In these times, there are feelings that stay in the Heart; they Last
because of our Sense of Justice and Truth. Mario Savio was a great orator
and mind of the Sixties as well as Bob Dylan and Abbie Hoffman and of course
countless others have Voiced this Echo of Our Inner Self.
These artist and speakers Clarified the Need of the Public and did so out loudly!
The Gifts of Openess and Directness are an important element of the Sixties.
Since it was on December 3, 1964 a revelent reminder does Ring the Bell that
carries the sound of this country's traditions and the constant need to fulfill
the essence that We proclaim.
My own Hope is to pass on some of these "Cries of Freedom" and the call for
an "honest" government that Will Live Up to the Respect We Offer.
The Odious Machine
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious,
makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively
take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels,
upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop.
And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it,
that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
-- Mario Savio, Sproul Hall Steps, U of CA, Berkeley, December 3, 1964
We are here to make a better world.
No amount of rationalization or blaming can preempt the moment of choice
each of us brings to our situation here on this planet. The lesson of the 60's
is that people who cared enough to do right could change history.
We didn't end racism but we ended legal segregation.
We ended the idea that you could send half-a-million soldiers around the world
to fight a war that people do not support.
We ended the idea that women are second-class citizens.
We made the environment an issue that couldn't be avoided.
The big battles that we won cannot be reversed.
We were young, self-righteous, reckless, hypocritical, brave, silly, headstrong
and scared half to death.
And we were right.
-- Abbie Hoffman
Masters of War
by Bob Dylan
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
It is therefore recommended... to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next,
for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may
express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their
-- Samuel Adams
November 1,1777 (adopted by the 13 states as the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation)
"Our wise men are called Fathers, and they truly sustain that character. Do you call yourselves Christians? Does the religion of Him who you call your Savior inspire your spirit, and guide your
practices? Surely not. It is recorded of him that a bruised reed he never broke. Cease then to
call yourselves Christians, lest you declare to the world your hypocrisy. Cease too to call other
nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they.
No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action,
but the consciousness of having served his nation. I bow to no man for I am considered a prince
among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand." Joseph Brant to King George III
-- Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), Mohawk - 1742-1807
"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes.
When we build houses, we make little holes.
When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things.
We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees.
We only use dead wood.
But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything.
... the White people pay no attention. .
...How can the spirit of the earth like the White man?
... everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore."
-- Wintu Woman, 19th Century
"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common destiny
as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care
by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come
to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."
-- Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
by James W. Loewen
Over the last few years, I have asked hundreds of college students,
"When was the country we now know as the United States first settled?"
That is a generous way of putting the question. Surely "we now know
as" implies that the original settlement happened before the United
States. I had hoped that students would suggest 30,000 BC, or some
other pre-Columbian date. They did not. Their consensus answer was
Part of the problem is the word "settle." "Settlers" were white.
Indians did not settle. Nor are students the only people misled by
"settle." One recent Thanksgiving weekend, I listened as a guide at
the Statue of Liberty told about European immigrants "populating a
wild East Coast." As we shall see, however, if Indians had not
already settled New England, Europeans would have had a much tougher
job of it.
Starting with the Pilgrims not only leaves out the Indians, but also
the Spanish. In the summer of 1526 five hundred Spaniards and one
hundred black slaves founded a town near the mouth of the Pedee River
in what is now South Carolina. Disease and disputes with nearby
Indians caused many deaths. Finally, in November the slaves rebelled,
killed some of their masters, and escaped to the the Indians. By now
only 150 Spaniards survived, and they evacuated back to Haiti. The
ex-slaves remained behind. So the first non-Native settlers in "the
country we now know as the United States" were Africans.
The Spanish continued their settling in 1565, when they massacred a
settlement of French Protestants at St. Augustine, Florida, and
replaced it with their own fort. Some Spanish were pilgrims, seeking
regions new to them to secure religious liberty: these were Spanish
Jews, who settled in New Mexico in the late 1500s. Few Americans know
that one third of the United States, from San Francisco to Arkansas
to Natchez to Florida, has been Spanish longer than it has been
"American." Moreover, Spanish culture left an indelible impact on the
West. The Spanish introduced horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and the
basic elements of cowboy culture, including its vocabulary: mustang,
bronco, rodeo, lariat, and so on.
Beginning with 1620 also omits the Dutch, who were living in what is
now Albany by 1614. Indeed, 1620 is not even the date of the first
permanent British settlement, for in 1607, the London Company sent
settlers to Jamestown, Virginia. No matter. The mythic origin of "the
country we now know as the United States" is at Plymouth Rock, and
the year is 1620. My students are not at fault. The myth is what
their textbooks and their culture have offered them. I examined how
twelve textbooks used in high school American history classes teach
Thanksgiving. Here is the version in one high school history book,
THE AMERICAN TRADITION:
After some exploring, the Pilgrims chose the land around Plymouth
Harbor for their settlement. Unfortunately, they had arrived in
December and were not prepared for the New England winter. However,
they were aided by friendly Indians, who gave them food and showed
them how to grow corn. When warm weather came, the colonists planted,
fished, hunted, and prepared themselves for the next winter. After
harvesting their first crop, they and their Indian friends celebrated
the first Thanksgiving.
My students also learned that the Pilgrims were persecuted in England
for their religion, so they moved to Holland. They sailed on the
Mayflower to America and wrote the Mayflower Compact. Times were
rough, until they met Squanto. He taught them how to put fish in each
corn hill, so they had a bountiful harvest.
