Sick Indians even before Columbus!

John Noble Wilford of The New York Times takes a rather interesting report on paleopathology to the effect that there had been a very long-term decline in Indians’ health before 1492, and demonstrates that he simply can’t think about such things without bringing in Left ideology: Don’t Blame Columbus for All the Indians’ Ills. He introduces his account by saying “Europeans first came to the Western Hemisphere armed with guns, the cross and, unknowingly, pathogens” and cautions that the researchers “stressed in interviews that their findings in no way mitigated the responsibility of Europeans as bearers of disease devastating to native societies.” All of which seems gratuitous, and more than a little odd. The principle of European guilt must remain sacrosanct, including European guilt for not placing Europe, Asia and Africa in strict quarantine for the protection of the New World until modern medicine somehow dropped from the sky. That makes sense. After all, if Europeans weren’t universally guilty of abusing non-Europeans, the idea might get around that people don’t need to be kept in the custody of the class of professionals for whom professional media people like Wilford write. They might get the idea they should be allowed to rule themselves in serious matters in accordance with their own understandings. And that would be the end of everything.

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