The Great Temple Mound at Etowah

Etowah Indian Mounds
Enlargement

Etowah Indian Mounds
Enlargement

Etowah Indian Mounds, The Great Temple Mound
Oct 2007

This is a view of the Great Temple Mound (Mound A) one doesn’t usually get, the images of it usually being from the walk to the mounds and great plaza on the other side, or to the front where the stairs were.

The Great Temple Mound is about 65 feet, six stories high.

I stayed atop the Great Temple Mound for a while, watching the clouds, then climbed Mound B, then, came around to this side for some pictures and was awestruck by the majesty of it and the arrangement of clouds above.

The white dots on the slopes are luminaries remaining from a night tour. Apparently they climbed the slope, which is normally off limits to individuals.

I'm reminded of Monty Python's "Is he dead, yet?"

“We are prone to think the Indian problem is solved. It is not. Generation after generation must pass away before the last drop of Osage blood in amalgamated lines shall be lost. The future of the remnant of this once great tribe, its influence in the middle west, is a story yet to be written. In the years gone by it was never the government that controlled it so much as the church in its broad reach of influence. What the Osages did or refrained from doing can oftenest be traced back to the character of the red man as shaped by the good influence of the white man’s civilization.”

Written by Margaret Hill McCarter in a sketch on the Catholic missionaries to the Osage, Mother Duchesne and Mother Bridget.

Pg. 284 “Life and Letters of Fathers Ponziglione, Schoenmakers and Other Early Jesuits at Osage Mission, Sketch of St. Francis’ Church, Life of Mother Bridget” by W.W. Graves 1916

Two of Frank Baum’s descendants apologize for his racism

Not many people are aware of the racism of Frank Baum, author of the much beloved “The Wizard of Oz”. I felt it important and devoted a few pages to it in Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World or In Search of the Great Penguin.

As Marty says, it’s refreshing news that a couple of Baum’s descendants have come forward to apoloize for two editorials he wrote on Sitting Bull and Wounded Knee, for his Saturday Pioneer newspaper which called for the extermination of American Indians.

Read in full here.

Children of ‘Oz’ apologize for racism
By David Kranz
dkranz@argusleader.com
August 21, 2006

Many generations of people have walked L. Frank Baum’s Yellow Brick Road, but two of his ancestors took another path through the Native American reservations of South Dakota last week, apologizing for him.

The issue is about two editorials Baum wrote in his Saturday Pioneer newspaper that he published during the three years he lived in Aberdeen during the 1890s. His commentary on Sitting Bull and Wounded Knee, written in 1890 and 1891, called for the extermination of Native Americans.

Two descendants of the author of “The Wizard of Oz,” Mac Hudson, a great-great-grandson from Tucson, Ariz., and Gita (Dorothy) Morena, a great-granddaughter from San Diego, came to the state accompanied by Sally Roesch Wagner, who did research for the Wounded Knee Survivors Association. She works for the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Baum was the son-in-law of Gage.

“We are here to apologize, to bear witness to the suffering to that kind of thinking and attitude and make reconciliation and begin healing. We felt called to do that, make a connection with the descendants’ survivors,” Morena said.

New Echota

New Echota
Light box enlargement

Emerson writing of the American Indian Removal of 1838 said, it was a “crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country; for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our Government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country, any more?”

New Echota was for a brief period of time the capital of the Cherokee Nation in Georgia. The attempt to protect Cherokee lands failing, they were rounded up by thousands of Federal soldiers, placed in stockades, then sent to Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears. Over 4000 individuals died.

The New Echota State Park, a memorial to the Cherokee people, was established in the early 1960s, and with its establishment laws had to be changed which had been implemented to prevent the return of the Cherokee and which had never been taken off the books.

My husband has Cherokee/Chahta ancestry. Earlier this month, on my husband’s birthday, we drove to New Echota to walk the streets of New Town with our son who has Cherokee/Chahta ancestry through his father, and Ioway ancestry through me.

We appeared to be the only ones there. Before starting on our unguided walk around the grounds we sat alone in the theater and watched a 17 minute movie on the history of New Echota. As the movie ended, hearing a clearing of throat that announced the entrance of another person, I expected the park ranger who’d ushered us into the theater but instead it was another park ranger. He looked eager. First he offered a bit of information on the surrounding exhibits, I think as part of a trial move to see how ready we were to listen, then given half an opportunity he started amending the history given in the movie (and he had done his history) telling us all about the suffering of the Cherokee and their ill treatment by Anglo-European settlers and how the generic histories aren’t accurate on the account. What he wanted us to leave with was a knowledge of how the Cherokee were and are a people, not just illustrations on the movie screen, and while he talked I wondered, it being North Georgia, how many visitors had at least some Cherokee ancestry. We didn’t mention anything about distant Cherokee ancestry or that we already knew much of the history he was relating. It’s something that’s just meaningful to us, and it was good to hear him talking with such passion on the subject.