But when I ask them about the plague, they stare back at me. "What
plague? The Black Plague?" No, that was three centuries earlier, I
"THE WONDERFUL PLAGUE AMONG THE SAVAGES"
The Black Plague does provide a useful introduction, however. Black
(or bubonic) Plague "was undoubtedly the worst disaster that has ever
befallen mankind." In three years it killed 30 percent of the
population of Europe. Catastrophic as it was, the disease itself
comprised only part of the horror. Thinking the day of judgment was
imminent, farmers failed to plant crops. Many people gave themselves
over to alcohol. Civil and economic disruption may have caused as
much death as the disease itself.
For a variety of reasons --- their probable migration through
cleansing Alaskan ice fields, better hygiene, no livestock or
livestock-borne microbes --- Americans were in Howard Simpson's
assessment "a remarkable healthy race" before Columbus. Ironically,
their very health now proved their undoing, for they had built up no
resistance, genetically or through childhood diseases, to the
microbes Europeans and Africans now brought them. In 1617, just
before the Pilgrims landed, the process started in southern New
England. A plague struck that made the Black Death pale by comparison.
Today we think it was the bubonic plague, although pox and influenza
are also candidates. British fishermen had been fishing off
Massachusetts for decades before the Pilgrims landed. After filling
their hulls with cod, they would set forth on land to get firewood
and fresh water and perhaps capture a few Indians to sell into
slavery in Europe. On one of these expeditions they probably
transmitted the illness to the people they met. Whatever it was,
within three years this plague wiped out between 90 percent and 96
percent of the inhabitants of southern New England. The Indian
societies lay devastated. Only "the twentieth person is scare left
alive," wrote British eyewitness Robert Cushman, describing a death
rate unknown in all previous human experience. Unable to cope with so
many corpses, survivors fled to the next tribe, carrying the
infestation with them, so that Indians died who had never seen a
white person. Simpson tells what the Pilgrims saw:
The summer after the Pilgrims landed, they sent two envoys on a
diplomatic mission to treat with Massasoit, a famous chief encamped
some 40 miles away at what is now Warren, Rhode Island. The envoys
discovered and described a scene of absolute havoc. Villages lay in
ruins because there was no one to tend them. The ground was strewn
with the skulls and the bones of thousands of Indians who had died
and none was left to bury them.
During the next fifteen years, additional epidemics, most of which we
know to have been smallpox, struck repeatedly. Europeans caught
smallpox and the other maladies, to be sure, but most recovered,
including, in a later century, the "heavily pockmarked George
Washington." Indians usually died. Therefore, almost as profound as
their effect on Indian demographics was the impact of the epidemics
on the two cultures, European and Indian. The English Separatists,
already seeing their lives as part of a divinely inspired morality
play, inferred that they had God on their side. John Winthrop,
Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, called the plague "miraculous."
To a friend in England in 1634, he wrote:
But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for
300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by the small
pox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared
our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in
all not fifty, have put themselves under our protect....
Many Indians likewise inferred that their God had abandoned them.
Cushman, our British eyewitness, reported that "those that are left,
have their courage much abated, and their countenance is dejected,
and they seem as a people affrighted." After all, neither they nor
the Pilgrims had access to the germ theory of disease. Indian healers
offered no cure, their religion no explanation. That of the whites
did. Like the Europeans three centuries before them, many Indians
surrendered to alcohol or began to listen to Christianity.
These epidemics constituted perhaps the most important single
geopolitical event of the first third of the 1600s, anywhere on the
planet. They meant that the British would face no real Indian
challenge for their first fifty years in America. Indeed, the plague
helped cause the legendary warm reception Plymouth enjoyed in its
first formative years from the Wampanoags. Massasoit needed to ally
with the Pilgrims because the plague had so weakened his villages
that he feared the Narragansetts to the west.
Moreover, the New England plagues exemplify a process which antedated
the Pilgrims and endures to this day. In 1492, more than 3,000,000
Indians lived on the island of Haiti. Forty years later, fewer than
300 remained. The earliest Portuguese found that Labrador teemed with
hospitable Indians who could easily be enslaved. It teems no more. In
about 1780, smallpox reduced the Mandanâ€™s of North Dakota from nine
villages to two; then in 1837, a second smallpox epidemic reduced
them from 1600 persons to just 31. The pestilence continues; a fourth
of the Yanomamos of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela died in the
year prior to my writing this sentence.
Europeans were never able to "settle" China, India, Indonesia, Japan,
or most of Africa because too many people already lived there.
Advantages in military and social technology would have enabled
Europeans to dominate the Americas, as they eventually dominated
China and Africa, but not to "settle" the New World. For that, the
plague was required. Thus, except for the European (and African)
invasion itself, the pestilence was surely the most important event
in the history of America.
What do we learn of all this in the twelve histories I studied? Three
offer some treatment of Indian disease as a factor in European
colonization. LIFE AND LIBERTY does quite a good job. AMERICA PAST
AND PRESENT supplies a fine analysis of the general impact of Indian
disease in American history, though it leaves out the plague at
Plymouth. THE AMERICAN WAY is the only text to draw the appropriate
geopolitical inference about the importance of the Plymouth outbreak,
but it never discuses Indian plagues anywhere else. Unfortunately,
the remaining nine books offer almost nothing. Two totally omit the
subject. Each of the other seven furnishes only a fragment of a
paragraph that does not even make it into the index, let alone into
Everyone knew all about the plague in colonial America. Even before
the Mayflower sailed, King James of England gave thanks to "Almighty
God in his great goodness and bounty towards us," for sending "this
wonderful plague among the savages." Today it is no surprise that not
one in a hundred of my college students has ever heard of the plague.
Unless they read LIFE AND LIBERTY or PAST AND PRESENT, no student can
come away from these books thinking of Indians as people who made an
impact on North America, who lived here in considerable numbers, who
settled, in short, and were then killed by disease or arms.
