Readers React: Why do so many Americans celebrate the nation’s genocide of Indians?

A mural in a downtown Los Angeles alleyway depicts a Native American woman known as Toypurina, a co-leader in a revolt against the San Gabriel Mission in 1785.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Amen to Benjamin Madley’s op-ed article characterizing as genocide the systematic elimination of California’s native American (“Indian”) population. As a nation we seem to have conveniently forgotten what we did to native Americans for almost 200 years. (“It’s time to acknowledge the genocide of California’s Indians,” Opinion, May 22)

The second stanza of “America the Beautiful” hails “pilgrim feet” beating a path of freedom across the wilderness. We still sing this at our church on Thanksgiving Day despite my personal objections.

How ironic and cynical of us to consider killing and confining to reservations people whose ancestral land this was as furthering freedom.

Bob Warnock, Los Angeles


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