It was late in the afternoon and the park closes at 5, so we had to disengage and get on with our tour, though it would have been nice to talk a little longer. By now there was another family, a young woman with two young children. Our courses sometimes intersected but did so without conversation. The mother wasn’t interested in saying hello but a girl H.o.p.’s age was obviously interested in H.o.p., smiling at him and as they walked past us once she did what she could to put herself on a collision course. H.o.p., interestingly, was bashful for the first time in his life as she waved and grinned, doing her best to almost collide with him in passing, to which he responded by barely acknowledging her, ducking his head down while also glancing up with a shy half-smile and stepping around her. Because he was forced to step around her as she wasn’t moving out of his way.

There’d been a brief drizzle before we arrived at the park, but not long after we began our walk, the thunders made an appearance in earnest, rumbling the air and easing the heat with a shower of respectable length and vigor. As many of the reconstructed buildings were closed (we could look through the open windows at the exhibits) we waited out the heavier parts of the showers on the porches. The earth roads that follow the plan of New Town became muddy, became swampy, so we kept to the grass. But H.o.p. was in his moccasins (mass-manufactured mocs that he simply wears because he’s got crazily sensitive feet and these feel good on his feet) and the mocs ended up saturated and caked with mud and his pants soaked up to the knee. Fortunately, as part of day trip equipment, we’d brought along a change of clothes for him. Fortunately, too, I got H.o.p. in some Keen sandals early this summer, or at least bought him some because they are thus far the only other shoe he’s tried on in years that he said felt good. He wouldn’t wear them all summer, stuck to his mocs, but several weeks ago had no option but to wear them, remembered how great they felt, and has at least not argued since against them. The mocs were, after a year’s worth of hard wear, done in by New Echota and I need to order him some more.

After our walk we returned to the museum but only did a hasty brush through as they were getting ready to close. I bought a small book on finger weaving, which I’ve tried before, self-taught. I may try making a sash for H.o.p.

I’ve got a few pics from New Echota and will put them up later but they’re not much.

150,000 square feet of asphalt at the foot of Bear Butte

A jackass by the name of Jay Allen has big plans for Bear Butte. He is going to expand his “world’s biggest bikers’ bar” right up to its foot.

The first phase of Sturgis County Line will have over 150,000 s.f. of asphalt for semi-tractor trailers, hand-picked vendors, motorcycle stunt riders and one hell-of-a-lot of parking spaces for the bikers.

The new Broken Spoke Saloon will be 22,500 s.f. of vintage bikes, memorabilia, ice cold beer (“long necks” here instead of “beer”?), kick-butt music & oh yea, hot hot women!

Just outside the bar we will feature 24-hour a day dining, from prime rib to killer hamburgers, great salads and a diverse variety of other foods and desserts. For those who want to put a little hair on their chest, there will be espresso as well as brewed coffee. Cigars from Mexico to South America will be featured as well by the cigar legend “Beaner”.

Just seconds east of the Broken Spoke Saloon we will provide camping with hot showers and clean toilet facilities. If time allows, there will be a limited supply of full R.V. hook-ups!

Now get this! A mile away from the Broken Spoke Saloon just south on 79 there will be an amphitheater that can support World Class Acts. You will enter on the Southwest side of Sturgis County Line and park at the base of a hill. With about a two-minute walk up, when you peak at the top, you’ll look down the other side and see only one man-made object surrounded by a natural bowl which is conducive to a great concert experience and mother nature as far as the eye can see. The object is a stage that has been constructed to meet the specifications of the biggest music acts known to mankind. The best thing of all is when you look over the top of the stage Bear Butte Mountain will be poised as if it were the crown of a king. However, its history has proven it to be much more special than that! Sturgis County Line Amphitheater will comfortably accommodate 30,000+ concert goers. We want our events at the Amphitheater to be open to as many rally goers and entertainers as possible so we will always keep ticket prices as low as we can. As for the Broken Spoke Saloon entertainment, we will continue to provide entertainment with no cover charge.

By the year 2007 Sturgis County Line will have more full R.V. hookups as well as several bars on the property. One will be called the “Builder’s Bar”. The bartenders will be hot, of course, and the bar will be like a museum with memorabilia from the most famous bike builders past and present. Live music will be played out in front on the large deck where you can soak up some rays or star gaze at night around a built-in fireplace.

