Embarrassing Chapters in US History, Part 2

Even worse than the first half, again roughly in ascending order.
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: September 17, 2018
First submittedApril 21, 2014
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Average score66.7%
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Answer
The nation goes to war with this country, ostensibly over "WMDs" which are never found.
Iraq
This senator speaks for more than 24 hours nonstop
to try and defeat Civil Rights legislation
Strom Thurmond
This war kills or maims millions, including 200,000 Americans, and ultimately ends in failure.
Vietnam
This Supreme Court decision upholds the legality of racial Segregation.
Plessy v. Ferguson
The USAF participates in the bombing of this German city, leaving 25,000 dead.
Dresden
At the height of the Red Scare this senator leads sensationalist attacks
against alleged Communists.
Joseph McCarthy
From 1692 to 1693 20 people are executed for witchcraft in this Massachusetts town.
Salem
During this massacre in Vietnam, hundreds of unarmed civilians are gang raped, murdered,
and/or mutilated. Only one Army Lieutenant is convicted. He gets a slap on the wrist.
My Lai
Nathan Bedford Forrest and others form this organization in 1865 to terrorize "blacks"
and promote "white" supremacy.
Ku Klux Klan
Firebombing of this city in 1945 kills 100,000 people in a single day.
Tokyo
In 1812 a poorly planned invasion of this country ends in fiasco.
Canada
The war against republican freedom fighters in this country, won by the US after the
Spanish-American War, may have resulted in as many as a million deaths.
Philippines
This slave in 1857, when unsuccessfully suing for his own independence, was told by
the Supreme Court that he could not be a US citizen due to his race and status as property.
Dred Scott
Over 100,000 people with ancestors from this country were sent to internment camps during WW2.
Japan
During this 1932-1972 study, African Americans who thought they were receiving free health care were intentionally infected with syphillis and then not given medical treatment for it.
Tuskegee experiment
This war leaves half a million Americans dead, having been initiated by the secession of
Southern states for perhaps the worst of all possible reasons.
Civil War
The first atomic bomb deployed against a civilian population is dropped on this Japanese city,
obliterating it completely and inflicting hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.
Hiroshima
Three days later, a second atomic bomb is dropped on this city.
Nagasaki
After directing Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor,
this man is allowed to continue making movies.
Michael Bay
The original sin of the nation, inherited from European colonists, this "peculiar institution"
condemned tens of millions of people to lives of unimaginable suffering and hardship.
Slavery
Government policy for about 100 years of forced relocations, land grabs, and outright massacres
amount to what is essentially systematic genocide of this large and diverse group.
American Indians
+7
Level 66
Apr 21, 2014
Again - would be nice if people left their political bias out of the quizzes they create.
+9
Level 71
Apr 22, 2014
Michael Bay 2016
+1
Level 83
Apr 23, 2014
Ron Paul doesn't shake a camera nearly as well. You might be on to something.
+10
Level 83
Apr 23, 2014
You're a fan of Strom Thurmond, I take it? Is the quiz offensive to Dixiecrats?
+3
Level 60
Feb 15, 2017
I agree
+3
Level 83
Feb 15, 2017
So do I. Which is why this quiz is based on objective reality.
+5
Level 56
Apr 21, 2014
I died laughing with the Michael Bay one. It's right on par with all of the other atrocities listed.
+3
Level 83
Apr 22, 2014
and yet so far only 40% have gotten the right answer. Probably our collective societal shame has forced us to block out the memory, so I think that means Michael Bay's filmography is 60% more horrible than Vietnam, if I'm doing the math right.
+3
Level 87
Jun 25, 2014
So what exactly is embarrassing about the atomic bombs in WW2? They were terrible weapons, of course, and historians will debate forever about the use of them, but I wouldn't call it "embarrassing" for Truman to have made the very difficult decision to use them to end the war.
+7
Level 83
Jun 26, 2014
The Japanese had been defeated. Their offensive capability was nil. Their navy was gone. Their air force- resigned to conducting suicide missions if any at all. There was no air defense they could even muster versus the Enola Gay we knew that the bombs would reach their targets. The war was already over, and even if not, the routine firebombings we were conducting in other cities were already killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and leveling cities and Japan as an island nation could have been totally cut off. The US wanted a complete and unconditional surrender because they were worried about the Russians coming in and defeating the Japanese before the Allies got around to it same as they did in Germany. and, this is almost incomprehensibly ghastly, but the Americans also really wanted to see what would happen if they dropped the bomb on people. They would have never dropped one on Berlin. But Japanese? Why not? These aren't good reasons IMO to murder half a million civilians.
+4
Level 83
Jun 26, 2014
and yeah, I realize it was "total war" and civilians and cities both represent industrial potential, still, I think it was beyond horrible, very unnecessary, probably motivated or at least informed by racism, and among the worst things the country has ever done. In my subjective opinion.
+2
Level 83
Sep 23, 2014
Agreed. and though Japan had failed to give it's "unconditional surrender" even after Hiroshima, we only gave them 3 days before completely leveling Nagasaki. Seems like with hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in the balance we could have afforded to give them at least a week to think about it.
+3
Level 45
Mar 15, 2019
But the Japanese had vowed to fight to the last man. An estimate released by the Secretary of War estimated American casualties would be 1.4 million to 4 million, with 400,000-800,000 fatalities. It was the right call
+3
Level 83
Mar 16, 2019
^ yes that's the silly talking point cooked up afterward to try and rationalize this heinous war crime, and many in the US obviously bought it.
+1
Level 74
Jun 7, 2021
The atomic bombs are defensible due to the Army hawks in the Supreme War Council. This Council was responsible for what the emperor would ultimately do, and these hawks would fight to the very last man. This would result in an unacceptable amount of Allied casualties in the event of any ground invasion (the alternative), given the horrific losses suffered on Okinawa. The Japanese viewed the defence of their home islands with MUCH more urgency than any island that the US had hopped to. A secondary consideration would have been to minimise the effects of the recent Soviet invasion of Manchuria.

