Letters to the Editor – 11/5/14

Native treatment

In his column “Parallels For Hawaiians, Lakota Sioux,” Bob Jones notes that “Both natives make impossible-to-resolve land demands … Both say part of their cultural breakdown has been caused by losing their land … Hawaii’s by a defective annexation, the Sioux tribes’ by forcible eviction at gunpoint and relocation to reservations.”

For the record, the parallels end there.

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) implemented the Indian Removal Act as a means to “empty” the American frontier of its previous occupants, so that American settlers would have land to farm crops and to raise families. The act inspired the reluctant migration and resettlement of the Sioux and other indigenous Americans westward.

Subsequently, hostilities between the U.S. and the Sioux occurred at the Grattan Massacre (1854-1856), the Dakota War (1862), the Great Sioux War (1876-1877) and the Ghost Dance War (1890-1891). The most poignant hostile action took place at the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890), where upward of 200 men, women and children were killed or wounded, and where the U.S. awarded 22 Medals of Honor to the 7th U.S. Cavalry.

In Hawaii, two annexation treaties submitted by President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) and President William McKinley (1897-1901) failed, so that the U.S. invented two “domestic documents” to acquire Hawaii: 1898 Newlands Joint Resolution and 1900 Organic Act. However, according to International Law, annexation between two nations can only occur by conquest or mutual agreement (treaty).

Essentially, by using military might against the Sioux and illegal occupation against the Hawaiians, the U.S. underlined its poor treatment of indigenous people.

Wayne Hinano Brumaghim

Rare conservative

Susan Page must be the only conservative in America calling for calm and reason in the face of Ebola and ISIS. And good for her. When I started reading her column “Being Realistic In Our Scary World,” I was bracing myself for some Fox News echo chamber fear-mongering. Instead, Ms. Page provides a very logical approach to both of these threats: Yes, they’re dangerous, but nothing to lose sleep over.

I give Ms. Page credit, too, for acting on her convictions and volunteering to help African orphans. It is my observation that this sort of volunteerism and helping those less fortunate is a rare thing for American conservatives. May others follow.

Lori Chen

Praise for pope

Patrick Buchanan’s column “The Price Of Papal Popularity” was stunning in its arrogance, suggesting Francis is not really the pope. Under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church I grew up in and then drifted apart from years ago because it had so little relevance for my life is beginning to show the compassion I’m sure Jesus would show — toward the poor, toward gays and others. I’m not saying I’m headed back to Mass this Sunday, but I might be there on Christmas Eve.

Robert Gomes