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Wow, who can resist, hot hot women and hot bartenders, 150,000 square feet of asphalt, a 30,000 plus ampitheater…and if you’re not too blind drunk you can stagger the two-minute path up to the peak of Bear Butte and ogle “mother nature as far as the eye can see”.

Never mind that the Black Hills, by treaty, shouldn’t be in American-Anglo-European hands, and that it is considered sacred by American Indian nations of the area…this is just plain stupid, vulgar and disgusting.

The email I received states the above photo was taken March 3 2006 by Jay Red Hawk who lives near the base of Bear Butte with his family, and that a few days later workers came in to begin tearing away the grass.

Another email sent out by Andy Hollander states that the Meade County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing for the required Beer License for the campground on 4 April 2006 at 3:30 pm at the Meade County Courthouse.

If you live in the area show up and voice your oppositiion.

More information follows:

Bear Butte International Alliance

Bear Butte International Alliance is a group of volunteers whose primary
goal is to help maintain Bear Butte as an American Indian sacred site. Our
intent is to preserve and protect the integrity of this sanctuary for its
continued use for prayers and meditation, now and for future generations.

For further information, contact Nancy Kyle at (605) 720-0282, FAX:
605-720-2260 or write to:
Bear Butte International Alliance
PO Box 4232
Sturgis, SD 57785
or e-mail BB_B@rushmore.com

Check out our website for updated images of earth moving construction:

www.matopaha.org
www.bringbacktheway.com
_____

Jay Red Hawk and Anne White Hat

Jay and his family live at the base of Bear Butte and have many pictures of
the Construction / Destruction as it is progressing around the Butte and
additional information regarding the Butte and the Construction.

cetanduta at yahoo.com

(605) 347-4127

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Oh, of course, Jay Allen says he intends to use his venture–which he will call “Sacred Grounds”– to educate the public on American Indians.

During a tour of the property Friday morning, Allen said he is going to launch Sacred Grounds in 2006…

For the concert venue, he has picked out a site on the southeast corner of the property near the highway. The sweeping bowl-shaped slope makes the spot a natural amphitheater, and Bear Butte would serve as a dramatic backdrop.

He said that later, he wants to add smaller bars at various points on the property, along with a number of places to ride, walk and camp. He also talked about creating a tipi village, perhaps an 80-foot statue of an American Indian and a place to educate people about Indian culture.

Source

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Another article with more information at Indian Country Today.

Fuck Guenter Lewy

George Mason University’s “History News Network” (byline Because the Past is the Present, and the Future too) has published 11-22-04 the article “Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?” by Guenter Lewy.

You can read it yourself. I’m not going to go through it point by point.

I will give two brief excerpts:

The sorry tale continues in California. The area that in 1850 became admitted to the Union as the 31st state had once held an Indian population estimated at anywhere between 150,000 and 250,000. By the end of the 19th century, the number had dropped to 15,000. As elsewhere, disease was the single most important factor, although the state also witnessed an unusually large number of deliberate killings.

The discovery of gold in 1848 brought about a fundamental change in Indian-white relations. Whereas formerly Mexican ranchers had both exploited the Indians and provided them with a minimum of protection, the new immigrants, mostly young single males, exhibited animosity from the start, trespassing on Indian lands and often freely killing any who were in their way. An American officer wrote to his sister in 1860: “There never was a viler sort of men in the world than is congregated about these mines.”

What was true of miners was often true as well of newly arrived farmers. By the early 1850’s, whites in California outnumbered Indians by about two to one, and the lot of the natives, gradually forced into the least fertile parts of the territory, began to deteriorate rapidly. Many succumbed to starvation; others, desperate for food, went on the attack, stealing and killing livestock. Indian women who prostituted themselves to feed their families contributed to the demographic decline by removing themselves from the reproductive cycle. As a solution to the growing problem, the federal government sought to confine the Indians to reservations, but this was opposed both by the Indians themselves and by white ranchers fearing the loss of labor. Meanwhile, clashes multiplied.

Lewy absolves, throughout, of any genocidal intent, but you can visit the article and read that for yourself, how the reduction of a native population, such as the indigenous nations that were in what became California, to at least 1/10th of what they were, has everything to do with just plain old “You’ve got what I want and I’m taking it” and nothing to do with genocide. Here he even goes so far as to state the goverment decided to confine Indians to reservations for their own damned good. I mean, all those Indian women prostituting themselves, removing themselves from the reproductive cycle! Send them to the reservations where they can breed in peace, right?

