Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Christ Central Community Center in Winnsboro, S.C., Wednesday, January, 18, 2012.

Newt Gingrich Loves Indian Killer Andrew Jackson

Gale Courey Toensing
1/18/12

There’s a saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, a historian, hasn’t forgotten the past; in fact, he’d like to repeat it. Particularly Andrew Jackson’s “kill thine enemy” approach.

At the umpteenth Republican debate in front of a packed audience at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on January 16, Gingrich conjured up the spirit of Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president, as a model for the way the U.S. should approach its “enemies” today.

“We’re in South Carolina,” Gingrich told the crowd, as if they needed to be reminded of where they were. “South Carolina and the Revolutionary War had a young 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson. He was sabred by a British officer and wore a scar his whole life. Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them!” The crowd roared its approval.

Although Gingrich’s spiritual journey has taken him through a cafeteria of Christian variations from Lutheranism to being a Southern Baptist to his current status as a Catholic, there is no sign of Christian forgiveness or mercy in his appropriation of Jackson’s attitude toward “enemies.”

Jackson, historians and just about every American Indian in the universe will recall, was the architect of the Indian Removal Act, America’s legalization of ethnic cleansing. He signed the legislation on May 28, 1830. The Indian Removal Act resulted seven years later in the removal of 46,000 Indigenous Peoples from the lands east of the Mississippi, and opened up 25 million acres of land “to white settlement and to slavery,” according to PBS. The area was home to the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole nations.

In a speech six months earlier, Jackson laid out his policy for ethnically cleansing the Indians from their homelands. Hanging over the heads of Indian nations that resisted removal was the not-so-thinly-veiled threat of genocide “by destroying the resources of the savage.” But Jackson saw removal as an act of “humanity and national honor.” "Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character,” Jackson said. “Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for awhile their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity."

While Gingrich aspires to emulate a man who advocated genocide and ethnic cleansing for the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, he’s not the only actor on the national stage to hold Jackson as a model. Last spring just before Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R.1540, military commission prosecutors in the course of making their case that providing aid to the enemy is a war crime under military jurisdiction, compared the Seminole Indians to terrorists and cited Andrew Jackson’s murderous actions against the Seminoles as a justification and precedent for prosecuting Al Qaeda “suspects.”

H.R. 1540 was approved by the Senate on December 1, 2011, and signed into law by President Obama on New Year’s Eve. It gives the president power to seize “suspected terrorists” anywhere in the world, including American citizens on U.S. soil, and keep them locked up indefinitely without charge or trial.

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bwaikiki's picture
bwaikiki
Submitted by bwaikiki on
Never saw that "benevolent" quote of Andrew Jackson's previously. Sounds more like Jefferson's attitude toward moving Indians West to "save them". Gingrich, like all politicians, will say what he thinks the current audience wants to hear. I would support Gingrich for the Republican candidate simply because I think he's the only one that can match and win against the buy-out of the media and the devious and underhanded politics of Obama and his administration. One cannot forget the definition of politics "many small blood-sucking parasites". A statesman is very hard to find in the gallery of career politicians. I once read (got through) a biography lauding Andrew Jackson. No where in this sizable book were the Cherokees even mentioned. In retrospect, I realized why the author had not even attempted to remark upon Jackson's Indian Removal Act; there was no way he could put a positive spin on that.

ndnlady's picture
ndnlady
Submitted by ndnlady on
What's funny here is that, as historian Andy Horowitz points out in his article on the Huffpo blog, Andrew Jackson never made that quote Newt likes so well. That was the Confederate general Stonewall Jackson!

1misery's picture
1misery
Submitted by 1misery on
Where does this buttwipe think that he has the right to say this to "ALL US NATIVE AMERICANS"? If I said to this un-american jerk "KILL THINE ENEMY",MEANING HIM!!!! I would of been arrested for a "TERRORISTS THREAT"!! Mr. you don't have any right to talk to me or anyone else like that. You better PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES, CAUSE YOUR NOT A MAN. YOU DO HAVE THAT FORKED TONGUE!!! YOU MUST MAKE YOUR MAMMA PROUD
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