This is an unrelenting narrative, tightly written and carefully researched of one of the lowest points in the moral history of a country whose national narrative is full of moral low points. It chronicles a trail of sanctioned deception, dishonesty, criminal intent, dissembling, duplicity and willful genocide, as morally reprehensible as anything ever seen in the history of a self-conscious nation.
The reader simply becomes a mesmerized spectator to crimes that (to paraphrase Frederick Douglass’ famous words) would “disgrace a nation of savages.” Crimes all waged under the American flag (the supposed banner of equality and freedom), by U.S. governmental officials like President Andrew Jackson, who was the architect and operational officer of the removal proceedings.
Whenever the legal system could not be rigged to allow the process to proceed, it was then ignored and the crimes proceeded anyway, against the government’s own treaty obligations and against a helpless people completely out of options.
For a nation claiming to be religious, the “trail of tears” surely shamed the white god as much as it did the fledgling nation. Against the most basic of biblical teaching, the “enforced death march,” was waged against a people willing to accept anything short of cultural genocide. However, cultural genocide was exactly what the white American nation demanded and wanted, and acting at its behest, that was exactly the price President Andrew Jackson delivered.