Are you believing this? Following up the mention of Indian women prostituting themselves to feed families, these women themselves “removing” themselves from the reproductive cycle, with the necessity of putting the Indian on the reservation to save him or herself from him or herself? Tell me you find this just as bizarre as I do.

They fucking starved on the reservations. There are plenty of historic accounts of starvation on the reservations. And history states quite plainly the intent of the reservations was to give the white man the Indian’s land and to kill the Indian in the Indian, destroying Indian communities and ways of self-governing. There were even legislators who had the balls to say so. But Lewy says no it was because of starvation and Indian women were decimating the numbers of their tribes by prostituting themselves.

Fuck Lewy who ends in saying.

In the end, the sad fate of America’s Indians represents not a crime but a tragedy, involving an irreconcilable collision of cultures and values. Despite the efforts of well-meaning people in both camps, there existed no good solution to this clash. The Indians were not prepared to give up the nomadic life of the hunter for the sedentary life of the farmer. The new Americans, convinced of their cultural and racial superiority, were unwilling to grant the original inhabitants of the continent the vast preserve of land required by the Indians’ way of life. The consequence was a conflict in which there were few heroes, but which was far from a simple tale of hapless victims and merciless aggressors. To fling the charge of genocide at an entire society serves neither the interests of the Indians nor those of history.

Guess what word is never mentioned in Lewy’s article.

Treaty.

Never once does he mention the word Treaty. We’re supposed to believe all those Indians and Anglos were having it out over individual turf wars and that there were no protocals, that there were no laws telling the White Man, “No, you can not go here.”

That is one of the more glaring ommissions in Lewy’s fucked-up article. How many treaties were there? Well, fuck that. Forget about treaties.

Lewy acknowledges one Anglo atrocity after another, acknowledges decades-long slaughters which drove native populations into terrifying, catastrophic declie, but somehow that’s just what happens when hapless nomadic Indians meet up against superior Anglos. Plop in the grave you go.

Treaties? Who the fuck ever heard of treaties? Lewy writes,

Lastly we come to the wars on the Great Plains. Following the end of the Civil War, large waves of white migrants, arriving simultaneously from East and West, squeezed the Plains Indians between them. In response, the Indians attacked vulnerable white outposts; their “acts of devilish cruelty,” reported one officer on the scene, had “no parallel in savage warfare.” The trails west were in similar peril: in December 1866, an army detachment of 80 men was lured into an ambush on the Bozeman Trail, and all of the soldiers were killed.

To force the natives into submission, Generals Sherman and Sheridan, who for two decades after the Civil War commanded the Indian-fighting army units on the Plains, applied the same strategy they had used so successfully in their marches across Georgia and in the Shenandoah Valley. Unable to defeat the Indians on the open prairie, they pursued them to their winter camps, where numbing cold and heavy snows limited their mobility. There they destroyed the lodges and stores of food, a tactic that inevitably resulted in the deaths of women and children.

Genocide? These actions were almost certainly in conformity with the laws of war accepted at the time.

Bastard completely ignores the 1868 Great Sioux Treaty.

Even NARA has a page upon on the treaty.

In the spring of 1868 a conference was held at Fort Laramie, in present day Wyoming, that resulted in a treaty with the Sioux. This treaty was to bring peace between the whites and the Sioux who agreed to settle within the Black Hills reservation in the Dakota Territory.

The Black Hills of Dakota are sacred to the Sioux Indians. In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer’s detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.

Source: NARA. Go look it up yourself.

So, duh, those Indians fighting the soldiers on the Great Plains and the soldiers fighting them back, it was all “conformity with the laws of war” of the time.

Well Lewy there were treaties too, you bastard. I don’t have a clue who you are, Lewy and I’m not even going to bother to look it up right now. I don’t care if you’ve written a million and thousand good articles. Though I’m totally ignorant of who you are, I’m not going to bother right now to look you up. Because….

When it comes to American Indians, you are a bastard.

Next time, try writing into your history something about treaties and how the anglos were supposed to not go into certain areas, that they were supposed to be Indian lands, but the anglos decided screw that, we’ll take what we fucking want.

If you had mentioned the word treaty just once in your damned article I might have bothered to read the whole thing and all your excuses as to why there was no genocide or ethnocide involved.

With views like Lewy’s you better believe the past is the present and the future too. As in, “We’ll take what we want because we want it and afterwards we’ll plead cultural differences and ignore treaties and mark it all up to the indigenous population being y’know,just plain unable to keep up with the times!”

