve; Julia, seven; and Addie, five. The Germans were victims of the Cheyennes’ retaliation for their losses at the second battle of Adobe Walls on June 27.
After a scouting party from Fort Wallace came upon the scene of the massacre a few days later, the military campaigns against hostile Indians in the Panhandle were intensified. In the meantime, the German girls were subjected to exposure, malnutrition, and occasional maltreatment as their captors traveled southward. Catherine, in particular, recalled instances of gang rape by young “dog soldiers” and indignities at the hands of Cheyenne women, particularly Medicine Water’s obnoxious wife, Mochi (Buffalo Calf Woman). Eventually Julia and Addie were traded to Grey Beard‘s band, who for the most part neglected them. Grey Beard steered his following down the east side of the Llano Estacado, while Medicine Water joined with other groups and moved down the west side, probably crossing at several points into eastern New Mexico.
By November 1874 Grey Beard had set up camp north of McClellan Creek, about ten miles south of the site of present-day Pampa. On the morning of November 8, Lt. Frank D. Baldwin‘s column charged the Indian encampment. So complete was the surprise that the Cheyennes abandoned the village and left most of their property intact. Riding through the deserted camp, William (Billy) Dixon and other army scouts noticed movement in a pile of buffalo hides; they were astonished to find Julia and Addie German, both emaciated and near starvation. Dixon later recalled how hardened scouts and soldiers turned aside to hide their emotions as the little girls sobbed out their story.”