In the end, notable destructive Allied air raids are ALWAYS unfairly given negative attention over Axis air raids that were similarly destructive, like Rotterdam.

+1
Level 83
Jun 7, 2021
So why was that ground invasion absolutely necessary when the Japanese had already offered a surrender?
+2
Level 67
Jun 7, 2021
I don't understand this "fight to the very last man" rationalization. They still had plenty of people left when they surrendered, so obviously they did not intend to fight to the very last man. If they had, they would have endured the bombs and kept going. Just because the atomic bombs got them to surrender, that doesn't mean they were the only means to get them to surrender. The Japanese were beaten. A few more weeks of getting their tails handed to them and they likely would have surrendered. Given their anemic position, it seems like it was worth exploring before resorting to the bombs.
+1
Level 56
Jun 7, 2021
That you are not embarrassed makes it even more embarrassing.
+3
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Aside from Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor), this quiz is awful. I'm sure you enjoyed making it, kalbahamut. Iraq: there was sarin gas, just not as much as we had thought. Some was found in 2004, and ISIS just found some more in the past month. In any case, we toppled a ruthless dictator and freed an oppressed people...was that embarrassing to you? Vietnam was not a good war, but the question is misleading. Only 58,000 Americans were killed. I know it says killed or maimed, but that's still a bad question. Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki: Do you really think that the Germans or Japanese would have hesitated to use nuclear weapons on us had they invented them first? The Germans killed 12 million people in the Holocaust, not to mention the countless battlefield kills they accumulated, as well as the horrific civilian populations that suffered under occupations. The Japanese routinely executed civilians and POWs. It's pretty naive to say that we were horrible for doing that.
+1
Level 83
Jul 28, 2014
In retrospect (after leaving the below comments) I guess we did actually agree on Michael Bay. Perhaps I should move this to the top of the list.
+2
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Dresden was not good either, but the whole goal was to take the war to the Germans. They never realized the effects of their nation's policies until they could see them. The Red Scare was hardly an embarrassing chapter; Joseph McCarthy did find some Communists, but it was trivial at best--a far cry from any war. My Lai was an isolated incident that is continuously brought up and used by people like you for your agenda that Vietnam was a "wrong war." Calley and his men were thugs and ought to have been tried as war criminals. I do agree with you on that--but only on that. During the Tet Offensive, the Vietnamese took the city of Hue. When the Americans recaptured it, they found mass graves. Around 3-5,000 people were killed by the Communists as "state enemies." Not soldiers. My Lai was bad, but you don't even look compared to the rest of the war. Only about 350 people were killed there. Still not good, but far from the atrocities committed by the Communists.
+2
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Speaking of civilian casualties, how about after the war? What happened to the 30,000 people who were taken north after the war or the thousands that fled to neighboring countries and were killed or drowned on the way? What about the Khmer Rouge, that rose after we left and killed 2,000,000? Sure, My Lai wasn't good. But 350 compared to the thousands upon thousands killed is no contest. The Ku Klux Klan was also originally a political organization but was hijacked. It was the second wave of Ku Kluxers that gave the first a bad name. The first ones were not violent and did not kill blacks. Slavery and the Philippines: Think about this. When the Germans, Belgians, Dutch, French, and British had the power to, they colonized the entire world. How much of the world is our colonies? (Note: Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. are not colonies because the people and resources are not being exploited for our gain.)