ERRAND INTO THE WILDERNESS
Instead of the plague, our schoolbooks present the story of the
Pilgrims as a heroic myth. Referring to "the little party" in their
"small, storm-battered English vessel," their story line follows
Perry Miller's use of a Puritan sermon title, ERRAND INTO THE
WILDERNESS. AMERICAN ADVENTURES even titles its chapter about British
settlement in North America "Opening the Wilderness." The imagery is
right out of Star Trek: "to go boldly where none dared go before."
The Pilgrims had intended to go to Virginia, where there already was
a British settlement, according to the texts, but "violent storms
blew their ship off course," according to some texts, or else an
"error in navigation" caused them to end up hundreds of miles to the
north. In fact, we are not sure where the Pilgrims planned to go.
According to George Willison, Pilgrim leaders never intended to
settle in Virginia. They had debated the relative merits of Guiana
versus Massachusetts precisely because they wanted to be far from
Anglican control in Virginia. They knew quite a bit about
Massachusetts, from Cape Cod's fine fishing to that "wonderful
plague." They brought with them maps drawn by Samuel Champlain when
he toured the area in 1605 and a guidebook by John Smith, who had
named it "New England" when he visited in 1614. One text, LAND OF
PROMISE, follows Willison, pointing out that Pilgrims numbered only
about thirty-five of the 102 settlers aboard the Mayflower. The rest
were ordinary folk seeking their fortunes in the new Virginia colony.
"The New England landing came as a rude surprise for the bedraggled
and tired [non-Pilgrim] majority on board the Mayflower," says
Promise. "Rumors of mutiny spread quickly." Promise then ties this
unrest to the Mayflower Compact, giving its readers a uniquely fresh
interpretation as to why the colonists adopted it.
Each text offers just one of three reasons---storm, pilot error, or
managerial hijacking--to explain how the Pilgrims ended up in
Massachusetts. Neither here nor in any other historical controversy
after 1620 can any of the twelve bear to admit that it does not know
the answer---that studying history is not just learning answers--that
history contains debates. Thus each book shuts student shout from the
intellectual excitement of the discipline.
Instead, textbooks parade ethnocentric assertions about the Pilgrims
as a flawless unprecedented band laying the foundations of our
democracy. John Garraty presents the Compact this way in AMERICAN
HISTORY: "So far as any record shows, this was the first time in
human history that a group of people consciously created a government
where none had existed before." Such accounts deny students the
opportunity to see the Pilgrims as anything other than pious
"IT WAS WITH GOD'S HELP...FOR HOW ELSE COULD WE HAVE DONE IT?"
Settlement proceeded, not with God's help but with the Indians'. The
Pilgrims chose Plymouth because of its cleared fields, recently
planted in corn, "and a brook of fresh water [that] flowed into the
harbor," in the words of TRIUMPH OF THE AMERICAN NATION. It was a
lovely site for a town. Indeed, until the plague, it had been a town.
Everywhere in the hemisphere, Europeans pitched camp right in the
middle of native populations---Cuzco, Mexico City, Natchez, Chicago.
Throughout New England, colonists appropriated Indian cornfields,
which explains why so many town names---Marshfield, Springfield,
Deerfield--end in "field".
Inadvertent Indian assistance started on the Pilgrims' second full
day in Massachusetts. A colonist's journal tells us:
We marched to the place we called Cornhill, where we had found the
corn before. At another place we had seen before, we dug and found
some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans. ..In
all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It was
with God's help that we found this corn, for how else could we have
done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us. ...The
next morning, we found a place like a grave. We decided to dig it up.
We found first a mat, and under that a fine bow...We also found bowls
, trays, dishes, and things like that. We took several of the
prettiest things to carry away with us, and covered the body up again.
A place "like a grave!"
More help came from a alive Indian, Squanto. Here my students are on
familiar turf, for they have all learned the Squanto legend. LAND OF
PROMISE provides an archetypal account"
Squanto had learned their language, he explained, from English
fishermen who ventured into the New England waters each summer.
Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, squash, and pumpkins.
Would the small band of settlers have survived without Squanto's
help? We cannot say. But by the fall of 1621, colonists and Indians
could sit down to several days of feast and thanksgiving to God
(later celebrated as the first Thanksgiving).
What do the books leave out about Squanto? First, how he learned
English. As a boy, along with four Penobscots, he was probably stolen
by a British captain in about 1605 and taken to England. There he
probably spent nine years, two in the employ of a Plymouth merchant
who later helped finance the Mayflower. At length, the merchant
helped him arrange passage back to Massachusetts. He was to enjoy
home life for less than a year, however. In 1614, a British slave
raider seized him and two dozen fellow Indians and sold them into
slavery in Malaga, Spain. Squanto escaped from slavery, escaped from
Spain, made his way back to England, and in 1619 talked a ship
captain into taking him along on his next trip to Cape Cod.
It happens that Squanto's fabulous odyssey provides a "hook" into the
plague story, a hook that our texts choose to ignore. For now Squanto
walked to his home village, only to make the horrifying discovery
that, in Simpson's words, "he was the sole member of his village
still alive. All the others had perished in the epidemic two years
before." No wonder he throws in his lot with the Pilgrims, who rename
his village "Plymouth!" Now that is a story worth telling! Compare
the pallid account in LAND OF PROMISE. "He had learned their language
from English fishermen." What do we make of books that give us the
unimportant details--Squanto's name, the occupation of his
enslavers--while omitting not only his enslavement, but also the
crucial fact of the plague? This is distortion on a grand scale.
