Thank you for Sarah Augustine’s columns on the Doctrine of Discovery. Her challenges about the treatment of Indigenous people implicate much of our lives. That includes the idea of Christians being a special people and the idea of private ownership of land. Of the former evil we might be able to purge ourselves by education and reflection, but for the latter there isn’t much hope — virtually all economic systems depend upon private ownership of land. It is clear we won’t be returning the stolen lands.
However, there is an equivalent evil that could be stopped with rational behavior. That is the effort now going on in many predominantly Republican states, under the false pretense of large-scale voter fraud, to limit and suppress the right to vote and, in some cases, even to let Republican Party officials change election results they don’t like. The intent is clear: to make it harder for Black people and other minorities, including Indigenous people, to vote, or to limit the effect of their votes through the gerrymandering of congressional districts. We should not continue to erase Indigenous people from the public arena. After all, they were here first.
Donald E. Voth, Albuquerque, N.M.