+3
Level 83
Jul 28, 2014
"people like me?".... what do you imagine my agenda is? Other than amusing myself that I can get people to accuse me of being a jingoistic American partisan, and someone with an agenda to unfairly criticize the United States, on the same website. I'm curious, would you say that there is anything the USA has done that they should feel embarrassed about? I don't give a flip if some other country has done something worse. I never claimed that they hadn't.
+2
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Oh, you're right on some of that kal. We've made mistakes. I do apologize for the rant last night. I was kind of tired and feeling angry. The Trail of Tears wasn't good, Dresden wasn't, My Lai wasn't. I just don't like people nitpicking the U.S. when it's done so much good and all that's focused on is the bad.
+2
Level 83
Jul 29, 2014
Smartest Countries

Gifted Americans

Countries With the Biggest Boobies

The USA has plenty of good things going for it. And in many of my quizzes I have pointed toward those things (in a way that others often misconstrue as me heaping praise on the country).

+1
Level 54
Jul 29, 2014
I have to admit, I did not see those quizzes (though the third is hardly an achievement), but to devote three whole quizzes to bad American things seems a little excessive to me.
+2
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Finally, the Indians! Genocide is a ignorant term to use, as genocide implies the intentional killing of a group of people, something that we never did. Yes, there were massacres of Indians, including women and children. There were also massacres on the other side. Have you ever heard of the Jamestown Massacre? The exact same tactics were used there that people like you always claim were used by us. The Indians came in, pretended to be trading, then picked up weapons and killed men, women, and children, burned crops, forced the settlers to abandon outer settlements, etc. Most relocations were done with good intentions. I know that doesn't carry much, but it's true. It's unfortunate what happened, but no different from what happened to other tribes that were defeated. It's the way the world has always and will always be. Sorry for my rant, but I think this needs to be known. Enjoy the quiz everybody, but take it only as entertainment, not education.
+7
Level 83
Jul 28, 2014
No, it's not the way the world will always be. I'm sorry you're so cynical, but as a student of history I can tell you with some authority that things do in fact change. It is much less acceptable in 2014 to commit outright genocide or rape and murder thousands of people in the village your just captured before razing it to the ground than it was 500 or 5000 years ago. Humanity has evolved, thankfully, and even if we hadn't that's hardly good reason not to admit that bad things that happened were bad.
+1
Level 54
Jul 28, 2014
Due to technology, it has been cut down and now the world is more connected to respond to things. Hopefully, it does change. It is still happening though, and we can't say that it's done. Again, I understand that the U.S. is guilty of some bad things, but I don't think it's fair to only quiz on those things.
+2
Level 83
Jul 29, 2014
I've thought about doing something like an "Empires by Atrocities Quiz" that would be less Amerocentric.... but that's not this quiz. and I hardly think I'm nitpicking with some of these. But even if I were, the point was not to criticize the US. I'm already running out of good things to put in these quizzes and I only made 3 parts. If I did Embarrassing Chapters in British History I'm sure I could squeeze out at least 20. But it's not a competition, just entertainment.
+1
Level 54
Jul 29, 2014
You're kind of nitpicking, pal. To pick little events out of 250 years of mostly good things is overkill. If you wanted to make funny ones, like only including events like the Janet Jackson Super Bowl one, that'd be fine. I wouldn't mind that.
+4
Level 83
Jul 29, 2014
wha? Do you even know what nitpicking means? If I talked about boobgate but did not mention Slavery... in other words only focused on the completely trivial... you think that *wouldn't* be nitpicking?