William Bradford praised Squanto for many services, including his
"bring[ing] them to unknown places for their profit." "Their profit"
was the primary reason most Mayflower colonists made the trip. It too
came from the Indians, from the fur trade; Plymouth would never have
paid for itself without it. Europeans had neither the skill nor the
desire to "go boldly where none dared go before.|" They went to the
"TRUTH SHOULD BE HELD SACRED, AT WHATEVER COST"
Should we teach these truths about Thanksgiving? Or, like our
textbooks, should we look the other way? Again quoting LAND OF
PROMISE. "By the fall of 1621, colonists and Indians could sit down
to several days of feast and thanksgiving to God (later celebrated as
the first Thanksgiving)." Throughout the nation, elementary school
children still enact Thanksgiving every fall as our national origin
myth, complete with Pilgrim hats made of construction paper and
Indian braves with feathers in their hair. An early Massachusetts
colonist, Colonel Thomas Aspinwall, advises us not to settle for this
whitewash of feel - good - history.
"It is painful to advert to these things. But our forefathers, though
wise, pious, and sincere, were nevertheless, in respect to Christian
charity, under a cloud; and, in history, truth should be held sacred,
at whatever cost."
Thanksgiving is full of embarrassing facts. The Pilgrims did not
introduce the Native Americans to the tradition; Eastern Indians had
observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. Our modern
celebrations date back only to 1863; not until the 1890s did the
Pilgrims get included in the tradition; no one even called them
"Pilgrims" until the 1870s. Plymouth Rock achieved ichnographic
status only in the nineteenth century, when some enterprising
residents of the town moved it down to the water so its significance
as the "holy soil" the Pilgrims first touched might seem more
plausible. The Rock has become a shrine, the Mayflower Compact a
sacred text, and our textbooks play the same function as the Anglican
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, teaching us the rudiments of the civil
religion of Thanksgiving.
Indians are marginalized in this civic ritual. Our archetypal image
of the first Thanksgiving portrays the groaning boards in the woods,
with the Pilgrims in their starched Sunday best and the almost naked
Indian guests. Thanksgiving silliness reaches some sort of zenith in
the handouts that school children have carried home for decades, with
captions like, "They served pumpkins and turkeys and corn and squash.
The Indians had never seen such a feast!" When his son brought home
this "information" from his New Hampshire elementary school, Native
American novelist Michael Dorris pointed out "the Pilgrims had
literally never seen `such a feast,' since all foods mentioned are
exclusively indigenous to the Americas and had been provided by [or
with the aid of] the local tribe."
I do not read Aspinwall as suggesting a "bash the Pilgrims"
interpretation, emphasizing only the bad parts. I have emphasized
untoward details only because our histories have suppressed
everything awkward for so long. The Pilgrims' courage in setting
forth in the late fall to make their way on a continent new to them
remains unsurpassed. In their first year, like the Indians, they
suffered from diseases. Half of them died. The Pilgrims did not cause
the plague and were as baffled as to its true origin as the stricken
Indian villagers. Pilgrim-Indian relations began reasonably
positively. Thus the antidote to feel-good history is not feel-bad
history, but honest and inclusive history. "Knowing the truth about
Thanksgiving, both its proud and its shameful motivations and
history, might well benefit contemporary children," suggests Dorris.
"But the glib retelling of an ethnocentric and self-serving falsehood
does no one any good." Because Thanksgiving has roots in both Anglo
and Native cultures, and because of the interracial cooperation the
first celebration enshrines, Thanksgiving might yet develop into a
holiday that promotes tolerance and understanding. Its emphasis on
Native foods provides a teachable moment, for natives of the Americas
first developed half of the world's food crops. Texts could tell
this--only three even mention Indian foods---and could also relate
other contributions form Indian societies, from sports to political
ideas. The original Thanksgiving itself provides an interesting
example: the Natives and newcomers spent the better part of three
days showing each other their various recreations.
Origin myths do not come cheaply. To glorify the Pilgrims is
dangerous. The genial omissions and false details our texts use to
retail the Pilgrim legend promote Anglo centrism, which only handicaps
us when dealing with all those whose culture is no Anglo. Surely, in
history, "truth should be held sacred, at whatever cost."
from: t r u t h o u t 2001 ©
I ask you to Bless the white man,
He needs your wisdom, your guidance.
He has tried for so long to destroy my people
And only feels comfortable when given power.
Bless them with wisdom.
Show them the peace we understand.
Teach them humility
For I feel they will destroy themselves and all our children
As they have done for so long with Mother Earth.
I plead, I cry.
They are my brothers and sisters."
-- Sandy Kewenhaptewa, Hopi
"The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image,
they want us to be what they call "assimilated," bringing the Indians
into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own
cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those
whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very
different from our way.
We don't want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to
raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and
fish and live in peace. We don't want power, we don't want to be,
We want freedom from the white man rather than to be integrated
congressmen, or bankers....we want to be ourselves. We want to
have our heritage, because we are the owners of this land and be-
cause we belong here. The white man says, there is freedom and
justice for all. We have had "freedom and justice," and that is why
we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this."
-- From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians
Until the philosophy which holds one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war
That until there is no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the color of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes
Me say war
That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war
That until that day
The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be pursued, but never attained...
-- Bob Marley, from the song WAR
How amazing that an elite privileged human being would consider this methodology of "care"
for mankind! Just a few days ago Ken, a brother and friend, brought to my attention to a
very disturbing article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Feelings of shock, rage and disgust
began running through me. The flood of anger was one that is not easy to remove from my
heart! Remembrance of my youth, as an "army brat" in Bavaria, echoed through my head.
One of the memories that remains forever etched into my past was in southern Germany in
a city near Munich. It is known to many people around the world, that town is Dachau!
Yes, the notorious place of the Third Reich's "extermination camps".
The town of Dachau has maintained this concentration camp as a vigilant reminder of one
of the faces of "darkness" residing in man's heart.
