To the editor:
In 1975-76, I lived in Jonesville, La. Jonesville was built upon a Troyville Cultural Site dating from 100 BC to 700 AD. It was a multiple mound site with the second tallest mound in North America. This mound was destroyed in the name of progress by Gov. Huey Long in 1931 for a bridge across the Black River. Seventy-four years later, people there realize this horrible mistake as sites like Winterville, Marksville and Poverty Point survive and people see them as historical places of importance while Jonesville wonders “what if.”
I’ve spent since 1998 fighting the South Lawrence Trafficway, and many others fought longer than I did. This miscarriage of justice was built upon ignoring indigenous peoples and their connections to this land pre-America. The history of Haskell involves the cultural and spiritual oppression of indigenous peoples and this oppression bore itself out with all of the ignorant comments I witnessed online over the years and Christian denominations with their history of being tools of American assimilation for the U.S. government. “Killing the Indian to save the man” in the days when the Methodist Church ran Haskell in the late 19th century. This road will be just another reminder of American hypocrisy as an indigenous place of worship is destroyed and a four-walled church is revered.
This road is a black eye on the civil rights record of Lawrence. We won’t forget it.