The Sand Creek Massacre is one of the most horrific events in US history, and the legacies of the massacre remain to this day. If you live in the US and don’t know about Sand Creek, take the time to learn—as members of the US, this is your history too (I don’t wanna hear shit about how your family wasn’t in the country yet, your ancestors weren’t involved, you would never do anything racist, etc—this is a massacre of innocent women and children that facilitated the creation of the state of Colorado, and by proxy, the expansion of the US through the American West—the wealth, land, and power of the contemporary US has been built in part on the legacy of Sand Creek).
In the months immediately before the massacre, freight from the east to Denver was largely at a standstill as Indians disrupted travel in an attempt to ward off further intrusion. Flour was $45 a sack and other prices skyrocketed, adding to the hysteria fanned by Indian-war proponents. Another impetus to violence, the scalped remains of a family of four from near Denver were brought to the city for display, although whether they were killed by Indians has been disputed.
Before Sand Creek, the Cheyenne were still recovering from an 1849 cholera epidemic that killed nearly half the tribe, and they were receiving conflicting signals from the U.S. Army. Although Army Col. John Chivington and Territorial Gov. John Evans did not accept Indians’ commitments to peace, Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle nevertheless agreed to a camp at Sand Creek believing he had a promise of safety from Army Major Edward Wynkoop…Although the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 promised vast lands to the Arapaho and Cheyenne to discourage warfare, the pressure of white encroachment resulted in a new treaty and tribal anger about the much smaller reservation that resulted.
On November 29, 1864, Cheyenne Chief White Antelope sang his death song as some 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne were massacred by Colorado Volunteers of the U.S. Army at Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. The Indians had been promised safety by the military and some even gathered futilely under the Stars and Stripes hoisted at the encampment above a white flag of peace.
In a bitterly cold dawn, about 700 members of the Third Regiment of Colorado Volunteers rode through the camp in a sneak attack, shooting mostly women, children and elderly in an hours-long frenzy. Many of the victims’ bodies were mutilated by soldiers—some of them said to be drunk—and disfigured remains were paraded through the streets of Denver to jubilation and applause.
The massacre was truly grotesque, not just because of the high death toll, but because of the nature of the violence, which included widespread rape, torture, and execution-style killings. Lt Silas Soule, who participated in the massacre, described it in a letter to a superior:
The massacre lasted six or eight hours…it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized….They were all scalped, and as high as a half a dozen [scalps] taken from one head. They were all horriby mutilated…You could think it impossible for white men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they did there, but every word I have told you is the truth, which they do not deny.
In the years that followed, many of the survivors of Sand Creek joined the Indian Wars, fighting alongside their Northern relatives and the Lakota. Many of the Cheyenne woman warriors joined the ranks after seeing or experiencing sexual violence during Sand Creek. Mochi, for example, was 24 when she saw a US soldier shoot her mother in the head; another soldier attempted to rape her, and she shot him, escaped the massacre, and went on to fight in battles against the US military for 11 years, before being imprisoned as the only formal Native woman prisoner of war in US history.
Body parts (particularly scalps, genitalia, breasts, hands, and feet) taken from the massacre site were extremely popular trinkets to buy, and were often kept on display in bars, stores, and household mantles. Cradleboards were sold with baby remains still inside, moccasin sets stuffed with rotting feet. These pieces were traded all across the country, and later collected by museums, who used to boast of their displays of such items (body parts were also taken at Washita, Wounded Knee, and most other smaller massacres). Many of these items have not yet been repatriated, and museums continue to create offensive displays of the massacre, that legitimate US military action.
Survivors were promised reparations from the US government, and their descendants continue to pursue them, though as of yet, they have not been paid. Cheyenne & Arapaho treaty rights to land on their ancestral territories in Colorado and Wyoming continue to be violated; Cheyennes & Arapahos in the region were removed to Oklahoma, where we remain. In Oklahoma, treaty rights were once again ignored, and the Dawes Act effectively obliterated the Oklahoma tribal land-base. In Oklahoma, Cheyennes & Arapahos survived more massacres, as well as widespread starvation and preventable disease (from being forced to live on inadequate rations and in deplorable conditions). While there are large Cheyenne & Arapaho communities, we have yet to be able to return to our homelands as a tribe.
Haiti was the richest of France’s colonies at one point.
