With the NFL Washington Redskins coming to New Orleans to play our Saints this weekend, you might think that this blog is about them and the game.
You would be wrong.
As any visitor to the Airlift Productions Studios (and quite a few ex-loves) through the years would attest, my sympathies for the wrongs perpetrated against America’s first people run strong and deep.
While my skin may be white, my heart beats pure red.
And as the white man today wrestles with petty politics, tax reform, retirement plans, NFL players disrespect for the flag, and sexual harassment in the workplace, few have a clue.
A clue as to the not-so-distant genocide and ethnic cleansing of one of the most noble, resourceful, courageous, and spiritual cultures to ever inhabit this ‘pale blue dot’.
What an incredibly painful price the tribes paid so the white man could today surf the internet on his smart phone, shop at Sears on Sunday, and wax his BMW in the driveway.
Manifest destiny? Really?
While Americans talk of jingoistic pride, heritage, and protection for our “borders”, are you aware that, by conservative estimates, historians claim the Cherokee people inhabited what we call the mountains of the Carolinas for over 15, 000 years?
Before the time of Jesus of Nazareth, before King David & Solomon sat on the thrones of Jerusalem, before the time of father Abraham.
Sitting Bull, the holy man of the Hunkpapa Sioux; Black Elk, the mystic of the Ogalala Sioux; Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce; Geronimo, Cochise, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud… round-up the ‘usual suspects’.
And the United States military sure did.
And for what?
“They made us more promises than we can remember. But they only kept but one. They promised to take our land. And they took it.” ~ Chief Red Cloud.
Do you know what General George Armstrong Custer’s nickname was to the Ogalala/Hunkpapa Sioux?
“Baby Killer”, because General Custer (dead last in his class at West Point, and first class a–hole) believed that if he put the “little bastards” to the sword as babies, he’d never have to deal with them as adults!
Oh, and I hear you, “But this is all history, Micheal.”
Yes, and a history where all the books have all been written by all those who hanged, raped, mutilated, tortured, and slaughtered heroes.
American History books call it “the Battle of Wounded Knee” in 1890… two-hundred-fifty unarmed Lakota mostly women and children dead in the last ‘battle’ of the Indian wars.
And at this point in history (“his story”/and you’d think the white man would be more enlightened) Thomas Alva Edison (by 1878) already had patented the phonograph.
Today? While the white man’s headlines are full of political pissing, sex scandals, and National Football League controversies – The Tribes, collectively, have the highest rate of alcoholism and suicide of any minority in these great United States.
Allow me to close with one more touch of irony.
Today, in 2017, America goes to war in Apache and Kiowa helicopters… fires Tomahawk missiles from its aircraft carriers… screams “Geronimo” as it jumps out of its planes … and closes its national anthem at every 4th of July firework festivity & NFL game with the words, “… and the Home of the Brave!”
Webster’s dictionary defines the word “brave” as “ready to face and endure danger or pain” …. AND as … “an American Indian warrior”.
So, Pray for the USA.
Oh, and I almost forgot … Geaux Saints! And a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.
- Micheal G. Ziants