Covid-19 Accidental Release Theory: Maybe Not So “Batty” After All…

Advanced Warning: This article is longer than usual and contains more technical language and concepts. I created a glossary at the end to help with new terms and concepts… If anyone is more scientifically versed in this subject I’d love to hear your perspective and expertise! Also any scientific corrections if I misunderstood something 🙂

Since Covid-19 emerged a little over a year ago, it’s been pretty clear that while the virus poses a significant public health risk, much of the hype has been overblown for political reasons, many of which I covered in detail before in previous posts. Now, with several vaccines rolling out and many becoming fully vaccinated, the country is starting to open up again and becoming more cautiously optimistic. However we are not out of the woods yet, and the scientific community is doing research not only in stopping the current pandemic, but preventing future ones. This all sounds like great news, except for one not so little hurdle: Pressure to reach politically desirable conclusions! Science should be an impartial, politically neutral process of discovering more about our world and bettering humanity, but as it’s done by people it is tainted with our all too human bias more than many care to admit. Questions still remain about how the virus was able to become such a virulent strain and infect the globe.

There are two main theories for how Covid-19 originated:

1. It was transmitted naturally from a non-human animal species, in this case a bat, to humans: This theory is the “mainstream” one and supports the idea that in Wuhan, China bats being sold in the wet markets over there had the coronavirus and it jumped to humans. Many viruses do this naturally and there are numerous examples with other coronaviruses such as the earlier SARS1 which causes an outbreak in 2002 and MERS which caused an outbreak in 2012, both originating in bats. As it is very common for viruses to mutate or recombine and evolve changes so they go from one species to another, on its face, this theory seems very plausible (and the mot politically desirable!).

2. It was accidentally leaked from a laboratory studying novel coronaviruses during research: This theory is considered the conspiracy fringe theory by the mainstream media and liberal organizations such as the CDC and WHO. Why then, is it even worthy of consideration then? This is where more scientific evidence comes in, as well as political motives for favoring the natural theory. Despite mainstream rejection, there are several compelling arguments supporting the lab accident theory enough to while not “prove” it, strongly favor it.

Gain-of-Function Mutation Experiments Explained | Freethink

An article from The Bulletin titled “The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?” lays out the case for it most likely being a laboratory accident in deeper scientific detail and is worth the read! As it has some very technical language and concepts, I’ll lay out some of the most compelling arguments they make to support the possibility it could have been accidentally released.

The Point of Origin

The mainstream theory argues that Covid-19 originated from bats in the wet market in Wuhan, China. Cases did indeed begin in Wuhan, however there is evidence potential earlier cases in Wuhan were not linked to the wet market or bats. However, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is in Wuhan, and studies coronaviruses similar to Covid-19. Other geographic concerns arise too as the closest variants of coronaviruses to Covid-19 are in a species of bat in Yunnan. Evidence would support a naturally occurring jump if people around Yunnan were among the first cases, and that species of bat doesn’t travel too far. Wuhan is 1,500 km away from Yunnan, way too far for those bats to travel. Of course, someone who was in Yunnan could have traveled to Wuhan that was infected, but why then was no one infected by them along the way for a fairly infectious virus? Geographically speaking, it is possible, but less plausible for Covid-19 to have originated in bats so far away then come to Wuhan, whereas there is a lab studying viruses just like it in Wuhan.

Wuhan, Center of Coronavirus Outbreak, Is Being Cut Off by Chinese  Authorities - The New York Times

One of These Things is Not Like The Other?

Some argue that there are no signs the virus was manipulated by humans. Indeed, in the past it was more obvious for scientists to tell if a virus’ genome was “cut and pasted”. Now however, it can be done undetectably through what is called “seamless” methods or a process called serial passage, where viruses are grown in a series of cell cultures until the right changes are made. With both methods of engineering a virus one can’t tell it whether was made in a lab or not. This sounds like evidence for the natural occurrence theory, but it also means that you can’t conclude it wasn’t lab made due to the absence of detectable signs of artificial creation. This simply means it can be done in a lab without being detected.

