William C. Bradford, Acknowledging and Rectifying American Indian Genocide
However, a serious commitment to redressing the genocide of American Indians might
remind contemporary critics of the inherent goodness of the U.S., legitimate its international
leadership during these most troubled of times, and announce that the most powerful nation in
history is firmly committed to the defense of the moral truth that genocide is so abominable that
each and every state is obligated to commit resources and people not merely to its
criminalization but to its prevention.
Justice as Indigenism, by declaring that the genocide
undertaken by the U.S. against its original inhabitants demands a comprehensive program that
remedies all its constituent elements, challenges non-Indians to revisit a dishonorable chapter in
the history of their own nation. Yet in so doing, it beckons them not only to look back in time
but to seize the day and to prove the moral fitness of the U.S. to lead a world desperately in need
of leadership into an era in which there will be no shortage of utterly malevolent actors to whom
the lives of whole peoples and nations are far too cheap to be permitted to stand in the path of
their ambitions. Our past need not be our prologue. We can and must do better. Far too many
have carried their lives on their fingernails for far too long.