Monday, December 30, 2013

December 29, 1890

Shame on me for missing this yesterday.

Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money:

123 years ago today, on December 29, 1890, the United States Army massacred between 150 and 300 Lakota at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, effectively ending the active military engagements of the wars of American conquest. We might not even call Wounded Knee a military engagement given that this was Lakota (and other Plains tribes) resistance as apocalyptic religious movement rather than warfare. But some Lakota did have guns and about 25 U.S. soldiers were killed.

Of course, that was hardly the last violence committed against Native Americans, including the allotment of their land, corruption at the BIA, Indian schools and the suppression of native religions and languages, the stealing of natural resources, and termination in the 1950s. Take a moment to remember how our nation was built on the wanton murder of indigenous peoples.
When I was in high school, it was a rite of passage to read Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, especially after the AIM takeover of the site 40 years ago. If you haven't read it, do it now. Drone strikes and the NSA spying will not seem so surprising afterwards.

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