Saturday, July 20, 2019

Eagle Butte

Chairman Harold C. Frazier statement on the President of the United States comments

The President of the United States has decided to make comments regarding Pocahontas, “Big Horn” and “Wounded Knee” in an attempt to denigrate someone else. I ask you, America, when are you going to come to your senses regarding this president?

To say that the President of the United States’ Tweet is thoughtless would be giving him too much credit.  I do believe he put some thought into his Tweet, which is obvious as he has once again taken a racist jab, and in doing so, brought up Pocahontas.

Pocahontas was only a child when she became a victim of rape, kidnapping, imprisonment, and forced to convert to Christianity. What happened to Pocahontas is still happening today to our women. Native American women continue to be victims of rape and exploitation by white men.

The President of the United States is practicing that by exploiting native women as an insult for political machismo. Pocahontas is beloved by native people and is recognized as a victim of European colonialism. To use her name in that manner is disgusting and reflective of the President of the United States’ ignorance.

The Massacre at Wounded Knee is a tragic time for the Lakota people. It is an incident in which soldiers of the United States hunted down and murdered hundreds of Lakota men, women and children in the middle of winter.

On December 28, our tribe observed a day of mourning for our relatives murdered at the hands of the United States.

This was just over two weeks ago! This Tweet comes from the same type of person who will tell us to “get over it” in the same breath. Of course, Wounded Knee happened when a Republican was president of the United States.

To the President of the United States, Wounded Knee may just be a pop culture reference, a phrase he casually and quickly uses any time Native American topics are brought up; but to us, Wounded Knee is a reality that he will never understand.

Not only is it one of the largest mass graves in the United States, it is a reminder of what the government — that he is in charge of — is capable of and continues to do to indigenous people throughout the U.S. and across the world.

Wounded Knee is the extinction of family bloodlines, the mass murder of children and elderly, and the sum of white hatred, bigotry, and racism.

But Wounded Knee is also something that the President of the United States has clearly missed — it is a reminder that we are still here. Just as the Takini (survivors) of Wounded Knee did, we continue to fight for our inherit right to live in a world that has rapidly forgotten what it means to be a human being.

I would like to educate the President of the United States that the Big Horn mountain range was a site of multiple wars in which the United States repeatedly trespassed and suffered multiple military defeats. The Lakota people, along with our Arapaho and Cheyenne allies, defeated Fetterman in one fight and Custer in another fight. It was a dark time in our shared history that is better left in reverent memory of the sacrifices our warriors undertook to ensure our survival. I will remind you that we have treaties that need to be honored as a result of your military losses.

The President of the United States has once again utilized racism and ignorance to attack the natives of this land. I will not remain silent when the Lakota people and our accomplishments are used in this manner.