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Do you think the federal government should issue an official apology to the American Indians?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 21, 2005

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Photo of Josh Hoyer

“An apology isn’t going to do much. They should offer them some sort of compensation, like health care or something they can really use.”

Photo of Emily Knight

“Yes, of course. If we did any thing like this to anyone else in the world, it would be considered an atrocity. They have wiped out a beautiful culture, and I don’t think they can apologize enough.”

Photo of Joel Brummett

“More than an apology is necessary when you take into consideration that they are one of the most incarcerated minorities in the United States, and that tendencies toward them haven’t changed.”

Photo of Josie Thorp

“Yes, and while they are at it they should revoke the medals of honor that they gave to the soldiers who participated in the massacre at Wounded Knee.”

Comments

Kyle Rohde 10 years ago

Its done. Its over with. There's no reason to keep rehashing the atrocities of our early history. They weren't pretty, but neither were the thousands of years of Indians brutally and savagely battling each other. Its not like they were a happy go-lucky, peace loving race of people before Europeans got here. If this logic was used, you could send out apologies to Japanese-Americans for being detained during WWII, apologies to every African-American for slavery even though none of them were alive for it, apologies to every Irish person for the anti-Catholic anti-Irish movements in the 19th century, and who knows where the list would end. What a waste of money. Work with Native Americans to help them overcome their current problems: being the race of people with the highest rate of alcoholism, depression, suicide, and extremely low scores in education and income. That's a more pressing issue then apologizing for things we can't ever apologize for.

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

How many times are we going to apologize?

Sam Brownback is running for president and he should have been seeking this apology long before he was elected. Presidential campaigns bring out the most bogus side of people it seems.

Our boys in Washington DC need to be apologizing to ALL americans for shipping their jobs abroad,not funding public education,holding back on universal healthcare which is what they have since taxpayers are footing the bill for the rest of THEIR lives, failure to provide equal pay for women and taking us deep in debt over the Iraq war( not mention over 30,000 injured soldiers and 1700 dead soldiers). Hey Sam Brownback needs a sack lunch cuz he has a mountain of apologizing to do.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

So should we also apologize and compensate for slavery too?

Apologies aren't going to fix anything, and anyone with any common sense knows what was done was wrong. Like another poster said, if we apologize for this, then where do the apologies stop? Move on people.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

I heard the person asking the questions for the ljw likes to hang out with the "honk for hemp" dude.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

I believe many of Native Americans receive benefits others do not like FREE tuition at Haskell Indian Nations University which is funded by the US gov. How many of us can say we receive free education.

remember_username 10 years ago

What is wrong with you people! Would one of you so convinced that this is bad idea tell me what harm an apology can do? Its an apology from the American government that acknowledges a wrong committed. Is there anybody out there that thinks our abandonment of so many treaties and promises was acceptable? Of course the American government should officially apologize. I'm suprised they haven't done so already - too bad this reeks of a political stunt.

David Ryan 10 years ago

Just as John Paul II apologized for the entire Catholic Church for treatment of the Jews throughout the centuries, it is fitting and proper for the U.S. to apologize to American Indians, whose lands we now consider our own, whether we pay taxes or not.

What made John Paul II's apology to Jews so incredible -- and so worthy of emulation by the U.S. -- was that he was apologizing for actions he did not take. He himself was not responsible for centuries of hate and discrimination of the Jews, and yet he himself apologized and asked forgiveness for those centuries of hate and discrimination and mistreatment.

Similarly, I salute Brownback's idea. We should indeed as a culture and nation apologize to those whose lands and cultures we took and helped destroy. It's a chance for Christians to show that they walk the walk of Jesus, not just talk the talk.

And yes, equally moral would be an apology and reparations for keeping Africans as slaves.

Let's take the late John Paul's example to heart and apologize for centuries of mistreatment in the name of the United States.

lunacydetector 10 years ago

has anyone ever noticed the unemployment rate when outsourcing jobs to other countries is mentioned? It is 5.2% which translates to a practically fully employed populus (taking into count people changing jobs and whatnot).

it seems a lot of people want the US to emulate Europe - nobody mentions the double digit unemployment of those countries.

i think an apology is a good first step. why bitch because someone says they're sorry? i don't think brownback is disingenuous. perhaps it would be a different story IF it were a democrat asking? please tell me a democrat would NOT be disingenuous - ha!

an apology is a good first step - something that can be built upon.

jonas 10 years ago

Consumer1: Has it occurred to you that perhaps the people without jobs they pay taxes on have more of a clue than you or I? I mean, they look fed, and they do it without being chained to a desk from 9-5 every day.

As far as the Mass street questioning goes, I think the biggest mistake we're making is believing that the "On The Street" section of the paper is of any importance to anyone but us. I think they usually just jump out of their office for a 30 minute break.

sac_radical 10 years ago

It's funny that as soon as this is brought up everybody puts thier hands over thier pockets and thinks that Natives want money. Thats because you're greedy. This has nothing to do with money. This also has nothing to do with whiether its Natives from today or a hundred years ago. When Europeans first came to this country they formed opinions about my people that allowed them to justify massacre after massacre. Wounded Knee was not the only or the biggest masacre and it certainly was no battle. This mindset that allows people to treat other people like this still exists. I'm Tohono O'Odham from Arizona and have dark skin, long black hair(I'm a man), and strong Native features. Growing up I had to deal with the same thing ever Native has to deal with. If you live on the rez, as we call it, you're subjected to a substandard way of living. If you live in the city you're subjected to filling the role of a token Indian. Your spirituality is either discredited as quaint or primitive, your culture and very identity hijacked by stereotypes and wannabees, and your people forgotten or ignored as if the Europeans had killed us all off. We're not conquered and the way I know that is because I'm still fighting. Every Native at one point in their life has said and heard the well know phrase "its hard being Indian". An apology may be a landmark in good people's efforts to turn the tables on the way people think. To start to put an end to allowing people to hold these opinions in thier head that grow there from childhood. We're products of our enviroment and in case you haven't noticed the climate has been "anti-Indian" since Columbus landed. This has to change and an official apology from the US government isn't too much to ask. After all the times that the US renegged on thier treatise and the Natives agreed to enter into another one despite the suffering of our people we deserve it. We have constantly held out our hands for peace and its time for the US government to finally take the initiative.

jonas 10 years ago

Con1: I'm curious how you deduce that being able to make a living on your own would in any way equate to clear, unbiased opinions on historical events and circumstances. I think there are questions where it WOULD make a difference, like the question on property tax increases a month or so ago, but unless the person has enough miles under their shoes to actually REMEMBER the events the question concerns, then I can't see how age or financial status would help provide legitimacy to opinion.

General question: Has the govt. OFFICIALLY apologized to the Indian population before? Whether they have or not is crucial to my opinion.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

If Brownback was doing this for a publicity stunt, why would a publicity stunt be considered an acceptable apology for most within the Native American Community. I know Ward Churchill won't accept it.

Additionally, correct me if I am wrong but there was a form of compensation for former African American slaves, each was supposed to receive 40 acres and a mule. Now I don't think many got paid but that was the deal. I witnessed a heated argument between a friend and someone demanding an official apology and monetary compensation for all Native Americans (this was over ten years ago so I am not holding my breath for an apology). My friend by that logic he was entitled to his 40 acres/mule but he did not deserve it. He said it is about what you do for yourself and one should not base their lifes goals on the chance they might get something someone else endured.

