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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

The other day, I watched on HBO Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and was quite appalled and broken-hearted by the savage massacre committed by the soldiers, politicians, and most shockingly, the Christian citizens against the American Indian! Not even the children were spared!

Not only were the Indians exposed to all types of diseases, but were denied proper health medications when they contracted the diseases.

I've got some well read and intelligent LJ Friends, so this isn't NEW news for them as it is for me, since I always seem to be the last to know important stuff!

My questions are, why such cruelty, and in what manner have the American Indians been compensated today, for having had their land stolen from them? Am I wrong for feeling such antagonism for the exploitation of the American Indian by the settlers? Is it true what I saw in that movie? Please give me your thoughts.


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( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
Funny thing is that the compensations are not helping...google and read some about conditions on current reservations...esp pine ridge in SoDak.

In the 1960 the missouri river was dammed in SD, the reservation was part of the land that was going to be flooded....the BEST property on the reservation.....the tribe was negotiating a fair price for the land but congress decided that the tride was a ward of the governement and had not right to =negotiate.....so they gave them about 1/100th of the market value of the land...while on the other side of the river anglo farmers got full market value....this was 1960's

But back to you original question...how could people be so cruel? It is the same MO everytime there is a genocide on other...whether is was Hitler and jews.....or Custer and the Lakota....or blacks in the South....you propagate the idea that the accused are less HUMAN.

How could soldiers kill babies at wounded knee? I have in my hands (seriously) a elem. text book from 1871....which could have been the text used when those very soldiers were in school....

"The Indians were found in a savage state. They were the destitute of all that constitutes civilization. Their main delight was war.

(skip some text about Indians massacring pioneers....)

Americans are to-day fighting Indians in Arizaona and Montana, just as in the 17th century they contended with them for a strip of land along the Atlantic coast. It is not for us to say who is to blame. It is true that the whites were not always just true and prudent in their dealins with the Indians. But, apeart from that, there seems to be a hostility between the Indian character and civilization. And it is not to be doubted that in a few more years the Red Men wil dissappear from the American continent."
How would you feel if this is what you were taught in grade school?
Jun. 4th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
I'm not aware of a genocide against blacks in the south. At least not one that comes close to the scale of the other examples you listed.
Jun. 5th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
argeed, but the same metal games were used....calling men "bucks"

Jun. 5th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
Sounds a lot like thought crime.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
it worked for Hitler
Jun. 5th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
I wasn't aware we should emulate hitler.
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
the American Indian
Thank you for suggesting I Google the current conditions in Pine Ridge. What I found was appalling.

Most movies I've seen, the American Indian has been depicted as these barbaric savages who murder innocent people, then taking their scalps to add to their collection. Why was it permitted to interpret them in this way, when all along, it was a lie?
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: the American Indian
Because they were in the way of progress...as far as movies go....Wounded Knee was in the 1890's, so in the early years of hollywood they were not that far removed from the realities of the war.

On a side note, during WWII the US used a lot of propaganda about the brave Russian fighters who were holding back the Nazi's. When Hitler was done....many wanted to rollon into Russia to stop communisim....the problem was that the propiganda about "Brave Russian Freedom Fighters" was too fresh in the minds of the American public....the government had to work hard over the next few years reversing that mental image and groom the public to go to war against communism.

Look at our current situation.... changing "Suicide Bomber" to "Homicide Bomber" The war of words is VERY powerful.
Jun. 4th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
Native Americans get a monthly check from the goverment. Which is kinda a joke because the checks keep them under the poverty level. There are a few educational grants, but that is really it.

Non-Victors always get screwed, that is just the way of the world.
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
Bullshit, I'm Choctaw Nation, and I don't get a monthly check.
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Most of the Cherokee I know do. The checks are a joke though like a couple of hundred buxs and thats it.

Being Choctaw you should be getting some money from that Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma.
Jun. 4th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm sick of hearing about how the poor Indians lost their land and live in poverty and bla bla bla.

It's really simple. There was a land war and they lost. Now they can either integrate into the society that exists on top of where theirs used to be and quit boo-hooing about it, or they can sit and wallow in their own misery. These people need to get off the reservations, educate themselves and do something with their lives just like any other American. They've got just as much opportunity as anyone else, if not MORE. They should use it instead of sitting around crying about how they lost the war.

War is a horrible, bloody, gruesome thing... but it's a fact of life and it happened, and I'm glad it happened. Without war there is no progress and honestly, America is better off for it.