This article of Lewy’s is one of the highlighted articles in George Mason’s “History News Network Teacher’s Edition”.

High school history teachers: Help is on the way!

The History News Network (HNN) has developed a special Hot Topics edition designed to help you interest students in history.

Our Hot Topics page is ideal for teachers of history who are trying to show students how history is relevant to their lives. It’s also obviously ideal for social studies teachers.

Five minutes on our site and you’ll be able to build an entire class around almost any event in the news.

Most importantly, you’ll have instant access to reliable articles written by professional historians.

Source: Here, right here!

I don’t see where there is an exclusive section on American Indian history with other articles offering different viewpoints. Instead there are several articles on different subjects published a month.

Fucking irresponsible.

Anyway. Here it is! Feed it to your high school students! Reliable articles written by professional historians like this one in which you can assure your students that there was no genocide, no ethnocide, the Anglos and Indians fought it out just like in the Wild West Picture Shows, with no treaties at all!!!!!!! And the anglos won!

Go outside in your yard, pick up a handful of earth, and think about it

Maybe I should make a category for “What are we becoming? Yeah, well, where have we been?”

Trail of Tears may grow by 2,000 miles if study OK’d
By RICHARD POWELSON, powelsonr@shns.com
February 17, 2006

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service on Thursday endorsed a study that may add about 2,000 miles of land and water routes to the current Trail of Tears National Historic Trail through eastern Tennessee and portions of eight other states.

About 16,000 Cherokee Indians, mostly from homes in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, were forced from their homes in the winter of 1838-39 and required to walk about 800 miles to designated Indian Territory in what now is Oklahoma.

About 2,200 miles of their known land and water routes already are designated as a national historic trail. But historians and other experts have identified roughly 2,000 miles of other routes taken by Cherokees and suggest that those areas be included in the historic Trail of Tears.

More than 4,000 American Indians, primarily the elderly, frail and young, died during the trip in harsh conditions.

“The Department (of the Interior) recognizes the importance of telling the complete story of the Trail of Tears,” John Parsons, associate regional director of the Park Service, told the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks.

Chief Chadwick Smith of The Cherokee Nation said he welcomed the progress on the legislation.

Smith told the subcommittee that the march was “one of the darkest chapters of American history.”

Adding federal markers to all the trails and routes and showing them on maps will help educate new generations of the lessons of early American history involving Native Americans, Smith said.

“The United States government must not repeat the mistakes it made in the past,” he said. “It must honor its word and forever remember the inspiring story of the Cherokee spirit. At stake is the integrity of the United States and its word.”

The study, if approved by Congress, would cost about $175,000, the Park Service estimated. If the Park Service recommends adding the extra land and water routes, it would cost about $300,000 extra per year to manage the new area, Parsons said.

At the hearing, Smith unfurled a 10-foot-long, 3-foot-wide banner that was a copy of the original one signed by 17,000 Cherokees to protest their planned relocation from ancestral lands in the East to the Midwest.

Smith said part of the federal reason for the relocation likely was the discovery of gold on Indian land in Georgia.

The study is required in bills supported by Tennessee Sens. Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander, both Republicans, and U.S. Republican Reps. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga, John J. Duncan Jr. of Knoxville, and Democrats Lincoln Davis of Pall Mall, Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis and John Tanner of Union City.

Smith said one history lesson from the Trail of Tears march is: “The greed of individuals and the power of our U.S. government should never be used as instruments to defraud and rob a people of their homeland and government.”

Houoghton Mifflin gives the following:

The Choctaws were the first to be removed. In October 1831 approximately four thousand Choctaws started on foot, by wagon, or on horseback, then by steamboat, and finally overland to Oklahoma. The migration took place during the winter over snow-covered trails. Shelter was inadequate. Food was scarce. The Choctaws moved westward in groups of between five hundred and two thousand. Hundreds died. Entire families, and in some instances whole communities, perished of disease, exposure, exhaustion, and accidents. It was from the Choctaws’ experience that the name Trail of Tears was derived. A second mass removal took place in 1832, and another in 1833.

The Muskogee or Creek Nation followed the Choctaws, but not as peacefully. Following the signing of the Muskogee removal treaty in 1832, conservative factions of the tribe refused to leave their homeland. The result was the Creek War of 1836—37. Under the command of Winfield Scott, the American army captured more than fourteen thousand five hundred Creeks and marched them overland to Oklahoma. Two thousand five hundred made the trip in chains. No accurate count was made, but many died during the trip, and thirty-two hundred died of exposure and disease after their arrival.

