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A Short History of Americans Praising Their Own “Generosity,” From the Genocide of Native Americans to Trump’s Child Snatchers

2 142 1980

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar celebrated the Trump administration for its treatment of immigrant children it has separated from their parents. “We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities,” said Azar on CNN. “It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids.”

This magnanimous claim raises an obvious question: What are the other great acts of American generosity?

Of course, we know that the U.S. treatment of Native Americans has been extraordinarily generous. They were literally asking for it since before there was an America: The seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for most of the 17th century was an Indian saying, “Come over and help us.”

So as President Andrew Jackson explained to Congress in 1829 when making the case for the Indian Removal Act, “Toward the aborigines of the country no one can indulge a more friendly feeling than myself. … Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous.” The passage of the........

© The Intercept