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USA genocide against Native Americans

 
 
JTT
 
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 01:56 pm
Black Hills Are Beyond Price to Sioux; Culture: Despite economic hardship, tribe resists U.S. efforts to dissolve an 1868 treaty for $570 million. [Bulldog Edition] Author: Frederic Frommer, Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, Calif. Aug 19, 2001

The quiet is broken by the territorial squeaks of prairie dogs. Buffalo lounge in prairies around the bend from pine-covered cliffs. This is land the Lakota Sioux call Paha Sapa, the Black Hills. To them, it is sacred and not for sale.

That's why the Sioux, among the poorest people in America, refuse the half-billion dollars offered by the U.S. government, which has claimed ownership of this land since 1877.

The Indians have a longer memory. In 1868, the United States signed a treaty setting aside the Black Hills "for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupancy of the Sioux." Then gold was discovered there, and Congress grabbed the land after negotiations to purchase it broke down.

A century later, in 1980, the Supreme Court awarded eight Sioux tribes $106 million in compensation--the 1877 value of $17.5 million, plus interest. This was payment for what the court called "a taking of tribal property."

The tribes refused to take the millions, insisting on the return of the land. Two political efforts to return federally held land failed in the 1980s.

The money sits in a government account, interest having swollen it now to $570 million. Still, the Sioux won't touch it. They say that would be a sellout of the Lakota nation, religion and culture.

Nowhere is the opposition more entrenched than the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, by some estimates the poorest place in the country. Home to the Oglala band of the Lakota Sioux, Pine Ridge has an unemployment rate of 85%.

The Oglala Sioux's share of the award is now worth $170 million. If they invested that, they could expect around $17 million a year in income without touching the principal. The annual budget for the reservation, by comparison, is $15 million.

It's money that could be used for housing, business development, job training and education, or even political pressure to get the Black Hills back.

Today, many people on the reservation live in trailers or shacks, drive rusted-out cars and have no place to work. Mangy dogs roam and forage.

The center of Pine Ridge village has a couple of gas stations, a Pizza Hut and a Taco John's, and little else. The reservation, covering 5,000 square miles, has nine villages but no banks, no car washes, no barber shops, no hotels.

Regardless of the obvious need, opposition to taking the money consistently runs over 90% in newspaper surveys, according to Tim Giago, publisher of the Lakota Journal.

Talk of the cash reminds the Sioux of the gold-seeking explorers who swarmed into the area seven years after President Andrew Johnson signed the Black Hills treaty.

The resulting military battles culminated in Custer's defeat at Little Big Horn in 1876.

"Ho-ka hey!" Crazy Horse yelled at that battle. "It is a good day to fight! It is a good day to die! Strong hearts, brave hearts, to the front! Weak hearts and cowards to the rear."

Congress responded by telling the Sioux: Give up the Black Hills, or lose federal food, medicine and blankets, rations pledged earlier to compensate for disrupting their hunting lands with westward expansion. Only 10% of the adult male Sioux population signed the treaty giving up the land, but Congress enacted it into law in 1877.

A federal judge, later echoed by the Supreme Court, castigated the government's deal, saying: "A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history."

The wind can whip across Pine Ridge at 50 mph, throwing stinging bits of dirt in your mouth and the corners of your eyes, hurling tumbleweeds, swirling the plastic bags, candy wrappers and six-pack cartons that litter many of the open fields.

But the landscape is also striking. Wide-open skies offer 360- degree views of prairies, rolling pine-covered hills and the Badlands, carved by wind and water over millions of years.

Try to figure the value of the Black Hills--called, in the Lakota language, the heart of everything that is: Wamaka Og'naka I'cante.

Tribal members have their own complex calculations of that value, but they don't involve dollars.

"A lot of white people perceive this as foolish pride," says tribal council member Craig Dillon. "But pride's all we have."

The SuAnne Big Crow Health and Recreation Center was named after a 17-year-old star athlete killed in a 1992 car crash. With only $32 in the bank, her mother, Chick Big Crow, started a foundation that built the center.

