To the editor:
Recently, perimeter construction on the South Lawrence Trafficway was mentioned in this paper. I’ve heard that 50 or so acres are going to be affected by this road in the wetlands. Over 100 years ago, Haskell students built the channels and canals that will be destroyed here. These students had been taken by coercion away from their reservations, families, cultures and religions to have these parts of their identity destroyed by the assimilation policies of this country and its Christian denominations. That canal area was a reminder of the forced assimilation actions of this country.
And yet the beneficiaries of past anti-Indian policy have no problem destroying the reminder of forced labor for the purpose of assimilation. It’s akin to destroying a building at Auschwitz as if nothing happened there either.
In Washington, D.C., clergy of all denominations can stand together to speak of the injustice of having a racist NFL mascot. In Douglas County, Kansas, a United Methodist College can act as if native concerns are invisible when remembering what was done in the recent past and some can wrongly repeat the “Win-Win” mantra for their own conscience. Those with no memory sin over and over.