My biggest concern is the demand of an apology in the form of a material or monetary settlement especially for someone a hundred plus years removed from those who actually experienced the hardships we are describing.

crohan1978 10 years ago

Who are the idiots that keep saying DC is shipping our jobs overseas, no their not. It is the corporations in this country, that are looking to produce the cheapest product possible, because we as Americans want the cheapest product possible. The same people that are complaining about the jobs overseas are probably complaining about the price of stuff at the stores, and are probably the ones that buy the cheaper product. The fact is, other countries can produce the product cheaper than we can, get over it. Until the unions loosen their grip on us, it will continue to happen. In order to stay competitive w/ Asian products, American companies have to do something, and you are seeing the result, so stop blaming DC and Bush for it, it is not his problem, its the leftist unions that are causing this, and NAFTA, a Clinton program!!

enochville 10 years ago

Note of correction: Native Americans do already receive free health care.

Before I took a required class on diversity, I thought all of the wrongs Americans did against Native Americans was in the distant past. But, when we bother to really look at the situation, we'll see that our government is continuing to do wrongs against them. We really do need to get educated and listen to their concerns. I am not about living in the past, but I am about lifting a neighbor now and reconciliation.

remember_username 10 years ago

The problem is the hardships continue today. Not for every tribe but for some. Here's my bleeding heart liberal speak - but some of the most abject poverty in the U.S. occurs on American Indian Reservations. The lowest income level in the U.S. is found on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. If I remember correctly the mean income is around 4K / year. (And yes I have volunteered on reservations in the southwest and will continue to do so.) We do not have to provide money, but we can provide time, or old clothes, or if nothing else awareness. An apology at least raises the awareness level.

raven 10 years ago

I don't think attacking people's employment is going to get us anywhere on the question. The question is not ambiguous and what one does for a living I do not think has any bearing on whether they can answer. I have respect for anyone who is working and supporting themselves, there is no shame in being a carpet cleaner and no shame in being a college student. Also, I am very tired of the stereotype that all college students get all financial support from "Mom and Dad" and that their parents are wealthy. This is simply not true in the case of most everyone I know. Personally, I worked hard to put myself through school and everytime a college student is accused of being a rich snob living off their parents it cheapens so many people's hard work.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

Crohan,

Agreed. The US companies did not look at the long term and focus on investment in their companies and were more concerned about turning the big profit in their carreer so they could walk home with the fat paycheck rather than taking more modest profits invest in the company (working toward more economically sound, environmentally safe and energy efficent methods of product production) . My family back east has said the unions destroyed production in their companies (reducing low and middle income jobs) and forced the companies to seek cheap ( and sometimes unethical ) labor options over seas.

If we want to get back to work, we need to have the people willing to do the hard work and get sweaty...we need to get away from the idea hard work is beneath us...this country may have been built by abused people (insert your race, ethnicity, country etc. here), but today people are still wanting to coast on their achievements of yesteryear

Hong_Kong_Phooey 10 years ago

Oh...lord, have mercy.

Alright, let's issue an apology for something that none of us did, to people that weren't alive when it was done. I want to make sure though that I get an apology for the atrocities done to my ancestors by the Normans...and the Saxons...and the Romans...and, oh nevermind. The list is too long and distinguished.

The point is that, yes, the things that were done are considered reprehensible by TODAY'S STANDARDS. Back then, it was just business as usual. By the way, are men going to issue an apology to women for thousands of years of mistreatment, brutalization, etc?(which in some women's case continues to this day- just ask their abusive husbands) If not, why not? Why should we only apologize to a select few?

On a sidenote: Das_Uber - the Vikings do too exist today. Ever heard of Norway?? Same for the Romans - they're located in a little country called "Italy". Come on, say it with me "I-T-A-L-Y"...

remember_username 10 years ago

so we're even?...

Crappy - look up the definitions of Battle and Massacre. How many non-combatants were killed at little big horn?

wichita_reader 10 years ago

Sure, an official apology would be appropriate, but probably won't change many hearts and minds.

To all posters who want to rag on the people on the street, at least they've got the guts to put their name and mug behind their answers, rather than sit behind an anonymous username and post to a website.

remember_username 10 years ago

H_K_P - the apology is from the American Government not from you and me. None of us did it, but our government committed sanctioned atrocities, ignored treaties, and used biological weapons - so our government should at least apologize.

kansas 10 years ago

Crappy, I must say, at first your post angered me....then, for some odd reason, it made me laugh like crazy!!

So, I have to ask you....Is it Crappy Crapperson, or is it Archie Bunker? Because while reading your post, I kept seeing the face--and hearing the voice--of Archie Bunker!!

LOL!

remember_username 10 years ago

firstnation101 - crappy was removed by LJW. Your point about 9/11 is very interesting. It is worth noting (and this is going to get me in deep with other posters), 9/11 was committed by a bunch of crazed terrorist fanatics, Wounded Knee was committed by a bunch of U.S. Calvary carrying our flag...

Centrist 10 years ago

Apology? Sure, why not? Check the issues in Australia right now with the Aborigines. Midnight Oil wore shirts that said "Sorry" when they played at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, yet the Australian government continues to refuse to issue an official apology for past government wrongs. The government is an ongoing institution, not like you and me. See "Stolen Generations" for some really good info on this issue. Oh, and watch "Rabbit-Proof Fence" too. What Americans have failed to recognize is that Native Americans are constantly left out of the dialog - it's always "White, Black or Hispanic" that are mentioned. Look for yourself and see how low this country values its Indigenous population.

ms_canada 10 years ago

liberty - if you are reading the board today, please refer to the board of yesterday, as I left you a note there. And if you have an answer for me please leave it on that board. Thanks.

theoldways 10 years ago

The U.S can apologize all they want. Our politicians and the president, they can call apologize. But in the end, they are again going to be empty and hollow words. I recall an Indian chief once saying, "The White man kept all but one promise. He promised to take our land, and he did." What about all of those broken treaties? What about all of the genocide? How does one apologize for such atrocities? Should people be reminded of Wounded Knee and Sand Creek? The Trail of Tears? Have any of our state senators read a "A People's History", or "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"? And to think most people that live in this country don't refer to the acts comitted against the Native American's genocide, maybe they need to be reminded what genocide is? The deliberate extermination of a race or group of people. That is exactly what the White man did, and in some cases, is still doing. (cont)

theoldways 10 years ago

I've come to the conclusion that people still feed into stereotypes, that Native Americans were just "savages" that were always at war with each other. Well can't we say the same about other countries? There were certainly tribes that attacked others, but there were also many peaceful tribes. Prior to European contact, many tribes didn't use war tactics, because they had no reason to be on the defense. They were trying to save their culture, their way of life. Wouldn't you if intruders were stealing your land? (cont)

wichita_reader 10 years ago

Reading Firstnation101's post made me think about a portion of Nightline I saw last night. It featured Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund. Koppel asked Feinberg (and I'm paraphrasing, here) if it was appropriate that victims' of 9/11's families received about $2 million from the US Govt, while victims of the Oklahoma City bombing received no govt cheese, so to speak. Feinberg didn't have much of an answer, other than to essentially say it wasn't fair.