A converted plastics factory, the center includes a room with photos, trophies and jerseys of SuAnne, who exhorted her peers to avoid drugs and alcohol and once scored 67 points in a basketball game.

Chick Big Crow remembers the struggle to get funding early on. It's the kind of project that would have benefited from seed money from the Black Hills bounty. But she wouldn't have wanted it.

"How do you put a price tag on spirituality?" she asks.

A 16-year-old hanging out at the center's cafe, James Red Cloud, puts it another way.

"If we take that, we ain't got nothing left. No land, and nothing to fight over," he says.

A copy of the U.S. Constitution rests on the couch in Johnson Holy Rock's trailer. He also has copies of treaties and the Supreme Court's Black Hills decision.

Holy Rock, 82, wearing a belt buckle depicting an Indian warrior, has been involved in tribal government off and on for decades. On his wall is a framed photograph of him with President John F. Kennedy, at the announcement of the first public housing grant to the Oglala Sioux tribe.

"Housing was my priority," says Holy Rock, tribal president in the early 1960s. "Up to that point, people lived in car bodies and tin shacks."

Holy Rock raises livestock, and his front porch offers a view of rolling grasslands, cattle grazing by a reservoir and prairie dogs digging and chirping.

"I live in a natural atmosphere, so I have visitors, sometimes even coyotes," says Holy Rock, who was widowed six years ago. A limping German shepherd dog recently started coming around.

Holy Rock says the Sioux refusal to take the Black Hills money has been misunderstood.

"The money laying there, ready to be issued out--all we have to do is say, 'OK.' And yet, we've chosen to live in poverty . . . just poor, ignorant, heathen savages," he says.

"We have a different set of values," he continues. "We don't think of the air and water in terms of dollars and cents."

Holy Rock grew up in a log house with no foundation; when the house burned down, the family moved into a tent. He was 6 years old when he first started looking after his father's livestock.

Water was so scarce back then that when he and his horse would find some, they would drink out of the same hole. To this day, he considers water such a valuable commodity that he'll have only half a glass at a restaurant.

Things are not as bleak for Holy Rock anymore.

"I'm comfortable," he says. "I don't aspire to riches."

At Bear Butte, a sacred site in the northeastern Black Hills about 150 miles from Pine Ridge, prayer cloths of many colors are tied to the trees, placed there by Indians as a sign of their commitment to the creator. They blow in 40 mph winds like a psychedelic parade of low-flying kites. Offering pouches, filled with sage and tobacco, also hang from the branches.

A road at Bear Butte State Park marked "Authorized Vehicles Only" stops outside a field where several Sioux are building a fire to heat rocks for a sweat lodge. Once inside the tarp-covered lodge, they will pray, sing and use the stifling heat to cleanse their minds and bodies.

"The sweat lodge will teach you everything about life, about yourself," says one of the Lakotas, Izzy Zephier, 52. "It's like looking at a mirror, at reality, at truth. Your shield comes down."

Accepting money for this land is unthinkable, he says. "We would be telling God, 'This isn't yours. We're wheeling and dealing.' "

Charlotte Black Elk is a descendant of Crazy Horse's friend, Little Big Man, who in 1875 threatened to kill any man who advocated selling the Black Hills. Black Elk herself is so hard-core that she uproots nonnative plants from her property.

Had the Supreme Court made its ruling 25 years earlier, she says, the tribes probably would have accepted the money.

"Each generation has become much more radicalized," says Black Elk, a thin woman who looks younger than her 49 years. "When it came to my generation, we were, 'No, we'll never take the money.' "

That shift has been accompanied by a return to traditional religious practices.

"My parents' generation lived in a world where they were socialized Christians, and attempted to maintain as much of the tribal culture as possible," Black Elk says. "Whereas myself, I'm an orthodox Indian. . . . I have the religion that came with my culture and my blood and the land that I'm attached to."

Both her daughter and son have killed buffalo, which helps connect them with past generations that made hunting the center of society. "My daughter's generation is Lakota in a way that our people haven't been for 150 years," she says.

Black Elk lives in the reservation village of Manderson, a few miles north of Wounded Knee, site of the 1890 massacre of nearly 300 unarmed Sioux. Her house is surrounded by limestone buttes. Elk antlers and an elk head hang on her wall.

