By Suzanne Adams
According to the AP, the land was appraised for less than $7,000.
The 75-year-old gentleman recently told the tribe that if they don't purchase the land, he'll sell it to the highest bidder, regardless of whether they are a member of the tribe or not.
Tribal leaders claim the man is trying to get a portion of the $20 million settlement the tribe is expected to get from the federal government for the mismanagement of its lands.
The man claims that historical significance of the land justifies the price.
"I'm getting older now and my family and myself want to dispose of this property," the man told the AP. "We just want to see it in the hands of the Indian people rather than put it on the open market to the public."
I can understand wanting to get some compensation for selling such a large parcel of land. I can also understand that the historical significance of the property might increase the value of the land.
But to charge someone more than 560 times what a property is worth is ridiculous--especially a people who have such a horrifically tragic connection to that land.
There are some out there who will say that the guy has a right to sell his property for whatever price he can get for it. Legally he has right to do that, but I think a number of people would find it morally wrong.
When did common sense go out the window? When did it become wrong to say to someone, "I think that's a horrible idea and you should be ashamed of yourself"?
Comment: Funny how the "free market" often resembles blackmail. If the tribe doesn't pay the exorbitant price, James Czywczynski will sell the land to someone who may destroy the site's sanctity. At the moment, the only option the tribe has is to pay the price or risk Wounded Knee's desecration.
For more on the subject, see Wounded Knee For Sale.