Multiculturalism has won the battle for the right to tell our story. All cultures, regardless of their particular practices or beliefs, deserve respect. They must never be compared to ours, for this ultimately leads to judgements. Judgements hurt people, and in this world, that is not allowed. No where is this more prevalent than in the study of American Indian culture. Indian culture is noble, peaceful, and they have been victimized by the greedy, warlike cultures of Europeans. The American government systematically destroyed Indian culture so it must be inferior. The historical comparisons were all unjust, for Americans cannot be as civilized as they proclaim because of these cultural crimes. Multiculturalism ignores particulars, ambiguities, and complexities. The culture clash must be black and white- the irony is lost upon the politically correct. Little Big Horn is no different. Custer and the 7th Cavalry were forces of evil and they got what the deserved…even postmortem mutilation.
Did Custer die for our sins?
Was Custer a villain? Does he represent the evils of American expansion?… Such histrionics sell books, inspire ambitious filmmakers, and rouse the irritable activists; but little understanding is actually achieved. Custer was an ambitious military officer who saw the Plains Wars as an avenue to personal advancement. But, he was also a frontiersman who sympathized with the plight of a complex foe. He was a soldier fighting a complex war few people adequately understood, himself included. Yet, Custer lives on. He lives on in our memory, exactly where we can imagine him; trotting at head of the 7th Cavalry, wind whipping through his long red hair, the airs of “Garry Owen” whistling over the plains. Remembrance is not history, but the American mind needs both.