Amherst Controversy

The left loves to claim that it is rebellious or somehow revolutionary but in actual fact it dominates the media and education systems. They may have lost the economic struggle but they have since abandoned orthodox marxism in favour of a cultural variant. Sadly, they have been allowed free reign in the cultural struggle. The revolution has been institutionalized and with each passing generation it becomes more extreme. The younger generations have digested the views of the leftist professors, journalists and others who have their whole lives so inundated them with sentimental grievance politics, and are now taking them to new extremes,

Because [students have] been so acculturated to therapy and therapeutic talk, the political proselytizing by the Left works as a sort of reverse therapy by making them less psychologically stable. Psychological therapy is supposed to make one less sensitive to irrational fears and better able to process real traumas, but these young people have been made more sensitive to the vagaries of ordinary life and less able to process perceived traumas… The Leftists in administration are being put on trial for not being pure enough, not being sufficiently enthusiastic in their Leftism, and not abridging the rights of the enemy with the requisite alacrity and prejudice. Once accused, denial is proof of guilt, and admission is also proof of guilt. We’d like to think that the Left is somehow losing power in this transaction, when the ultimate outcome will be replacing the sort of comfortable hard Left academic ministerial types with more fervent activists and additional administrative commissars to oversee academic and campus affairs. The old guard was constrained – at least in a perfunctory way – with maintaining a facade of academic freedom, free inquiry, and conformity with laws and conventions guaranteeing free thought and expression. Their replacements will not be – their only allegiance is to the cause.

In the United States recently there has been uproar over apparent racist acts and this has only been stoked by irresponsible journalists, actors, and other media personalities. This has now translated to not only treating blacks and other minorities with kid gloves but also to iconoclasm.

Jeffery Amherst is now the target of abuse at a small, mostly White “liberal arts college” in Massachusetts which is not only named after him but has a mascot with his name. It matters not that the university and mascot have nothing to do with Amherst other than that they were named after him. Nor does it matter to them that ridding any and all traces of Amherst from the college would not in any way benefit Amerindians. It would be a purely cosmetic procedure which would be little more than a case of signalling, meant to make the students feel enlightened and superior.

Amherst is despised for two reasons: the first is his treatment of Amerindians (more on that later) and the second is because he is “a dead White guy.” This latter reason figures into much of the left’s thinking and is a major reason for the current iconoclasm. You will never see them call for the removal of statues to say Timur in Uzbekistan, despite the fact he killed millions of people. In typical leftist fashion sentimentalism and appeals to emotion are important to this anti-Amherst campaign. If one were to come out and say that their actions are unnecessary and won’t in anyway help Amerindians they can be shouted down with calls of “racism!” and “his legacy is an act of violence!” etc. and etc. Such was the situation with the destruction of the Cecil Rhodes statue at Cape Town University noted in the BBC article.

Amherst generally comes across as a less than stellar governor of the former French American territories newly won by the British in the aftermath of the Seven Years War. On the one hand he treated the Quebecois with respect but on the other hand he ignored Amerindian gift-giving customs. The French had kept good relations with Amerindian tribes via gift-giving which was a traditional practice amongst the tribes of north-eastern America. Amherst put a stop to this practice as he saw it as simple bribery. He also stopped the trade of gunpowder to Amerindian tribes. That being said the charges laid against him of genocide are not fair. It is often forgotten that the support Amherst gave towards spreading smallpox amongst Amerindian was a result of mitigating circumstances. In 1763 a war broke out between the British and a confederacy of tribes under the command of an Ottawa warrior named Pontiac. In many ways the Pontiac War could be considered an ethnic one, as the rhetoric used by both sides of the conflict was indicative of this war being more than a mere fight for land or trade. Pontiac himself said before the Siege of Fort Detroit (1763),

