In the midst of this American society, so well policed, so sententious, so charitable, a cold selfishness and complete insensibility prevails when it is a question of the natives of the country. Ths Americans of the United States do not let their dogs hunt the Indians as do the Spaniards in Mexico, but at bottom it is the same pitiless feeling which here, as everywhere else, animates the European race. The world belongs to us, they tell themelves every day: the Indian race is destined for final destruction which one cannot prevent and which it is not desirable to delay. Heaven has not made them to become civilized; it is necessary that they die. Besides I do not at all want to get mixed up in it. I will not do anything against the,: I will limit myself to providing everything that will hasten their ruin. In time I will have their lands and will be innocent of their death. Satisfied with his reasoning, the American goes to the church where he hears the minister of the gospel repeat every day that all men are brothers, and the Eternal Being who has made them all in like image, has given them all the duty to help one another.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
Notebook, 20 Jul 1831, Journey to America, ch., 7 [tr. Lawrence (1971)]
Added on 14-Nov-11 | Last updated 14-Nov-11
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