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Op-Ed: Twitter bashes Santorum’s view of Native American history

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum - Andrew Moran
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum - Andrew Moran

On Friday, Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania spoke before the Standing Up For Faith & Freedom Conference hosted by Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth organization, and he tried to rewrite American history – much to the ire of Native Americans and most of the public.

But, Santorum is well-known for his longstanding tradition on the right of “saying shit without actually knowing shit,” according to The Root’s Genetta Adams, who also points out that people like Santorum love to talk about how “they” built this country but seem to dismiss the genocide and enslavement of Indigenous tribes and Africans in the early years of our country’s history.

Sanctorum even managed to sneak in a reference to the film, “Birth of a Nation,” the most controversial film ever made in the United States, and one that depicts the Ku Klux Klan as a heroic force necessary to preserve American values and a white supremacist social order.

“We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here,” he told the conservative youth group, per Business Insider. “I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” America, he said, is unique because it was “born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty to practice their faith.”


Faith and Freedom, said Santorum – “Those are the two bulwarks of America, “faith and freedom.” Santorum cited countries like Italy and China, saying those countries “have evolved over time.” America has not, he said, adding, “We came here and created a blank slate.”

Santorum’s comments were met with a flurry of backlash on social media, with a number of individuals denouncing the CNN senior political commentator’s interpretation of America’s beginning and calling for the network to fire him.


The Daily Beast notes that other critics noted how Native Americans are largely responsible for first cultivating many of the staple crops—especially corn—upon which American agribusinesses now rely.

And others pointed out how scholars have previously noted how Adolf Hitler drew inspiration from this same exact “untouched wilderness” myth.

The bottom line to all this garbage is simply that racism and bigotry are not dead in this country, especially as long as dirt-bags like Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and several other Republicans continue to hold sway over the public. It is just plain sickening.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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