So the US Govt gave millions to victims' of one terrorist attack, didn't give any money to victims of another terrorist attack, and many posters are saying the US Govt shouldn't issue an apology for acts of our own government and armed forces. Wow!

theoldways 10 years ago

An apology for all of this will mean almost nothing to the many tribes of this land. The past cannot be changed. What was done, unfortunatley, was done. America has paid for what was done to the Natives of this land. We will never be able to see this continent as they did, we will never be able to enjoy the beautiful creations, the mountains, the rivers, the creatures big and small, the lake. We lost out big time. Things could have been different, y'know. Some Europeans wanted to live peaceful, side by side with the Natives, but that was ruined when others didn't want it this way. All of this destruction cannot be reconstructed. But there is still a chance to make a difference. (cont)

Jay_Z 10 years ago

9/11 and what happened to the Native Americans are totally different--don't even try to compare them b/c it doesn't make any sense.

theoldways 10 years ago

This is what needs to be done: Don't isolate Native Americans from the rest of the world. Give them job opportunities, and good ones at that. Not jobs that "nobody wants". Give them a fair opportunity to compete. Let them improve their healthcare. Don't give them zero options, or put them in sticky situations. Like for instance: "We'll pay you millions of dollars if we can store nuclear waste in your backyard". They absolutley shouldn't be living like those in third world countries. They deserve more then in apology. You cannot apologize for a situation that is still in a bad place, without doing something about that situation. (cont)

theoldways 10 years ago

The other argument is that other races have been treated bad in this country too. African Americans and slavery, Chinese and Irish immigrants and discrimination. If we apologize for what was done to the Native Americans, then should African Americans be compensated for what was done to them? What was done to Japanese and Chinese Americans during World War 2? Yes. If we are going to go around the world to promote democracy, it needs to start at home. Liberty, freedom, and the persuit of happiness for a select few.

Many people have come to this country for a better opportunity. No doubt that this country isn't perfect, but there is opportunity. My ancestors came over to this country in the early 1900's from Scotland and Ireland for that reason. Now why can't Native American's have this fair opportunity? People still come into the country for this reason, are able to get some of the best healthcare, ect, yet the indigenous people are left in the dark.

This country was founded on lies and lots of bloodshed. I can't help but to wonder if the government will ever care. I care for all of my indigenous friends and I'm a firm supporter/advocate for indigenous rights. They need much more then an apology. (the end)

merrywidow033 10 years ago

if i'm not mistaken, even haskell was originally not in the best interest of the native american population. i've read papers on how it was originally intended to "civilize" the native american population. (don't get me wrong, i'm sure haskell is a great university now) but at the time of orgin, it had some less than wonderful motives. so even if someone tries to use haskell as an excuse/apology, it's a watered down version at best. i do agree that the government should issue an apology. why not? who is it going to hurt? i felt a lot of respect for pope john paul 2 when he issued an apology to the jewish people. meh.. that's my 3cents.

Ceallach 10 years ago

jonas: for many decades various politicians have apologized for the sins of the nation, I think the majority of US citizens know the previous actions were atrocious. However, I do not recall an OFFICIAL apology. I fear that will be a long time coming (like never). It would be a likely as getting a doctor to admit that he/she saw a loose section of carpet but didn't get around to having it secured before you fell and injured yourself in the office. Litigation phobia!

btw: Native Americans do receive free health and dental care from the government. They must go to the nearest facility for the service, but there is no charge. Considering the problems the govt has with Medicare I can understand why they have kept this benefit away from private physicians and dentists.

Apologies? to all ethnic cultures that have been treated badly by our country? who knows how much that would help?

Cessation of discrimination - now that might accomplish something. We need to let our defense of the down-trodden go beyond expressions of outrage communicated through a username on a website. Good deeds are best done in the type of anonymity that says I care and do not need credit for it.

We want good things for others online and on paper, how about on the street?

I have a multilcultural family and the most hurtful slights are not happening on the job from employers, or even in stores from clerks, etc., they are happening in the daily interactions / or lack there of, by other employees, shoppers, school mates, even worshipers. Whether or not the government ever issues an official apology, we can make sure we do not perpetuate the offenses. My family members do not want to be treated "special" because of their ethnicity, they just want to be treated with respect. The American people hold the key to racial/ethnic harmony, not the government.

wichita_reader 10 years ago

Jay_Z: In both cases, innocent people were slaughtered. That's one commonality, and the most important, I think. Yeah, of course you're right, many variables differ.

Since when have people not compared and contrasted things simply because they're quite different?

enochville 10 years ago

firstnation - I understand that you and your people are in a lot of pain, and that offenses continue to occur. I know that hateful comments were even said in this forum. This sorrows me. So, how do we move from here?

When looking at similar situations all over the world, one statagy that does not work is continuing to teach hatred to the future generations. I honestly free that this is done at Haskell and in other settings. It also doesn't help to rebuff your oppressor when he begins to help you. Saying things like your people bought free health care and education with your blood does not encourage the majority to listen to you or help more. Furthermore, it is not true. Who offered that exchange to your people? No, one. As you said, your people would not have exchanged lives for health care.

If you have any influence on the teaching of your people, teach them to solve problems, not to hate. I say this because I want your people to advance, for I am part Native American myself. No oppressed people ever overcame through hatred. Learn to help Americans feel good about themselves for helping you. Why should you care? Because people don't respond well to guilt-tripping. You may take offense at something I've said. If so, I am sorry. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Gandhi succeeded where the Black Panthers failed because they used peace, understanding, and hope.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

Wichita, I guess I used the wrong wording. Absolutely you can compare the two. I guess my point is that 9/11 and what happened to the Native Americans are not similar. Sure, compare them, but do not insinuate that they are the same thing.

mr_daniels 10 years ago

An official apology from the United States would indeed be most appropriate and would help help to heal past scars left on the hearts and minds of many American Indians today. I am a Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation and can attest to the overall misery that must be endured by my fellow tribesman. In my estimation, there is no People in this Great Land of ours that personally knows suffering and hardship like we do. Despite hardship we continue with keeping our Culture alive and vibrant. Our Spirituality is alive, our language is alive and we are doing all that we can possibily do to hand down to our Children those things that were handed down to us so that the People may live. Blood was spilled by both sides during the many battles that finally defined the present United States but we do not assume the attitude of defeatism nor victimhood. We will hold on to our Treaty Rights and will hold the United States to them. Both sides have their signatures on them and as a Country of Rule and Law, the United States has a moral obligation to follow them through. Currently, there is a need for more business and job opportunities inorder that the People will have a sense of hope and improvement in their daily lives as most Americans can attest to. We do not want your pity. Hopefully in the near future we will have the leadership necessary that will take risks and create the atmosphere for true economic growth. We are trying America, we are trying. We do not want to take these Freedoms for granted and neither should you!

Ho Eche Tu Welo

remember_username 10 years ago

Jay_Z - I agree there are too many details different between the two for effective comparison asside from the loss of innocents. I also agree that I shouldn't have insinuated that they are the same thing - one was much more of an atrocity than the other.

Iron_Eyes_Cody 10 years ago

People start pollution.....people can stop it.

Archangel 10 years ago

They are paying in a much more profound way. The loss of their own soul.

The incessant need to "Amerikkanize" the world is proof that they have indeed lost it. There should be no doubt that a "free-enterprise" (everyone for themselves)system is the greatest method of earthly achievement. But aren't the long-term effects of that system, the creation of an inbreeding of selfishness?

remember_username 10 years ago

enochville - I spent two years teaching at Haskell and never once felt any animosity. In fact I found the students to be much more engaged than K.U. students. Many were not as well prepared as the average K.U. student, but they worked harder for it. I was always included in any cultural activities and my questions freely answered. The students at Haskell delighted in sharing their history and beliefs. With so many Tribes it was truly a multicultural place.

penguin 10 years ago

Just a note:

In 1988, 46 years after the harsh conditions, dislocated lives, and pain, a simple apology was signed by President George H.W. Bush, and a sum of $20,000 was offered to each of the affected families.

remember_username 10 years ago

Penguin - you refer to Japanese Americans internment compensation, correct?

penguin 10 years ago

sorry, I forgot to add that part to it...yes Japanese-Americans who were interned during WWII.