Besides, the United States has far done more for the people they went to war with over a century ago than any other country would have.
Jun. 5th, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
I took a class on the sociology of the Lakota...there are about a hundred reasons why they don't "get off the reservation" the main reason is that in their culture the Tiospaye (extended family) is important above everything else..to leave the Res means leaving the Tiospaye and thus abandoning all you were taught was important.

It would be like asking Americans to give up their cars...LOL....or the constitution.
Jun. 5th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
Indians were the last group in this country granted the right to vote...80 years ago, before the 1920's they were not considered citizens......that is relatively recent...

Jun. 7th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
Plus until the Civil Rights act of 64, Indians were not always allowed to vote. Like blacks they were beaten and intimidated and kept away from the voting booths. I know this used to happen in Texas.
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
"Without war there is no progress and honestly, America is better off for it."
Determinism is bullshit. History doesn't progress to some preset endgame.

"Besides, the United States has far done more for the people they went to war with over a century ago than any other country would have."

Sounds a lot like 'Oh, don't give me any of that racist crap! My Husband and I gave money to Colin Powell!' Buying indulgences doesn’t clean up squat.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
I’m sure you’d be boo-hooing too, if strangers entered your home and massacred your family, then took possession of all you owned, and yes, there was land, but it was their land, and they fought to keep it, but what chance did they have with their little tomahawks, and bow and arrows, against the soldier’s rifles and canons? ZERO!
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Re: boo-hooing
If that happened to me personally right now, yeah, I'd be bummed. Luckily for everyone involved, it happened many, many generations ago.

If it happened to my family a hundred and fifty years ago, I think I'd get over it and actually do something with my life rather than drinking and being pissed off and not cleaning the garbage off of my lawn.

No, they didn't have a chance. Thems the breaks. Like I said, it was a war and they lost. Sure, they had no chance of winning, but who said that every war has to be even sided? They were a primitive people standing in the way of progress I'm not saying that it's a happy thing or even the right thing, but it happened and it happened a long time ago and it was destined to happen eventually.

Sucks for them, but they still have a choice now. They've got an opportunity to make something of their lives and they're wasting it by crying over history.
Jun. 4th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
A Brief Summary
Conquerers came over, deemed them as savages, and claimed the land. Then the self appointed rulers of the land deemed it necessary to cleanse the land of savages to make way for modern civilization. I'm sure many tried to convert them to their beliefs, but of course many of the indians did not conform to the ways of the white man. So, they were deemed a threat to their authority. Thus, waged war and killed them like beasts.

As for the medical issues you refered to. Of course they didn't give them medical attention. They gave them blankets with small pox. Why would they treat them afterwards? They wanted to get rid of them.

And no, they haven't been repaid for the atrocities. And I don't think they ever will because it was considered events of war.

Also, people will argue their land wasn't stolen because they had no claim to the land. They just lived on it like animals live on land. Thus, they had no legal authority because they were animals -- i.e. savages.

As for exploitation... same thing. They were deemed as animals. (In their minds...) What's the difference between using an Ox or a "savage" to cultivate land when they're both deemed to be animals?

Jun. 4th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Btw, the animal angle that I refered to above is why I'm so against teaching kids that they're animals in public schools. We're more than just animals.
Jun. 4th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Ya Wounded Knee a prime example of why we are not Animals!!!
Animals could never be so cruel or evil and then find away to justify what they did.
Jun. 5th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
Lions will eat their own or kill another lion's cub(s).
Bottlenose dolphins will kill youngens as well.

It's called infanticide.

Dolphins have been seen killing porpoises.

So animals aren't beyond cruelty.

Jun. 5th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
Animals never kill out of Hate and by what you say then we must be Animals!!!=o)
Jun. 5th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
Oh? Animals don't have emotions now? Yeah... I have to call BS on that. Not to mention that knowing the mental state of an animal is nearly impossible.

And once again, just because I showed the flaw(s) in your conjecture doesn't mean it automatically defaults to the opposing idea. In this case, that we're animals.

So NO! By what YOU say and by what YOU think, we're animals. Except, you didn't necessarily express that because you were trying to be funny by the use of irony and sarcasm. Basically, playing on the idea that animals are morally superior than us because you thought animals are incapable of cruelty. But that is a fallacy.

