Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 06, 1891The Press Criticizes the United States Government for Mistreatment of the American Indians (Editorial)
The United States Government has been criticized very severely by the European and American press for its mistreatment of the American Indians. There are indications that Uncle Sam has discredited himself by his inglorious war with the Indians. Did Uncle Sam, in reality, cunningly bait the Indians into war so as to get rid of his red-skinned children, as is maintained by malicious persons? No! Fortunately, it is not as bad as that. The United States Government has not committed infamous acts, but there is no doubt that it lost its respect on account of the lack of tact displayed by government agents at the Indian reservation camps.
It does not make much difference to the Indians whether the government of the pale faces has disgraced itself or merely lost its respect. The result is the same. It plunged them into despair. When they took up their weapons, after being provoked and because they did not want to submit themselves to mistreatment and unmerciful beatings, the pale faces began to kill the old masters of this land, the rightful owners of these territories.2
It may be said, however, that the United States is guilty of not watching the fingers of the government agents at the Indian reservation camps, and these fingers were, indeed, very long. They grabbed whatever was possible at every opportunity, and regardless of means. These agents were appointed for only four years; honce, they tried to make it as profitable as possible and, as the control was not strict, they speculated with supplies and rations entrusted to them. This was done is such a way that it was a source of good income at the expense of the Indians. The Indians were driven not only to despair, but almost to madness, and on account of this, a war against the Indians was fought which blackened the good reputation of the United States.
In this particular instance the deficiency of our institutions is manifested more clearly than in thousands of other cases to which, because of being so common and familiar to us every day, we do not pay any attention.
There will be no order as long as our public offices (which ought to be filled by men of not only unquestionable integrity but of great ability and long experience) are filled by men who have nothing behind them but a political career.3
All public offices, especially the higher ones, should be entrusted to persons with the proper qualifications, who have passed an examination, and who have a good record. This is practiced not only in all civilized countries, but also in those which are considered uncivilized, as China.
No one has a right to maintain that it is impossible to establish order in a republic where the highest offices, that is, those of the President and the Cabinet members, must be changed every four years. Where there exists a civil service system, there exists a good foundation which, with good will, can be further developed and gradually adopted everywhere.
This is the time for establishing order in the Republic of the republics, which is proud of having model institutions. It would save the United States many losses and many humiliations. Much water will have to flow down the rivers before this will be accomplished. In the meantime, the redskins may be entirely exterminated. Today's telegraphic dispatches brought news of stubborn fighting with the Indians, and rumors are being spread that General Mills has been killed. It would be a great pity to lose this man, who would rather appease the Indians, without bloodshed and who might have been able to save the honor of the country.
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