Jay Bird 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jay Bird 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

baxoje 10 years ago

I find that most of the posts on this subject are erroneous in their assumptions and reflect the larger issue of white privilage that is so prevelant in this country. The indigenous people of this country recieve free (and substandard for the most part) health care and education(again, substandard for the most part-haskell is an exception in that it is striving to create an environment for higher learning with dwindling government funding) because of treaty rights with the US government. These treaty rights are a direct result of having our land basically stolen from us. During this time, as firstnations101 so eloquently stated, we lost huge numbers of our relatives. And only those indigenous people who are enrolled in federally recognized tribal nations-sovereign nations.

As indigenous people of this land, we many times do not want to assimilate completely into the mainstream society. We hold our traditions, ceremonies, and other cultural ways in the highest regard. And again, not every indigenous person lives this way. We DO NOT, as enochville suggests, teach hatred. Haskell is an incredible diverse campus. Tribal people from all over this nation come to Lawrence to receive an education. And how are they treated?? Well, many times they are followed around grocery stores because of racist beliefs that we are thieves. Indigenous students at Haskell are, again for the most part, isolated on that campus.

And why should we help Americans feel good about the fact that they may help us? Oh okay, I'll thank the missionaries that stole my greatgrandfather from his parents and put him in a school where he was severly beaten for speaking his tribal language. He was five years old at the time.

Jay-z, why wouldn't we compare 9-11 to the overall slaughter of thousands of indigenous men, women and children? Is it because the slaughter happened to "savages" and not real Americans? Whatever. The holocaust that happened in this country is real, isn't real pretty, and the effects of that holocaust still reverberate today. Remember-useranme states that 9-11 was committed by a bunch of crazed terrorist...hmmm...yup, sounds the same to me. This person also states that the slaughter at Wounded Knee was done so under the Calvary flag. So that makes it okay. Sounds like that calvary was a bunch of crazed terrorist to me. Those so called soldiers carved off the breasts of dead women, smashed babies againts rocks down by the river, they used their bayonets to carve off the heads of children who were cold and hungry, they scalped men, women, children, newborns. If that doesn't smell of terrorists, then I don't know what does. So Jay-z, I'm doing more than insinuating about the similarities, I am saying out loud, right into your face-IT IS THE SAME THING. Sorry if that offends your sense of American pride.

An apology really wouldn't make up for the harsh reality of living native in this country.

baxoje 10 years ago

I find that most of the posts on this subject are erroneous in their assumptions and reflect the larger issue of white privilage that is so prevelant in this country. The indigenous people of this country recieve free (and substandard for the most part) health care and education(substandard for the most part-haskell is an exception in that it is striving to create an environment for higher learning with dwindling government funding) because of treaty rights with the US government. These treaty rights are a direct result of having our land stolen from us. During this time, as firstnations101 so eloquently stated, we lost huge numbers of our relatives. And only those indigenous people who are enrolled in federally recognized tribal nations-sovereign nations, receive these types of services. We do not live tax free, all of us do not receive free money.

As indigenous people,we many times do not want to assimilate completely into the mainstream society. We hold our ceremonies, and other cultural ways in the highest regard. And again, not every indigenous person lives this way. We DO NOT, as enochville suggests, teach hatred. Haskell is an incredible diverse campus. Tribal people from all over this nation come to Lawrence to receive an education. And how are they treated?? Well, many times they are followed around grocery stores because of racist beliefs that we are thieves.

And why should we help Americans feel good about the fact that they may help us? Oh okay, I'll thank the missionaries that stole my greatgrandfather from his parents and put him in a school where he was severly beaten for speaking his tribal language. He was five years old at the time.

Jay-z, why wouldn't we compare 9-11 to the overall slaughter of thousands of indigenous men, women and children? Is it because the slaughter happened to "savages" and not real Americans? Whatever. The holocaust that happened in this country is real, isn't real pretty, and the effects of that holocaust still reverberate today. Remember-useranme states that 9-11 was committed by a bunch of crazed terrorist...hmmm...yup, sounds the same to me. This person also states that the slaughter at Wounded Knee was done so under the Calvary flag. So that makes it okay. Sounds like that calvary was a bunch of crazed terrorist to me. Those so called soldiers carved off the breasts of dead women, smashed babies againts rocks down by the river, they used their bayonets to carve off the heads of children who were cold and hungry, they scalped men, women, children, newborns. If that doesn't smell of terrorists, then I don't know what does. So Jay-z, I'm doing more than insinuating about the similarities, I am saying out loud, right into your face-IT IS THE SAME THING. Sorry if that offends your sense of American pride.

An apology really wouldn't make up for the harsh reality of living native in this country.

wichita_reader 10 years ago

Very well written, baxoje. I was going to post the similarities of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the US Army against our country's indigenous peoples, but I figured it would fall on deaf ears.

happygolucky: the tone of your post might warrant a screen name change, crappygosucky, maybe? Just a thought.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

Hey baxoje, I heard you the first time, no need to post the same thing twice.

So hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings is the same thing as an army fighting/taking over (or whatever you want to call it) another group of people? Geez, you've got a warped mind.

cybermaiden 10 years ago

They can keep their apology if State and Federal Governments would simply recognize and honor tribal Sovereignty. Keeping those "bothersome" treaties would also be a start.

wichita_reader 10 years ago

All and especially happygolucky: sorry about the namecalling. Counted to 10, took a deepbreath, read the post twice over, all that stuff. I couldn't help myself.

staff04 10 years ago

Arguing anonymously on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics--even if you win, you're still retarded.

jonas 10 years ago

JayZ: Don't be obtuse. 9/11 and Wounded Knee were the same thing: one group of people killing and abusing innocent people in the context of a larger war of influence, ideology, lifestyle, and land rights. The only difference is that the American murderers were sanctioned, indeed, ordered, to do what they did by the government they worked for, whereas the Arabic murderers probably just recieved quiet funding.

I suppose, if you want to babble on about it, then it can, indeed, be said that the Americans did not take planes and fly them into the Indian encampments. Maybe they just didn't think of it.

GreenEyedBlues 10 years ago

I stepped into this late, but Consumer1, what's with all the anger toward students and carpet cleaners? Just because you pay taxes doesn't make you any less of an idiot. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Why don't you submit your work/home address to LJWorld so they can personally seek you out every day and get your two cents, which, apparently, is better than any punkass college student's.

ms_canada 10 years ago

hey guys - this is getting out of hand with the nasty, name calling. I don't think that apologies are really what is called for in the system in both of our countries. The situation for our natives (canadian) is just as bad as you people seem to be describing and I, for one, would desparately like to see something done about it. I have native friends and listen to their cry. An apology would do nothing to alleviate their suffering. But on another point, do none of you ever read history? One group of people conquering a weaker group has been going on since the world began. Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Germans and Brits. Remember the saying "the sun never sets on the British Empire" Do you know what it means? None of those conquerors apologized. It seems to be the way of the world. It all comes down to greed, selfish greed. And is not greed and the quest for oil the real reason for the Iraq business?

baxoje 10 years ago

Sorry about the double post...

Yes Jay_z I definitely think they are the same thing. The US government used terrorist tactics totry to take care of the "indian problem" in this country. The terrorist of 9-11 just used a more updated version. How can you believe and believe me, I am not trying to change your mind becuz I think you will stick to believing what you want to believe-I'm just giving you a little education that you didn't learn in the Euro-Western educational system. A system that has rewritten its history so as to not look quite so bad, that what happened on 9-11 is worse than the wholesale genocide of a group of people?