There are thousands of quizzes on this site. Each one focuses on something different. Do you find it overkill that there is a whole quiz devoted to American fast food chains that doesn't say anything about all the unhealthy foods from other countries around the world and never mentions the thousands of great American restaurants that aren't about fast food? Do you feel the two quizzes I made on oldest cities don't cover enough young cities? Or maybe it's unfair in my countries with the biggest boobs quiz I don't also include countries with average sized boobs? There is no quiz on this site that is about everything. I find your criticisms absurd. lighten up.

+3
Level 83
Jul 29, 2014
I could maybe kind of see your point if I made a quiz with the title "worst things in human history"... and then 15/20 items on the quiz were all about the USA. That *would* seem biased. But this quiz is about US history only, and specifically about some less-than-good moments in US history. If you want to make a quiz about great moments in US history be my guest. That might be fun to take. Just prepare yourself for all the twits who will stop by to criticize you for only putting in good things, even thought that's the title of the quiz.
+1
Level 54
Jul 30, 2014
No, I'm saying that if it were only consisting of trivial things, then it WOULD be a joke and good entertainment at that. Most of these are serious events. I don't have a problem with specific quizzes either, whether it be fast food or cars or anything else. I do dislike the specific quizzes that are only bad things about the U.S.
+1
Level 54
Jul 30, 2014
Good things that the U.S. has done quiz? You got it, kal. Should be up in a few weeks.
+1
Level 68
Jun 7, 2021
Well, that's an optimistic way to look at it. It makes me wonder what you think about accusations of modern day "rape culture"?
+1
Level 83
Jun 7, 2021
They're objectively absurd. Everybody, male and female, raised in the USA or any Western culture, understands rape to be horrible and one of the worst things you can do to a person. There is no culture or subculture in America that accepts, encourages, or condones this in any way. Jokes on the subject work for their shock value precisely because everyone understands this. Threats of rape are only threatening because everyone understands this. Prison rape against pedophiles is condoned (by some) because everyone understands this. It is not possible for media to "sexualize" men or women because all human beings are sexual from birth. It's how we reproduce as a species and there's nothing wrong with recognizing that or enjoying aspects of it. Those who are hypersensitive to this sort of thing are probably suffering some sort of trauma. This could include being raised in a pervasively sex-negative culture such as in the USA and literally every country on Earth.
+1
Level 83
Jun 7, 2021
and in terms of how attitudes about rape have changed over time... it's like I said above. There are still some cultures in the world where rape is commonplace and, though still frowned upon, not very aggressively prosecuted, or where victims never come forward because they're almost guaranteed to be blamed for it or even punished or imprisoned. There are some where a (male) rapist can be excused for his crime if he agrees to marry the (female) victim, because women are traditionally thought of as not whole people and rape is more of a property crime against the woman's husband, father, or guardian than a crime against the woman herself. There are some where marriage to children is still legal and broadly socially acceptable. There are some where slavery is still practiced even if illegal. There are some where, while not universally accepted, there is still a significant percentage of the population that sees raping your housemaid as okay. But none of these are Western cultures.
+1
Level 83
Jun 7, 2021
Peer back into European history a few hundred years ago, though, and some of the same attitudes and customs will start to emerge.