NIH researchers identify key genomic features that could differentiate  SARS-CoV-2 from other coronaviruses that cause less severe disease |  National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Mousey In The Middle?

Viruses that jump from non-human animals to humans often have an intermediary host. This is another species the virus evolves to infect before going onto infecting humans. In the SARS1 outbreak that host was an animal called a civet. For the MERS outbreak the intermediary host was a camel. It is less likely for viruses to do one big leap from animals such as bats, directly to humans. However, no intermediary host was found for Covid-19 in nature. The more likely explanation could be that if the virus was designed to target human cells such a leap wouldn’t be needed and there actually was a known host: Laboratory grown “humanized” mice processing the (human) target protein for the virus! The natural way for the leap to occur is not impossible, but much more implausible.

A SARS-CoV-2 Infection Model in Mice Demonstrates Protection by  Neutralizing Antibodies - ScienceDirect

Signs of Artificial Manipulation

Every virus has a very specific structure that binds to a target protein on the surface of the cell it wants to infect. It is like a key to a specific lock to get inside a locked door, in this case, a cell. Once inside, the virus insets its own genetic code into the cell so the cell itself will make more of the virus. Viruses then burst out of the cell, killing the cell and go on to infect more cells repeating the process again, and again and again throughout the body. For Covid-19, it has a specific spike protein as its “key” to bind to a specific protein on human respiratory cells called ACE2. Another part of the spike protein then helps Covid-19 fuse with the cell’s membrane once let inside. These two components, called S1 and S2 respectively, need to be separated for each to do its task and the site where that happens is unique to Covid-19 compared with other coronaviruses. This very specific spot where both parts are separated is called a Furin cleavage site, but other coronaviruses split their spike proteins in a different location using a different way. Human cells have a protein called Furin that cleaves both hence the name. A mutation could have happened to Covid-19 to give it this unique site, but it is highly unlikely and not common in viruses like it. If it evolved gradually there would be evidence in case histories of people who got sick. As other viruses don’t need a Furin cleavage site to do the exact same thing, there is no evolutionary pressure to naturally select for such a site. However, the virology community is very familiar with well known literature on how to make more virulent strains by creating a Furin cleavage site in experiments to develop vaccines and get ahead of the game in anticipating naturally occurring deadlier strains.

Further oddities are in regards to the structure of the Furin cleavage site itself. As you may remember from school, DNA has four nucleic acids: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine represented by the letters A, T, C, and G (RNA has Uracil, or U instead of T for Thymine). A codon is a combo of three of these letters and stands in for an amino acid. Stringing several codons together which make up different amino acids, gives the instructions or recipe for a protein. In short, three nucleic acids make a codon, codons make amino acids and amino acids make proteins. Think of it like letters make words, and words make sentences and so on. Different organisms can have preferred codons for making amino acids as several different codons can code for one amino acid. A part of the Furin cleavage site has the amino acid arginine, which can made with codons CGT, CGC or CGG in humans. CGG is the least popular codon to make arginine in other viruses but is popular for humans and guess what else? Covid-19! Why does Covid-19 share a preferred codon that humans use but not viruses related to it? In fact, it has two CGG codons in a row in the Furin cleavage site and this is not found in any other coronavirus like Covid-19! Guess which codon is also popular to use in labs studying viruses in humans? CGG…

Hidden states of the COVID-19 spike protein | EurekAlert! Science News

Laboratory Safety Concerns and Other Cases of Escapes

Laboratories that work with such dangerous biohazards like deadly virus strains have varying degrees of stringent safety levels depending on the risk level. These go through levels 1 through 4 with 4 being the most stringent. Most scientists work in conditions below level 4, as level 4 requires a full hazmat suit and working in closed airtight chambers making work cumbersome, hard to see and twice as long to do. The labs working on coronaviruses can have safety levels around level 2, the same as the average dentist’s office in terms of biohazard safety! Even in more stringent labs, viruses have escaped and cased real harm including smallpox, and SARS1 which escaped not one, but four times from a lab in Beijing! It is very plausible for an accidental escape to happen even in the best labs, so even more so in a lab with less stringent precautions. Wuhan’s lab had level 4 facilities but these were subpar upon inspections and researchers try to work at a levels that are less stringent for convenience.

