Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"

The hypocrisy of America knows no bounds! I grew up hearing endless heroic stories about my grandfather, William (Avraham) Gerstman, who founded the first minyan in Phonenix Arizona in the 1920's. My grandfather also imported the first shochet and convinced other Jews to move to his city. He had a cross burnt on his lawn by the KKK, but that did not deter him. However, that account is for another post, not this one!

For the 10 years he worked as an attorney in Phoenix before returning to N.Y. State, my Grandfather fought tirelessly without financial recompense for the Navajo and Sioux indians of Arizona who endured horrific deprivation and persecution due to their race. These "American Indians" suffered much worse than non-Native Americans during the years of the Great Depression. I am cutting and pasting an article below that describes a book I read over 38 years ago but have never forgotten. It shattered (by use of official documentation) the myth of the "savage" Indians. Indeed, the American Army in the service of the American government systematically strived to uproot and slaughter as many "savages" as they possibly could. They systematically broke treaties, and initiated battles and massacres.

Of course, this shameful part of American history is NOT part of the standard curriculum studied in American history lessons. (At least it wasn't in my day!) Now, we are being told by a bombastic, egotistical know-it-all called Obama where to build and not build our homes.

As a sidebar, I would just like to mention that until this day the percentage of Native Americans who are unemployed and live in poverty is far higher than that of other groups in the U.S.A. The "Indians" were herded like cattle into reservations far from their ancestral homes and far from the place where their religion required them to live. (Places considered holy where previous generations were buried.)

Therefore, I'd like to shove the book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" down the throats of Obama, Carter, Clinton and their entire entourage while shrieking at them, "Hey! Get real! READ THIS! And you have the gall to complain about OUR treatment of "Palestinians?" (as if there was such a thing as palestinians.)

Do a google search on the "Cherokee Trail of Tears." For those whose grandfather did not teach them about this shameful part of American history please read below:

1838
May 23 Deadline for voluntary removal. Georgia Guard had begun round-up 5 days earlier. U. S. forces under command of Winfield Scott begin roundup in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina. Cherokee are herded into "forts," gradually making their way north to the Cherokee Agency (Rattlesnake Springs) or Ross's Landing in southeastern Tennessee. This is generally recognized as the beginning of The Cherokee Trail of Tears

(Regarding the book, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.")

This landmark book—which incorporated a number of eyewitness accounts and official records—offered a scathing indictment of the U.S. politicians, soldiers, and citizens who colonized the American West. Focusing mainly on the thirty-year span from 1860 to 1890, the book was the first account of the time period told from the Native-American point of view. It demonstrated that whites instigated the great majority of the conflicts between Native Americans and themselves. Brown began searching for the facts about Native Americans after he met several as a child and had a hard time believing the myths about their savagery that were popular among white people.Brown's book depicted, in detail, the U.S. government's attempt to acquire Native Americans' land by using a mix of threats, deception, and murder. In addition, the book showed the attempts to crush Native-American beliefs and practices. These acts were justified by the theory of Manifest Destiny, which stated that European descendents acting for the U.S. government had a God-given right to take land from the Native Americans.
(Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Summary)

2 comments:

Batya said...

Thanks so much for posting this!!

Shtuey said...

This is the great hypocrisy at the heart of everything America claims to stand for, but you have to understand why the United States government doesn't care.

The Lakota Nation, commonly known as the Sioux, have a holy place they call the Paha Sapa. Washichu (white people) call it the Black Hills. This place is their Har HaBayit. It is where they were created. It is where they go to seek visions. In 1868 the government of the United States signed a treaty with Chief Red Cloud that the Paha Sapa would be Lakota land for "as long as the grass shall grow and the river shall run..." In 1874 George Custer led an expedition there in violation of the treaty. They found gold. Any guesses as to how long it was before the United States stole that land? Custer got his at Little Big Horn, but the Lakota still do not have the Paha Sapa back. If anyone thinks that a nation that would steal holy land from people with whom they treated would hesitate to take Yesha, Jerusalem, and every other place we hold dear, they are living in a dream land.

The United States is not Israel's friend, never has been, and it's about time world Jewry figured that out.