The US government had a policy (and yes our founding fathers endorsed this, included old honest Abe) of genocide towards the indigenous people of this country. The word "Redskin" came about from this policy. In the beginning a person who killed an indian had to present the whole body in order to receive their payment/booty. After awhile all the person had to do was bring in the scalp (hence, the word redskin-bloody underside of the hair) in order to receive payment. This is just one example of the genocide policy-believe me I can give you 1,000's of other examples.

So, it wasn't just the army. It was the rednecked racists who wanted to own indian land for themselves who employed all sorts of underhanded tactics.

I personally don't see any difference in the two situations. But then again, I am not invested in this whole false sense of American pride. The go get 'em attitude that is so prevelant in this country right now. The attitude that says "WE are Americans and we are right." Forget it. We are not right. And I consider myself a citizen of my tribal nation first and an American second. And if you don't like that Jay_z, then too bad.

GreenEyedBlues 10 years ago

And for the record, nobody says "fer shure" and the "like" bit anymore. This is Lawrence, KS in 2005. Not Sunset Valley circa 1989. Stop watching your 90201 reruns and get some fresh air.

ms_canada 10 years ago

jonas - mine Gott im Himmel - wounded knee and 9/11 are categorically not even in the same ball park. Where did that thought come from. The conquest of American is in the ball park with the conquest of Briton (no typo there) by the Jutes, Anglos and Saxons, with the conquest of Palestine by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans. With conquest of India by the Brits. etc. etc. 9/11 is simply an individual, one off act of terrorism, not a conquest

baxoje 10 years ago

ms_canada, although I agree with your last sentence stating "9/11 is simply an individual, one off act of terrorism, not a conquest." I do not believe that my indigenous homeland was ever conquered. If it had been, then I would not be alive. Also, wounded knee and 9-11 may not be categorically in the same ballpark, it is the tactics that were used-terrorist tactics that make them very much the same.

Carmenilla 10 years ago

Whew! Great topic. Have seen and lived the rez lifestyle. I am not a native but spent some time on the Kickapoo reservation due to my father's work.

An apology would be pretty lame but maybe if the words had some real intent and empathy behind it, it could mean something symbolically to the native peoples. Then again, maybe not. Its goes beyond most of our comprehension. What Haskell used to be and stood for is frightening. The "whitening" of native children at boarding schools was a perversion of education. And sadly, it was often done in the name of God. I'm not bashing, just stating a fact. Do some reading on Haskell's history and you'll understand.

ms_canada is right though. This has been going on for a loooong time. Acceptance instead of assimilation/destruction is very rarely human nature. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to rise above it. Or at least thats how I'm trying to live my life. I can't change the past but I can make way for the better future. Call me a dreamer....or a cheeseball.

Centrist 10 years ago

Apparently it's only "terrorism" when proud old America is "attacked" ... but by definition, ALL WAR is TERRORISM.

Wounded Knee is, was and always will be an act of terrorism, as was 9-11.

BTW, I'm "white" and in my 30's. According to society, I'm supposed to be RICH. Can we forget the damn steroetpypes now???

Centrist 10 years ago

Just like the Catholic missions in Australia tried to "assimilate" the Aborigines, Native Americans have been urged to assimilate or be ignored. I urge all of you to see "Rabbit Proof Fence" or "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith".

ms_canada 10 years ago

baxoje - I stand corrected. What I was trying to say was that wounded knee was only a part of the larger plan of conquest. I am an avid reader and student of history, hence my mention of all the past conquests. You say you would not be alive if your homeland had been conquered. From my reading of those past conquests, I have learned that not all of those conquered were slain. They lived to go on under new masters and rulers just as native americans do. Your homeland was taken over by foreigners just as Briton was taken over by the Angles and Saxons. That was my point. And just as it was not right in Briton, it was not right in America, but that is the way it is in this nasty world.

Huckleberry 10 years ago

Doesn't "the sun never sets on the British Empire" mean that the British Empire is so expansive that somewhere in the world, the sun is up over some part of the empire? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's where the phrase came from.

jonas 10 years ago

Mrs. Canada: Wounded knee is a single incident, not a conquest. 9/11 was not a random event that happened, it was part of a continuing war (whether called one or not) over the use of land in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the middle east, and the conflicting influence of Islam (or it's self-styled messengers) over the region against the Westerners (and vice versa).

Which of these points do you disagree with? Or is it something else that I'm not catching on to.

baxoje 10 years ago

Ms_canada,I understand what you are trying to say, but you may want to use different terminology. Using the words "conquest," "masters and rulers," etc does not apply to most of the indigenous people of this country. As an enrolled member of of federally recognized tribal nation, I am a citizen of a sovereign nation. That means that, although I may be a US citizen, I am first and foremost a citizen of my tribal nation. I do not live under any "new masters and rulers." If you want to read up on this subject I suggest reading Prucha, Devon Mihesuah, among others. This will explain to you the meaning of tribal sovereignty.

Centrist 10 years ago

Huckleberry, you are correct. It was because the British empire was far and wide.

Christy_K 10 years ago

Wow, take the morning off and look what happens. I can't help but chime in on this one.

An apology would be a step in the right direction because the first step to solving any problem is admitting you are a part of it. The biggest problem I truly see is a denial by many White Americans that they have any part in what happened to Native Americans. Though you may not have personally, members of your family (whom you love and respect) did! This is why I think many White Americans to this day resent the idea of an apology because by implicating their ancestors they are implicating themselves.

On the other hand, Native Americans need to accept the apology and move forward. Students of real American history know that Native Americans were participants in their own history. Though power and fate were not on their side, and most of the blame is on White American racists attitudes of the day, they still made choices that affected their future. Modern day Natives who choose to hate are part of the problem, not the solution.

The other important issues is that White Americans need to recognize that because we have not completely atoned for the sins of the past we are in a small way continuing them today. We need to give Native Americans back the power of their identity. Identity theft by White Americans (symbolism, mascots, car names, etc) who use Native identity to further their own goals and make themselves feel better are perpetrating an aversive racism by continuing to dominate Native culture. To this day White people still think of Native Americans as those savage tomahawk waving savages from John Wayne movies (don't believe me go to a Florida State game). At Haskell you have to prove you are Indian enough to be a student. People who claim indian descent (like Ward Churchill) are often told to prove it! Being Indian is not just about blood but culture, just like being American is not about ethnicity. Let Indians define and control their own identity. It is no honor to be a cheap half-time entertainment trick or to be imitated by a drunk fat white man at a football game.

Ohh, I'm too bitter, I'm sorry. I apologize. I'd better get back to work. :)

Jay Bird 10 years ago

wichita_reader-No problem, some stuff just lights me up. If you hear the same lame ass cry baby stories over and over again, it starts to wear on you. I was think think a good screen name may be RantingGoCrazy, or maybe ProzacNeedQuickly. Not real sure. For those of you I have offended, you can still kiss my ass, but only if you want to. If it will make you feel better, I'll just give myself the bird in the mirror and we can call it square.

Now can't we all just enjoy the Sunshine. It really nice outside.

wichita_reader 10 years ago

happygolucky: Thanks for the accepting the apology and the laughs. That line about giving yourself the bird in the mirror is great. Original material?