Peer back a few thousand years and it was generally well accepted that if your tribe, city, or country went to war against another tribe and won, there was a not-insignificant chance that genocide against the males and sexual enslavement of the females in the losing tribe would follow.... I'm sure if you did a poll of Americans or other Westerners today the approval rates for such a thing would be extremely low. And by extremely low I mean very close to 0%.

+1
Level 77
Jun 8, 2021
Since Yankee failed to deliver on his promise, here's the Proud Chapters in American History quiz.
+1
Level 83
Jun 8, 2021
cool
+2
Level 37
Oct 16, 2018
Yankee: I'd like to see how you'd respond if a gang invaded your house, took your possessions (which you worked hard to acquire) roughed up your wife and children and then told you to get out and find some hovel to live in. That is what was systematically done to the Native Americans, so that settlers could move in and the USA could "expand". Next to slavery, it is perhaps the most disgusting feat of the US government. Is it then any wonder that those early Americans are often referred to as Barbarians?
+1
Level 61
Mar 25, 2022
Do you want examples on how the US (and the colonies that became the US) intentionally tried to kill off Native American people?

1. In the late 1700s, infected blankets from smallpox patients were distributed to native Americans with the intention of spreading the disease to them.

2. In the Northeast, settlers were actually paid for each Penobscot person they killed.

3. In the 1775 Phips Proclamation, King George called for “subjects to embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians.”

4. In 1864, Colonel John Chivington led a 700-man force into a village of around 150 peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho people, about ⅔ of whom were women, chlidren, and even infants. Chivington and his men took scalps, human genitalia, and even human fetuses as trophies. Of his actions, Chivington stated: "Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians! I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable."

+3
Level 49
Oct 27, 2014
Just read the statement that it is ignorant to mention genocide. well it is you that said something ignorant. In 1851 Gov. of California John McDougall " declared a war of extermination...until the Indian race becomes extinct. sounds like genocide to me.
+1
Level 27
Dec 5, 2015
Re: War of 1812 - officially, the US and Britain were at war since Canada did not officially exist until 1867. But I get the gist of the argument.
+1
Level 83
Dec 5, 2015
I don't think I was making an argument. Country doesn't necessarily have to mean sovereign nation.
+3
Level 58
May 21, 2018
It is clear that kalbahamut does not know U.S. history, and, that he/she is quite biased RE: the inclusion of "embarrassing" events that were merely actions taken by leaders in the heat of the battle of war. The atrocities of Germany and Japan, plus those countries instigation of the hostilities, is what led to the actions of the U.S. (as well as other countries) in trying to end the war [WWII] and spare as many lives as possible. Don't expect him/her to grasp that concept. Obviously, the U.S.'s atrocities in the various wars are what they are, and are horrible from any standpoint.
+1
Level 83
May 21, 2018
Embarrassment is subjective. For example, this comment you just left is embarrassing to me.
+2
Level 83
May 21, 2018
People do embarrassing things in the "heat of the moment" all the time. Being so caught up in emotion that you are unable to control yourself and you do or say something stupid, awful, disproportionate, or hurtful is something worth feeling shame about. According to you, nations are also prone to this, which seems even more embarrassing to me. Setting your ex's car on fire is one thing; murdering half a million civilians in a day is taking that to a whole different level.
+2
Level 67
Apr 15, 2021
Stop talking about my sex life, kal.
+1
Level 44
Jun 8, 2020
For the Tuskegee question - they weren't deliberately infected with syphilis, they already had it. It was still horrible since they deliberately withheld a cure from them once it became available so they could see the natural progression fo the disease...
+1
Level 83
Jan 8, 2021
If true that does make it a little bit better. But only a little.
+1
Level 35
Jun 7, 2021
How on earth are the Salem Witch Trials part of US History? They happened nearly 100 years before the US became a country. The atomic bombings are also not embarrassing. They were unfortunate but necessary as a full invasion of the Japanese mainland would have cost millions of more lives.
+2
Level 83
Jun 7, 2021
The Salem witch trials are a part of US history in the same way that Qin Shi Huang is a part of Chinese history, Clovis and Napoleon are a part of French history, and the Peloponnesian War is a part of Greek history. (the last one being most dubiously connected to the modern-day nation-state, but, still, it counts, and hopefully you get the point...)
+4
Level 82
Jun 7, 2021
Nominated just because of the comments and kal's rebuttal. The left, with some justification, is often accused of being overly sensitive but the other half of spectrum in the US has a persecution complex and acts as if in sore need of a safe space. The "what aboutism", minimization, number games, and absurd justification is both amusing and cringing worthy.

