The radical left’s new favorite way to virtue signal is something called “land acknowledgement.” Hordes of woke businesses and universities have started meetings or other gatherings by declaring that they’re holding them on land where Native Americans once lived.
As an example, take this land acknowledgement from San Diego State University about the Kumeyaay tribe.
“We stand upon a land that carries the footsteps of millennia of Kumeyaay people. They are a people whose traditional lifeways intertwine with a worldview of earth and sky in a community of living beings,” it reads.
“As students, faculty, staff and alumni of San Diego State University we acknowledge this legacy from the Kumeyaay. We promote this balance in life as we pursue our goals of knowledge and understanding. … It is the land of the Kumeyaay.”
It all seems really silly until one learns that San Diego State University’s land acknowledgement was mandatory until March 1.
A tight 40-35 vote last week by faculty of the San Diego State University narrowly removed the requirement to include this statement in all course syllabi.
Land acknowledgements are a perfect example of the kind of forced virtue signaling so popular on the left. Such statements don’t actually help the people they purport to, but they do give leftists the warm fuzzies.
Additionally, land acknowledgements fail to embody the deep and complicated past that Native Americans themselves had with the land and each other.
A jarring tangent during a Microsoft conference last year is a perfect demonstration of this. During the introduction for the event, one of the hosts eerily turned to the camera and proceeded through a laundry list of tribal names before beginning to talk about cybersecurity.
The left likes to propagate the myth of the noble savage, that the various tribes in America prior to European colonization lived in harmony with the land and each other. The left claims it was only once white settlers arrived that war and violence were introduced to the pure and innocent natives.
This is, of course, absolute nonsense.
Native Americans, also called American Indians, were just as capable of committing acts of senseless violence as were Europeans in the Old World. It is historically illiterate to suggest otherwise.
But the infantilization of a group as diverse as the 574 federally recognized Native American tribes is par for the course for the radical left, which views the human experience as racially based fights between evil whites and blameless minorities.
The rallying cry of the left often is to return so-called stolen land to the Indigenous people. But that is neither feasible or helpful to the tribes themselves.
Virtue signaling such as making land acknowledgements or screeching for the return of land do absolutely nothing to help the tribes still living in those areas. But worse than that, policies proposed or supported by the same radical leftists actively hurt those same tribes.
The radical left derides policies such as education savings accounts that would reinvigorate failing American Indian schools or legislation to decouple reservations from the federal government, in favor of trapping Native Americans in a cycle of government dependency.
What actually helps more? A self-flagellating mea culpa about Manifest Destiny, or a suite of policy proposals to empower the various tribes of America?
If the radical left truly wanted to help those tribes, it’d stop with useless land acknowledgements and actually push for policies that help people.
But how else could leftists let the world know they’re oh so virtuous?
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