the Last American Indian: The End Of The Beast's Reign?
Cliff McKenzie, Editor
ZERO PLUS 1123 DAYS,--New York, NY, Saturday,
October 9, 2004-- Terrorism takes
many forms--one of them is driving a people into extinction.
The American Indian has survived the Terrorism
of genocide. It's a story full of glory, and a lesson that might
well be applied today in our battle to understand and deal with
all the nefarious forms of Terrorism throughout the world.
was a time this country tried to get rid of the Native
American fierce warriors
America's population today comprises 0.9 percent
American/Alaskan Indian, or about 2.475 million of the 281 million
accounted for in the 2000
The numbers fluctuate by about a million when
they are looked at in the "alone" and "combined"
categories, suggesting that the intermixing of American Indians
with other cultures in the family unit it helping restore their
There was a time when Americans wanted to rid
the "Red Skins" from the land. Following the Indian
Wars, the children from the tribes were taken away from their
parents and put in eastern boarding schools**
so they would not learn any culture or language, and their relationship
to being an Indian would be "exterminated" by civilized
They had thought also of killing them all,
but opted not to.
The American Indian, from whom the vast majority
of land was stolen by force or deception (i.e. trading beads
for Manhattan), was once an endangered species. In the mid 1800's,
the Indian was a fierce warrior who would scalp and rape white
settlers, and should be hanged and put on display as one might
a blood thirsty beast for all to see and be fearful of.
of Omaha boys in cadet uniforms, Carlisle Indian School,
The Terrorism of a culture, while not completely
over, is swinging to the other side. Last month in Washington
D.C, the Smithsonian Instituition's National Museum of the American
Indian opened on a prominent corner of the National Mall.
Consuming four-plus acres, the museum is more
than a treasure chest of memories of the past. It is a boiling
pot of the resurgence of a race, the renewal of a belief system,
and the resurrection of a people.
Museums notably reflect the dust of the dead.
For something to earn its way into the museum, it needs some
antiquity, some "history" that suggests time stopped
for a moment and the museum froze it.
In this museum, that's not the case. In one
display, visitors see an array of guns used against American
Indians. They range from Spanish pistols to the very modern
Glock 9mm, just a few years old. In other words, the Terrorism
still exists, however disproportionate to what it once was.
The director of the museum, a Southern Cheyenne,
W. Richard West, notes the museum is about the future not the
past. He reminds people that Indians controlled the land for
10,000 years, a long long time before 1492's incursion of Europeans.
"There was a tremendous before,"
West is quoted in Time magazine in reference to the debarkation
or "extermination" date of 1492 and "there will
be a tremendous 'after.'"
The Indian After reminds me of the American
After--After Terrorism! What happens to our nation when we reach
a point where we understand the Terrorism will never stop unless
we stop being Terrorized?
In a strange way, the American Indians have
arrived at such a point. They do not Fear the Fear, are not
Intimidated by the Intimidation and refuse to participate in
the Complacency of Complacency.
In other words, they have nullified Terrorism's
three main ingredients that have brewed and percolated since
1492 and nearly erased their culture and civilization as being
museum is not about the Trail of Tears in March, 1839...
The museum isn't about the Trail of Tears--the
great prosecution of American Indians--their holocaust--their
Auschwitz--where they were forced to march to a reservation
on an endless journey of death that rivals the Bataan Death
March, only the victims here were countless women and children,
ultimately, an entire culture of peoples.
There is no attempt to shower guilt or shame
on the world for the atrocities committed against the Indians,
as so many cultures, races and religions seek from society.
Instead, there is a bold renewal of the old
and the new, a statement of Vigilance that looking ahead to
the future with the pride of the past--not its ugliness--is
the key to building and strengthening any society.
...that rivals the Bataan
Death March of April 9, 1942
I thought about our need today for Parents
of Vigilance to step up to the plate and assume the full role
of a Parent of Vigilance.
Modern society has tripped and stumbled recently,
but the wealth of knowledge and respect it has from the past
needs to be renewed, as the American Indians have, and put on
display so that a child can walk through the Vigilance Museum
and say, "Wow, you mean my parents came from parents who
were like this--Brave, Courageous, Committed to the Children's
Children's Children....wow...this is so cool!"
Such a Vigilance Museum would only focus on
one thing--the relationship between parents and children. Every
display would show the child how the parent, working and caring
and concerned about the child, helped the child achieve incredible
feats such as overcoming the fear of going to school or swimming,
or learning how to believe in one's self more than in the opinions
new museum is a statement of Vigilance looking ahead to
the future of the American Indians with pride of the past
The displays would track the history of healthy,
vibrant children and the relationships that bound them close
to their parents--the teamwork and unity of the whole--reaching
toward the goal of the child's evolution into a respecting adult--respecting
of himself or herself as well as all others.
There would be no displays of the Beast of
Family Terror. There wouldn't be displays of parents telling
children they were too busy, or don't both them, or telling
them they weren't good enough, or comparing them to other children,
or, physically abusing them so that the child was seen living
in the dark dankness of a cave, curled up like a frightened
child-beast fearful its mother or father would eat them.
That would be 'unkosher' for the Vigilance
Museum, just as promoting Wounded Knee to the visitors of the
new American Indian Museum would be pouring acid upon already
Take a lesson
in Vigilance from the Native Americans
The world of opportunity is far more vast than
that of destruction, pain and suffering. And that's what the
Vigilance Museum and the American Indian Museum are all about.
But for the moment, there isn't a Vigilance
That means parents must build their own displays
in their own homes, using their own children and themselves
Not a bad idea.
It worked well for the Indians.
To October 7-8 story: "The Cold & Flu Terrorists Attack
One Billion U.S. Citizens A Year"
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