Thank you for the civilized discourse on this very emotional topic. There are so many ways of looking at these issues and each perspective may lead one to different conclusions. It is undoubtedly true that the descendants of Africans pressed into slavery in the U.S.A. are greatly advantaged in every way over their non-enslaved cousins' descendants. The slaves of course suffered great deprivation, loss of freedom and sometimes their lives, but the African Americans today are clearly doing better economically, as well as in terms of personal and political freedom than most black Africans in their own countries today. You could say that the end result of slavery was positive for the black people. Similarly, the degree of benevolence shown to Native Americans, poor as it was, has served to create a permanent poor underclass of individuals who are overly dependent on government and for the most part, unable to benefit individually from the value of the resources given to them on a tribal basis. From this perspective you could conclude that had the U.S. Government done nothing for the surviving Native Americans, those that remained would have long assimilated into American society and culture and would be better off in many ways from the situation of Native Americans today. These are complicated as well as emotional subjects. And judging the behavior of our forefathers by the cultural standards of today is both intellectually dishonest and a true disservice to those who lived before us. A final note: my grandparents on both my maternal and paternal sides fled the religious persecution endemic to Czarist Russia, and their early years in this country were marked by discrimination, poverty and governmental neglect. The end result of this is that much of my family are successful and loyal Americans, with a far better life than those who remained in Russia and endured Communism, World War I and II, and the stagnated plutocracy of Russia today.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
― George Orwell