Jay Bird 10 years ago

wichita_reader-Well, I do try sometimes. I think the meds are kicking in. If people out on the street could rant and rave and still walk away with out all the hate, we would all be better off. I really don't care if someone is white, black, red, yellow or green....well maybe the later ones do to maybe being ill....we're all just people. I'm sure my great great whatever has hurt someone's great great so and so in the past, but that's just it, the PAST. I think that we should just let it all go and help each other out just like we are brothers and sisters. Even if some of us smell funny, and maybe cuss alot.

Berkinstock St, now that was funny, don't they have a Berkinstock store on Mass?

Fangorn 10 years ago

Did anyone have pancakes or French toast for breakfast this morning?

Con1: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I want to clarify something you seemed to be saying earlier. Those who play little or no taxes lose nothing by advocating reparations, free healthcare, free this, free that, to atone for past wrongs. Since they pay little or nothing into the federal coffers, they're not the ones paying for it. It's not that they don't have a right to an opinion. It's just that it's not being compassionate to give away other people's money.

Allow me to nit-pick a word I've seen misused a number of times on this forum. "Calvary" is a hill near Jerusalem. It comes from the Latin word for "skull". Its Aramaic name, Golgotha, means "Place of the Skull". A group of soldiers on horses in the 19th century, or in fast-moving vehicles in more recent times, is call "cavalry".

The tone really started to get away from us today. I'm glad that we're capable of stepping back, taking that "deep breath" (oxygen counteracts adrenaline), and moving forward with the discussion.

Yes, there is a Birkenstock store in Lawrence. . . . It's on Mass Street. :-)

ms_canada 10 years ago

christy - a very well worded post. baxoje - I think I was wrong to lump all 'conquests' together on this board. but space is limited and some don't like too overly long posts. I know that all of the 'conquests' that I listed are not the same. I could site the differences if space allowed. And one thing I want to say to you, I am so very pleased to hear you tell about your belonging to a sovereign nation. I did not know about this. You are so right to hold your head high and square your shoulders and be very proud of your heritage. I see so many aboriginals here in my city who do not have the same feelings that you have. And I blame the white man for causing the feelings of degradation that a lot of them feel. My very good friend, Doris, is like you as is her whole family. They all refuse treaty money and as such are classified as metis, but are full blood native. They have educated themselves (doris is an RNurse) and are proud of it. I believe that instead of apologies, help needs to be given to natives to instill in them a great sense of pride in their heritage.
I will look for the reading material that you suggested. thanks.

dcjhawk 10 years ago

An appology? Don't make me laugh. What good will that do? Will it take away all the poverty, health and education issues away from the reservations of this land? No! So why all the hostillities? It pointless. This happygolucky guy really needs to grow up. Stop being angry at everyone else and point the finger at himself. Stop blaming everyone else for being born an a-hole. If you really think that this is level playing field, you really need take the blinders off.

dont_panic 10 years ago

My maternal grandfather was half Sioux. I don't claim to be Indian myself, but I do know a few things .. .. ..

The Government took away all Indian tools and defenses then herded them like cattle away from their natural homes on to enclosed fields deemed un-livable by the white settlers. Why? The natives weren't given the choice lands in Oklahoma (or anywhere else, for that matter,) like some obviously think. The lands they were given were rocky, muddy crap holes totally opposed to any sort of agriculture! The natives were forced to rely on the government for food throughout the summer months. Then the government and settlers drove away and/or culled to near extinction the Indians primary source for winter food and clothing, again forcing the natives to rely on the government for food and, this time, warmth thru the winter months. What did the government do to help the Indians out with their little problem? They purposely handed them blankets filled with the chicken pox virus! When good 'ol Abe freed the slaves, he promised them heaps of land, etc. for their troubles. And even 'tho the slaves didn't get their land in the end (another argument for another day) .. where did that promised land come from in the first place? Then Abe delivered one of his famous speeches - this one was about the liberation of the slaves but the condemnation of the "heathens." He wasn't talking about the raccoons or native prairie dogs either. He was talking about our Native American populations!

There is NOTHING heartfelt about political maneuvering for a possible presidential run. Brownback won't get the Indian vote, no matter how hard he thinks he's working for them. Why? Because, just like others (political and non-political) in our not so distant past, he simply doesn't get it!

An empty apology doesn't cut it. It never did! The peanuts we throw at the Indian Uni is substandard, especially when we give away staggering amounts of money to others around the world daily. And the health care on reservations is, at best, atrocious.

We took away everything possible and impossible from them, and gave them nothing but death to their kind in return. We both smiled, shook their hands and spit in their faces at the same time!

What's changed?

oOoh! That's right. We're more politically correct in our justification of the neglect these days.

Silly me. I forgot for a moment.

Centrist 10 years ago

Just a thought: why do we always refer to non-Native America as "White America" - there are millions of people in this melting pot that are not white ... again, just a thought. Ask a black person or a Hispanic if a Naive American should get 20 acres and a mule and watch the sparks fly!

Ceallach 10 years ago

ms_canada: Your point regarding indigenous people was well put. European and other countries are not solely inhabited by indigenous people. The British weren't always one people, etc. When in truth, each of those countries is inhabited by descendents of both indigenous and conquering peoples. However, when in Europe I discovered that as one mingles and converses with the natives they quite often identify themselves and others by including their ancestry. Not so much as a label, just an interesting fact about the individual. I will concede that, even regarding the French :)

It is unfortunate that human nature throughout the centuries has changed so little, and cannot seem to progress beyond the "we want it all" mentality, regardless of their location. But that is and has always been the trademark of the unregenerated human nature.

craigers 10 years ago

No, I don't think they should issue an appology. Does everybody have to have a wounded mentality that says they can't be the bigger person and just move on without somebody having to admit they were wrong. What happend to the American Indians was terrible, but it did happen and it is history, let's move on for goodness sake. This question was asked month's ago, why is it being brought up again? Move on and get over it.

Centrist 10 years ago

Because Sam Brownback raised it again ...

deuce 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

remember_username 10 years ago

Huckleberry - According to the Irishman in me. The phrase " the sun never sets on the British empire" is because even God would never trust an Englishman in the dark.

Fangorn - Ohh!!! I hate it when I misspell words like that. Thanks.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

First Nation- People asked for examples of a form of compensation given to the Native Americans...although they had other motives when creating it...Haskell is a form of compensation in the way of free education. Native Americans have the choice of free education or not. As far as the blood of your people earning it...yeah that's part of the reason why it was given to the Native American people.

Ms. Canada and a few others have touched on human nature and how we as a species are. It is in our nature to expand our territories no matter where we are from and if some one does not give up or submit...the fight is on. This has been the trend for most cultures including Native Americans before the first major waves of Europeans made their ways to the Americas. It is a fact of anthropological theory. As far as all of our white families having a hand in the initial destruction of the NAtive American community in the 1700, 1800's I don't know if that is accurate. My family migrated to the US from Europe (Immigrants) in the 1900s, were dirt poor and worked their way up from hard labor jobs to skilled labor jobs by seeking education and taking advantage of opportunities that opened up by chance (Both of my grand fathers were laborers until they enlisted to fight in WWII and took advantage of skilled trades needed in their respective units... mechanic and a medic). One was kicked out of the house when he was in 6th grade to fend for himself working labor during the depression. White priviledge I don't know if all of us can say we came from the priviledged class...

raven 10 years ago

White priviledge is not neccessarily coming from the priviledged class. It is simply the priviledges we share as white Americans. For instance education, a better chance at getting a job, usually NOT being a minority but instead being in the majority. When you go to a restaurant, work, etc. USUALLY, I bold that so that no one think I am saying always, most everyone else is going to be white too therefore you are more at ease not being in the minority. That is why they have affirmative action, etc. But, white priviledge is certainly not saying that every white person is rich, or wealthy or even well off. That would be ridiculous and extraordinarily false.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

The saying "THe sun never sets on..." came from the fact the British took over and colonized so many countries throughout the world the sun truely shined on some portion of their "property" throughout the globe. The key word is "empire." They have physically lost most of what they took but still have some political inffluence.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

Raven

Have you attended KU? There is a widely diverse melting pot of people attending. There are a lot of white students who have made it happen because of their white priviledge but because they were working two or three jobs to pay for the rising cost of tuition, books, housing and did not qualify for scholarships, grants or have a government subsidized school (although created with nefarious purpose, but reformed to be an asset to the Native American Community). I have as well as others I know have lost job opportunities to minorities was...was it becasue of affirmative action or were they better qualified for the job. Where did that person get that education that trumped the others.