I study coronavirus in a highly secured biosafety lab – here's why I feel  safer here than in the world outside

Research into Viruses Like Covid-19 is Becoming More Common

With all the extreme risk involved and the easy potential for deadly new strains to fall into the wrong hands, why on earth would anyone want to make more deadly strains? The answer lies in being prepared ahead of time for a naturally occurring one. If we can make a vaccine for a deadlier strain we create, it would likely work on a similar deadly strain naturally occurring in the future, or at least we’d know how to make vaccines faster. The reason why we were able to get Covid-19 vaccines so fast is thanks to this type of research. Many virologists do experiments called Gain of Function Experiments that are designed to make viruses more virulent and transmissible to serve as models to make vaccines against. As explained earlier, there are several signs Covid-19 has of having been used in gain of function experiments in labs such as that unique codon sequence CGG that is commonly used in labs but not naturally occurring as well as its spike protein’s Furin cleavage site also not naturally occurring in coronaviruses like it but commonly used in such experiments. With such research being so popular, it is statistically more probable for more accidental leaks to happen for labs the world over of deadly strains. Just as it is common in nature for viruses to leap species to species, now it is probable for viruses in countless labs to be released by accident. Covid-19 shows several signs of being artificially manipulated like others in labs and while is it possible some could have sprung up naturally it is far less likely several did all at once!

73 Indian Pharmacist Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

Science isn’t The Only Thing In This Debate

Sadly scientific controversies are often beyond just scientific: When Galileo had his dispute with the Catholic Church, you can bet it wasn’t just theology on the table! Politics and science have had a very troubled past and science is not free by any means from the desires of others without pure motives of inquiry and discovery. By arguing Covid-19 was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan lab, it puts China in a very bad light and had deep political ramifications for international relations with China. As it was clearly seen early on in the pandemic, associating Covid-19 with China at all was deemed politically incorrect including calling it Wuhan virus despite many other pathogens being named after places, such as Zika virus, Ebola, Spanish Flu, Lyme disease etc… Of course unfairly scapegoating one place or people is wrong as said before, ANY lab can have a leak, not just labs in China! However the WHO has ties with China and others who denounced an accidental release theory have had conflicts of interest with labs like Wuhan’s involving funding and grants which could be jeopardized if they come to unsavory conclusions. However covering it up to protect the interests of one group only hurts the global community as if it is true it was accidental and not naturally occurring, other labs around the world should learn from their mistakes so it won’t happen again. With so much pressure to deny an accidental release possibility, the adamant refusals to even consider such a possibility are not based in science but political bias and unethical coverup.

These are just a few points brought up in that very long but excellent article! To read further into the arguments in detail and probably explained better than I’ve done, go take a look 🙂 I’ll leave you with this though: They clearly state from the beginning there is no conclusive proof either way for Covid-19 being naturally occurring or a laboratory leak. Just strong evidence pointing towards what they argue, to be an accidental release by a lab. So I’ll leave it with you to decide for yourself what you think happened. You can easily find arguments against their analysis by any mainstream media, the CDC and WHO. But don’t let arguments from authority sway you: Let the science do the persuading!


Glossary

ACE2: The protein on the cell’s surface Covid-19’s spike protein binds with to infect the cell.

Amino Acid: Building blocks that make up proteins, made with codons. Humans have 20 different types to make our thousands of proteins.

Biohazard Level: Laboratory safety levels according to risk of biohazards such as deadly pathogens. These levels go from 1 to 4, 4 being most stringent.

Codon: A string of three nucleotides that code for an amino acid. Importantly in this case, different organisms can have different preferences for which codons to use to code for specific amino acids. Example: CGG is preferred to code for arginine in humans but not naturally in other coronaviruses except Covid-19, and it is common in labs to use human codons.

