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Did anyone else want to smack Giles when he and Willow were arguing about the Native Americans?

S Rou

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#1
And giles was just totally insensitive towards them and all the genocide that was committed against them?

I found myself completely agreeing with Willow, even though that warrior did need to die for obviously reasons, but when they were arguing about the historical reality of what happened and Giles was like "WE CONQUETED THEM! THEY LOST!!!! GET OVER IT!!!" This is somethingonething that a lot of white people in the USA act like today when native American rights / independence movements (like republic of Lakota) are brought up and I think it's disgusting.
 
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#3
I tend to agree with you OP & Willow although I have to admit I always found Spikes commentary kind of funny (typical for him though) and less emotionally based than Willows viewpoint.
Spike: You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not goin' around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world is not people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.

I'm German & Irish and I think it's absolutely disgusting what Europeans did to Native Americans (don't even get me started on the Germans & the Holocaust). Native American culture is the most beautiful to me; they were so connected to nature and spirituality and America was beautifully untouched before the Euros came over with their weapons and diseases and destroyed it.
 
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#4
I don't. I think he was being pragmatic and concerned with the supernatural threat rather than misplaced sensibilities--he wasn't thinking about the lost tribe or what happened to them, he was thinking about the danger a spirit of vengeance represented (especially to Buffy). I found Willow being a bit ridiculous actually, talking about a spirit of vengeance the way she did, and believe Giles showed a lot of patience (as opposed to Spike) as he kept bringing it back to that this was a spirit of vengeance and murder, not a human being seeking justice.

That doesn't mean that therefore he feels what happened to them was completely justified or deserved, or that he spat on living Native Americans. I'm sure if those actually responsible were alive then Giles would speak to them much as he did that child abusing woman in the season (even as he continued to work to stop the poltergeists). He'd probably be completely neutral about independence movements as that doesn't concern him. (Btw, I'm inclined to support independence movements, but I'm still entirely on Giles side here, including how he spoke.)

Now if Willow provided some magical alternative that could appease the spirit (essentially helping it find peace as happened in I Only Have Eyes for You) then I'm sure Giles would be all ears (though Buffy is his first priority).


That said, I did understand why Buffy hesitated to kill that guy when he said "you killed us, now you kill our spirit" (or words to that effect). She SHOULD'VE ended him, but I understand why she hesitated or otherwise let him get away.

Speaking in general terms, I can also see why many Native Americans would not appreciate that episode for multiple reasons (keeping in mind that when white people "stand up for other races" that they often do so in a way that is bemusing or even confusing and annoying for those they loftily stand up for), but I actually think what Giles said would not register that offensive for them, and even Spike's words probably would be refreshing honesty rather than whitewashing it as our schools do, leaving out the vast majority of atrocities and acting as if we made the lives of "noble savages" better by our presence.
 
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thetopher

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#5
I also agree with Giles (and Spike!).
I'd lightly flick Willow on the nose to get her attention and tell her to stop channeling her mother; people are dying in the immediate present and she's waffling on about the past.

The whole 'vengeance is wrong/destructive' is a theme not only in this episode but in the entirety of both series, no matter how justified it might feel; Gypsies, Holtz, Wood, Willow, even Buffy herself- the message is consistent.
 

SES SA

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#6
I did not have an issues with Giles' stance. There isn't much else you can do but kill a vengeance spirit who is killing innocent people. But I do find it a bit funny that the two English characters are all for killing the Native Americans and the College Freshman thinks we should all be able to get along, while not being helpful at all.
 

Cheese Slices

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#7
Ultimately, Giles and Spike are right. The show tells us, in more than one instance, that feeling sorry for the past doesn't change anything. No matter how bad Buffy and Willow feel, it's never going to make the NA not massacred. The Spirit is a very real threat, and it would be stupid to let themselves be killed because of their self-flagellation.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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#8

Are we having a Giles smack party? I'm down.

I don't think you are going to have much luck @S Rou. I once tried to argue that Willow, Giles and Spike all have limited perspectives about the issue, but everyone were like, "No! Giles and Spike have valid points. Willow is just talking crazy."
 
Cheese Slices
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Reasonable and moderate arguments ? On these boards ?! ;)
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#9
Think to have aged better they might have included another Native American character, as a everyday resident of Sunnydale, not a local chief. While the white people got to debate white guilt with the stereotypical portrayal of a mystical other, the by effect implication that Native American people are a extinct people is a by design method to continuing their marginalization and subjection in America. And it would have given a balanced portrayal and voice to the extinguished native Sunnydale tribe, although not being seen or heard was the complaint of the ghost.
 