Relax -- every nation has embarrassing episodes and its okay to talk about them; the British episodes could go on endlessly as they add new episodes on a yearly basis. Even Canada, the boy scout of nations, could easily create an episode or two -- teaching history to 12 - 14 year olds, I spend more time on these "embarrassing" chapters than the old fashioned narratives of the past. My unit on whether we should have statues of our first PM forces students to make judgements based on evidence and logic. Nothing wrong with airing the dirty laundry to try and improve the future.

+2
Level 67
Jun 7, 2021
"The boy scout of nations" is so great and I am stealing it.
+1
Level 55
Jun 8, 2021
I find it interesting that the genocide of native americans is mentioned but only from the usa and not from each other. No one ever mentions that American Indians in fact had slavery, engaged in total war with one another and committed many of the same embarresments that the usa is guilty of to each other

The atomic bombs is an interesting argument, by modern standards it may be an embarrisment however at the time it was seen as the only option by the U.S. military of the time, given how high U.S casualties were already and the fanatical and suicidal actions of Japanese military personal at Okinawa and Iwo Jima it is understandable that the U.S. would take the option that resulted in the least U.S. casualties.

For Dresden it happened because initially like the British airforce the U.S. airforce only undertook direct target bombing, however due to the high casualties on aircrews and the seeming lack of results lead to the descision to undertake high altitude carpet bombing.

+1
Level 83
Jun 8, 2021
There was no genocide of "white"-Americans committed by indigenous people...
+1
Level 55
Jun 8, 2021
I never said there was Kal.
+1
Level 83
Jun 8, 2021
Read your first sentence.
+2
Level 83
Jun 8, 2021
oh, wait. Were you saying that there was a Native American genocide against Native Americans? Okay, well, forgive me. Your sentence is poorly constructed. Anyway, that never happened, either. One tribe wiping out or enslaving another tribe is not even remotely what happened to indigenous people as a whole across the entire continent at the hands of European settlers and eventually the US Army. It wasn't always as one-sided or malicious as the social justice warriors out there might want you to believe... but it was still shameful and unfortunate. And nobody here claimed that the indigenous people of the continent were perfect angels, either, so... spare us the strawmen and whataboutism
+1
Level 55
Jun 11, 2021
How is it a strawman Kal. I was not painting an extreme position designed to ridicule an argument. I was stating that i find it interesting that people seldom talk about native americans engaging in the same/similar behaviour as european nations did towards native americans.

It is a common blank spot when it comes to judging past events by modern ethics and morals. Like how nobody talks about islamic colonisation when the evils of colonisation is discussed. Or how slavery in africa was commonplace long before europeans showed up. Or people bowling over statues because the individual may have owned some slaves but arnt mass protesting Mauritania or Morocco as the centers of slave trade in africa happening right now.

It is an introspective comment looking at the way people see the past through there own bias. I am pretty sure if you went back in time a huron would not see any difference between having thier family murdered by a colonist or a lakota sioux. Yet people today do see one.

+1
Level 83
Jun 11, 2021
It's a strawman if the point you are trying to make is that somehow pointing out or criticizing the systematic campaign of genocide against Native Americans perpetrated by European colonists and then American settlers and the US Army means that you are saying that all indigenous people were perfect angels who never engaged in war or killed one another.