Coronaviruses: A family of virus species Covid-19 is part of along with others such as MERS and SARS. Research has been done pre-Covid with other coronaviruses that helped with Covid-19 research.

DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid. The “building block of life” and carries genetic instructions for organisms.

Furin Cleavage Site: The site where Covid-19’s spike protein can be split into two separate units, one to bind with the target protein on the cell’s surface and the other to fuse with the cell membrane afterwards. Other coronaviruses use a different site than Covid-19. Furin is the protein on human cells that separates both parts.

Gain of Function Experiment: An experiment done in laboratories to make a virus more potent and contagious so it can be used to develop vaccines for deadly strains.

Humanized Mouse: A laboratory bred mouse that has the human version of the ACE2 protein Covid-19 binds with to infect the host organism used in research. This is an ethical alternative to testing on human subjects.

Intermediary Host: An animal that is the organism between a virus jumping from the initial host species to humans. This was not found yet for Covid-19 but known for other coronaviruses. Example: SARS1 jumped from bats, to civets, then to humans. Civets are the intermediary host.

Mutation: A change in the genetic code of an organism often by accident that alters it. Viruses mutate often creating various strains.

Natural Selection: A process where certain traits are selected for in nature if they give an organism an advantage over others without the trait. Viruses can develop traits that give it an edge over a competing strain, but it is more random and less precise than specifically targeted traits created in labs.

Nucleotide: Basic building blocks of DNA and RNA, three make a codon to code for an amino acid. They are Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine. Uracil takes the place of Thymine in RNA.

RNA: Ribonucleic Acid. Some viruses use RNA instead of DNA. RNA can be coded into DNA and vice versa so scientists take advantage of this as it is easier to work with DNA.

Seamless Methods: Ways to alter viral genomes without it being obvious the virus has been artificially manipulated by scientists.

Serial Passage: A method in laboratories for developing viruses by growing them successively in a series of cultures until desired traits are achieved. Both seamless methods and serial passage can make it unknowable if a virus has been altered by humans so one cannot conclude it was not altered simply by lack of signs of human intervention.

Spike Protein: A specialized protein on the surface of a virus to allow it to gain entry into a cell.

Target Protein: A protein on a cell’s surface the virus binds to in order to infect the cell.

Virology: The study of viruses.

You’ve Heard of Colorblind Racism, but What About Genderblind Sexism?

If you’ve been following the latest contradictory edicts of the “woke” crowd, then you’ve probably at least vaguely come across the term colorblind racism. For those unfamiliar, the idea is that while it seems anti-racist to say “I don’t see color”, it actually makes one blind to racial inequalities embedded in the system. According to this line of logic for an example, not acknowledging someone’s race (i.e. black) also makes one turn a blind eye to substantial inequalities they have to face specifically due to the exact racial identity you are “blind” to. To the Left, one is required to take race into consideration in treating others in order to not discriminate based on their race. (Yes, it’s quite the paradox!) 😉 In real life applications this ideology factors into affirmative action, “scaled” grading, adversity scoring, etc… You can take a guess at what my opinion on the matter is…

However, the concept brings up another idea the Left probably hasn’t thought of and certainly is doing: Genderblind sexism. Think of genderblind sexism the same way as colorblind racism only substitute gender for race. Sexism and misogyny are things the Left loves to accuse conservatives of. Conservative values oppress women, women are under a cis white male patriarchy, women are paid less for equal work, women are at the mercy of predatory men without any way to fight back, women and girls are more vulnerable to violence, being a stay at home mom is antiquated, marriage is patriarchal etc… Does sexism exist? Yes, and plenty of women face unfair circumstances in life including vulnerability to violence. However, is our country deeply entrenched in sexism against women on a systematic level? I’d argue no. Women today are more empowered than ever in this country to create their own lives and dreams. Just look at how they treat women in 3rd world countries. There are plenty of ways in which women are not the “damsels in distress” the Left loves to paint them as, needing saving from sexist microagressions!