As for me, I will always think we are something other than animals.
Jun. 5th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC)
Re: *sigh*
Don't put words in my mouth! You like doing that and as I can see you are not around animals much are you? They are my life. And I will not or do I have the time to teach you any thing about them right now and I tried to Make some fun here because you are on some kind of crusade here this is just LJ DAVE! And people can be evil but animals are not! So in your mind that makes us better humm. Now get in the last word because you think that means that you have proved some thing, how sorry I am for you Dave
Have a good night!
Jun. 5th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
Re: *sigh*
I've proved that I can push your buttons. xD

(Not that, that was my intentions. But, you sure do make it easy.)

Bottlenose dolphins practicing their strikes on porpoises in order to learn how to kill infinite dolphins is not evil at all! Nooo! Not at all! Animals are not capable of acts that could be considered evil! /sarcasm

Granted animals do not have the capacity of evil that we do, but they're definitely capable of it as I just express above.

So sorry to say, animals aren't as innocent and precious as you make them out to be. They just can't be evil to us because we have authority over them.

And thank you for the last word. That was nice of you. :D

Sweet dreams. :)
Jun. 5th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: *sigh*
*shakes Head* Oh you just will never get it
and I did have Sweet dreams. :) I dreamed of Savanah all night long :o))))
Jun. 5th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re: *sigh*
No... I get it. I just don't share your perspective.
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
Lions and Hyenas seem to hate one another and seem to take great joy in killing one another. So I think there are animals who like to kill one another.
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
It is all about survival and instinct not like or joy
But Predators do kill! If they did not then it would
Mean that they would die :o)
Some people on the other hand take joy out of the pain
of other living things.
You work in a prison so I do not have to tell you this.
You see it first hand every day.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
completely different context of animal..biologically we are animals...socially we are very different...that is why we have social studies...

Students are able to understand that.
Jun. 5th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, and I have a serious problem with that because all Social Studies teaches is that we behave differently than the other animals in the animal kingdom, and it goes on to show the development of our species. So Social Studies doesn't teach that we're more than just animals. It [plus Biology] just shows we're ontop of the food chain because we govern the land and have done so for ages. There's no philosophy being taught as to why that might be except by that which is posed by Humanitarian Seculurism -- which simply states humans are the supreme authority in our existence. And that is a gross assumption.

Furthermore, such idealism lays grounds for dictatorships, monarchies, olagarchies, plutocracies, and so on. And justification for such idealism comes from scientific assumptions -- like alpha and beta males.

So do certain people have the right to rule over others because their "scientific" assumptions deem them to be genetically superior?

No. But, that's what's being taught. In other words, there's no other type of classification being taught in US public schools other than that which states humans are animals.
Jun. 4th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
War kind of sucks, doesn't it?

But first, BM@WK was a hack job on history. There, it's said. Let's go back to the way things were.

You can take a look at any number of civilizations that have been beaten back and effectively conquered, and you'll see that people are alike all over. Ireland comes to mind as one example. Have you ever heard the expression "beyond the pale"? It's a direct reference to a time when the English ruled Ireland. There was a sort of "line of demarcation" that showed where English colonization ended that they called "The Pale". Anything that wasn't English was deemed savage and distinctly uncivilized. Thus everything not colonized, everything uncivilized, everything Irish... was beyond the Pale.

Long story short, people are extremely crappy to each other a lot of the time. The Native American tribes were that way toward each other until the Europeans arrived, and a lot of settlers were that way toward the Natives.
Jun. 4th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
Suprised? Did you just arrivve to the US?

all kidding aside, I think those casinos are a good start. I'd love to be able to open one up on my block..

History is written by the winners,..not a fan of genocide but the natives lost this country fair and square.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
This country was built on ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, plain and simple. Anglos in this country justified it by the religious, racial, and cultural superiority they attributed to themselves.

Similar things happened in all New World countries, either flat out ethnic cleansing or total domination of the indigenous peoples, justified by European superiority. These issues are still alive and well today, just look at the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, the underlying cause of Chavez's rise in Venezuela, Evo Morales election in Bolivia, the displacement of indigenous people in the Amazon to make way for farming, ranching and timber interests, etc.

As far as compensation in this country, the closest thing to compensation many tribes have gotten is the recent rise in Indian casinos based on their unique legal status. Of the 10 poorest counties in America, 8 are predominantly Native and largely comprised of reservations.
Jun. 5th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
A lot of the comments indicate that most people still believe that the indigenous tribes were all nomads or semi nomadic, which just isn’t the reality. It just happens that the memorable westerns were based in the Dakotas, I guess. Actually, from Ohio down to Mississippi, agriculture-based “civilized” tribes were common. I descend from the Choctaw in Mississippi, and my ancestors were marched to the Oklahoma Territory in 1832. Contrary to the views of the condescending commentators, we don't have any reservation land, and are integrated into the mainstream of society. I live two miles from a Choctaw casino, and I can tell you first-hand I don't get a penny of the money from that in the form of welfare check or something like that.

