Fun fact: I’m related to United States president Ulysses S. Grant!
In high-school history class, we were taught that he was one of the most (if not the most) openly corrupt U.S. Presidents ever.
According to a friend, Grant was responsible for personally authorized the removal of Chief Joseph, allows a general to countermand the terms given during a cease fire, and then loaded up everyone in a cattle car for a long trip that killed a large share of them.
Yep, that’s Grant all right. I’ve got people sometimes who Call me out and go “Why do YOU care?! What did YOU do to the people who were already here?”
Well, I know my family’s appalling history. And they repeatedly call themselves the nice ones (the excuse, of course, is “why didn’t -they- (whoever the target was that month) just do what we politely asked? Then there wouldn’t have been -any- trouble.”).
Racism and genocidal tendencies, no matter how nice they are framed, are still wholly evil (though certainly more stullifying that the less subtle mustache twirling dictators).
That, of course leads to a round of “well, that’s your white guilt and the past is in the past”, which might maybe be convincing if (a) taking responsibility for your family = guilt (which is doesn’t) and (b) if my family had ever stopped participating in this system (they haven’t) and weren’t pulling everyone along with them (“oh yes, of course you are ‘white’. Did we not consider you brothers & sisters and white two decades ago? We didn’t? Well… bygones be bygones, right, my white brethren?”)
At the end of this minor rant, there is one truth.
Grant’s antics are no longer the worst.
Thank you, current president-presumptive for making my ancestor’s post-traumatic stress inspired antics look like amateur hour.