Thursday, November 06, 2003

What! One of the new designs for the nickel includes a handshake -- one hand representing the U.S. government and the other hand representing Native Americans -- under the year 1803. It's supposed to symbolize the peace and friendship fostered between the American government and the Native Americans back in the 19th Century.

Now, from what I remember from my history courses, the 1800s were not particularly good times in terms of the relationship between the U.S. government and Native Americans. I seem to remember learning about broken treaties, domination, and eventual genocide.

If the designers of the new nickel wanted to honor Native Americans, that would be fine. But to imply that things were all swell between them and the U.S. is historically inaccurate and is just going to offend people today.


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