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Politically Incorrect Genocide, Part Two By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, October 05, 1999

COULD A FEW BONES require the re-writing of every American history textbook? Could they discredit the politically correct party line that we and our children have been taught for generations about Indian origins and European conquest in the New World? On September 21, a federal judge in Portland, Oregon, all but ordered a DNA test of these disputed relics. Such a test stands a good chance of proving that some of the first "Native Americans" had white skin and European ancestry. No wonder the Clinton Administration has moved heaven—and 500 tons of earth—to prevent a thorough scientific investigation of where one very old skeleton came from.

Two young men found a human skull while wading at the edge of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, on July 28, 1996, and notified the Sheriff. Asked to investigate by the county coroner’s office, anthropologist James Chatters found more bones in the shallow water. That required a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, which has legal jurisdiction over navigable waterways such as the Columbia, and it promptly issued a retroactive permit to dig the site.

The bones seemed too old to be from someone who died recently, Chatters thought. They were discolored, and soil adhered to them as to bones buried for a century or more. At first Chatters guessed that they might be of some historic interest. Perhaps they were those of an Oregon Trail pioneer who came west by covered wagon.

But two surprising findings soon turned these remains into bones of contention. They are now part of the biggest political—and politically correct—tug of war since kings of Christendom fought over ownership of holy relics.

When bone fragments were sent for radiocarbon dating to the University of California at Riverside, analyst R. Ervin Taylor estimated that "Kennewick Man," as the skeleton was quickly dubbed, had lived 8,410 (plus or minus 60) years ago. This was "broadly corroborated" by part of a stone arrowhead still imbedded in the 5’10" man’s pelvis. The arrowhead, experts said, dated from the "Cascade" phase of Indian history in the Pacific Northwest that happened 9,000 to 4,500 years ago.

But even more surprising was Dr. Chatters’ analysis of the bones. The skull revealed that Kennewick Man had a long, narrow face, protruding nose, receding cheek bones, a high chin, and a square mandible. "None of these features is typical of modern American Indians," reported the journal Archeology in January/February 1997. Chatters’ analysis, wrote New York Times reporter Timothy Egan, "adds credence to theories that some early inhabitants of North America came from European stock."

Some ancient paleoindians on the East Coast nine millennia ago exhibited skull features resembling Kennewick Man’s. University of Washington anthropologist Donald K. Grayson objected to use of the term "Caucasoid" to describe the skeleton, calling it a "red flag, suggesting that whites were here earlier and Indians were here later, and there’s absolutely no reason to think that."

But others were taking no chances that further analysis of Kennewick Man’s bones or DNA might provide evidence and reason to believe that some of America’s earliest settlers had white skins and European ancestry.

Five Indian tribes claimed ownership of the skeleton under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which grants control of human remains to the tribe most likely to be their descendants or relatives. These tribes announced their intention to return Kennewick Man to Mother Earth by burial and to prevent any further religious or cultural affront such as DNA testing.

"Some scientists say that if this individual is not studied further, we, as Indians, will be destroying evidence of our own history," said Umatilla tribal religious leader Armand Minthorn. "We already know our history…. From our oral histories we know that our people have been part of this land since the beginning of time…." (Scientists theorize that the Mongoloid ancestors of Amerindians crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia sometime between 60,000 and 10,000 years ago, with different waves of migration bringing two different blood types.)

The Clinton Administration was also passionately interested in burying these bones and the revision of history they might require. No sooner had public discussion begun about whether Kennewick Man was Caucasian than the Army Corps of Engineers took and locked away the bones from scientists. ACE officials, however, allowed Indians access to the remains and indicated the government’s intention to turn over the skeleton to Native Americans for reburial as soon as possible.

Dr. Doug Owsley, curator and division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum, along with seven other scientists, filed a lawsuit to prevent the government from turning the skeleton over to Indians and to seek research access to the remains. Available evidence suggests that Kennewick Man had no "cultural affiliation" with Indians, as NAGPRA requires. The closest thing to such an affiliation might have been the Indian arrowhead lodged painfully in this ancient man’s hip bone. (To visit the Kennewick Man Virtual Interpretative center for links to news stories, documents, the text of NAGPRA, and much more, click here.)

The scientists’ lawsuit has impeded the Clinton-desired cover-up of Kennewick Man. It also opened the way for transfer of more than 350 bone pieces to the University of Washington’s Burke Museum in Seattle, where they remain under lock and key—or most do. Of a dozen femur bone pieces collected and recorded, as of January 1999, only two reportedly could still be accounted for. The rest have apparently been stolen in what Dr. Owsley called "a deliberate act of desecration."

But despite their loud protests, the scientists could not prevent another Clinton cover-up. On April 6, 1998, responding to a never-before-noticed urgent need to shore up one tiny spot along the banks of the Columbia River, the Army Corps of Engineers buried the site where Kennewick Man was found.

