To the Editor,
L. Frank Baum’s ability to be so racist and genocidal, while being able to create an American classic really invites serious thinking. What, in his background or experience, so scarred him that he could characterize a people the way he did Lakota?
In the quotes Tim Giago used, Baum admitted that killing them was a “wrong.” Then he went right on to promote just one more wrong to be perpetrated against them; to finish the job. Then what? The string of wrongs would somehow become a right?
Manifest Destiny is more a political concept than a racial one, but Baum saw them as one. And when it comes to characterizing a people as lacking manhood, Baum adds to the genocidal rationale. Being abject, politically defeated, culturally inferior, is that much worse when you take away their ablity to be ‘real men’? This is the worst of Muscular Christianity. For a child of survivors like me, there’s much to think about in that piece.