That said, there are still ways women are not equal to men in life. Equality can come in many forms including equal opportunities and equal outcomes. Many inequalities are not socially designed or even human-made, such as physical and physiological differences between men and women. Homo sapiens is a sexually dimorphic species, which means males and females are physically and physiologically different from each other. For examples beyond “the obvious” down-below, men on average are taller, have more upper body strength, denser muscle mass and are overall stronger than women. They can run faster, farther and have more physical strength. Women on average are shorter, distribute fat differently on their bodies, don’t grow facial hair like men, have enlarged breasts for nursing offspring, a wider pelvis, and less muscle mass than men. Studies have shown women are usually more adept at subjects like reading and language comprehension from a younger age, have a higher pain tolerance in some cases (probably for enduring childbirth), better verbal fluency, and more fine motor skills. Men have been shown to do better on mathematical/scientific tasks, have greater spatial awareness, and working memory for a few examples.

Now some argue that some of these differences could be due to social influences on raising boys and girls to gravitate to certain gender roles, but it seems a stretch to imagine gender roles somehow popped out of thin air with no basis in innate characteristics. Noting these differences should not be a construed as a value judgement, or that any characteristic is more preferable. Acknowledging that men and women do have biological and physiological differences in their bodies and brains does not put one at an advantage over the other as a whole. Where one may be stronger in one area, they are weaker in another and vice versa. Nor does this mean a man or woman cannot achieve proficiency or be above average in an area usually attributed to the other sex. There are plenty of gifted male writers and gifted female scientists and mathematicians. Generally speaking though, it is foolish to deny the very real differences between men and women as a whole.

This brings us back to genderblind sexism: What happens when we choose to ignore those very real differences, such as disparities in physical strength between men and women? Many unjust inequalities that do exist between men and women are exacerbated by factors like that. Just think of the odds of the average woman fighting off the average man in a fight. What about a woman trying to get away from a male attacker? Or outrun a predator? What about a man pinning her down? Yes, weapons and self defense techniques help, but the man usually still comes with an automatic advantage from the get-go. Why are women disproportionately the victims of physical violence? The Left cites a toxic masculine patriarchal culture, but on the practical level what about the woman’s ability to fight back? Another man may easily fight back and get away whereas the average woman may literally not be able to.

The example where genderblind sexism would come in here would be in the debate on transgender access to women’s spaces where women are vulnerable such as changing rooms and restrooms. The need for separate spaces for women has been common sense up until recently. Now, a truly transgender “woman” who lives as a woman is not the main threat, but the cisgender man pretending to be a trans-woman to gain access to women’s private spaces is. If we allow anyone in who simply claims to be transgender access to women and girls in compromising circumstances like a state of undress there is a probability of some having nefarious intentions leading to potential assaults. If we ignore that unique vulnerability of women, because they are different than men, we also ignore a real threat to their safety, and their equal right to be free from danger and victimization.

For a lower-stakes but significant contributor to women’s inequality is the debate on transgender women in women’s sports. This blatantly ignores very real differences in physical strength and endurance between men and women. Male athletes outperform even the best women in many sports. A good example being a biological male up against a woman in a sprinting competition where fractions of a second mean you win or lose. Male runners outperform even the best female runners. What about women’s football and other contact sports? A biological male, even transitioning into a more female-like body after puberty still retains a higher muscle mass and physical strength. If he smashes at full speed into a woman, she’ll be the one in the hospital! The playing field with trans-women is NOT equal by any stretch of the imagination. Ignoring this reality for the sake of gender ideology ensures real women will be outcompeted by a man every time they get out and play.

Another dimension to genderblind sexism goes beyond just the physical, but also societal and cultural: The erasure of women’s unique “lived experiences” in the words of the Left. I went into this in much greater detail in my post “My Gender is Not Your Costume“, but in essence by erasing objective differences between the sexes, it erases the unique experiences of each sex/gender. A person who is male simply cannot truly know what it is like to live as a female. This is rooted in biology, but also societal experiences. There is a reason cultures have gender roles, even ones where they are less ridged. Name one human culture where men and women are treated exactly the same. Not merely in similar opportunities, or social acceptance to do what the other gender does, but a psychological blindness to men and women, boys and girls being in any way different in personalities, temperament and abilities. We learn much of our gender expression from society, but where did society learn it? It is silly to deny the nature part of the equation as well as the nurture.

