In the current age of political correctness, legislatures eagerly swoon and concede any current compensation for ancient injuries demanded by favored victim groups.
The most ludicrous cases can be found in the Eastern United States, where handfuls of ordinary people claiming minute traces of Indian blood from centuries-ago-vanished tribes, vanquished in wars of the 17th century, are now vigorously lobbying for recognition as “tribes.”
The most spectacular confidence job occurred in Connecticut, in reference to the Pequots, the local tribe defeated in a war they started with English colonists in the 1630s. Surviving Pequots were absorbed centuries ago into the emancipated African-American population of layabouts, laborers, and local drunks. The Colony of Connecticut settled Pequot land claims in the 18th century conceding to some Pequots a small reservation of 989 swampy and remote acres. That reservation was reduced by land sales to 213 acres by the mid-19th century. By the 20th century, one elderly woman (possibly very remotely connected to Rhode Island’s one-time Narragansett tribe) resided in a humble, ordinary house on the so-called Indian reservation.
Then along came the rise of leftism in the ’60s, and with it activist lawyers like Tom Tureen. In 1973, Tureen persuaded Skip Hayworth, the woman’s grandson, an itinerant welder, to move onto the “reservation,” and lay claim to an additional 800 acres of neighboring suburban houses on the basis of Indian Nonintercourse Act of 1790 which required that every sale of tribal land be approved by federal treaty.
A lot of Connecticut suburbanites found their homes’ titles clouded, and howled for government intervention. The Great White Father in Washington should have declared war on Connecticut’s insurgent wannabe redskins, and sent some cavalry to drive them off the reservation, back to the ordinary suburbs where they belonged, but instead Congress hurriedly surrendered in 1983 to the imaginary Pequots. Without bothering even to verify genealogical claims, Congress granted tribal recognition and a nine hundred thousand dollar settlement.
The “Pequots”‘ lawyers then demanded tribal exemptions from state regulatory oversight, which included gambling exemptions. And, voilÃ¡ , in 1992 Foxwood Casino opened, growing in a few years to a facility featuring 24 restaurants, three hotels, 17 shops, a golf course, a state-of-the-art Pequot museum, and producing profits of more than $1 billion per year.
This same kind of nonsense is spreading to Virginia, and the Washington Post is lending a helping hand. Today, we are bringing back to life the dead Mattaponi Indian language.
Just wait until the activist leftwing lawyers show up, and start lodging land claims against suburban residents of a couple of dozen counties lying between Hampton Roads and the Potomac in search of a deal for compensation and gambling rights.
Ever wonder about Native American Indians history? It is a fascinating and multi-faceted story unable to be told in one sitting. Some of the beautiful things they made include American Indian jewelry and tools.