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Wounded Knee - an interesting article


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Today is the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee, which took place in South Dakota in 1890. Twenty-three years earlier, the local tribes had signed a treaty with the United States government that guaranteed them the rights to the land around the Black Hills, which was sacred land. The treaty said that not only could no one move there, but they couldn't even travel through without the consent of the Indians.

But in the 1870s, gold was discovered in the Black Hills, and the treaty was broken. People from the Sioux tribe were forced onto a reservation, with a promise of more food and supplies, which never came. Then in 1889, a native prophet named Wovoka, from the Paiute tribe in Nevada, had a vision of a ceremony that would renew the earth, return the buffalo, and cause the white men to leave and return the land that belonged to the Indians. This ceremony was called the Ghost Dance. People traveled across the plains to hear Wovoka speak, including emissaries from the Sioux tribe, and they brought back his teachings. The Ghost Dance, performed in special brightly colored shirts, spread through the villages on the Sioux reservation, and it scared the white Indian agents. They considered the ceremony a battle cry, dangerous and antagonistic. So one of them wired Washington to say that he was afraid and wanted to arrest the leaders, and he was given permission to arrest Chief Sitting Bull, who was killed in the attempt. The next on the wanted list was Sitting Bull's half-brother, Chief Big Foot. Some members of Sitting Bull's tribe made their way to Big Foot, and when he found out what had happened, he decided to lead them along with the rest of his people to Pine Ridge Reservation for protection. But it was winter, 40 degrees below zero, and he contracted pneumonia on the way.

Big Foot was sick, he was flying a white flag, and he was a peaceful man. He was one of the leaders who had renounced the Ghost Dance, in fact. But the Army didn't make distinctions. They intercepted Big Foot's band and ordered them into the camp on the banks of the Wounded Knee Creek. Big Foot went peacefully.

The next morning federal soldiers began confiscating their weapons, and a scuffle broke out between a soldier and an Indian. The federal soldiers opened fire, killing almost 300 men, women, and children, including Big Foot. Even though it wasn't really a battle, the massacre at Wounded Knee is considered the end of the Indian Wars, a blanket term to refer to the fighting between the Native Americans and the federal government, which had lasted 350 years.

One of the people wounded but not killed during the massacre was the famous medicine man Black Elk, author of Black Elk Speaks (1932). Speaking about Wounded Knee, he said: "I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream."

 

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(I am NOT Native American, but...) Every treaty between Indians and wasichu (whites) was broken... by the white man! :angry:  It is to our shame. In spite of this, Native Americans proudly served in the Armed Forces and sacrificed as proud warriors.  I wish I could be regarded as a cola (friend), in spite of past hurts. 

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1 hour ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

There is still some resentment in the native American community for how we treated them in the past. Can't say I blame them.

 

 

We ain’t treating em all that good today either.

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2 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

We ain’t treating em all that good today either.

 

I watched a show on the 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation involving the American Indian Movement, where they and the FBI engaged in a 71-day standoff. The AIM took some hostages in the town of Wounded Knee, and when the FBI tried to negotiate for their release the hostages refused, siding with the Indians instead. They relayed the message that it was the fed's fault that they were in their predicament to begin with. <_<

 

Unfortunately that incident also resulted in at least a couple of Indians dead before it was over.

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5 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

"We"? I wasn't around back then. I am my family had nothing to do with any of those  events. Same thing in regards to slavery. That was then. This is now.

 

"We" are our history in many respects. We are the products of it, for good and bad. The ills visited upon Native Americans by our collective ancestors are still felt today, now. While it is convenient to say "I had nothing to do with it...," the fact of the matter is, your country did. If you take pride in the fact that your country has done great things, and say things like "we landed a man on the moon," or "we helped defeat fascism," or "we helped win the Great War," or anything of the like, then you must acknowledge the things your country has gotten wrong, whether the treatment of Native Americans, citizens of Japanese ancestry during WWII, or the treatment of African Americans over a long period of time. That doesn't mean personally accepting responsibility for those actions and pleading mea culpa. It means not sweeping it under the rug and saying "another time, another place. Not my fault, not my problem."

If, on the other hand, you do not look at the amazing successes of our country in it's nearly 250 year history with a sense of patriotic pride, then, by all means, feel free to shout from the rooftops that you had nothing to with it, with any of it. I would proffer, though, that it leaves little room to be critical of those who either wave the flag with pride, or those who look upon it with disdain.