I frequently question the "better education" statement. A comedian once said the information is out there for everyone...If you go to a public university are they going to stop in the middle of class and say " oh...I can't tell you any more about this subject. If you were at Harvard then I could tell you the rest." What I will concede is that if you do get access as a white person to the benefits of Harvard you get the option of high power networking, but how many of us are priviledged to that... probably only 5% of the entire population.

jonas 10 years ago

I don't really care at all whether they issue an apology or not, but I can't quite understand how anybody could be so opposed to it. How much work does it freak'n take to just say "I'm sorry?" I can't imagine what some of you must be like when you get in an argument at home.

"I broke your favorite toy like two or three days ago, can we just let it go? Why don't I just apologize everytime something in this house goes wrong? Jeez."

Centrist 10 years ago

Education is a "white priviledge"??? I can't afford it! And I'm supposedly from the priviledged class ... white and 30-something. It's time all of us dropped the "categories" ... including white, black, Native American, whatever, and made sure that EVERYONE has REAL access to affordable education, health and housing (but especially the Native Americans, who are most ignored in the discourses of modern media-driven life). So there! ~P

raven 10 years ago

Monkeywrench: I did attend KU actually, I did not say (or at least did not intend to say) that minorities do not get an education or that whites get a better (eg: Harvard). I am quite proud of the education I recieved at KU and think that everyone else there should be to. My point is, that the opportunities (as a general statement) are there more for whites than minorities.

Also, I am one of those students you speak of who had to work 2 or 3 (usually only two) jobs while in school to fund my education. My Mother would have helped out, if she could afford it, I had to turn down Georgetown for lack of funds. So, please understand that I know what it feels like to work hard and not have things handed to me. Perhaps you did lose out on jobs b/c of affirmative action. If so, it seems unfair that you were equally or more qualified yet did not get the job. However, in the office I now work (for about 6 months) I have not seen even one minority here. There must be some but in the time I have been here all I have been surrounded by are whites. That is white priviledge.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

1st nation-

Were you personally herded during the 1800s to a reservation. Haskell a current choice not afforded to anyone but Native Americans. If you chose not to take that choice that is you imposing your free will...something those in the 1800s (from the sound of what you are saying) did not have.

I no point have I ever said what happened to the Native Americans was ever morally right, but I have pointed out human nature of all races and ethnicities are similar...even in the Native American communities before the big push of Europeans in the 1700/1800s. You can not deny different tribes did not fight and apply their will on each other prior to the Europeans, taking over the job exploiting the native americans. Some of those scars run deep enough that they exist among stundents currently attending Haskell

remember_username 10 years ago

Boxoje and firstnation101 - is an apology from the U.S. Government insulting? Most reasonable U.S. Citizens are aware of the injustices done to the Native Americans and would accept that it is not yet a reparation but an official acknowledgement of wrongs done. If it could only be acknowledged as a first step in healing, can it be accepted with grace?

raven 10 years ago

Centrist: I agree everyone should be allowed an education. And again, you too are taking what was said out of context. Education is not a priviledge, education is a right and the responsibility of this country to see that all its citizens are educated. It is simply that whites have more access to a better education. People are simply being priced out of college, sad but true.

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

Raven

The point I am trying to make is not I lost a job because of affirmative action. Maybe I was not as qualified as the minority who was given the job. I should not assume I lost the job because it was affirmative action. That is the way some who don't know their own limitations would assess the rejection of not being up for the job.

Centrist 10 years ago

Sure, but I'm sick of hearing about White Priviledge. What it really is can be described differently. Priviledge exists for the wealthy, and sure, most of the wealthy are probably still white. But I don't think that Oprah, Bill Cosby or Michael Jordan are very "white", eh? BUT the population is mostly white, still. So of course most of the "rich" are still going to be white. Truth is, for about 95% of the population the "American Idol" dream of Fame And Fortune will never happen. There's an awful lot of us working and getting nowhere - of all races and creeds. This is the melting pot, after all. So let's help those who need it most - the poor, the desolate, and of course, the "ignored" such as the Native American.

raven 10 years ago

I understood what you were saying, sorry if I worded poorly, lack of space.

Centrist 10 years ago

Hear hear for the "priced out of college" comment - agreed! But we are also being priced out of health, housing, even jobs, if you're cynical enough.

raven 10 years ago

Definately, it is sort of a snowball effect, is it not? Especially health it is scary how many people I know with no health insurance. If you have any ideas how to fix these problems I am all ears and ready for action!

weighing_in 10 years ago

I have read a lot of the posts in here and there are good points on each side. I am on the side of no apology. I am so sick of every mistreated group asking for an apology. And yes, I would feel the same way if Americans tried to ask muslims for an apology down the road for the 9/11 attacks. Do you really think that any of the people who actually did any of these acts would be sorry anyway? Any apology that the American Indians would get wouldn't really mean anything.

As for all of these comments about how "we" came here and took their land and shoved them onto horrible reservations, maybe we should reflect on a few things. If we wouldn't have found America first, and instead it was discovered by any number of other nations, the outcome could have been much different. Most nations would have wiped out the American Indians. They weren't interested in sharing land, they wanted to take land. Besides that, has anybody ever heard of survival of the fittest? I know that seems harsh, but every nation has to fight for their right to live life as they see fit. The American Indians didn't win that fight when America was "discovered".

The talk about giving lives and shedding blood for free education and healthcare...that is such crap. People act like everything Americans have was just handed to them. If my memory serves me correctly, Americans fought for their independence on numerous occasions and had to build a country for themselves. Don't call us greedy just because we have built a country that is prosperous. You want our help but you want it with no strings attached. Well, wake up. There is no such thing. NOTHING is free. The American Indians have gotten more benefits than any other oppressed group in the USA. They get free healthcare and education, the reservations aren't subject to the same laws as the rest of the nation, things are tax free on reservations, and I am sure there are other things I am not educated on. I don't think the government needs to give anymore handouts to the American Indians. We are trying to educate them so that they can better their lives on their own and take control of their reservations and improve the living conditions on them.

One last note...about the teaching hatred and "what Native American would do that"...well, one of my good friends, who is a white girl with blonde hair, was dating and has since married a guy that was attending Haskell. When she would go visit him in his dorm, she would get taunted and even spit at because she was a white girl dating one of "their men". If that's not hatred, I don't know what is.

So to sum up...why don't people stop looking to blame everybody else for their problems and actually take steps to fix their own situations. But, if an apology is all you really want...then fine, SORRY. Does that make you feel any better?

Centrist 10 years ago

My solution is unpopular. Investigate price-gouging for everything medical - top to bottom. Everything from a doctor's visit to a heart bypass, somewhere along the line someone is charging too much. Then nationalize the health system and take it straight out of our taxes (a small percentage per taxpayer). This has worked in other countries. Oops, that's "market regulation" - I must be a Commie smirk

raven 10 years ago

By nationalizing the system do you mean national healthcare for every citizen? I think that would be fantastic! What are the rebuttals to such a proposal? Private insurance companies bring in WAY to much money, I know I used to work for one.

