Monday, December 22, 2014

"A White and Delightsome People"

It used to be that the Mormons believed and taught that all Native Americans were descended from a group of emigrants from the Middle East to the West Coast of the Americas about 600 BCE(!) who were eventually called "Lamanites", followers of a guy named Laman in the big civil war that happened circa 400 AD, wherein all of the Lamanites slaughtered to the last man their rival tribe, the Nephites. This was a Very Big Deal, with mounted cavalry, chariots pulled by horses, steel swords, the whole works. Never mind the total absence of historical/sociological/biological/archeological evidence of all this, seeing as how, for example, the remains of horses, chariots, steel swords, etc., have not been found anywhere in the Pre-Columbian Western Hemisphere and there is absolutely zero Middle Eastern DNA in the genetics of the "Indians".

However, long before this big battle, as punishment for their apparently innate rebelliousness, God cursed those Lamanites with a "skin of blackness" so that they would "not be enticing" to the Nephites. Who remained "white", of course.

Despite that curse, the Lamanites embarked on some serious ass-kicking, stomped the Nephites literally out of existence, and wasted no time in populating the North and South American continents with up to 50 million people or more by the time Columbus showed up late to the party. And that population explosion all happened in just a little over 1000 years. I'll leave it to you to do the math on that, but me, I don't think it really adds up.

The Mormon Church had for years an "Indian Placement Program", wherein it identified the best and the brightest among the children of the various tribes that inhabited Mormon Country and yanked them off the rez to be raised the homes of middle-class white Mormon foster parents, all in the interest of the betterment of the race by erasing their Native culture and grinding "civilization" into them. Not to mention the salvation of their very souls by infecting them at an early age with the basic tenets of Mormonism.

This all started in 1947, and, coincidentally I'm sure, the Navajo Nation, primary recipient of this cultural hijacking and ideological brainwashing, had become suddenly wealthy in strategic minerals, specifically uranium, which was needed to fuel the nuclear armaments industry. Many of the Indian Placement Program alumni went on to positions of power and authority in theor tribes and have become individually quite successful economically. It was initially limited just to the Navajo Nation but later it expanded out to include the Hopi and other "strategically-important" tribes. Hardscrabble poverty-ridden tribes like the Paiute had to "suck hind tit" -- they apparently had no place in "God's Plan" for the betterment of the Savages.

Sadly, I have to report that none of these "Lamanite Brethren" have turned into a "white and delightsome people" yet, despite the promise of God that if they kept the commandments, served the faith, exalted Joseph Smith, stayed away from the booze, etc., then He would lift that horrible curse and turn them into that white and delightsome people. Now of course, the newer versions of the Book of Mormon (the so-called-by-Mormons "the world's most perfect book" -- which has undergone several thousand editorial revisions over the 170+ years it's been in print...) calls it a "pure and delightsome people".

Jeez, though. It's not like the Mormons didn't try really really hard, and wish-oh-wish with all their might.

Here's no less an authority than Mormon "Apostle" and later Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church, (aka the "head honcho") Spencer W. Kimball, speaking at a Mormon General Conference in 1960:

I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today... The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter we represent, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.
This was just 13 years after the program had started. Jeez, you'd think that the whole Navajo Nation would have achieved that elusive "white and delightsome" status by now.

But now that I think of it, isn't one of the symptoms of radiation poisoning through lengthy exposure to uranium a bleaching out of the skin to a deathly pallor?

Or maybe that's just death itself. It's called a "deathly pallor" for a reason, I guess...