I’m honestly surprised in a sense how the Left, who loves to cite all the experiences women face that men will never truly understand, like the fear of assault or violence for instance, or the pressures on women in society, say it’s okay for a man to basically appropriate the identity of a woman. Or, as some say, if gender is merely a social construct and can be dismantled, so can the voices and stories of countless women in their unique experiences as women. This cultural and societal erasure of women and their lived experience is also consequence of the newfangled gender ideology sweeping our society.

If it is sexist to deny women an equal chance at protection from violence,

If it is sexist to deny women an equal playing field in her sport,

If it is sexist to deny women their unique “lived experiences” as a valid identity rooted in biology and in our culture,

Then it is sexist to pretend gender simply a social construct and a man can choose to be a woman merely because he feels like it.

A final point to reflect on is the idea of equity vs, equality. The Left loves this one: Equality in opportunities does not always yield equality of outcome. The “equal” playfield for trans-women makes it inherently unequal to biological women because they carry physical advantages over women. However equity is giving what a person or group needs based on their actual needs, not just blindly without considering disparities in circumstance. Giving women a private space to undress away from men is equitable as women are more vulnerable to assault by men, even though it’s a form of gendered segregation. Having all gender bathrooms in the name of equality erases the very real fear women have of assault in those kinds of spaces.

Now, some may argue that since I reject the idea of colorblind racism, then why would I advocate for seeing genderblind sexism? My answer is that unlike race, where there are significantly less differences between races rooted in objective biological criteria, there is far more evidence to support the idea of innate differences between both sexes. Most importantly, unlike many racial disparities, many differences between the sexes on average, are biological and innate and cannot be changed by changing society, such as overall disparities in physical strength being my “strongest” example.

If sexism is defined as inequality and disadvantage for one sex, and privilege for the other, genderblind sexism is sexism arising due to one’s “blindness” to real disparities between genders. Contrary to popular opinion, acknowledging real differences between men and women leads to more, not less equality. Equal does not always mean identical. Seeing women as just as worthy of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in this country as men also must mean understanding that what will make them be able to achieve that goal can and does differ from men. Women will not be equal to men in this country until gender ideologues realize the unique circumstances women face due to their gender, and not turn a blind eye to the biological and cultural differences that make it so.

Washington Post Criticized For Transphobic Mueller Report Cartoon | The  Daily Dot

The Life of Major Israel McCreight: A Case Study in The Cultural Appropriation Debate

I’ve written many times before on the controversy surrounding what the Left calls “cultural appropriation”. As a recap, cultural appropriation is this idea of “stealing” another culture’s material culture as well as customs and traditions as an outsider who has no claim or right to use any part of a certain culture. People accused of such are often alleged to be insulting and exploiting often deep and meaningful cultural customs and traditions and making them superficial and misrepresented. Accusations of colonialism also come up as this charge is mainly exclusive to white people, claiming white people who do this are also exerting their “white supremacy” and subjugating minorities.

These arguments seem okay on the surface, but looking deeper it’s not always so black and white. I’ve written about how many simply want to dress up for Halloween and have no intentions of insulting anyone. Or about how experiencing ways different from one’s own can foster empathy, not mockery or contempt for another’s way of life. Or those who truly do want to honor a culture on a deeper and meaningful level, and have true appreciation for the richness that culture brings to the world. To illustrate this point, I want to introduce you to this man:

Yes, this is a white man in Native American regalia. Complete with that sacred war bonnet (gasp!). He even is holding a peace pipe! Look at his picture carefully and without knowing anymore about who he is or what he did what comes to your mind? Do you think he has any right to wear these things? How do you think the Native Americans felt about him doing this? What do you think his motives are for wearing Native American clothing, and ceremonial regalia? What do you think the implications are of a white person like him doing this?