She is confident that the Sioux will one day own the Black Hills again.

Her 28-year-old nephew, D.J. One Feather, is not.

"Part of me says we should just take the money," says One Feather, a former reservation police officer.

Then why not do it?

"I guess it's pride, man," he says. "You're giving in to the white man. I hate using terms like that--us and them--but sometimes it's hard to get your point across without them. Hundreds of years of oppression--you're just giving in to it."

Bill Swift Hawk, a 62-year-old artist, has made it a vocation to take over places in the name of Indian power.

Thirty years ago, he joined in the American Indian Movement occupation of Alcatraz, the former prison island in San Francisco Bay. In 1981, he and others occupied Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills. Now, Swift Hawk is part of a group occupying the reservation's tribal government building.

Swift Hawk left Pine Ridge and spent his 20s and 30s in California, pretty much "drinking, partying and bouncing around." Sometimes he made money by shortchanging cashiers, rationalizing that he was getting his Black Hills share.

Alcoholism affects almost every reservation family, health officials say, yet there is no detoxification center, something the Black Hills money could pay for.

Swift Hawk quit booze 20 years ago, and moved back to Pine Ridge.

The activists occupying the government building began protesting alleged corruption in tribal government, which is millions of dollars in debt, and now call for a return to a traditional government, run by elders.

Inside, a shrine displays a copy of the 1868 treaty, promising the land "for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupancy of the Sioux."

Exchanging that for money is just not an option, Swift Hawk says.
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Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 02:19 pm
@JTT,
I doubt you'll get much response JTT, mainly because of who you are and what you do most of the time on A2K.

Interesting article though, and I wish them success.


This is possibly one of the most interesting books I have ever read.....if anyone wants to really get a picture of Oglala life, I would highly recommend it.

http://joestarita.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/dull-knifes-of-pine-ridge.jpg
Jack of Hearts
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 03:25 pm
Years after the end of WWII, isolated Japanese soldiers were still fighting the war, waiting to be relieved. When discovered, it didn't take long to convince them the war was over. The difference between those Japanese and the Lakota - is the Lakota refuse to accept they lost the wars. They refuse to assimilate into America's melting pot, and insist we have to accept them, insisting we be more as a tossed salad.
We don't want them to abandon their culture; most all Americans are proud of their ethnic heritage, but they insist their past be their future. Like many likewise minorities, they refuse to be recognized as a modern American, and insist on being primarily of a different culture. In the "Land of the Free", they choose to live this way, insisting the majority of us treat them as if they too, were of the majority. They're not - and they won't be treated as such until they seek to assimilate.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 03:38 pm
@Jack of Hearts,
Jack: - is the Lakota refuse to accept they lost the wars. They refuse to assimilate into America ...

-----------

They didn't lose the wars, Jack, anymore than the Jewish people lost the war to Hitler and the Nazis.

What part of Genocide do you not understand?
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 03:41 pm
@Jack of Hearts,
But they weren't at war when the US Government grabbed the land.

They had already "lost the war" as you put it, and the land was set aside for them in acformal agreement.

Gold was then discovered and the land grabbed, despite the agreement.

How can they be expected to "assimilate" with a people who are, in their eyes, so dishonourable and deceitful?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 03:42 pm
@Lordyaswas,
You have responded, Lordy. All it takes is the silence banished.

Half a billion dollars and they refuse to take the money, instead they operate on principal.

Why, they're downright unAmerican!
Jack of Hearts
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:22 pm
@JTT,
Hey, it not a judgmental thing, it's sociology. Minorities want to be treated, as is the majority. Were they, how would you know they're a minority? Do Irish-Americans and Franco-Americans look upon each other as a minority?
Which reminds me - do you there was no "Irish Potato Famine"? The potato blight was not responsible for the famine - it was an Irish genocide by the English.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:35 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Jack: - is the Lakota refuse to accept they lost the wars. They refuse to assimilate into America ...

-----------

They didn't lose the wars, Jack, anymore than the Jewish people lost the war to Hitler and the Nazis.

