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The Last Pirate of New York (commentarymagazine.com)
33 points by sillybilly 47 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments



>> The first known crime in what is now New York City occurred in the 1620s, when the Lenape Indians scammed their new Dutch friends by selling them Manahattan island twice.

I'm not one to scream about micro-aggressions, but look at that opening sentence. It implies that no "crime" was even possible before the arrival of Europeans, that prior to contact native populations did not commit crimes. Either the native were innocent children in a garden of eden, or they were wild animals with no justice system.

Perhaps this was the first crime involving Europeans ... but even that suggests that the Europeans themselves had not committed any crimes prior to this deal. That's a big can of worms. I'd say, at best, this is the first documented case of real estate fraud in the land that would become NY.


It implies none of those things. New Amsterdam was founded in 1624. New Amsterdam became NYC. The sentence is a typical structure making an joke which basically says crime existed in NYC from the start.

You are somehow missing the context both of that threadbare joke, and the context of the paragraph it is in, and the article as a whole, leading you to ascribe implications that aren’t in any way present in the writing.


It says "known". It doesn't say that native populations did not commit crimes among themselves, only that we have no record of such.

I don't know whether that's accurate, but it doesn't seem too unreasonable. Pre-colonization records are sparser than post.


I'm rather sure that the natives knew then, and know today, of past crimes within their populations. Many such crimes were recorded in oral histories.


> I'm rather sure that the natives knew then, and know today, of past crimes within their populations. Many such crimes were recorded in oral histories.

Sounds like a fun weekend project, go interview tribal historians for the tribes of that region for crimes that predate the first-"known" crime from TFA and submit it such that the author can publish a retraction.


> I'm not one to scream about micro-aggressions

Then why approach a piece with a pedantic, argumentative, intentional misreading of the first sentence?


> first known crime

Congratulations, you missed the joke.


Wow, people on HN will go to the wall defending an unfunny joke, if only because a little bit of awareness annoys them much more... it's somehow satisfying that this is the only thread on this page.


Commentary Magazine isn't exactly known for its wokeness, I'm afraid.




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