Thursday, August 24, 2017

Newspaper in town, county named for war criminal howls foul

Oh, the hypocrisy!
Watch your backsides, George and Thomas! You, too, Roosevelt and Lincoln. You must certainly have been racists in the past because you were white men and only white men are racists. There are youthful, intolerant lib zealots out there today who are gunning for you. The four faces on Mount Rushmore should be safe for now, but we’re not so sure about the three Confederate war figures carved at Stone Mountain in Georgia. It is now owned by the state. [Custer County Chronicle]
South Dakota is home to numerous sculptures that idolize genocide visited upon American Indians.

Mount Rushmore is the state's premier example of racist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Calling him a rapist some twitter accounts are calling for the removal of Rapid City's statue of Bill Clinton. Fact is: most of the downtown statuary depict slave owners and figures in history that ordered the murders of Natives.

Thomas Jefferson kept Sally Hemings as a sex slave fathering her six children born after the death of his wife, Martha Jefferson. If alive today he'd be surprised there were any American Indians surviving at all.

Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren drove thousands from their lands and to their deaths over the Trail of Tears. Abraham Lincoln hanged thirty eight Dakota just for spite.

Theodore Roosevelt said, "the only good Indians are the dead Indians."

George Custer, Phil Sheridan, George Crook and William Harney all committed crimes against humanity yet their names still besmirch numerous government and geographical features.

Revisionist history turned the Wounded Knee Massacre into a battle where soldiers were awarded medals of honor then a peak or town in the Black Hills and a national forest were named after a murderer like George Armstrong Custer. Crook City near Whitewood and Crook's Tower, one of the 7000 footers in the Black Hills, were named after a war criminal.

In the early days of South Dakota statehood Indian agents embezzled federal funds meant for tribal nations, just like James McLaughlin did.

Little has changed.

Until he allegedly killed his family and himself Scott Westerhuis stole from an American Indian education fund since Mike Rounds was governor.

Habitat destruction, watershed ruination, native species extirpation, rampant ecocide, statewide corruption: this is today's South Dakota.

This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for at least twenty years. It is the opinion of this blog now that the mountain is named for Black Elk it should be in the Lakota language: loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

It's not that Black Elk Peak has been renamed for a Lakota holy man that irks earth haters like John Thune, Denny Daugaard and Pat Powers it's that the mountain has been named after a Lakota holy man who rebuked the Roman Church.

No doubt frequent contributor to Pat's Pissoir, Troy Jones, is perfectly happy if the names Stalingrad and Rhodesia were still in practical use.
The story of Black Elk is fraught with historical myth making as historians and academics have questioned the accuracy of John Neihardt’s account in his book “Black Elk Speaks”. Indeed the book is not only a poor historical text but it is also a disputable biography. Neihardt is not only guilty of constructing a “noble savage” caricature of Black Elk and North American Indians but also of engaging in exaggerations and alterations to the translations of his notes to make the story more palatable to white and European markets. The book is as much about Neihardt as it about Black Elk and it should be read in the same context as a novel would be. [comment, Jon Lauck, South Dakota Republican Party]
Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) returned to Lakota ways after he realized the Roman Church was committing crimes against his people.
Damian Costello's monograph on Black Elk, the Oglala holy man, is the latest in a growing number of scholarly contributions to the controversial topic of Black Elk's religious identity. Was Black Elk truly a wicasta wakan, a holy man, who only became a Catholic convert as a result of the colonial pressures endemic to the reservation system? Or was Black Elk actually a devout catechist, whose "Great Vision" was unnecessarily bereft of its Christian message because John G. Neihardt desired a romanticized and non-Christian Indian narrative? First, tribal nations such as the Lakota are still under the yoke of colonialism and, as such, are engaged in a process of decolonization rather than postcolonialism. Second, taking [Lamin] Sanneh's perspective and arbitrarily applying it to early twentieth-century Lakota history only serves as a way of making excuses for historic wrongs that both Protestant and Catholic churches committed against the Lakota people. [excerpt, Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism (review)]
After leading the charge on Black Elk Peak Basil Braveheart has turned his sights on Battle Mountain in Fall River County.

Get Custer's name off a South Dakota state park, a mountain, a county and a town? What a great idea!

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

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