The Chickasaws probably had the easiest removal. There were fewer tribal members, and better preparations were made for the trip. Nonetheless, they suffered. Observers were horrified as the Chickasaws marched past, and one remarked, “Money cannot compensate for the loss of what I have seen.” Five hundred died of smallpox alone.

The Cherokees suffered the most. Supporters of the removal, numbering about two thousand, moved west between 1835 and 1838 in relative ease, but about fourteen thousand others opposed removal. Georgia militia invaded the Cherokee Nation, destroying crops, burning homes, and scattering families. To control the militia and bring order to the removal process, federal troops rounded up the remaining Cherokees and herded them into concentration camps. Disease spread rapidly. Many died, and others were sick when they started westward in 1838. Eventually one-quarter of the tribe perished.

Deceived by government agents into signing a removal treaty, the Seminoles fought when federal authorities insisted they honor the fraudulent treaty. The result was the Second Seminole War. Fighting started in 1835 as the U.S. Army moved into Florida to remove the Seminoles. The last band of Seminoles were forced westward in chains in February 1859.

How lax can I be, referring to Houghton Mifflin. Right?

Yeah, I know, I’m a cranky old bitch, blogging on historical tidbits entirely irrelevant to present events. Right?

Hitler studied how America handled its indigenous population and thought America did a rip-roaring enough job he ought to emulate it.

The following is occasionally passed around in warning of oppression:

“When they came for the Jews I did nothing. When they came for the Slavs I did nothing. When they came for the Gypsies I did nothing. When they came for the handicapped I did nothing. When they came for the communists I did nothing. When they came for the homosexuals I did nothing. When they came for me there was no-one left to help me.”

So how come America doesn’t point to its own history? Why is it ignored and counted as ancient past? “Pay no attention to the forced removals and starvation on the reserves. That’s back in America’s dark ages! And it paved the way for democracy!” Close curtain.

Yeah, “Paving the way for democracy!” That’s what I ought to call the new category.

Make way! Highway coming through!

I know, I couldn’t be any more irrelevant.

I’m pretty pissed over the fact no one could be bothered to comment on the 1900 Otoe Noble County census. Hey, but I’d be just as pissed off if someone posted a Hallmark Greeting Card sentiment. I know I shouldn’t be pissed off. I should be cordial about it all. The nice thing is to be cordial about it all. I shouldn’t take it personally, and I don’t. But it does drive me sometimes seriously over the edge when I read, “What are we becoming?” and “Where have we been?” is expected to stand in the corner with a smile and a sign reading, “Here I am but don’t mind me! Things are totally all right since I got electricity! Give me a laptop and we’re completely square!” I’m a pissed off person. I was pissed off when I was 17. I’m 48 and even more pissed off. Maybe I should become the crazy old broad of the blogosphere, seeking down every instance of “What are we becoming?” and posting links to “Gee, I don’t know! Couldn’t possibly be More of the Same!”

Hey, yet another name for the new category? Which should I choose? “Yeah, well, where have we been?” “Couldn’t possibly be more of the same!” “Paving the way for democracy!”

“Put a fork in me! I’m done!” Obviously, I’m not there yet. Sorry.

When it comes down to it though, I don’t want any comments on this. Not a single god-damn one. I just want people to remember. And I mean really, really remember. Deep down in their bones remember.

I want everyone to go outside in their yard and take up a handful of earth and smell it and remember.

When you’re driving the interstate to work, look out over the landscape and remember.

Just a short 120 years ago, things were very different here. Just a short 140, 150, 180 years ago, things were very different here. “To the winner go the spoils” is America’s mantra concerning what it has done to indigenous populations. One nail’s flick beneath the “Oh, we’re so sorry, we’ll do better next time” gloss is an abiding “to the winner go the spoils, deal with it, sweetie” heart. Even if this blunt reality was admitted, then there’d be some honest ground upon which to stand and take a look at the future.

As Emerson said, Americans lost this country a long time ago. Lost it. Abandoned it when they stole it. Pick up the earth in your yard and think about it. A nation of homeless people.

A nation of homeless people.

What in the world is this country becoming?

People write in response to abuses in Iraq and the death and destruction there, what is this country becoming. And some write that if the media showed pictures on the television of the infants and children being killed, that the citizenry of America would rise up and put an end to the war, demand it.

I am cynical.

And it’s not comforting to be cynical about such matters. It’s not as if I want to be. I would prefer not to be cynical.

The following figures are from a 1900 census in OK Territory on the Otoe Reservation in Noble County, the number of children a woman had total and the number of those children surviving. These figures are from consecutive households on consecutive pages.