Vivid tales of the experiences that my "aunt" and teacher come to mind. She was one of
the survivors of this former entrance to the "gates of hell"! When she arrived at Dachau with
her family and folks, gathered from many locales, herded and stuffed into the box cars; she
came with her family. Only her younger brother and her had lived through this camp!
Hearing of her experiences came out little by little, shocked and scared me to the core of
my being! To date, those memories of the camp serve as a constant reminder and served
me well in preparing for our future return to the states. She didn't know about how her eye
opening experiences had prepared me for living in the U.S.!
Those recounts of the sick inhumanities of a "master race" delusional activities returned as
i read this article. This irrational view held by those mentioned in this article must end now,
because of the first hand accounts will not leave my heart!
Of course this country also has a long history of this same pattern of human degradation!
Most noticeable during the first arrivals of the "Euro-peons". Strange that this barbaric
energy was brought about by those seeking refuge in this "New World" in order to live in
a place where they could practice their own forms of religions.
The history we have been "taught" or rather indoctrinated in is a distortion, not the whole
truth nor the reality of those times. A "white washing" of events in order to maintain a
concentration of controlling influences on the lens of Our Souls!
The first "slaves" of the "New World" were the residents - Indians and then came the
Africans. Captured in their own "Mother Lands" and brought over as "human livestock".
Least we forget another aspect; the majority of the "Euro-peons" who first came here
were termed "indentured servants"! Of course during this time period the majority of the
"Euro-peons" held no rights and zero in rights for their own woman and children.
The article below will clarify the influences of this "lucky sperm club" and their views,
projects and causes that persist; even to date a foundational and remain heavily
entrenched within our lives! How did this "elite class" choose their bodies; you know...
to be in the cosmic flow to select a specific body, family and area as entry to this earthly
plane? To assume dominance and total understanding of their "master" plan for every-
one! As they pose as powerful, as they play with human life, as they self declare them-
selves as the anointed ones - at what point do we continue to allow this psychosis to
continue to infect the young with these grand delusions?
My deepest prayers holds Hope, Respect, Understanding and Harmony for mankind
as a Human Family Living in Balance with the Great Mother Earth!
All Life is Given through the Creator. All Life is Sacred... aho
All My Relations
Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection
from the San Francisco Chronicle - 11/9/03 by Edwin Black
Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called Master Race.
But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little-known, role in the American eugenics movement's campaign for ethnic cleansing.
Eugenics was the pseudoscience aimed at "improving" the human race. In its extreme, racist form, this meant wiping away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in 27 states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.
California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the 20th century's first decades, California's eugenicists included potent but little-known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles Goethe, as well as members of the California state Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.
Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims.
Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.
In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation's social service agencies and associations.
The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, confinement or forced sterilization.
The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California's quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as Pasadena's Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations -- which functioned as part of a closely-knit network -- published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics,
and propagandized for the Nazis.
Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863,
Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people married only other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton's ideas were imported to the United States just as Gregor Mendel's principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenics advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.
In a United States demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early 20th century. Elitists, utopians and so-called progressives fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton's eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: Populate the Earth with vastly more of their own socioeconomic and biological kind -- and less or none of everyone else.
The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the Earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark- haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.
How? By identifying so-called defective family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior -- the so-called unfit. The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.
Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 "Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder's Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population." Point No. 8 was euthanasia.
The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in the United States was a "lethal chamber" or public, locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, "Applied Eugenics," which argued, "From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution . . . Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated." "Applied Eugenics" also devoted a chapter to "Lethal Selection," which operated "through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency."
Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Ill., fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to 40 percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.
Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first 25 years of eugenics legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as "bad girls," diagnosed as "passionate," "oversexed" or "sexually wayward." At the Sonoma State Home, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.
In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 on women. The state's two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations. Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough." This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes' words in their own defense.
Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.
Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti- Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. Hitler's race hatred sprung from his own mind, but the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.
During the '20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany's fascist eugenicists. In "Mein Kampf," published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. "There is today one state," wrote Hitler, "in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception (of immigration) are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States."
Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. "I have studied with great interest," he told a fellow Nazi, "the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."
Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenics leader Madison Grant, calling his race-based eugenics book, "The Passing of the Great Race," his "bible."
Now, the American term "Nordic" was freely exchanged with "Germanic" or "Aryan." Race science, racial purity and racial dominance became the driving force behind Hitler's Nazism. Nazi eugenics would ultimately dictate who would be persecuted in a Reich-dominated Europe, how people would live, and how they would die. Nazi doctors would become the unseen generals in Hitler's war against the Jews and other Europeans deemed inferior. Doctors would create the science, devise the eugenic formulas, and hand-select the victims for sterilization, euthanasia and mass extermination.
During the Reich's early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler's plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.
In 1934, as Germany's sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe, upon returning from Germany, ebulliently bragged to a colleague, "You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."
That same year, 10 years after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "The Germans are beating us at our own game."
More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germany's eugenic institutions.
By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 -- almost $4 million in today's money -- to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 toward creation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst RÃ¼din, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler's systematic medical repression.
Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute's complex of eugenics institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the institute, once again, was Hitler's medical henchman Ernst RÃ¼din. RÃ¼din's organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.
Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.
Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society, declared of Nazism, "While we were pussy-footing around ... the Germans were calling a spade a spade."
A special recipient of Rockefeller funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For decades,
American eugenicists had craved twins to advance their research into heredity.
The Institute was now prepared to undertake such research on an unprecedented level. On May 13, 1932, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York dispatched a radiogram to its Paris office: JUNE MEETING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NINE THOUSAND
DOLLARS OVER THREE YEAR PERIOD TO KWG INSTITUTE ANTHROPOLOGY FOR RESEARCH ON
TWINS AND EFFECTS ON LATER GENERATIONS OF SUBSTANCES TOXIC FOR GERM PLASM.