Now what if I told you in his house, he has a massive collection of sacred Native American objects? War bonnets, arrows, coup sticks, sacred clothing, pipes, etc… How do you think he obtained all these things? Does he have any right to own them? What if I told you he took on a Native American name in his later life and even signed documents with it? It seems like this man is really into Indians! But do you think all of this is okay for someone who is not a Native American?

After you answer these for yourself, and think what the Left would say about this man what comes to your mind? I’ll share what comes to mine: I believe that many who cry cultural appropriation would condemn that man for wearing Native American attire. Say he was exploiting their culture, and defiling their sacred objects. They would wonder why he has all those Native American objects in his house, and probably assume they were war trophies, or stolen even indirectly from Indians. He should give them all back! They’d say he was just another white man who played a role in subjugating Native Americans and then gloating over his victory using those cultural objects as war trophies in a sense. That by using that native name, he’s just “playing Indian”, while becoming a white man with all the privileges it endows whenever it suits him again.

Indeed, his page on Wikipedia was taken down not too long ago. There’s no solid proof to confirm it for sure, but considering the circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone took it down for those reasons. However, the page taken down and censored had the relevant information that answers all of our questions about this man and his motives.

The man’s name was Major Israel McCreight. He was born in 1865 and died in 1958. He grew up in Pennsylvania raised by pioneer parents and several other siblings. As a young man, at only 20 years old, he wanted to branch out and traveled all the way to Devil’s Lake in the Dakota Territory. This is where his lifelong adventure with Indians began. In fact, it was when he first arrived and stepped off the train platform he was greeted by a band of Sioux.

“They were a fine healthy lot; and as the travel-worn youth with his carpet-bag and lunch basket looked about for someone from whom he might ask directions, the Chief stepped up and with extended hand, said: “How cola!” Half in fright and with a puzzled hand-shake, the boy made his way toward what seemed to be the white man’s town… That kindly greeting by the old Sioux Chief quickly dispelled much of the prejudice that had filled his heart through childhood, and soon the youth began to think that Indians were not such terrible folks as Eastern people believed they were.” (McCreight, 1939)

During McCreight’s years there, he worked supplying food to the Indians, and also in an army garrison. He got along so well with various Indians that others called him “the Indian man”, and he fully earned this title when amazingly, he prevented a potential conflict between the settlers there and some Ojibwe Indians who has a grievance over white settlers not adhering to a treaty they made and hunting on their lands and stealing their timber. A band of them came early one morning to settle the score and McCreight managed to talk them down and persuade them to go back to their reservation and avoid bloodshed.

“It was all over before the town folks stirred about after their late Sunday morning breakfast; and over their own late breakfast, the doctor and the writer decided it best to say nothing, to avoid publicity, for it might interfere with business, and perhaps bring the wrath of General George Armstrong Custer‘s troops at the fort, against the suffering natives, and so the incident was closed and soon forgotten — forgotten except for the life-long humiliation at failure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to intercede for and protect the rights of these abused natives.” (McCreight, 1943)

He also developed deep personal friendships with many Indians, including Chief Wa Ta Na who gave him his prized peace pipe, as a token of their deep friendship. This was the first object given to him in his vast collection. As McCreight went through life, he went back to DuBois in Pennsylvania and took up banking, and married his childhood sweetheart and raised 7 children and they had over 70 years of marriage. However, he retained his connections in the Dakotas, and became friends with the far more well known Buffalo Bill Cody and other famous Indians in the Wild West shows like Flying Hawk and Chief Iron Tail. When the Wild West shows would travel around the country, they would often stop at the McCreights to relax and catch up with friends. A special place McCreight had in his later life was a big house and estate called “The Wigwam”.

