The general public doesn’t like to see pictures from the past. Pictures of the American holocaust, the massacres, the mass graves, the slavery and the lynch mobs. But the pictures exist and the fact that they do shows us part of the true history. This happened to many, many American citizens ancestors. This country was built on terrorism that they never will own up to and/or make reparations for. And then they have the audacity to think one has to leave here and go to another country to become “radicalized.”
That was my post from Facebook yesterday. I went on my friend Rippa’s Madness & Reality Radio to talk about what terrorism means to me. The show started out but had to be postponed due to technical difficulties. So eventually we will do it again. Needless to say, as a Lakota woman, I kind of bogarted my time on there.
However, what I do have to say is terrorism is not cool in my eyes. I don’t believe anyone has the right to take another persons life, period. From the Oklahoma City bombing to 9/11 to the Boston Marathon. Every time something like this happens, it is all you hear about on the news. America is in shock, even if they didn’t know anyone personally involved in the attacks. Memorials are built, days are set aside, and moments of silence are honored for years.
Now imagine if I had the nerve to tell people to “get over it.”
Because that is what has been happening to Indigenous people not only in America but all over the world. We have no memorials built, no days set aside, no moments of silence as a nation prays for what happened to our people. People we may be direct descendants of.
Terrorism is not brand new to us. To us, the first act of terrorism was in 1492 when Columbus landed and wreaked havoc on the Arawak and Taino people. Acts of terrorism continued on this land among over 500 nations, some were completely wiped out from existence by the government. Whether it was cold-blooded murder or disease or even small pox infested blankets. There are too many acts of terrorism to name and too many we don’t even know about. Imagine if all the heinous acts were recorded, we know they aren’t. Because the written history taught in schools are lies. Because these acts of terrorism were given names such as Manifest Destiny and The Doctrine of Discovery.
Even in the Declaration of Independence there are straight out racist remarks about the Indigenous people of the land.
“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
The Declaration of Independence states that we are merciless savages who have an undistiguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions. After looking at the land stolen from us, the generations of people who suffer from ptsd or or kinds of disorders brought on by historical trauma, it makes me angry that this country our own people defend has the nerve to keep those words in their Declaration when clearly these are actions they have done to us.
See, terrorism is not a brand new thing. Terrorism is as old as when the Europeans settled here. Terrorism did not end at the Wounded Knee massacre, when the 7th Cavalry killed over 300 unarmed Lakota, mostly women and children as most people think that it was the “End of the Indian Wars.”
Terrorism went on in the many forms of genocide such as taking our children from our homes for generations and putting them in boarding schools only to abuse them. Terrorism is the government regulating everything on our supposed sovereign nations to keep us in poverty. Terrorism is stealing our sacred land given to us in a treaty once gold was found there. Terrorism is not letting us practice our own spirituality when clearly in the land of the free, freedom of religion was given to everyone. Terrorism is trying to poison our drinking water.
Terrorism to me is not brand new. I don’t write these things because I want white people to feel guilty. I don’t write these things so white people will cry for us. I only write these things for my children to know these things. Even if they don’t read them now. We have no tears. We get up everyday and decide how we can be better people for our children, how we make life here on Earth better for our children. Thinking what right we have to fight for, today. And we get up everyday thankful we were born to whatever tribe we belong to, because we know we survived over 500 years of terrorism as a strong people.
Don’t cry for us, we’re gonna be alright. The Creator only picks the strongest of souls to survive what they have to get through, and that is why I am Lakota.
In fact, I may cry for someone who has an easy life. How do you get up everyday with nothing to fight for? That must suck.