May 26, 2007

Key exchange in Bury My Heart

There’s an Allegory in Those Hills“How very convenient to cloak your claims in spiritualism. And what would you say to the Mormons and others who believe that their God has given to them Indian lands in the West?

“No matter what your legends say, you didn’t sprout from the plains like the spring grasses and you didn’t coalesce out of the ether. You came out of the Minnesota woodlands armed to the teeth and set upon your fellow man. You massacred the Kiowa, the Omaha, the Ponca, the Oto and the Pawnee without mercy. And yet you claim the Black Hills as a private preserve bequeathed to you by the Great Spirit.”

Sitting Bull shoots back: “And who gave us the guns and powder to kill our enemies? And who traded guns to the Chippewa and others who drove us from our home?”

Colonel Miles replies: “Chief Sitting Bull, the proposition that you were a peaceable people before the appearance of the white man is the most fanciful legend of all! You were killing each other for hundreds of moons before the first white stepped foot on this continent. You conquered those tribes, lusting for their game and their lands. Just as we have now conquered you for no less noble a cause.”
Comment:  I've already given some responses to a version of this speech. I'd love to hear how a Lakota or any Indian would respond.

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