Hampton Sides is a marvelous writer but a moral relativist. He thinks right and wrong are determined by the times, not by permanent values. He believes Kit Carson should be judged by the “brutish” age he lived in. He thinks that naming public parks after him is simply history. I dissent.
In the 1860s, Carson first starved out the remnants of the already decimated Navajo tribe at Canyon de Chelly and then force-marched the survivors — including women, children, the frail and the elderly — hundreds of miles from what is now eastern Arizona across the width of present-day New Mexico to a concentration camp (one of the world’s first) at Bosque Redondo. Many died en route; many more died in captivity.