Who “discovered” America? The producers of the History Channel, for one, continue to push the theory—or fraud—that anyone except that those people that were “found” here were the actual “discoverers.” The Norse, Welsh, Saxons, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, Hebrews, Polynesians—take your pick on who was the first race to be the “true” discoverers of the New World, which wasn’t all that new to the people already here. Did Europeans “colonize” America 20,000 years ago (before Paleo-Indians) but just didn’t feel like staying and decided to go back to wherever they came from. Did a Chinese mariner sail across the Pacific 2,000 years ago and land in Los Angeles? Did some Welshmen sail south and somehow land in Mobile, Alabama 1,500 years ago, marched inland and die, leaving great dirt mausoleums for their dead? Did the Japanese sail to Ecuador 3,000 years ago, for no apparent reason?
Most credible scientists regard the “evidence” supporting most of these contentions as “spurious,” meaning that it can be explained by simple coincidence, by the illogic of those advancing the “evidence,” or by otherwise less sensational theories. It seems that the event that spurred the growth of the “whites were here first” movement was the discovery of the so-called Kennewick Man, widely claimed by some parties to be proof that the white man was here “first.” In fact the “Caucasian” facial reconstruction of the original skull was hardly a “coincidence”; Jim Chatters took along the skull bones and a photo of Patrick Stewart (i.e. Jean-Luc Picard) to a local “artist,” who reconstructed the face to fit Chatters’ “vision.” Facial reconstruction is less science than guess-work, and other reconstructions more closely resemble Native Americans, but what does that matter to the “Whites were here first” crowd? That others have noted that the Chatters’ reconstruction also resembles certain north-eastern Indian tribes, and former NBA star Patrick Ewing, are merely annoying details.
Other “evidence,” such as the “origin” of Clovis points, is also a point of contention. But in any case, the whites were here firsters can’t seem to come-up with a rational explanation that accounts for how an estimated 100 million clearly non-Caucasian peoples came to live in the Americas by the time of its “discovery”—a number roughly equal to the population of Europe at the time. These include the indigenous people of Mexico; while Native Americans are mostly penned-up in reservations and either subsidized by the federal government or run casinos, Mexico’s “Indians” have had to learn other survival techniques with the context of discrimination and racism in both Mexico and the U.S.
Given the specious nature of the “evidence” that white firsters rely on, it should come as no surprise that some whites claim to be “native” through other means. Take for instance the current dispute over “wannabe” Cherokee bands that exist in 29 states; in Arkansas alone, there are ten so-called tribes that legitimate Cherokees regard as fraudulent. In 2008, the Councils of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held a joint meeting in Oklahoma for the purpose of passing a resolution "Opposing Fabricated Cherokee 'Tribes' and 'Indians’” that state and federal agencies were recognizing without actually vetting their credentials.
The Cherokees are the country’s largest tribe on paper, with about three-quarter of million people self-reporting as “Cherokee.” Some tribal units allow anyone who claims to have Cherokee blood to enter their rolls, without any genealogical proof; many of these people appear to Southern whites speaking Southern accents. That people are clearly Caucasian and declaring themselves “Cherokee” is not precisely a matter of believing they have at least 1/64 Indian blood; they may believe they don’t have any “Indian” blood at all, because of the latest “theory” that Cherokees were actually white, or at least descended from “Hebrew” settlers, according to the History Channel. The Channel also had the temerity to feature a Cherokee “chief” calling himself “Red Hawk,” who also once claimed to be a Hawaiian “prince.” This “Red Hawk” heads a band of obviously Caucasian people, and such frauds have drawn the ire of people who believe they are true Cherokee, and are not, in fact, Caucasian. And never were.
Is this effort to deny the birthright of Native Americans actually an effort to “advance” scientific “truth,” or part of an overall racist agenda to somehow claim that America was always the white man’s country? Is it a way to alleviate any lingering “guilt” in the treatment of Native Americans? Or is simply another way for whites to claim they own everything?