What part of Genocide do you not understand?


The Jews weren't fighting the Nazis. One side had all the weapons. The analogy is false.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:38 pm
@Lordyaswas,
Lordyaswas wrote:

How can they be expected to "assimilate" with a people who are, in their eyes, so dishonourable and deceitful?


The word "assimilate" might be the problem. The correct word might be "acculturate." Nothing is wrong with acculturation, whether or not one loves the dominant group. In fact, acculturation, when one does not love the dominant group is just a sign of maturity and civility (aka, wisdom), in my opinion.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:48 pm
@Jack of Hearts,
Jack of Hearts wrote:

Which reminds me - do you there was no "Irish Potato Famine"? The potato blight was not responsible for the famine - it was an Irish genocide by the English.



Genocide implies a planned annihilation. The potato blight just left the Irish peasants without their usual food source. The English would not stop exporting food out of Ireland, since it was grown to be sold. Plus, the English kicked the Irish off of the land they lived on. So, through negligence, and a feeling that the Irish were expendable, they died, or came to America. The question is how much of it was planned, or did the English just not let opportunity pass, to get many Irish out of Ireland, dead or alive.

Sort of like the help the Nazis got in finding "the Jews," in every country the Nazis invaded. Jews were just expendable in the eyes of many Europeans.

To treat a group as expendable is not true genocide, in my opinion. It just shows that some groups might falsely believe that they will be left in peace, when they actually might not be, under certain circumstances.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:49 pm
@Foofie,
Your ignorance knows no limits, Foofie.

------------

Jewish resistance leading up to and lasting throughout the Holocaust included a multitude of different social responses by those oppressed. Due to the careful organization and overwhelming military might of the Nazi German State and its supporters, many Jews were unable to resist the killings. There were, however, many cases of attempts at resistance in one form or another, and over a hundred armed Jewish uprisings. [1]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_resistance_under_Nazi_rule
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:54 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Your ignorance knows no limits, Foofie.

------------

Jewish resistance leading up to and lasting throughout the Holocaust included a multitude of different social responses by those oppressed. Due to the careful organization and overwhelming military might of the Nazi German State and its supporters, many Jews were unable to resist the killings. There were, however, many cases of attempts at resistance in one form or another, and over a hundred armed Jewish uprisings. [1]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_resistance_under_Nazi_rule


Your point is not correct, in my opinion, since no amount of resistance could have saved more than a small fraction of the six million dead. Hollywood made the Warsaw Ghetto uprising look heroic; however, six million died, because they had no weapons equal to the Nazis. Plus, the Europeans basically considered Jews social pariahs in many countries that the Nazis invaded. Only Denmark made a concerted effort to save the Jews en masse. And that was a small population of around 12,000.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 04:59 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie: Genocide implies a planned annihilation.


A THOUSAND LIES

THE NATIVE AMERICAN

compiled by Dee Finney


From: http://www.dickshovel.com/lsa3.html

The founding fathers on that rock shared common characteristics. All four valued white supremacy and promoted the extirpation of Indian society. The United States' founding fathers were staunchly anti-Indian advocates in that at one time or another, all four provided for genocide against Indian peoples of this hemisphere.

George Washington...
In 1779, George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack Iroquois people. Washington stated, "lay waste all the settlements around...that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed". In the course of the carnage and annihilation of Indian people, Washington also instructed his general not "listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected". (Stannard, David E. AMERICAN HOLOCAUST. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 118-121.)

In 1783, Washington's anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves: "Both being beast of prey, tho' they differ in shape", he said. George Washington's policies of extermination were realized in his troops behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois "from the hips downward to make boot tops or leggings". Indians who survived the attacks later re-named the nation's first president as "Town Destroyer". Approximately 28 of 30 Seneca towns had been destroyed within a five year period. (Ibid)

Thomas Jefferson...
In 1807, Thomas Jefferson instructed his War Department that, should any Indians resist against America stealing Indian lands, the Indian resistance must be met with "the hatchet". Jefferson continued, "And...if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, " he wrote, "we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi." Jefferson, the slave owner, continued, "in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them". (Ibid)

In 1812, Jefferson said that American was obliged to push the backward Indians "with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains". One year later Jefferson continued anti-Indian statements by adding that America must "pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach". (Ibid)

Abraham Lincoln...

