A note from the author: I have no idea what the individual mindset was of those persons involved in the following story, I do know the results and would like to believe that the last day on earth for these innocents was not a completely bad one. Some of the works used to gather information for this article are attached below the article.
As his breath rose like a cloud in the cold December air the boy hurried to get back to his home and a warm breakfast. His father Spotted Elk yelled at him as he approached, “You run as if demons are chasing you, why are running?” He smiled knowing his father was poking fun and turned to respond when he noticed the dogs barking had become more aggressive. His feet crunched over the rough snow that coated the ground as he continued on towards his warm home.
As she bent over the food warming on the fire she listened to her husband Spotted Elk happily ribbing their son. Over the past few years their family and tribe had suffered massive changes in their lives and while this had affected the moral of the tribe to some extent she appreciated her husbands attempts to continue looking at live in a positive way. She heard the horse whinny and realized that she did not recognize the footfalls cracking the ice covering the snow at the back of her home.
As his son ran towards him from his morning wash he yelled at him, in the distance one of his friends raised a hand in greeting. His gaunt face hurt from the cold air this morning, good food had been scarce since their forced move to a land based prison the white eyes had called a reservation. The wildlife that had once been so widely available was quickly being replaced with the weak meat of the white eyes cattle. He snorted to himself and turned to enter the home they had, smelling his wife’s wonderful meal and wondering why the dogs were suddenly so loud.
Less than an hour later Spotted Elk his wife and son lay bleeding to death along with close to 300 other innocent individuals in the cold December air. The soldiers cheered and slowly went about digging a mass grave for the freezing and frozen bodies of the savages they had so callously slaughtered. As was normally the case with anything to do with the native American people, the government was quick to call it “justified” and even handed out multiple awards for bravery and more to the participants of this premeditated murder. Sadly only 25 of the cowardly soldiers died that day.
The late 1800’s approach to handling the “problem” that current residents of the land the newly minted United States citizens wanted was to displace, murder or initiate aggressive incidents that would be solved by bringing in the United States military. Manifest Destiny was the idea that the government and people supporting that government of the United States were destined to receive all land between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. With nationalistic desires whipped up into a raging inferno of murderous intent and theft without limit the government used the Constitution as a means of supporting this push for more.
Though some historians have contested the idea that all American leaders supported it, this can easily be put to rest by simply looking at the records of those who are believed to be against it. Abraham Lincoln initiated the largest war to be fought in the United States proper over the course of its history, this was done to ensure federal supremacy and a solidified power structure. Ulysses Grant was a known native hater, and orders from him show that many of the “battles” fought against the natives were completed to his glee. The Constitution was applied in every case, and again used as a divine document to promote unity with the people and support so that additional taxation could be levied and the military built and used, further enriching the men in power at the time.
So you decide, is this enough to discard the “power” of this document or do you want more reasons?
Free the mind and the body will follow.
- Green, Jerry, “The Medals of Wounded Knee,”Nebraska History 1994. Print.
- Utley, Robert M. The Last Days of the Sioux Nation. New Haven: Yale UP, 1963. Print.
- Ehrlich, Amy, and Dee Brown. Wounded Knee; an Indian History of the American West. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974. Print.