The tribal leaders do build good institutions with the money they raise, though. They have a HUD like housing project that builds houses better than HUB homes. I was born in a Choctaw hospital. I got free healthcare in a Choctaw clinic when I was a kid. There's a fodd program that gives out perishables. The US federal government doesn’t have much to do with it anymore. The funds come from bingo, casinos, and the gas stations and smoke shops the tribe runs while being exempt from state and national taxes.

Why does the tribe get tax exemption? Not over any sort of affirmative action or white guilt program, as most will have believe, but because of a more familiar legal status. The Choctaw Nation, after all these years, never actually gave up it’s national sovereignty. The federal government exempts the native tribes for the same reason they wouldn't tax the Iranian Shah while he was exhiled. He was a sovereign.
Jun. 5th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
Good info.

And I don't know if you meant to or not, but you even showed that citizens of the US are not sovereign individuals. They are in fact owned/claimed by the US Federal Government.

Another reason as to why war was waged against the indigenous people. They wouldn't give up their sovereignty.
Jun. 5th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
There is a good movie...I think it is called "The Mission"

Anyway the story is this...in S America people are dealing in slave trade (Spanish Colonial times) but missionaries come in and start converting the natives to Catholics.....the slave traders are losing business because you can't use Christians as slaves.

They call on the Vatican, and manage to get the Church to declare that the natives have no soul and thus are not Christians....in an instant all these people who believed in the church suddenly become slaves again.
Jun. 5th, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
Where's the buffalo?
Jun. 5th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Buffalo Nation
Where are the Buffalo? I didn't know until I read this, and it made me sick!

"The commercial killers, however, weren't the only ones shooting bison. Train companies offered tourists the chance to shoot buffalo from the windows of their coaches, pausing only when they ran out of ammunition or the gun's barrel became too hot. There were even buffalo killing contests. In one, a Kansan set a record by killing 120 bison in just 40 minutes. "Buffalo" Bill Cody, hired to slaughter the animals, killed more than 4,000 buffalo in just two years.

One general believed that buffalo hunters "did more to defeat the Indian nations in a few years than soldiers did in 50." By 1880, the slaughter was almost over. Where millions of buffalo once roamed, only a few thousand animals remained. Soon, their numbers dwindled, with the largest wild herd -- just a few hundred animals -- sheltered in the isolated valleys of the newly created Yellowstone National Park."

Jun. 5th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Little one, google "Trail of Tears" one more situation where a young America truly disgraced itself.

What is truly wonderful though is the honor of the "Indian" Nations, Regardless what the US government did to them through out the history of the U.S. in 1940's the Navajo's stepped forward to serve in the U.S Marines as code talkers. They served admirably, and the code was never broken by the Japanese.

If you ever desire to learn more about the 'Medicine' please let me know, I can send you the names of a number of books that I am sure you will love. The one I am reading now, "Walking with Grandfather" the Wisdom of Lakota Elders I have no doubt you would enjoy.

Jun. 5th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears? I just don't know if I can handle shedding more tears of my own after hunting and reading whatever I've found about the dispicable massacre at Wounded Knee!

I will google Trail of Tears, and prepare myself for more heartbreak over the inexcusable treatment of the American Indian!

Yes, please send me the names of those books you have mentioned.

Jun. 7th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Re: Trail of Tears
Here are some wonderful books you might enjoy

Honoring the Medicine by Kenneth Cohen

Native North America by Larry J. Zimmerman

Walking with Grandfather (the Wisdom of the lakota Elders)
by Joseph M Marshall III

Now when you are ready to cry a bunch more, You need to read
Tuesday's with Morrie by Mitch Albom This last one is truly a celebration of life... Absolutely Wonderful when you finish it you will feel so wonderful about yourself and those around you at the Nursing Home you go to often.

I recommend all of them. Enjoy!
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
I didn't see that show on HBO. But I do know how badly the Indians were treated, since day one. Europeans stole their land, raped their women and generally acted like Attila the Hun to the Indians. The general attitude was the Indians are godless savages so we can do anything we want to them. I think a lot of so called Christians back then were shocked to end up at Hell's seven gates.
Jun. 7th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you missed it, because it was excellent. Hopefully they'll run it again.

I'm not surprised one bit that many of those who treated as they did, were Christians. May they rot in hell!
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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