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution, by hanging, of 38 Dakota Sioux prisoners in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of those executed were holy men or political leaders of their camps. None of them were responsible for committing the crimes they were accused of. Coined as the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History. (Brown, Dee. BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970. pp. 59-61)

Theodore Roosevelt...
The fourth face you see on that "Stony Mountain" is America's first twentieth century president, alleged American hero, and Nobel peace prize recipient, Theodore Roosevelt. This Indian fighter firmly grasped the notion of Manifest Destiny saying that America's extermination of the Indians and thefts our their lands "was ultimately beneficial as it was inevitable". Roosevelt once said, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth". (Stannard, Op.Cit.)

The apathy displayed by these founding fathers symbolize the demoralization related to racial superiority. Scholars point toward this racial polarization as evidence of the existence of Eugenics.

Eugenics is a new term for an old phenomena which asserts that Indian people should be exterminated because they are an inferior race of people. Jefferson's suggestion to pursue the Indians to extermination fits well into the eugenistic vision. In David Stannard's study American Holocaust, he writes: "had these same words been enunciated by a German leader in 1939, and directed at European Jews, they would be engraved in modern memory. Since they were uttered by one of America's founding fathers, however...they conveniently have become lost to most historians in their insistent celebration of Jefferson's wisdom and humanity." Roosevelt feared that American upper classes were being replaced by the "unrestricted breeding" of inferior racial stocks, the "utterly shiftless", and the "worthless" (Ibid)

http://www.greatdreams.com/lies.htm
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:01 pm
@Foofie,
Your opinion, indeed. You mean your fallacious attempts to downplay a two centuries long Holocaust.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:07 pm
@JTT,
I said "implies." Since most people think of it "implying" a planned annihilation, it is just that for popular consumption, regardless what a more scholarly definition might say.

Now go back to your seat and continue your historical research. But, I do have the right not to be interested, since I do live in the U.S.A.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:13 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Your opinion, indeed. You mean your fallacious attempts to downplay a two centuries long Holocaust.


I'm not downplaying anything. My lack of your histrionic reaction is not downplay. I just do not cry over spilt milk, so to speak. You presuppose that your histrionic reaction is the only correct reaction. Do you think your histrionic reaction is the only correct reaction? I think not. So, you take your histrionics elsewhere, big guy.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:22 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie: I just do not cry over spilt milk, so to speak

You lying piece of ****!

You constantly cry over the treatment of the Jewish people and you constantly talk of the Holocaust, as well you should.

However, where do you get off making apologies for these vicious USA actions that are every bit as bad as what the Nazis did.
Jack of Hearts
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:27 pm
@JTT,

When the Nazis sealed off the Warsaw ghetto, thousands of Jews began to starve. IMO If that isn't genocide, I don't know what is. Whether it is the "Bataan Death March" or the "Trail of Tears", the abject indifference to the life of very large group of people is genocide - the complete extermination of that group need not be the goal, only mass death to that group of people.
(Suggesting the English had no premeditation in their starving of the Irish is akin to denying the Holocaust.)

Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:27 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Foofie: I just do not cry over spilt milk, so to speak

You lying piece of ****!

You constantly cry over the treatment of the Jewish people and you constantly talk of the Holocaust, as well you should.

However, where do you get off making apologies for these vicious USA actions that are every bit as bad as what the Nazis did.


Non involvement is not apologizing. Get histrionic elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Feb, 2014 05:30 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie: Now go back to your seat and continue your historical research. But, I do have the right not to be interested, since I do live in the U.S.A.

------

You have the right not to be interested Why? - because you live smack dab in the middle of that American planned Holocaust.

"The right not to be interested" - have you ever heard anything so callous, so inhuman, so deeply vicious? I haven't but had I the opportunity to listen in to some nazi death camp talk I probably would have, Foofie.

And you brag about being the equal of the most vicious of the Nazis.

Ooooookay.
 

 
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