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In case you missed it, yesterday’s post was a thorough one on John MacArthur’s biblical thoughts about the current protests.

It’s worthwhile reading that, if you haven’t already, before moving on to recent protest scenes in the United States, where young and old are railing against each other while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Our first stop is The Villages in Florida, a conurbation of retirement settlements for the well-heeled middle class. In 2008, many residents supported John McCain. In 2012, many went for Mitt Romney. In 2016, many supported then-candidate Donald Trump.

This was the scene late last week, as Trump supporters and Democrats waged a shouting war against each other. Strong language in the second video. I’m glad she’s not my mayor:

This is our future. Remember, these people have grandchildren, who are young adults.

In a sense, it’s amusing for some onlookers …

… but there can be serious problems, such as STDs among this age group. Coronavirus could be there as well:

Hmm. How many of these people were politically active back in the 1960s?

Let’s leave Florida and travel a few hundred miles north to Raleigh, North Carolina, where a BLM protest took place with 100% white people. Two black conservatives turned up by chance as spectators:

I really wish there had been more interaction here. I’ll get to that shortly.

One wonders if it would have gone like this:

Well, when you’re in your 20s, you know everything. I know I did at the time, like this woman’s niece:

Yet, many of us in our 40s and beyond (I’m at the latter end), were raised to be colour blind and adopt the teachings of Martin Luther King on character. I remember the civil rights era. My parents and many others were shocked at what went on in the South. Yet, that has now been forgotten. Millions had sympathy for the plight of American blacks who could not truly vote (without jumping through hoops, figuratively) until … 1965, with Democrats being the main objectors to that legislation. Once again, Republicans led the way to equality. Since then, further legislation has helped to bring different races to further equality in unemployment and housing.

No one who lived through the civil rights era ever forgot it, so it is unclear why these protesters are so angry. One would have thought the lessons of the recent past would have been transmitted to the next generation. Perhaps not.

Interestingly, Benji Irby’s friend on the day, Shemeka Michelle, filmed a much longer video of the protest:

She said that it seemed the whites protested in order to feel better about themselves.

Perhaps it is some sort of atonement.

Oddly, only one of the protesters there to support black lives bothered to speak to her:

After the protest, she says the other whites avoided her and Benji Irby and went on their way.

Maybe the protesters have never lived amongst people of another race? Maybe they feel bad about it. Well, that’s no reason to take it out on everyone else:

Perhaps it is about control.

Our last stop is across the country in the Pacific Northwest: Portland, Oregon.

Protesters want to take down the monument to the Oregon Trail:

Precisely.

If missionaries had not organised the Oregon Trail after Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest, someone else would have. The British tried it and were unsuccessful.

The move westward had been laid out by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. From Wikipedia:

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson issued the following instructions to Meriwether Lewis: “The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by its course & communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado and/or other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.”[1] Although Lewis and William Clark found a path to the Pacific Ocean, it was not until 1859 that a direct and practicable route, the Mullan Road, connected the Missouri River to the Columbia River.

As I remember learning about it in history class more than once, it was a big deal in terms of trade. To begin with, there was fur. Later there was gold.

The plan was called the Manifest Destiny, as History.com explains:

By the 1840s, the Manifest Destiny had Americans in the East eager to expand their horizons. While Lewis and Clark had made their way west from 1804 to 1806, merchants, traders and trappers were also among the first people to forge a path across the Continental Divide.

A merchant, Nathan Wyeth, led the first group of missionaries who settled in Idaho in 1834.

Marcus Whitman, a Methodist missionary from the state of New York, made the first successful crossing to what we know as the state of Washington in 1836. His wife, Narcissa, kept a diary of their perilous journey:

The party made it to the Green River Rendezvous, then faced a grueling journey along Native American trails across the Rockies using Hudson Bay Company trappers as guides. They finally reached Fort Vancouver, Washington, and built missionary posts nearby—Whitman’s post was at Waiilatpu amid the Cayuse Indians.

Whitman’s small party had proved both men and women could travel west, although not easily. Narcissa’s accounts of the journey were published in the East and slowly more missionaries and settlers followed their path which became known as the Whitman Mission Route.

In 1842, the Whitman mission was closed by the American Missionary Board, and Whitman went back to the East on horseback where he lobbied for continued funding of his mission work. In the meantime, missionary Elijah White led over 100 pioneers across the Oregon Trail.

Whitman led another expedition of settlers in 1843, destined for what we know as Oregon:

The group included 120 wagons, about 1,000 people and thousands of livestock. Their trek began on May 22 and lasted five months.

It effectively opened the floodgates of pioneer migration along the Oregon Trail and became known as the Great Emigration of 1843.

Unfortunately, the settlers brought measles with them, infecting the Cayuse. Whitman did try to help cure those infected:

After a measles epidemic broke out in 1847, the Cayuse population was decimated, despite Whitman using his medical knowledge to help them.

In the ongoing conflict, Whitman, his wife and some of the mission staff were killed; many more were taken hostage for over a month. The incident sparked a seven-year war between the Cayuse and the federal government.

We can say what we like in the 21st century, but travelling from coast to coast involved a lot of planning and expense:

Emigrants had to sell their homes, businesses and any possessions they couldn’t take with them.

They could not take a lot of possessions, because they had to ensure that their covered prairie schooner wagons could accommodate their families and their food. There weren’t any real settlements at the time, so everything had to be purchased in advance. There were no restaurants, cafés or grocery stores along the way. Wives had to make every meal from scratch. The most common meat was bacon. Imagine how limited their meals were day to day for five months. How awful.

So they put up with that. Then they had to endure a) the weather and b) the terrain:

There were slightly different paths for reaching Oregon but, for the most part, settlers crossed the Great Plains until they reached their first trading post at Fort Kearney, averaging between ten and fifteen miles per day.

From Fort Kearney, they followed the Platte River over 600 miles to Fort Laramie and then ascended the Rocky Mountains where they faced hot days and cold nights. Summer thunderstorms were common and made traveling slow and treacherous.

It’s a wonder anyone was able to make the journey. The major landmark along the route was in Wyoming at Independence Rock:

The settlers gave a sigh of relief if they reached Independence Rock—a huge granite rock that marked the halfway point of their journey—by July 4 because it meant they were on schedule. So many people added their name to the rock it became known as the “Great Register of the Desert.”

After leaving Independence Rock, settlers climbed the Rocky Mountains to the South Pass. Then they crossed the desert to Fort Hall, the second trading post.

From there they navigated Snake River Canyon and a steep, dangerous climb over the Blue Mountains before moving along the Columbia River to the settlement of Dalles and finally to Oregon City. Some people continued south into California.

There was also a lot of disease, possible conflicts with native Americans — and death:

According to the Oregon California Trails Association, almost one in ten who embarked on the trail didn’t survive.

Most people died of diseases such as dysentery, cholera, smallpox or flu, or in accidents caused by inexperience, exhaustion and carelessness. It was not uncommon for people to be crushed beneath wagon wheels or accidentally shot to death, and many people drowned during perilous river crossings.

Travelers often left warning messages to those journeying behind them if there was an outbreak of disease, bad water or hostile American Indian tribes nearby. As more and more settlers headed west, the Oregon Trail became a well-beaten path and an abandoned junkyard of surrendered possessions. It also became a graveyard for tens of thousands of pioneer men, women and children and countless livestock.

With the advent of the railroads in 1869, covered wagons gradually became obsolete.

The westward migration continued — more comfortably. You can read more here.

So, one wonders what these protesters in Oregon are angry about. Perhaps they should live elsewhere?

As John MacArthur says (see yesterday’s post), these protests are built on lies, helping no one.

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