One thing I don’t want is anyone writing in the comments area talking about this being any kind of usual mortality rate for the era. It wasn’t. Compare these 1900 figures to white populations. It just didn’t happen. I have gone through scores of white censuses and you don’t get this kind of insane mortality.

Some may not view these figures from 1900 to be relevant to today. I do. I think we live with a myth of what we were. I do not find present aggressions to be out of the ordinary in respect of the past. If I give the figures from an Otoe census as opposed to another it’s because of being in part descended from the Ioway, which intermarried with the Otoe-Missouria. It’s not a matter of my ignoring other populations. I am simply familiar with these figures because I’ve gone through and transcribed them myself.

1 of 8 children surviving
1 of 10 children surviving
8 of 8 children surviving
2 of 3 children surviving
1 of 11 children surviving
2 of 4 children surviving
5 of 9 children surviving
3 of 7 children surviving
0 of 4 children survivng
2 of 10 children surviving
3 of 4 children surviving
2 of 12 children surviving
4 of 7 children surviving
3 of 5 children surviving
2 of 2 children surviving
4 of 14 children surviving
2 of 6 children surviving
5 of 10 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
6 of 8 children surviving
3 of 9 children surviving
3 of 5 children surviving
3 of 10 children surviving
4 of 6 children surviving
1 of 8 children surviving
1 of 3 children surviving
2 of 8 children surviving
2 of 6 chidlren suriviving
2 of 11 children surviving
1 of 2 children surviving
2 of 5 children surviving
4 of 10 children surviving?
3 of 10 children surviving
3 of 10 children surviving
3 of 10 children surviving
3 of 4 children surviving
5 of 11 children surviving
0 of 11 children surviving
1 of 4 children surviving
0 of 8 children surviving
illegible of 8 children surviving
1 of 2 children surviving
1 child surviving of illegible number
1 of 8 children surviving
5 of 12 children surviving
illegible of 7 children surviving
2 of 6 children surviving
2 of 7 children surviving
4 of 8 children surviving
2 of 4 children surviving
3 of 5 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
0 of 5 children surviving
2 of 3 children surviving
0 of 6 children surviving
0 of 5 chidlren surviving
2 of 2 children surviving
5 of 7 children surviving
1 of 6 children surviving
0 of 8 children surviving
0 of 6 children surviving
0 of 10 children surviving
2 of 4 children surviving
3 of 6 children surviving
0 of 9 children surviving
1 of 8 children surviving
3 of 5 children surviving
1 of 7 children surviving
4 of 9 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
2 of 3 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
0 of 1 children surviving
3 of 3 children surviving
3 of 4 children surviving

Dovetailing Mount Rushmore with everything, positively everything

I was reading again last night (this morning really), elsewhere, the tired plaint of what this country is becoming. It’s a well meaning plaint, facing pictures out of Iraq. But it is wrong.

Atrocity is nothing recent. It is nothing new. It’s just plain ol’ business as usual. And that’s the thing, that Americans have constantly deluded ourselves into believing it has been anything but.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. Because it bothers me, I mean really bothers me so much the angst over what we are becoming, when what America is flows with blithe and stupendous ease out of its past.

To quote myself quoting Emerson:

“The road to where we are now started a long time ago. Emerson writing of the American Indian Removal of 1838 said, it was a ‘crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country; for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our Government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country, any more?'”

The post from which that tidbit was taken

And of course we’ve quite a distinguished history down the same vein since then as well. Flagrancy.net has a nice timeline from the 1890s on and some marvelous quotes.

Such as:

“Lest this seem to be the bellicose pipedream of some dyspeptic desk soldier, let us remember that the military deal of our country has never been defensive warfare. Since the Revolution, only the United Kingdom has beaten our record for square miles of territory acquired by military conquest. Our exploits against the American Indian, against the Filipinos, the Mexicans, and against Spain are on a par with the campaigns of Genghis Khan, the Japanese in Manchuria and the African attack of Mussolini…”

Major General Smedley D. Butler, America’s Armed Forces: ‘In Time of Peace’, 1935.

As long as we don’t confront head on, without excuses (and there are always excuses), the genocide upon which this country was built, then it will always and ever be more of the same. I firmly believe this.

It is not a matter of what this country is becoming. It is a matter of what it has *ever* been. A supposed free and compassionate society built on the extermination and removal of hundreds of indigenous nations?

No. As Emerson said, it deprived us of country, quite literally.