At the time of Rockefeller's endowment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a hero in American eugenics circles, functioned as a head of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of that institute continued both directly and through other research conduits during Verschuer's early tenure. In 1935, Verschuer left the institute to form a rival eugenics facility in Frankfurt that was much heralded in the American eugenics press. Research on twins in the Third Reich exploded, backed by government decrees. Verschuer wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenics doctor's journal he edited, that Germany's war would yield a "total solution to the Jewish problem."
Verschuer had a longtime assistant. His name was Josef Mengele.
On May 30, 1943, Mengele arrived at Auschwitz. Verschuer notified the German Research Society, "My assistant, Dr. Josef Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as HauptsturmfÃ¼hrer (captain) and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with permission of the SS ReichsfÃ¼hrer (Himmler)."
Mengele began searching the boxcar arrivals for twins. When he found them,
he performed beastly experiments, scrupulously wrote up the reports and sent the paperwork back to Verschuer's institute for evaluation. Often, cadavers, eyes and other body parts were also dispatched to Berlin's eugenic institutes.
Rockefeller executives never knew of Mengele. With few exceptions, the foundation had ceased all eugenics studies in Nazi-occupied Europe before the war erupted in 1939. But by that time the die had been cast. The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the great institutions they helped found, and the science they helped create took on a scientific momentum of their own.
After the war, eugenics was declared a crime against humanity -- an act of genocide. Germans were tried and they cited the California statutes in their defense -- to no avail. They were found guilty.
However, Mengele's boss Verschuer escaped prosecution. Verschuer re- established his connections with California eugenicists who had gone underground and renamed their crusade "human genetics." Typical was an exchange July 25, 1946, when Popenoe wrote Verschuer, "It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you again. I have been very anxious about my colleagues in Germany . . . I suppose sterilization has been discontinued in Germany?" Popenoe offered tidbits about various American eugenics luminaries and then sent various eugenics publications. In a separate package, Popenoe sent some cocoa, coffee and other goodies.
Verschuer wrote back, "Your very friendly letter of 7/25 gave me a great deal of pleasure and you have my heartfelt thanks for it. The letter builds another bridge between your and my scientific work; I hope that this bridge will never again collapse but rather make possible valuable mutual enrichment and stimulation."
Soon, Verschuer again became a respected scientist in Germany and around the world. In 1949, he became a corresponding member of the newly formed American Society of Human Genetics, organized by American eugenicists and geneticists.
In the fall of 1950, the University of MÃ¼nster offered Verschuer a position at its new Institute of Human Genetics, where he later became a dean. In the early and mid-1950s, Verschuer became an honorary member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Italian Society of Genetics, the Anthropological Society of Vienna, and the Japanese Society for Human Genetics.
Human genetics' genocidal roots in eugenics were ignored by a victorious generation that refused to link itself to the crimes of Nazism and by succeeding generations that never knew the truth of the years leading up to war. Now governors of five states, including California, have issued public apologies to their citizens, past and present, for sterilization and other abuses spawned by the eugenics movement.
Human genetics became an enlightened endeavor in the late 20th century. Hard-working, devoted scientists finally cracked the human code through the Human Genome Project. Now, every individual can be biologically identified and classified by trait and ancestry. Yet even now, some leading voices in the genetic world are calling for a cleansing of the unwanted among us, and even a master human species.
There is understandable wariness about more ordinary forms of abuse, for example, in denying insurance or employment based on genetic tests. On Oct. 14,
the United States' first genetic anti-discrimination legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Yet because genetics research is global, no single nation's law can stop the threats.
Edwin Black is author of the award-winning "IBM and the Holocaust" and the recently released "War Against the Weak" (published by Four Walls Eight Windows), from which this article
More on this subject can be found at:
Related information at:
One with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care
by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may
come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."
-- Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington, August 28, 1963
"I do not belong to any organized political party: I'm a democrat."
"Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing
and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even."
"You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war
they kill you in a new way."
-- Will Rogers
Scratched records keep skipping
Many times those old sayings hold water! The inability for this current
administration's recognition of the lessons of the Vietnam Conflict in Iraq
and Afghanistan today is stunning. The article below by Eric Cheyfitz de-
cribes a reoccuring problem and sheds light on the dubious predicament
we are now in!
It appears that the battles created by our lame leadership has plunged
us into a precarious problem. Due to bad thinking with no understanding
of the real cost is actually only a small portion of what we now are facing!
This country's past can reveal much to study and understand.
People turned out in mass in cities worldwide to protest Mr. Bush's
words and actions prior to creating this debacle in Iraq. This include-
ed even our former enemy (Germany and Japan) plus the countless
allies and so called "unfriendly countrys" in voicing their concerns.
What is in George Bush head is becoming more visible each day.
Mr. Bush and his administration have shown themselves as greedy
opportunist, willing to put our countrymen into battle with has no way
out. Transparent excuses have not masked the true interests of the
corporate sponsors of the Bush family regimes.
The Belief in Our Constitution and the Principles of Our Country does
cause one to consider; who is this government more responsive to?
We can easily see that greed, misuse of power and attempts to con-
trol market shares in oil disguised as helping the Iraqi people! Now
that the face of Bush's reality is unmasked; we know now that this
"Emperor Has No Clothes"!
The "selected" resident in the "white(man's) house" is a zealot forc-
ing his personal religious beliefs on others, pressing to control oil
supply, attempting to influence by domination of the region and by
following the "neo-cons" marching orders into lands that Does Not
Belong to Us nor wants us there!
