Lessons from the Native Americans on open borders
If you’re on social media, you’ve most likely come across this meme or some variation of it: a picture of a Native American with a sarcastic quip referencing how the United States was founded because of “illegal immigration.” The meme is always used to mockingly portray American citizens who oppose open borders as hypocrites.
The effect this meme has on me is the complete opposite of how it was intended. It makes me contemplate how the numerous and distinct peoples and cultures that existed on this continent prior to the Europeans’ arrival were almost completely eradicated because they had very little means of limiting who and how many people were allowed into their country, and almost no foresight of what the consequences of this mass, unfettered migration would be.
Now let’s imagine for a moment the debates between Native Americans back when the Pilgrims landed within the context of the current discourse in our country surrounding border security, particularly the Democrats’ push to settle half a million Syrian refugees in the United States, with little to no reasonable ability to vet them.
Would we call the Native Americans “Christanophobic” if they took note of how the Europeans forced slavery and conversion wherever they went? Would we call them inhumane if they didn’t want to accept refugees who were fleeing religious persecution, even though many held very extreme views, like predestination? Would we call the Native Americans intolerant because they didn’t agree with how the Puritans covered their women from head to toe, treated them like property, and regarded Native American women as deserving of rape because they dressed scantily and exercised authority within their society?
Perhaps those who try to make clever historical analogies should have a better grasp of history.