What few people mention is that before Haiti became the only colony to win its independence via a slave revolt, its worth was tied up in Black bodies. Haiti’s wealth was enslaved human beings.
France forced Haiti to pay the equivalent of France’s entire annual budget before recognising Haitian independence, equivalent to $21 billion in 2010 dollars. Since the first day Haiti was recognised as a country, it has been in debt… a debt to slave-owners by former slaves, for their own worth.
Haiti only paid off that ‘debt’ in 1937, by taking out loans from the US..so of course it didn’t actually get out from under that debt at all. And now the Paris Club manages that debt.
So for all the people disingenuously wondering why Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, go ahead and ask when the world is going to demand that France pay reparations to Haiti instead of allowing this shit to stand.
just Googling around, found some interesting stuff, such as this article Are Kids Today Racist? on Psychology Today. They started it off by pointing out that nearly all the white mothers involved in their research study (what about dads, hey?) raised their kids using a “color blind” approach (in this case, basically, not mentioning or discussing race).
Now you might be asking yourself—why not avoid talking about race—after all most of us don’t want our children obsessing with the concept. Well there are many reasons, but one of the most persuasive to me has been recent work showing that children often come to their own (sometimes worrying) conclusions about race and if they think they can’t discuss them with us, then these theories do not get checked. After all, children are smart and inquisitive and as such are trying to understand the world around them. As they do so, they often create explanations for why things are the way they are.
they also point out an example of this occurring:
Another study by Dr. Bigler demonstrated how children’s logic in trying to understand race can go awry. In a study conducted in 2006 (published in 2008) before Obama was a candidate for president, Bigler and herteam asked a group of 5-10 year old children why they thought all 43 presidents to date were White. She offered possible explanations and a whopping 26% of children endorsed the statement that Blacks could not be president because it was presently (in 2006) illegal!
It’s doubtful anyone taught their children that it was illegal in 2006 for a Black person to be president, however children, reasonably I might add, searched the world for a possible reason why this would happen. How could 43 presidents in a row all be from the same racial background?! Certainly illegality would explain such a disparity. Thus not talking about race with your kids can result in surprisingly problematic views about race.
Monday, November 18, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
On 11/15/2013 at a football game at McAdory High School, a sign was displayed that made reference to the “Trail of Tears” in which Native Americans were subjected to horrific atrocities. This was not condoned by the school administration, the Jefferson County Board of Education or the community. The person who would normally be responsible for approving such signs is out on maternity leave, and I take full responsibility that arrangements were not made to have the signs pre-approved before the ballgame. Please accept our sincere apologies to the Native American people and to anyone who was offended by the reference to an event that is a stain on our nation’s past forever.
In response to the “bust thru” sign used by McAdory High School during the Round 2 State Play-Off game versus Pinson Valley High School, all social studies and history teachers will re-teach and/or review units concerning Native American displacement following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
jane elliot, a white woman, said “if you want to see a decrease in the level of racism in your society, the first you thing you have to do is let white people find out how it feels to be on the receiving end of it”
and it just made me think of all the white people who are like “you can’t fight racism by being racist to white people”
From Lorde to Macklemore, it’s a sentiment that’s galling for its popularity: white artists need to stop using the wealth signifiers of rap music to gesture at their self-important “anti-consumerism.” What Allen misses as she washes rims in a kitchen decorated only with bottles of champagne is that it’s not anti-consumerism when it only targets one type of consumer.
Rap owns a unique history soundtracking the triumph of financial success in a country that long barred black Americans from that success. It shouldn’t be an opportunity for white artists to wax superior. Beyond poor taste, it’s the myopia of latent racism that’s more anxious about gold chains on a rapper than an Armani tie on a hedge fund analyst.
Similarly, Lily Allen’s response to sexist industry demands for thinness becomes entirely ineffectual when it lashes out against women who succeed despite those demands. Allen is not savily critiquing the world of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus, she’s resentfully bemoaning not getting to enjoy the same success.
“Hard Out Here” is the opposite of Mileywave. Instead of using black women as props to further her career, Allen blames them for its stagnation. In full-sleeved dresses Allen mocks her inability to twerk amidst women of color in body suits who launch into exaggerated dance moves, licking their hands and then rubbing their crotch. Her older white male manager tries to get to her to mimic them. Meanwhile she sings, “Don’t need to shake my ass for you/‘Cause I’ve got a brain.” Cut to black women shaking their ass, so much for sisterly solidarity."