If that's not the point you were making then I just find it odd you would bring it up in this context. If one person says "the Holocaust was bad," and a 2nd person says "well what about when the followers of Moses slaughtered the Canaanites? Wasn't that also bad?" ... that's whataboutism. It just comes across as cynical and missing the point, and perhaps trying to excuse something horrible (the Holocaust) by pointing at something else that was also bad. And saying one thing is bad doesn't mean that all other things not mentioned are not bad. So if that is being implied, then that's attacking a strawman.

+1
Level 83
Jun 11, 2021
Anyway I suppose you could just be randomly musing but doing it here in this context and starting with your first sentence, it certainly doesn't read that way.

And at any rate, what was done to North American indigenous people as a whole by European colonists and their descendants is way worse than anything that they did to one another (possibly excepting the indigenous people of Mexico who practiced industrial-scale human sacrifice). So... one is mentioned more often than the other because it was actually a lot worse. Or maybe because the descendants of the people who perpetrated the latter atrocities are either dead now, not around in very large numbers, or they just don't have much power.

+1
Level 83
Jun 11, 2021
I do actually agree with you that the recent trend of attacking statuary of anyone in any way connected to the slave trade is a bit stupid and short-sighted. If we erase everyone from the history books who ever made a mistake in the past, profited in some way from something that contributed to the suffering of others, or held an opinion that would in today's society make them unpopular... then the history books would be blank.
+1
Level 55
Jun 12, 2021
It was simple musing.

If i came across as cynical or like i was trying to make out like that european colonialism and U.S. colonism wernt bad because native americans did bad things too, my apologies that wasnt my point.

It was introspection about how people talk about U.S. history and how focus tends to fall on european history of the region and not the several thousand years of history that happened before hand. Especially when it comes to modern moral and ethical sentiments about how history should be seen.

+1
Level 83
Jun 12, 2021
okay if you say so I'll take your word for it.

and in that case... the reason why there aren't more atrocities committed by Native Americans on this and the other quizzes in the series is primarily three-fold:

1. We know very much less about them. Tribes indigenous to North America did not have writing. Their cultures, at the time of first contact with Europeans, were technically still "pre-historic." We have very little reliable information about what they were doing before European colonization, and after that point, they were slowly but surely integrated into the modern nation-states that came to exist on the land.

2. I'll admit this is in a way oddly racist, Euro-centric, and chauvinistic... but typically the concept of "US history" includes the history of the United States as well as the history of the European settlers and colonists whose descendants would go on to found the United States, and the indigenous peoples they interacted with or assimilated.

+1
Level 83
Jun 12, 2021
It does not typically include the history of native peoples apart from that, or before the European colonization. I realize that this is inconsistent with our concept of the history of some other countries... for example "Egyptian history" usually includes pre-historic and pharaonic Egypt, even though we have know idea who the ancient Egyptians were, only that they were conquered and colonized by foreign Greeks (Cleopatra's people), and then Romans, and then Arabs, and then Ottomans, and then the British... none of which had anything in common with the ancient Egyptians. But it is what it is.

3. Still, whatever atrocities the indigenous people of North America got up to, they were generally not as bad and significantly smaller in scale than some of the worst things listed on this quiz. Plus... Americans generally know almost nothing about them... so... less cause for embarrassment. (once again, exception made for the Aztecs, who were pretty awful, but they lived in Mexico)

+1
Level 55
Jun 17, 2021
fair enough. those are good points.

I will say this as a personal opinion. When it comes to historical atrocities I have always found the scale argument a bit of a slippery slope even though it is common in everything in western cultures, like a murderer vs a mass murderer for example.

It does in my opinion, create a problem of absolution via numbers, ignore this particular nation even though they committed atrocities because the number of victims arnt as high as this other country.

It is a natural process to consider a higher number of victims to be worse, but does create a system of ignorance that can exclude many victims just because there victimisers come from a small nation. Kinda like how male rape victims tend to be ignored because we think that the number of female rape victims are much higher and therefore more worthy of attention.

+1
Level 83
Jun 17, 2021
It was just one facet of one of the reasons.