Wild Westers needed a place to relax, and The Wigwam was a warm and welcome home where Indians could be Indians, sleep in buffalo skins and tipis, walk in the woods, have a hearty breakfast, smoke their pipes and tell of their stories and deeds. On one occasion 150 Indians with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West camped in the forests of The Wigwam. (Wikipedia)

He also made “The Wigwam” a cultural heritage center for Native American culture and educated tourists and schoolchildren. His Indian friends gave him many gifts of prized objects as tokens of their friendship which McCreight treasured until he died. McCreight’s constant and enduring connections with many Native American communities and those from the old days of the Wild West eventually earned him what he considered his highest honor: His native name, Cante Tanke which means “great heart”.

McCreight was forever moved by the solemnity of the occasion, and carried the honor proudly and with distinction the rest of his life. McCreight later remarked that the title, honorary Chief of the Oglala Lakota, was a far greater tribute than could have been conferred by any president or military organization. McCreight celebrated and honored Oglala Lakota culture, signing correspondence Tchanta Tanka or Tchanti Tanka, the phonetic equivalence of “Chann-Tey-Tonk-A”, the Lakota pronouncement of his adopted name Cante Tanke.

And that’s certainly not all! He was supported by the Sioux people and others to be nominated for the position of U.S. Indian Commissioner in 1929. He unfortunately was not chosen by President Hoover, however the significance of support from Indians, when many bureaucrats were corrupt and did not have the Indian’s best interests at heart, was that they trusted McCreight. In his elder years he wrote many books highlighting not his voice, but those of his Indian friends to honor their stories and kept The Wigwam up as a cultural center until 1958, the year of his death. Perhaps the most touching expression of his devotion to the Indians, and their love for him was in this letter sent near the end of his life by a friend:

“Brother your message tells us that soon you will take the Sunset Trail where our ancient Fathers will welcome and greet you as one of themselves. It will make our hearts unhappy when you leave us. You will be remembered by the truths you have written in your many books and articles about the Indians and though your body may pass on your thoughts will continue to live, will speak for us. During your life on this Earth, you have done many good things and our hearts are with you. You are an Indian born again in a white body, sent here by our creator to tell the world today the true story of our people. When you leave Mother Mother Earth and the Ancient Ones will welcome you with outstretched arms. The prairies and forests will look golden and green to you and your moccasins will walk on smooth grasses. The sky will be blue and from the bark lodges you will see smoke rising into the sky. Your ears will hear the good music of singing and the tom toms and those you see will be smiling at you as you walk to greet them. Remember this, Brother, this is how it will be for you. Your brother, Aren Akweks.”

Now go back to that photo and answer for yourself those questions I posed to you again knowing what you know now of the man. In light of all he contributed to the betterment and advocacy for Native Americans, would you still think he has no right to what he did? Is this still “appropriation”?

The reason I dove so deeply into one man’s biography was to present Major Israel McCreight as a case study in dismantling this notion that white people can’t possibly have a deep and lasting connection, one of advocacy for another race or culture and any absorption of another’s culture is an insult and oppressive. Maybe many SJW’s would dismiss him as a “white savior” and disregard all he did despite using his “privilege” to help those who didn’t have it. Obviously whoever deleted his wonderful page up on Wikipedia didn’t read his legacy. They didn’t read how he was embraced as one of their own by Indians, how his collection was not stolen but given to him by lifelong friends, how his native name was bestowed to him as his highest honor, how his war bonnet could symbolize how he was a warrior for the betterment of those people. And much much more. Nor did whoever took his page down appreciate the devotion and care the writer took to honor his life.

The implications of this censorship goes beyond this one man though, and the biggest one: There are more McCreights out there today, but they will never get the chances he did at truly embracing and advocating for a people with the Left’s restrictive “hands off and stay away” approach to connecting to others outside how they dictate whites must act. He saw the Native Americans he bonded with as his equals. But one can’t do that with another if you’re told to stay away and merely cave to every demand blindly due to some past history without having mutual understanding and respect. This isn’t merely about the censorship of the story of one great man, but the social censorship of the development of more great men and women who will go on to honor countless cultures to come…

Please take the time to read the censored article in its entirety as it covers so much more than I can in one post! I found the trick was to type the url into the WayBack site which can let you see deleted pages 😉 Major Israel McCreight