Now comes the news that the Chicago Park District, bowing to political correctness of the most outrageous sort has renamed the site commemorating the Fort Dearborn Massacre as the Battle of Fort Dearborn.
As someone who has been researching a book about the War of 1812 for the past three years, I can say this, indeed, was a bloody massacre, committed by an overwhelming number of Pottawatomie and other Native Americans, whose victims were scores of white men, women and children. The two sides did not meet as equal forces on a battle field. On one side was a column of hundreds of Native American warriors who descended from behind the sand dunes on a column of soldiers and civilians who had handed over Fort Dearborn to the Indians and were peacefully departing. The column of 148 soldiers and civilians, including women and children, presented no threat to the Native Americans. When it was over, more than 60 were killed, and most of the rest taken prisoners and sold into slavery. One entire wagon load of children too young to make the hike on foot were slaughtered.
There is no way to make this out as an even-handed battle, in which there was no "winners" or "losers," as the backers of this monstrous renaming would have us believe.This renaming has no more legitimacy than renaming the American masscre of civililans in the Vietnam Village at My Lai a "battle," as if it were a case of two sides were engaged in even numbers evenly armed.
To those who would respond by reminding me of all the wrongs that were done to Native Americans in numerous other settings, I would have this to say: Have you lost all sense of morality, in which we can justify one cruelty by pointing to another? Both sides have a lot to account for, but rewriting the facts won't get us any closer to mutual understanding.