H.o.p. is up looking through some history. He sees a cartoon of Mount Rushmore and asks me, “What’s that?” I ask him doesn’t he remember our trip out to South Dakota when he saw Mount Rushmore? He says no. But he did as recently as a year ago. No, he didn’t remember Mount Rushmore, but he remembered South Dakota. We didn’t go out to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. We went out to visit an individual at the Rosebud Reservation who labors for human rights, in particular Dakota-Lakota-Nakota rights. While visiting, we drove up into the Black Hills. We passed by Mount Rushmore.

The 4 presidential heads looming over the Black Hills don’t belong there. But they are. Now what? Who knows? But America’s history isn’t one that can be just shrugged off as, “Well, yeah, it was kind of bad, but it was for all the right reasons!”

We’ve an America full of people who weren’t alive during the when, who not only shrug off an inheritance of responsibility, but who are wide-eyed confused over it all because despite their belief in their liberal educations and compassion, in their heart of hearts their home, the America they recognize, is the golden myth of America on which they were raised. They don’t know just how much it didn’t exist, everything they were told. They don’t get it. I don’t know if they ever will get it. Not as long as people keep talking about what we are becoming.

Not an eloquent post. Not even a very good post. Not even a good post at all. It’s just another 2 plus 2 doesn’t equal 5 post. Today isn’t an aberration in American history. Doesn’t mean there aren’t good Americans. Doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of good Americans. But the myth has got to go. The “what are we becoming” has got to go. As long as we hear “what are we becoming” then that just means too many people don’t know where we’ve been.

The “what are we becoming” is helping to kill us all. It’s a matter of what have we been and how to fix it.

What happens when stupid white people doodle on their napkins at the dining table after Thanksgiving Dinner

Wow! Imagine yourself riding the Flaming Arrow Express monorail at the proposed Trail of Tears Park in Tennessee. Imagine yourself visiting the Sacred Ground Pavilion. Imagine yourself in the seats of the Great Spirit Arena. What an amazing memorial it will be honoring those American Indians who walked the Trail of Tears from the southeast to Oklahoma. Right? Right?

And when you’re tired of cavorting in the water park, on the way back to the hotel you can take a quiet moment and honor the Trail of Tears dead as proposed to be depicted in this mammoth bronze statue, Going Home, in which a caucasian angel carries to heaven a little American Indian girl, the American Indian mother on her knees clasping the gown of the angel.

Oh barf. Puke. Upchuck.

I mean, the cluelessness + ambition to profit off the sorrows of others is no question evident.

But a white Farah Fawcett angel carrying off the body of a dead (presumably Cherokee) child?

Reminds of when Hatuey was about to be torched at the stake for his rebellion and a priest offered him the opportunity to save his soul that he might rest in heaven and Hatuey asked if white men were in heaven and the priest said yes and Hatuey said forget it because white people were just too cruel to spend an etermity around them (paraphrasing).

This is so sick. Not just wrong but revoltingly twisted sick.

A news article gives a scant few details on it, including the supposed educational exhibits plus major hotel and spa and the indoor water park.

What happened is some stupid white people started doodling on their napkins at the dining table after Thanksgiving Dinner, one of them having recently been to visit the Four Big Heads in South Dakota had passed by the Crazy Horse monument, and another was feeling wistful about Elvis Presley in “It Happned at the World’s Fair”, and another knew how to draw really “lifelike” angels.

Update: Oh well, was more involved than dinner napkins and a Thanksgiving dinner. Looked up Coriell Specs and Designs, who did the drawings, and I came across a description for a “Coriell Studios Gallery of Christian Art – Christian artist Brad Coriell portrays God’s passion for us in his biblically-inspired sculptures, monuments, reliefs, murals, paintings and stage backdrops” and I thought, ahh, that sounds about right doesn’t it. Among Coriell’s clients are Walt Disney, Warner brothers, Sears, Sony, Audobon (etcentera etcetera), Colorado Cattlemans Association, Florida Cattlemans Association, Norman Rockwell Museum, U.S. Supreme Court, Ronald Reagan Library, John F. Kennedy Library, Lincoln Library, U.S. Governtment, Oral Roberts Ministry, Richard Roberts Ministries, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Kenneth Hagin Ministries etcetera etcetera, the Saudi and British Royal Families and Elton John and Charlton Heston and etcetera etcetera. This project hasn’t made it into anticipated projects on the website but it fits with what’s shown under the Art-Engineering part of the portfolio.

Update: I was being too generous. There’s nothing clueless about it. Pure unadulterated let’s-see-if-we-can-mine-this-one snake oil greed.