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#10
Think to have aged better they might have included another Native American character, as a everyday resident of Sunnydale, not a local chief. While the white people got to debate white guilt with the stereotypical portrayal of a mystical other, the by effect implication that Native American people are a extinct people is a by design method to continuing their marginalization and subjection in America. And it would have given a balanced portrayal and voice to the extinguished native Sunnydale tribe, although not being seen or heard was the complaint of the ghost.
Agreed that the episode would've benefitted having a native American character fighting alongside the scoobies. Kind of like "the key to peace is not about seeking revenge for the past, but about working together for a better future."
 
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#11
Agreed that the episode would've benefitted having a native American character fighting alongside the scoobies. Kind of like "the key to peace is not about seeking revenge for the past, but about working together for a better future."
Right, just a little more inclusion in the conversation/episode would have held up better but hindsight is 50/50 just as what was once considered progressive changes.
 

S Rou

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#12

Are we having a Giles smack party? I'm down.

I don't think you are going to have much luck @S Rou. I once tried to argue that Willow, Giles and Spike all have limited perspectives about the issue, but everyone were like, "No! Giles and Spike have valid points. Willow is just talking crazy."
I agree with you, but I'm talking about the historical reality. I'm not so much talking about "was willow right to give so much sympathy to that spirit and not want to kill him?" I'm talking about how insensitive and outright rude giles (and spike) were about what the white people did to them
, historically.

Even today, if you bring up native American rights in USA, you're shouted down and no one wants to hear about it. Yet those same people are usually the "STAND WITH ISRAEL!" types who insist the Jews have a right to their ancestral Homeland, but the Native Americans don't.

Racially speaking, today both Mexico and guatemala and some South American countries are extremely Native American as far as their demographics go. Most Mexicans have some Spanish admixture but are usually at least half Native and the biggest minority in Mexico are the full blooded Natives.

Canada also seems to have a very Native American future. Right now, Canada only has a population of like 36 million people and like 7 or 8 percent are Native Americans (in Canada they call them First Nations). But the Canadian government recently confirmed that the white birthrate in Canada is declining drastically, while the Native birthrate is skyrocketing. Right now, for every 1 white baby being born in Canada, 4 Native babies are being born. If this continues, in a few decades, Canada may be in Native American hands again, much like Mexico and Guatemala and some South American countries already are.

I highly doubt the natives will ever truly rebound in the USA though because our overall population is so ridiculously big and the Natives were wiped out almost to the point of extinction by the whites in 17 and 1800s. Maybe in certain states they will, but the overall country? I can't see it happening. There are independence movments though, like the republic of Lakota, which is the most prominent.
 
MarieVampSlayer
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The way we are treating our Native community in Canada, I doubt they would ever rule our land again! It's pretty sad the situation up here!

thetopher

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#13
Even today, if you bring up native American rights in USA, you're shouted down and no one wants to hear about it.
That's one side of things; but on the other side you have university presidents like the one at Berkley who open their speeches by acknowledging that they are occupying 'the stolen lands of the First people's', which is nonsense.
The Native American's weren't actually the 'first' people there, they just happened to be the ones who were there when the Europeans came over. Before that they were the most successful colonizers and drove out the people that were there before.

So tell me, when does it stop? Everyone at one point migrated to somewhere from somewhere else and supplanted the people that were there before. It's just that the older the country then the older the supplanting, and the US is a young country so that gets the focus.

I don't really believe that Jews have a 'right' to Israel simply because they once lived there thousands of years ago (the fact that its the region's only stable democracy however, is worth supporting) , that's like saying that the Irish and Welsh have a right to get England again, since they were there first before those means Angles and Saxons (and Romans) drove them out.
Or what about Turkey or parts of Eastern Europe that were conquered by Muslims only...500 years or so ago, give the original people their land back! It's Constantinople not Istanbul....

History is the story of people taking from other people until people stopped taking stuff. Historically the records shouldn't be forgotten and some countries/peoples get crapped on more than most but that's exactly what it is, the past.

Racially speaking, today both Mexico and guatemala and some South American countries are extremely Native American as far as their demographics go.
If we're talking histoial reality then I have to sadly inform you that in many central and south american countries there aren't any native peoples left, genetically speaking, given that the Spanish/Portuguese effectively wiped them all out.
 

S Rou

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#14
That's one side of things; but on the other side you have university presidents like the one at Berkley who open their speeches by acknowledging that they are occupying 'the stolen lands of the First people's', which is nonsense.
The Native American's weren't actually the 'first' people there, they just happened to be the ones who were there when the Europeans came over. Before that they were the most successful colonizers and drove out the people that were there before.