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1 hour ago, DocWard said:

 

"We" are our history in many respects. We are the products of it, for good and bad. The ills visited upon Native Americans by our collective ancestors are still felt today, now. While it is convenient to say "I had nothing to do with it...," the fact of the matter is, your country did. If you take pride in the fact that your country has done great things, and say things like "we landed a man on the moon," or "we helped defeat fascism," or "we helped win the Great War," or anything of the like, then you must acknowledge the things your country has gotten wrong, whether the treatment of Native Americans, citizens of Japanese ancestry during WWII, or the treatment of African Americans over a long period of time. That doesn't mean personally accepting responsibility for those actions and pleading mea culpa. It means not sweeping it under the rug and saying "another time, another place. Not my fault, not my problem."

If, on the other hand, you do not look at the amazing successes of our country in it's nearly 250 year history with a sense of patriotic pride, then, by all means, feel free to shout from the rooftops that you had nothing to with it, with any of it. I would proffer, though, that it leaves little room to be critical of those who either wave the flag with pride, or those who look upon it with disdain.

You and I will agree to disagree on this matter. I am very proud of my country. Our country has done great things. Our country has done some bad things but “we” weren’t there for the atrocities mentioned above, unless you were, then “we” might be appropriate. At least I wasn’t. There is no “we” about it. This silliness and almost PC mindset of “we” and pinning blame on current peoples for the sins of people of the past is almost like a mental cancer. I will not be a part of it. You can, if you like, I will not. 
 

 

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43 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

You and I will agree to disagree on this matter. I am very proud of my country. Our country has done great things. Our country has done some bad things but “we” weren’t there for the atrocities mentioned above, unless you were, then “we” might be appropriate. At least I wasn’t. There is no “we” about it. This silliness and almost PC mindset of “we” and pinning blame on current peoples for the sins of people of the past is almost like a mental cancer. I will not be a part of it. You can, if you like, I will not. 

 

I am very proud of my country as well. I've served under her flag for the majority of my adult life, and proudly so. When asked if I would do so again, my answer is always an unequivocal "yes." My ancestors have been fighting for this country through her many wars, going back at least to Lord Dunmore's War and then the American Revolution. Since the former was against the Shawnee and Mingo tribes, one might say my family-my bloodline- has been responsible for the "atrocities." At least one could say my fifth-great-grandfather was complicit in pushing them from their lands in Ohio. Do I feel somehow personally responsible for this fact, and feel some need to apologize for it? No. Not in the least. Yet, I recognize that it was one of the opening acts in the story that culminated in the problems faced by the Native Americans today. To not realize this fact would be completely ignorant of history. I can blame Andrew Jackson for The Trail of Tears, or William Tecumseh Sherman for his brutality toward the tribes of the plains. I can be critical of a number of actions taken by and on behalf of my country.

The thing is, I can recognize the greatness of my country. That same great-grandfather fought against Ferguson and the Loyalists at King's Mountain. Many of my ancestors have served this nation, and some died for it. After my own service, I'm looking forward to a career serving our veteran population, because I see that service as honorable, even noble. I look at what we as a country are capable of. All of those things I mentioned previously... Fighting wars-- often on behalf of other peoples and other nations, putting men on the moon, being the country that people still long to come to, and will take great risks to get to. But to not see it, "warts and all," is not simply disingenuous, it is in my mind deluding oneself.

So, yes, we can agree to disagree, but please, if one can't say "we made mistakes," recognize their hypocrisy if they say "we have done great things."

Edited by DocWard
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2 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

and the thread slides down the slippery slope, into the rabbit hole filled with water and snakes... :rolleyes:

 

What in the wide, wide world of sports are snakes doing in rabbit holes?

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While "wounded Knee " was a sad part of our history let's not forget the brutal treatment that we received from the Indians. Let's also not forget that they were killing and torturing each other way before the white man got here. They weren't united, tribes were killing and warring with other tribes. They weren't exactly the perfect people that everyone thinks they were. It was a stone age culture that met a civilized culture at the time and things sadly worked out the way they did.

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I've always thought the main issue regarding the treatment of the Indians was not the fact that the continent was ultimately taken from them, which was an historical inevitability, however tragic for the tribes. It was the fact that thereafter they were often cheated out of that which this nation had, by solemn treaty, agreed to leave to them. One huge thing about the American Indians, to their everlasting reputation, is that they fought, and fought hard and bravely, for generations for their lands.

 

But then they were cheated, over and over again, when they were mostly helpless. Fortunately, in the fullness of time, their treaty rights have been vindicated. I don't think 'we' is the issue; it's a national issue, and we're part of the nation. I think we should be proud of the fact that our institutions finally made up for much of what had been lost.

