"I think most of their problem must surely be that they cling onto their identity too much."
Did any whites give up their identity when they came to America? The Irish? The Jews? The Germans? Did white people leave their cattle ranching and their ideas of property and government back in Europe? No, they integrated what was old with what was new.
They usually gave up their languages, but they kept their religions, and many many other features of their societies. Oh, and they took a lot of features from Native American society too and integrated that as well. And African society, as well.
"You see, they were very technologically and culturally primitive compared to the Europeans "
They had corn tomatos potatos and many other plants, that they had developed on their own using agricultural technology. Many had democratic style governments or democratic theories of rulership, many of them had a much more respectful and egalitarian place for women in society, and many of them would adopt whites and blacks as equals intot he society (non racist), so in many aspects their culture was exactly the sort of thing Europeans would still be striving for hundreds of years later. Do you consider American endeavors to make society more egalitarian to be 'moving towards primitive culture'?
"who stole their land, they never stood a chance. "
There are many many Native American tribes that have sovereignty and have land, here, now, in 2002 in the United States. Perhaps you should listen to www.nativecalling.org for more information.
"However, instead of embracing modernity, one gets the feeling that the Red Indian culture has exhausted itself and given up."
The Mississippi Choctaw nation is one of the largest employers in the state.
"Where the Japanese (another primitive people in the 19th century)"
The japanese invented the Novel. Is the western love of this art form some kind of 'primitive'-ness? What about all the westerners who are embracing buddhist philosophy and teaching? Did you know that Van Gogh admired Japanese art and it influenced him? What about the invasion of asian food products into american groceries? Is this simply a sign of America becoming 'culturally backward'? When a Van Gogh painting sells for millions of dollars is that 'culturally backwards'?
" embraced the modern world during the Meiji period and revolutionised themselves,"
And committed some of the worst genocides of the 20th century, including the rape of nanking, the bataan death march, the attack on pearl harbor, ...
" Red Indians have just completely given up the ghost, and are content to live on state handouts and make money from exceptions made to them under the law, such as gambling, etc.
What makes you think all people who are Indian are 'content to live on handouts'? Do you have any idea how any actual Indian people feel? Or what they do in their lives? There has been a massive migration of Indians to the cities, do you think they went there for the starbucks? Do you consider it a 'handout' when the state does things like steal Indian water-rights, even in the mid 1900s? What about all the white people living on their handouts? like the corrupt b-1 bomber contracts of the 1980s, which generated billions of dollars of business for those politicians' districts who were corrupt and greedy enough to bamboozle the government into setting up those contracts? That plane wasnt even used until like a few years ago.
"They now define themselves not as warriors or plains peoples or anything, "
They define themselves as everything from mothers to doctors to lawyers to engineers to artists to writers to poets to filmmakers to preachers to brothers to sisters to tribal members to tribal elders to americans to soldiers to Native Americans to .. i dont know. model airplane enthusiasts? cowgirls. actors. etc.
"no, they define themselves as victims, and quite frankly I'm not going to have any sympathy for them until such time as they accept the inevitability of the modern world, and their own condition, and improve themselves by undergoing a cultural transformation as the Japanese did."
That makes you roughly equivalent to the European settlers in the 1600s who felt the only way to 'deal with indians' was to force them to live as you did, and when they were being slaughtered you 'had no sympathy' for them. That is just morally wrong, you have no right to invade someone's land and force them to live your way, or else 'have no sympathy' for them being killed to make way for you. And I would also like to point out that Japan was not invaded, Japanese were fully allowed to keep their land, their nation, their country, their rligion, their language, their culture, their art, their dignity, their ideas about how life should be lived. They merely integrated western ways with eastern ways. Native Americans have done exactly the same thing, starting in the 1600s when many of them successfully integrated the horse into their culture, and continuing up to the present day.
" Brutal it may be, but it is the only way they will regain their self respect.
That is simply your opinion, and I think history shows the problems with this opinion, how it doesn't really help anyone or solve any problems. Your opinions are based on your own personal ignorance of the reality of Native America, and you should probably educate yourself and your theories will come out much better. I dont really see what your theory is good for now other than hurting people and accomplishing nothing. Japan did not 'throw out' its old ways and 'become western', it has attempted to integrate and maintain that which it felt was important from the past. So in fact has every European , now forming the European Union, or the European immigrants to the US. If you would simply allow Native Americans the same human dignity and freedom that you grant other people, instead of 'forcing' your way of life on them, I think the world would be much better off.
[ Parent ]