So tell me, when does it stop? Everyone at one point migrated to somewhere from somewhere else and supplanted the people that were there before. It's just that the older the country then the older the supplanting, and the US is a young country so that gets the focus.

I don't really believe that Jews have a 'right' to Israel simply because they once lived there thousands of years ago (the fact that its the region's only stable democracy however, is worth supporting) , that's like saying that the Irish and Welsh have a right to get England again, since they were there first before those means Angles and Saxons (and Romans) drove them out.
Or what about Turkey or parts of Eastern Europe that were conquered by Muslims only...500 years or so ago, give the original people their land back! It's Constantinople not Istanbul....

History is the story of people taking from other people until people stopped taking stuff. Historically the records shouldn't be forgotten and some countries/peoples get crapped on more than most but that's exactly what it is, the past.

If we're talking histoial reality then I have to sadly inform you that in many central and south american countries there aren't any native peoples left, genetically speaking, given that the Spanish/Portuguese effectively wiped them all out.


Native americans not being the first people here is a load of bull. I'm assuming you're talking about kinnewick man or whatever that skeleton was called? They tried to use that as "proof" of what you're saying, but it's a very faulty theory because its fact that ancient Europeans did not look like modern europeans either. They recently discovered that skull in england and supposedly it had dark skin. Its the same in the far East, theyve found skeletons that are quite different from what the features of modern east Asians look like. I'm a biology major, so I can tell you that peoples evolve over time and traits can be bred out. The landbridge theory between Russia and Alaska isn't even proven.

And as far as peoples conquering each other goes, yes, every group that has ever existed has warred with rival tribes, but you are comparing tribal warfare to genocide / ethnic cleansing, which are totally different things. What the native Americans sometimes did to each other was nothing compared to what the europeans as a whole did to them. It was the most widespread case of ethnic cleansing and land theft ever seen in all the world, but as of today, in Mexico, Guatemala, abd numerous South American countries, the native Americans have seriously rebounded and are thriving, And it looks like Canada is headed in the same direction.

What South American countries are you talking about? I'm assuming Argentina and Uruguay? Large parts of Brazil? Yes, that is true that there are almost no native peoples left there, but its quite the contrary in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, ad Colombia.
 

thetopher

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#15
Native americans not being the first people here is a load of bull. I'm assuming you're talking about kinnewick man or whatever that skeleton was called? They tried to use that as "proof" of what you're saying, but it's a very faulty theory because its fact that ancient Europeans did not look like modern europeans either.
All that matters is that he wasn't native American and was there first. It's not about ownership, no one owned land or continents back then, It was influx after influx of different peoples coming from all over.

They recently discovered that skull in england and supposedly it had dark skin. Its the same in the far East, theyve found skeletons that are quite different from what the features of modern east Asians look like.
And one skeleton is one skeleton. There are many claiming that he's 'the first immigrant' and that 'England has always been an immigrant country'. We don't know either way until we find more.
However there is plenty of evidence that cultures moved around the land masses much more than was ever realized until now. Tartan in northern china, different kinds of similar artwork and architecture on both sides of the Atlantic, depictions of foreign animals and food stuffs in artwork.

I'm a biology major, so I can tell you that peoples evolve over time and traits can be bred out.
People also move about a lot over thousands upon thousands of years. Geologically speaking the land bridge has been proven.

And as far as peoples conquering each other goes, yes, every group that has ever existed has warred with rival tribes, but you are comparing tribal warfare to genocide / ethnic cleansing, which are totally different things.
I'm sorry but the Native Americans are not a special case. There are ethnic groups throughout history that have been wiped out, or altered through systematic conquest/rape, or simply died off due to disease or natural disaster.
I can point to north Africa and the remnants of certain desert tribes, most of the entirety of the east coast of Africa was changed beyond recognition by the Arabic slave trade over the course of a thousand years, and eastern European ethnicities (we're talking millions) that were systematically starved to death by collectivist communism. The list is depressing and worse than anything that happened in the US. History is not gentle, it is sometimes brutal.

What the native Americans sometimes did to each other was nothing compared to what the europeans as a whole did to them.
The major thing that reduced the native American population was disease, not warfare. Disease is unfortunate but its not sentient and doesn't choose to commit genocide.

What South American countries are you talking about? I'm assuming Argentina and Uruguay? Large parts of Brazil?
Yeah, just like, 75-85% of the land mass, that kind of thing. Whole peoples are gone.
 