"The UN is becoming irrelevant..." was what Bush emphasized be-
fore addressing the UN, while attempting to gain support prior to his
pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Now, we have a better understanding
of Iraq's Saddam reality as well. He was a brutal dictator that loudly
voiced a litany of warnings and retaliations! Even while maintaining
his macho posture, Saddam had nothing to back up his threats and
Perception of the former A.W.O.L. commander and thief does cause
one to scratch one's head and ponder the direction King George II
and question, where is taking he leading Our Country? He has pres-
sured Congress to grant $87 billion towards "nation building" and in-
ternational bribes, oops - foreign aid.
Where does Congress get the money? What about Our Needs within
this Country? When do we finally say enough? When will we have a
regime change Here On Occupied Indian Lands?
A look back on the path of US history will let you know that we are
headed for much worse ahead!
Bush I did desecrate the body of Geronimo, a medicine man and a
defender of His People and Their Lands, , along with his alumni -
the Skull and Bones Society. He and his descendants have
yet to realize the depth of this sacrilege.
Learn from your past mistakes is the way for us all, but both of these
two "lame ducks" must not have recalled any of this country's past!
...HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF...
"A Reservation Iraq Will Be Costly To The U.S."
by Eric Cheyfitz Professor of English at Cornell University
Commenting on U.S. federal policy in "Indian country," the legal
term for federally held and administered tribal lands, D'Arcy Mc-
Nickle, a Salish/Kootenai Indian who during his life was an admin-
istrator for the BIA, a Native activist, and fiction writer wrote: action,
"however benign in intent, if it originates in sources of power and
purpose outside of a community can only destroy that community."
We might take this quote to heart in thinking about current U.S. po-
licy in Iraq, which in very specific ways seems to be repeating the
history of the U.S. invasion, conquest, and colonization of American
Indian communities. It is this history, as Richard Drinnon has elab-
orated in his book Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian-Hating
and Empire-Building, that was the paradigm for U.S. imperial policy
in the Mexican War (1846), the Spanish American War (1898), and
The cornerstone of U.S. imperial policy in Indian country was and
continues to be the reservation system, which in its original con-
ception was the prototype of the 20th century concentration camp,
ghetto, and Bantustan. The system was developed in California in
the 1850s, in the wake of the take over of that territory in the Mexi-
can war and its subsequent incorporation as a state. The purpose
of the reservation was initially the containment in a single adminis-
trative unit of a foreign population who had initially resisted invasion
and was therefore understood as "hostile." Community members,
whom the invading force had reason to deem "friendly," were ap-
pointed as tribal leaders, and so a semblance of self-government
was imposed on reservations.
Beyond the immediate issue of physical concentration and contain-
ment of potentially hostile populations and the opening up of Indian
lands to U.S. exploitation, a long term plan of "civilizing" these pop-
ulations began to develop in the late 19th century, manifested partic-
ularly in a federally sponsored program of boarding schools, where
the forcible cultural conversion of Indian children to Western values
was the agenda. The boarding-school program itself was the ideo-
logical underpinning of the General Allotment Act of 1887, which in
the next 40 years resulted in the expropriation of 93 million acres of
Indian land under the stated agenda of turning communally-based
peoples into the sacrosanct U.S. model of the individual property-
holder. The result of this privatization was devastating poverty with
its attendant social catastrophes.
While allotment was brought to an end with the Indian Reorgani-
zation Act of 1934, the Act itself, however well-intentioned, further-
ed the U.S. civilizing mission by instituting Western-style constitu-
tional governance on reservetions, even though that governance
was widely opposed at the grass roots level by Indian communities,
which had traditionally governed themselves through direct demo-
cratic processes of consensus. As of today, Indian reservations
and Indians generally remain the poorest part of the U.S. and
Indians themselves remain resistant in various ways to U.S. control
of Indian country, where the predominant political program remains
that of tribal sovereignty not integration with or assimilation to the
The U.S. should take note of this failed policy in its midst. For U.S.
policy in Iraq is no more than a specific historical continuation of U.S.
Indian policy. The current official language of "liberating" Iraqis mat-
ches the language of "civilizing" Indians used to justify invasion and
the establishment of the reservation system. In both cases, this lan-
guage masks an agenda of extending power over territory and con-
trol of natural resources. In both cases this agenda expresses its
contempt for, through its ignorance of, the cultural practices and
histories of indigenous communities. And in both cases, the sources
of power and purpose come from outside the community, ignoring
its sovereignty, and so can only destroy that community and perhaps
be destroyed themselves in the process of destruction.
It took over 300 years from the Puritan wars against the Indians in
the 17th century to the U.S wars against the Plains tribes, the Navajos,
and the Apaches in the 19th century for armed Indian resistance to
be defeated. We are already witnessing persistent armed resistance
to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and its imposition of a governing coun-
cil that does not represent the Iraqi people. To believe that this resis-
tance is simply the activity of Saddam loyalists or Arab terrorists
from other countries is to misunderstand profoundly the history of
indigenous resistance movements to U.S. imperialism. In addition
to the violence it spreads globally and locally, such historical misun-
derstanding will cost the U.S. much more than it can afford.
Eric Cheyfitz is the Goldwin Smith Professor of English at Cornell
University, where he serves on the faculty of the American Indian
Program and teaches federal Indian law in the Law School.
"... sometimes we prayed in silence,
sometimes each prayed aloud,
sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us.
At other times one would rise and speak to us
of our duties to each other and to Usen.
Our services were short. "
-- Geronimo (Goyathlay),
Chiricahua Apache Chief
The white man says, there is freedom and justice for all.
We have had freedom and justice,"
and that is why we have been almost exterminated.
We shall not forget this."
-- from the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians
Skull and Bones mystery deepens
Is secret society holding stolen objects and human remains?
by Brenda Norrell
October 20, 2003
SAN CARLOS, Ariz. - Alexandra Robbins, author of "Secrets of
the Tomb," said law enforcement officers should determine if the
secret Skull and Bones Society, to which the Bush family belongs,
has stolen items in its possession, including the remains of
"Why haven't law enforcement officers been in there in the last
200 years," Robbins said of the secret tomb in Connecticut.
