The United States was against the document from the beginning and would not sign it. It wasn't until 1988, forty years later, when the only other countries to have not signed it were Iran, Iraq and Syria, that the United States signed the document. The fear was that our government leaders and military personnel (and any American) would be vulnerable to charges of genocide if they committed it.
So, basically, the government of the time was okay with telling other people not to do it (like Hitler), but didn't want the law turned back on them. I feel angry about that, especially considering how the people native to this land were treated when the Europeans first came over to America, "the New World," and decided they wanted it.
Speaking of that page in our nation's history, I just saw Avatar in 3-D. Wow. What a beautiful, powerful story. I think it had something really important to say about the Columbus story, as well as how our current national and global cultures function, and the way different cultures are treated from within a group. Plus, it was breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally stimulating.
I feel incredibly inspired by the story--that is the kind of story I want to write; something that matters, something that makes a difference, that sees and understands something important and reaches the world with it. I don't haver the words to explain how the movie made me feel, except to tell you that I cried at the end, out of both joy and sorrow, and for almost an hour after I kept breathing heavily, as if to drink into my body the story and the beauty of the world. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it very highly. I have never seen a movie that touched me so deeply and said something so powerful, and really spoke to every one of my emotions and my deep yearnings. I believe that this is the power of story--to charge the very core of your life spirit and make you feel why life is worth living.