S Rou

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#16
All that matters is that he wasn't native American and was there first. It's not about ownership, no one owned land or continents back then, It was influx after influx of different peoples coming from all over.



And one skeleton is one skeleton. There are many claiming that he's 'the first immigrant' and that 'England has always been an immigrant country'. We don't know either way until we find more.
However there is plenty of evidence that cultures moved around the land masses much more than was ever realized until now. Tartan in northern china, different kinds of similar artwork and architecture on both sides of the Atlantic, depictions of foreign animals and food stuffs in artwork.



People also move about a lot over thousands upon thousands of years. Geologically speaking the land bridge has been proven.



I'm sorry but the Native Americans are not a special case. There are ethnic groups throughout history that have been wiped out, or altered through systematic conquest/rape, or simply died off due to disease or natural disaster.
I can point to north Africa and the remnants of certain desert tribes, most of the entirety of the east coast of Africa was changed beyond recognition by the Arabic slave trade over the course of a thousand years, and eastern European ethnicities (we're talking millions) that were systematically starved to death by collectivist communism. The list is depressing and worse than anything that happened in the US. History is not gentle, it is sometimes brutal.



The major thing that reduced the native American population was disease, not warfare. Disease is unfortunate but its not sentient and doesn't choose to commit genocide.



Yeah, just like, 75-85% of the land mass, that kind of thing. Whole peoples are gone.
Yes,the land bridge existed. Is it definitive that they came that way? No. It's a theory.

And yes, native Americans are a special case because never before in all of world history were so many different ethnic groups wiped out and displaced on such a massive scale.

I'm not trying to debate politics with you but what are you trying to prove? Are you trying to justify the genocide and land theft?
 

thetopher

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#17
Yes,the land bridge existed. Is it definitive that they came that way? No. It's a theory.
Occam's razor. If something unexplained happens and you actually have something that explains it quite neatly, then until other theories come about then that's the best. Land bridge gets used. Unless we find a dead body between point A and point B saying 'I used a bridge that is no longer here' what other proof can we get?

I'm not trying to debate politics with you but what are you trying to prove? Are you trying to justify the genocide and land theft?
If I was trying to justify it then I would say something idiotic like 'oh, they had it coming' or something crappy. I'm not. I'm saying that the genocide wasn't as big as was made out (still reprehensible, and well documented in its awfulness) and that land theft happened all the damn time throughout all of history so why don't some liberals wring the hands over those unfortunates.
You can't change the past, you can only acknowledge it.
Or use it as a weapon in which to gain power and silence others by trading on white guilt perhaps? Stranger things have happened.
 

NileQT87

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#18
Did you know that other tribes joined Cortés (whose men watched human sacrifice and were horrified) to defeat the Aztecs? Yes, there was a woman from another tribe who was instrumental in taking down Montezuma and even saved Cortés' men at one point. Why did they do this? Some apologists even consider that woman a race traitor, but the truth was that her tribe was routinely rounded up and sacrificed to Aztec gods against their will. Those tribes were trying to save themselves from the bloodthirsty Aztecs.

It's a lie that Native Americans were all peaceful tribes that got along. No, they routinely wiped each other out, conquered and took over each others' land. They were no better or different than any other group on Earth.

Not!Native Americans are immigrants, too. They're Southeast Asians by genetics. The Bering Strait land bridge is the truth.

Also, the Tarim mummies in China are from the Volga River region. They're basically Russians and definitely Caucasian in appearance (they're very intact with even their fascinatingly braided hair). The other interesting find with them was the presence of tartan textiles. They were in China prior to the Han Chinese, which is why they're controversial for the Chinese (who have their own ethnic problems with the Tibetans and Uyghurs). Russia is hardly far from China!
 
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#19
If you grew up in South America, you would have been taught in their schools that the South Americans came from Polynesians who crossed the Pacific (either deliberately or were blown across it). Given the appearance of some of the tribes, this seems perfectly credible. They don't put much credit in the land bridge theory as being the transfer point for anyone other than the Inuit tribes.

There is a native tribe on Vancouver Island whose language contains some Hebrew terms. For example, not only do they have the word "shul", it means school, just as it does in Hebrew. The theory is that some of the ancient Jewish tribes moved to China and were soldiers in a war that was to be fought in Japan. But a divine wind (kamikaze) came along and sent them past Japan. It is theorized that some of the ships landed on Vancouver Island and they intermarried with the local tribes.
 
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#20
No. The dead have no place among the living. Willow's compassion, while admirable, was misplaced. She would have been better off going to Hilel House to find a spring break mission trip to a reservation if she wants to help the Indian. Giles was correct.
 
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