At a cost to taxpayers of $160,000, the government dumped 500 tons of rock and dirt on the fragile archeological dig site and imbedded fiber blankets and other materials to prevent the river from washing its work away. It then thickly planted the spot with dogwood, willow, and cottonwood trees whose fast-spreading roots will make future archeological work there almost impossible.

Orders directly from the Clinton White House apparently prompted this anti-scientific vandalism. As journalist Mark Lasswell reported in the January 8 Wall Street Journal, even the Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, Washington, acknowledges the "participation and interest at the Executive level" in the Kennewick Man controversy. The sudden decision to make further research at the Kennewick archeological site, a Corps spokesman said, was a "good faith" effort at "erosion control" to protect both Indian and scientist "sensitivities" (over the screamed objections of scientists) about safeguarding the site.

The Clinton Administration also opposed and defeated a bill by Congressman Richard "Doc" Hastings (R., WA), who represents Kennewick, that would have blunted NAGPRA regulation over the remains and opened scientific access to study them.

The Clinton Administration opposes the most basic precepts of open scientific inquiry in this matter. Some of the reasons why seem obvious. Suppose DNA analysis reveals that Kennewick Man’s skin was not red or brown but white. Suppose excavation of the site uncovered artifacts that confirmed a cultural link to European ancestors.

It has been an article of faith among politically correct Leftists that in 1491, before that white devil Columbus reached the New World, this land was a utopia peopled by peaceful, sensitive, nature-worshipping people of color.

If DNA confirms what his bone structure suggests—that Kennewick Man may have European ancestry, or perhaps be related to the oppressed, ancient Caucasian-like Ainu people of Northern Japan—then the exclusive historic claim of colored people’s priority in the New World goes Poof! and vanishes.

The long-cherished victim status of Native Americans would be weakened—or worse, reversed. Suppose an archeological dig at Kennewick revealed a whole community of people with Caucasian DNA? Suppose it found dozens or hundreds of Euro-American skeletons, most with Native American arrowheads in their backs, victims of a pogrom-like massacre?

If a Caucasoid Kennewick Man and his tribe roamed the Cascade rain-shadow dry interior of Washington State 9,000 years ago, we must then ask a painful question: what happened to them? Why did they vanish while Native American tribes took over the land that once was theirs? Did white-skinned early Americans lack the skill or luck to survive? Or were they killed off by darker-skinned invaders in an act we today would define as racism and genocide (especially if its victims were not of European ancestry)?

Such are the stakes that prompted President Clinton to carry out what could be called the biggest cover-up of his scandalous administration. If Kennewick Man is Caucasian, then white people, according to the racial politics Clinton has promoted, have as legitimate a right to be on American soil as do any people of color.

If evidence shows that white-skinned Americans were exterminated by invading ancestors of today’s Indians, then this genocide could give Caucasian Americans a claim to victim status even stronger than that of Native Americans. Had such genocide not taken place, the argument would go, perhaps most of America’s population and territory would have been Caucasian. Columbus might have been greeted by natives with faces whiter than his own.

History is written by the winners. Even the name "Kennewick" comes from Indian words meaning "winter heaven." On today’s university campuses, the fashion is to depict Euro-Americans as evil and Native Americans and most Hispanics as the virtuous survivors of white colonial exploitation, rape, and genocide. Kennewick Man might prove the opposite—that the true Native Americans were white, victims of murderous genocide by the ancestors of today’s Indians who seized their land. The European invasion of the past five centuries, in this potential revisionist history, merely reclaimed land stolen 9,000 years earlier from their murdered kin.

Which view is true? Perhaps a bit of both, perhaps neither. In an age of science it would have been best to let scientists, not politicians and politically correct ideologues, sort out the evidence unhindered. But having built a racial spoils system, Leftists could not risk having the foundation of victim claims that legitimize their system blown to smithereens.

But science may yet prevail over Leftist racism and dishonesty. On September 21, U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks in Portland, Oregon, chastised the Interior Department and Army Corps of Engineers for their foot-dragging that has prevented scientific ascertainment of the origins of Kennewick Man. This federal judge did not order DNA testing, but, he wrote, "any decision that did not include DNA analysis would probably be challenged as arbitrary and capricious."

As with Monica’s blue dress, if and when scientists are allowed to pull down Kennewick Man’s genes, they may find that here, too, DNA will prove that William Jefferson Clinton has been guilty of another of history’s greatest attempted cover-ups.

We and our children need the facts, not to re-define or justify hate, but to dismantle the whole phony shell-game of racial politics and the hate that such politics inevitably cause. As members of one human race, we all carry two inheritances. We are the children of the killers who conquered and committed genocide against others. And we are the children of the lovers who created and preserved their families in a dangerous world. So what is your race? When the Census form comes, write in "Human," and nothing less.


Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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