"If they truly do have Geronimo's skull, then that is appalling,"
Robbins told Indian Country Today in a telephone interview,
following her appear-ance on 60 Minutes.
Robbins spoke with about 100 Bonesmen for her new book and
believes a 1918 Skull and Bones logbook is authentic.
It chronicles grandfather Prescott Bush and other army officers
desecrating the grave of Geronimo in Fort Sill, Okla.
"We know that Skull and Bones has a history of stealing. It is a
regular Skull and Bones Yale identity. We know there is a skull
in the Skull and Bones Tomb, which Society members have refer-
red to as Geronimo's."
Since the release of her book and her interview on 60 Minutes,
she has received reactions from American Indians.
"I have heard from a lot of Native Americans that want to set up
a protest. I think they should, to settle this matter once and for all.
"I think it is ridiculous that there are stolen items in Skull and Bones
and no one from law enforcement has been in there for 200 years."
Robbins points out that the Skull and Bones membership includes
some of the most powerful men in the United States, including both
President George W. Bush and his father former President George H.
Neither has denied their membership.
Robbins said President George W. Bush usually changes the sub-
ject when asked about his membership in Skull and Bones. His
father, former President H.W. Bush, relayed a comment to Robbins
through his press secretary.
"President Bush said that he preferred it remain secret," Robbins
said, quoting Bush's press secretary.
Secret, however, it is not.
Raleigh Thompson, former San Carlos Apache councilman in Arizona,
told the gathering at the Mount Graham Sacred Run in August that
Skull and Bones Society officers met with an Apache delegation,
including then-chairman Ned Anderson and a tribal attorney, in a
series of meetings in New York in 1987.
Jonathan Bush, George H.W. Bush's brother (President George W.
Bush's uncle) was present in the Skull and Bones delegation that
met with Apaches. The Bonesmen offered to return the skull in ex-
change for the Apaches keeping the matter secret. Thompson said
the skull was that of a child and the Apache delegation did not
"They admitted that they called this skull Geronimo. They gave us the
skull, but the skull was so small that it looked like a young boy's skull,"
Thompson said. He said it is time to bring Geronimo home to the mount-
ains that he loved and wanted to return to, the San Carlos Apaches'
However, Apache efforts for the past 17 years have not resulted in
Geronimo being returned for burial.
In the Skull and Bones Tomb, a glass case houses the skull they
call Geronimo's. Thompson said they also have other bones of
Geronimo's and portions of his horse's bridle from the Apache
Robbins quotes Anderson as to what happened after the Apache
delegation rejected the child's skull.
"The Bonesmen then tried to persuade Anderson to sign a docu-
ment stipulating that the society did not have Geronimo's skull,
that he would take home the display case, and that he would never
talk about the matter again. Anderson refused."
Robbins also quotes from the Skull and Bones logbook in her book.
She describes six army officers, including Grandfather Prescott Bush
raiding Geronimo's grave at Fort Sill in 1918. "An axe pried open the
iron door of the tomb, and Pat Bush entered and started to dig. We
dug in turn."
"Finally Pat Ellery James turned up a bridle, soon a saddle horn
and rotten leathers followed, then wood and then, at the exact bottom
of the small round hole, Pat James dug deep and pried out the trophy
itself." The log then describes how they cleaned the bones and
concludes with the logbook author writing, "I showered and hit the hay,
a happy man."
Robbins writes, "Today the display case remains in the tomb, with
a skull - perhaps the skull from the meeting, perhaps not - that Skull
and Bones members told me they still call Geronimo."
Robbins says the Skull and Bones Society is about power.
"This is probably the most powerful alumni club in the country.
Their scope is so staggering because Skull and Bones is a tiny
club. There are only 800 living members at any one time, yet we
could have two of them facing off for the presidency."
Robbins said the presidential race could be between two Bonesmen,
Republican President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"The purpose of Skull and Bones is to get people into positions of
power, and from there for Bonesmen to hire other Bonesmen into
positions of authority.
"That is something President Bush did, and his father did it too."
The most recent revelation about Bonesmen is that Homeland
Security author Edward McNally is a member of Skull and Bones.
The most surprising to Robbins personally is the involvement
with the atomic bomb. As described in her book, a troop of
Bonesmen oversaw the construction and deployment of the
While Robbins describes the Bush family as the most power-
ul political dynasty of Skull and Bones, she points out that
the membership includes prominent attorneys, finance heads
and CIA officers. Cabinet members and heads of corporations
are among those in the "ultimate old boys' club," including
some of the prominent families: Bush, Bundy, Harriman,
Lord, Phelps, Rockefeller, Taft and Whitney, writes Robbins.
During the interview, Robbins said while she was a student
at Yale she became familiar with the Skull and Bones Society,
which led to the research on the book.
She was curious how much of an effect Skull and Bones had
on Bush's life. "It turned out to have a surprisingly broad
Robbins, former staff writer at The New Yorker, earlier
gained attention for writing about President Bush's poor
academic grades. Since release of her book, the 27-year-
old author said she has received threats in the form of com-
ents that she would be destroyed as a
After appearing on 60 Minutes Bonesmen complained to New
York Daily News that Robbins did not reveal that she was a
member of a rival Yale Society, Scroll and Key.
"I thought that was funny. Of all the things to complain about!"
"I think that people need to be held responsible for the actions
they take in life. I think that's part of the need for a cultural change.
We need to say that each of us needs to be responsible for what we do."
-- George W. Bush 1st Presidential debate, October 3, 2000
"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can
make right look like wrong, and wrong like right."
-- Black Hawk, Sauk