It is important to us, my brothers, that we exterminate from our lands this nation which seeks only to destroy us. You see as well as I do that we can no longer supply our needs, as we have done from our brothers, the French. The English sell us goods twice as dear as the French do, and their goods do not last. Scarcely have we bought a blanket or something else to cover ourselves with before we must think of getting another; and when we wish to set out for our winter camp they do not want to give us any credit as our brothers the French do. When I go to see the English commander and say to him that some of our comrades are dead, instead of bewailing their death, as our French brothers do, he laughs at me and at you. If I ask for anything for our sick, he refuses with the reply that he has no use for us. From all this you can wee see that they are seeking our ruin. Therefore, my brothers, we must all swear their destruction and wait no longer. Nothing prevents us: They are few in numbers, and we can accomplish it. (David Dixon, Never Come to Peace Again: Pontiac’s Uprising and the Fate of the British Empire in North America (2005)109)

Pontiac was also heavily influenced by a prophetic figure named Neolin. Many of Neolin’s ideas (monogamy, staying true to the ways of one’s ancestors, rejecting materialism) would find resonance today but perhaps not another one of his beliefs: holy war. Neolin called for a holy war to be waged against British settlers and this was eagerly taken up by many including Pontiac, who purposely targeted British civilians and killed men, women and children whilst destroying the settlements they lived in. Though British settlements were few in number west of the Appalachians – and after the October 1763 Royal Proclamation strictly forbidden – they did exist and they were ttargets. Even settlements east of the Appalachians, in Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia, were attacked as well; this was in keeping with the overall desire of Pontiac and his allies to completely drive the British out of north-eastern America. Thirteen British forts were also laid siege to and of this number all but five (Detroit, Niagara, Pitt, Bedford, Ligonier) were captured and destroyed. The destruction wrought on British America was great. Thousands were forced to migrate eastwards to escape Pontiac’s wrath, whilst another 2,000 more were slaughtered at the hands of his warriors.

It is in this context that Amherst brings up the idea of using smallpox as a weapon against the enemy. And it occurred during the Siege of Fort Pitt. This was ultimately a British victory, but before General Henry Bouquet relieved his beleaguered comrades, blankets contaminated with smallpox were used in an attempt to drive the Delaware warriors besieging the fort away. Or at least they were supposed to have been used. There is little evidence that they actually ever were used. Regardless, it is clear that Amherst supported biological warfare and on June 29th 1763 he sent a letter to General Bouquet telling him that if need be he should use smallpox as a weapon. Bouquet replied in July and in his letter he wrote that he would use blankets infected with the disease, to which Amherst responded with the infamous phrase mentioned in the above BBC article, “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.”

Historians have long argued how effective this biological weapon was, if it were ever used, and now it seems that the consensus is that smallpox had been in the area prior to the giving of the blankets which would mean the death toll from the blankets would have been low. This is corroborated by the fact that siege did not end after the blankets were given, but in fact intensified until August when relief came.

Though uncommon before the modern age, biological warfare was not unheard of. Biological warfare was used by the Hittites, Assyrians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Parthians, Mongols, and many others in ancient and medieval times. In many of the above cases it was during sieges. For example, the Mongols spread the Black Death into Europe when they used plague infected corpses as projectiles to throw over the walls of the Venetian controlled city of Kafa (modern day Feodosiya, Ukraine) in 1346.

Of course it is conveniently forgotten today that Pontiac’s forces were actually trying to ethnically cleanse the region of Britons and that in such a brutal conflict it is not uncommon for fire to be fought with fire. I do not condemn Pontiac but neither will I condemn Amherst or Bouquet or the lesser known defenders at Fort Pitt. Those students at Amherst College are typical of too many people these days. They are ignorant of history and easily succumb to the whims of cultural marxist activists who have already succeeded in conquering the media and educations systems for themselves.  Cultural marxists loath the West and prey not only on people’s emotions, insecurities, desire to belong, but also on the general ignorance most have on historical topics. Worse still, they actually create ignorance.

Just as Columbus’ and the CSA’s support for slavery means any dedications to them are to be tarnished and destroyed so too does Amherst’s support for biological weaponry against Amerindians lead to any memory of him being extirpated. Given the obvious anti-White rhetoric emitted today at universities, with calls for “safe spaces” for POCs and talk of dismantling “White privilege,” no doubt we shall see even innocuous White figures have any monuments to their memory removed or otherwise downgraded. Why we are seeing anti-racist activism also being used against those who were progressive.


About Thomas Jones
This entry was posted in Cultural Struggle, History, Race and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Amherst Controversy

  1. Pingback: Rhodes Must Rise | Instaurator

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