 

The situation with slavery is analogous in many ways. Slavery itself was one of those over-arching historical tragedies. But our nation paid a high price for it, and eliminated it in a terrible conflict. But the freed slaves were then shackled by Jim Crow, and other legal oppressions. In many ways, that was the saddest chapter of all. Took an awful long time to end it.

 

It's not a matter of individual, or collective 'guilt'. It's a question of good policy thereafter.

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44 minutes ago, DocWard said:

So, yes, we can agree to disagree, but please, if one can't say "we made mistakes," recognize their hypocrisy if they say "we have done great things."

When did I say “we”?

Hypocrisy? Please. 
 

I think you think you have telepathy and know my mind. You don’t.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

When did I say “we”?

Hypocrisy? Please. 
 

I think you think you have telepathy and know my mind. You don’t.

 

 

Let me edit a second time, also for the sake of civility.

I meant no offense, and I am certainly not trying to presume to know your mind. With that in mind, and still not meaning any offense, I don't believe you read for context. You haven't, in this thread, said "we" in the context of the nation, and reviewing my own posts, I never asserted you did. I did say "if" you were to say "we" in my initial post, not that you did. However, in the post you quoted, I suggested that if you hear or read from another (the "one" I mentioned) the use of "we," then recognize "their" hypocrisy. I hope that clarifies things sufficiently.

Edited by DocWard
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2 hours ago, DocWard said:

 

What in the wide, wide world of sports are snakes doing in rabbit holes?

Looking for tasty rabbits. 
 

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It’s possible to use we in the collective National sense without assuming guilt for past deeds. Football fans like to say. we kicked butt last week when in fact they, as fans, had nothing to do with thee team victory.

 

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12 hours ago, DocWard said:

 

Let me edit a second time, also for the sake of civility.

I meant no offense, and I am certainly not trying to presume to know your mind. With that in mind, and still not meaning any offense, I don't believe you read for context. You haven't, in this thread, said "we" in the context of the nation, and reviewing my own posts, I never asserted you did. I did say "if" you were to say "we" in my initial post, not that you did. However, in the post you quoted, I suggested that if you hear or read from another (the "one" I mentioned) the use of "we," then recognize "their" hypocrisy. I hope that clarifies things sufficiently.

 

Thank you Doc.

 

I must admit that I was a "bit" testy yesterday. You see, I had just sat through nearly 4 hours of Title VI, Title VII (Federal Civil Rights), Sexual & Gender Harassment training early in the  day at work. It's very hard to sit through this training as it is quite biased in it's presentation - I will just leave it at that. 

 

Anyway, I apologize for getting testy.

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2 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

 

Thank you Doc.

 

I must admit that I was a "bit" testy yesterday. You see, I had just sat through nearly 4 hours of Title VI, Title VII (Federal Civil Rights), Sexual & Gender Harassment training early in the  day at work. It's very hard to sit through this training as it is quite biased in it's presentation - I will just leave it at that. 

 

Anyway, I apologize for getting testy.

 

No apologies needed, and after that sort of day, you have the right to be testy. If the training is like some I've sat through, then yes, biased is a start. Have a drink from Utah Bob's stash on me. He seems to like the good stuff.

Edited by DocWard
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33 minutes ago, DocWard said:

 

No apologies needed, and after that sort of day, you have the right to be testy. If the training is like some I've sat through, then yes, biased is a start. Have a drink from Utah Bob's stash on me. He seems to like the good stuff.

Woohoo! Party time!  :D

 

 

Bottles, set 'em up!:lol:

Put 'em on UB's tab...yeah, that one  on top....Oh, Rye's name is only on there for show. Line 'em up.;)

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16 hours ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

I've always thought the main issue regarding the treatment of the Indians was not the fact that the continent was ultimately taken from them, which was an historical inevitability, however tragic for the tribes. It was the fact that thereafter they were often cheated out of that which this nation had, by solemn treaty, agreed to leave to them.

 

Unfortunately the bold part of the first sentence is true. There were less than 15 million indigenous people on the North American continent when the first white settlers arrived. Considering the size of the land that is an extremely sparse population, and as the western world developed and expanded beyond its own means it was inevitable that North America would've been settled by Europeans. The tragedy is that the American Indians were not only pushed off their land but efforts were even made to exterminate them. My dad proudly named me after General Philip Sheridan, considering him a great Civil War general, but he apparently forgot Sheridan's infamous quote "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead ones". Had the Indians been given the chance to modernize, but on their own terms things might have turned out much different for this country. Unfortunately they were lied to, driven onto second-rate land the whites didn't want and forced to survive on government aid that rarely came. And that's the ones the US government didn't simply kill off.

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