Centrist 10 years ago

The politicians would have us believe that there would be no accountability for a government-run healthcare system. Truth is, there isn't any now! Medical "experts" charge whatever they want, all the way up the line. Why does it cost $150 for my doctor to sit with me for 10 minutes, after I've waited for a half hour to see them? Why does a simple blood test result in 4 or 5 separate charges of over $100 each? these are the questions that are not being asked ... why does it cost $500 to use a machine for 15 minutes to take a look at my insides? See where I'm going? ....

Centrist 10 years ago

... one of my coworkers paid over $3000 for a toe operation (and that was AFTER insurance!)

monkeywrench1969 10 years ago

Weighing-in:

I will take the angle 1st Nation would on this point. Those who took the land from the Native Americans had no intention of sharing it and gave them the worst part more to contain them. I would agree that living on a rez is not a great place but is it much better to live than be led to a large grave and systematically shot/killed because you were the loser in a war for land ( for such an example insert: Saddam era Iraqi, Kosovo, Ruwandan, Sudanese, Somalia, Aztec enemy, etc.)

One thing you did forget about your example of the Haskell situation is some of the students have a problem with each other because of tribal anomosity due to in fighting prior to Europeans taking over.

raven 10 years ago

Centrist: I agree with you completely. Far too many people end up having severe financial problems due to medical costs, as well some end up far to sick because they did not seek medical attention soon enough due to high (outrageously high) medical expenses. It is a shame.

Christy_K 10 years ago

My comment on several comments:

  1. History is very important because it is the cause of present conditions and social issues. You can not sepearate the present from the past. However, this does not mean that past wrongs can be used to justify current incorrect behavior (i.e. because my people used to live here I have the right to go to war over "My Ancetral homeland"). When people want to forget the past it usually means to me that people don't want to deal with the past because that means it is still important. We can not and should not forget our past because this means we will not learn from mistakes.

  2. Hatred on both sides is part of the problem. Minorities that chose to be eternal victims means they can blame their personal failures (and bad choices) on someone else. Whites still want to blame Indians for all the bad things that happened to Indians without remembering we put them in this position to begin with.

  3. Federal Taxes are not paid on reservations because they are independent nations. The Federal government technically doesn't own the property but is the "trust" or guardian of the property. Thus expecting reservation people to pay Federal Taxes is like expecting Mexico to pay taxes to the US. They have their own license plates and laws and governments. It is a unique situation that should not be construed as a "free ride" because it is not.

  4. White privaledge is not in terms of wealth or material goods but is more in sublte benefit of the doubt type judgements. We benefit from in-group stereotypes and prejudices while minorities still must fight out-group prejudice. I just read an interesting article that did a study on aversive racism. Most people don't realize they are doing it, it is subconscious because it is part of their culture. The study showed how when minorities were clearly qualified or not qualified for a position no bias was present. But when the situation was ambigious, i.e. they have some qualification and might need on the job training, whites were given the benefit of the doubt more often than minorities. That is white privaledge.

raven 10 years ago

Christy K: Thank you for the thought on white priviledge you made the point in which I was trying to, you just did it much more eloquently.

Ceallach 10 years ago

Discrimination appears to be an issue anywhere there are more than 1 or 2 people (probably 1). Throughout history the stories are the same only the names need to be changed. In countries that are not fortunate enough to have people of different colors and heritage they discriminate and kill each other over the way they worship God. Discrimination is not a white disease, it is a disease of the soul.

Native American contributors, please give me your opinions (as if you would not anyway :)

My grandmother, a Cherokee straight out of Tahlequah, believed that the main reason the North American continent was lost to the Europeans focused on the various nations reluctance to make peace with one another and form an effective band of nations against the European incursion. When they did it was too little, too late.

Tribal discrimination seems to live on in today's Native American population.

I know dislike/hatred toward whites, whatever you want to call it, is still with us. I learned long ago not to discuss my heritage in certain settings. You see my complexion favors my Irish father and not my Cherokee-German mother. I am more than familiar with the phrase "nobody cares about the mistakes your grandmother made."

Centrist 10 years ago

Nicely put Christy. I will fight any day to defend Native Americans, but I insist that I am a member of the most discriminated group of all. I am a White, 30-something Male. Therefore, no benefits, no tax breaks, no programs, and definitely no sympathy. I also earn just enough to keep me out of programs, but not enough to really get by. So I can see all sides. That's why I'm a Centrist g

Centrist 10 years ago

Reverse racism isn't just alive and well, it's starting to become institutionalized (seen a sitcom lately? the white guy is always the idiot/jerk/bastard). We've got to stop racism in all its forms - for all people.

Christy_K 10 years ago

Last thing that I think is important... yes what happened to the Native Americans was part of human nature. That is why it is so important to study it, acknowledge it, and learn how to combat it because the truth is.... we will do it again if we don't. The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we wouldn't do it again. The Nazies, Rwandans, Serbians, are NOT different than you and me. The hateful nature of current political debate proves that we can and may very well fall back into the same idealogies, racist thinking, and patriotism and quote self-defense falsehoods that we already fooled ourself with once. For example, the danger to settlers from violent Indians was real but often exagerated and frequently due to White atrocities.

Keep in mind that the worst atrocities that happened to Indians, Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, happened to groups of Indians who had already surrendered to White authority. There were many groups of Indians who never violently opposed whites, who tried to fit in and live in harmony, yet maintain their Indian identity. They were dispossed, robbed and cheated just like the more violent and warlike Indians. If we don't acknowledge how these autrocities occurred in the first place and take ownership for past mistakes we will repeat them! For me it is already happening...Guatanomo Bay and Abu Ghraib are the first signs of a problem brewing if Americans don't learn from our own history.

Like bystanders who do nothing to stop a murder right before them we will be guilty because we let it happen, even if we didn't actually pull the trigger.

Ceallach 10 years ago

Centrist: I too have been concerned about the message so many sitcoms and commercials send to our youth and children. The father's place seems to have deteriorated to the family jester -- his children make fun of him -- his wife tolerates his ineptness, etc. However, I have seen this cross racial lines many times, the constant is the fact that this is aimed at males. How many men white, black, or brown, do you think lets their wife drag them to the pharmacist to talk about constipation! None I have known. We have gone from one extreme to another, father knows best to father knows nothing.

baxoje 10 years ago

The word is actually spelled P R I V I L E G E. And Christy K came very close to explaining what it means. White privilege doesn't mean, as CK said wealth or material goods, it actually means all the benefits one receives as a white person in the US. For example, one can tell others how they should feel about certain issues and do so without explaining yourself. You can walk into a store in downtown Lawrence and based solely on the color of your skin not be approached by a sales clerk 10 times in 10 minutes or followed around the store. Based on the color, of should I say non color of your skin you are able to make comments about "others" and their "plight." You can say, "That was in the past and you need to get over it." One can say, with a straight face, "The American Indians have gotten more benefits than any other oppressed group in the USA," as weighing_in did so eloquently and with loads of education (yeah, I'm being sarcastic) said. You can make long-winded and often times erroneous assumptions of a race you know virtually nothing about. That is white privilege.

multiplied_by_twilights 10 years ago

There is little if any resolve to come with an apology. It's worthless as far as I'm concerned. I'm a Cheyenne Army vet and I could care less for the sentiments of this government in regards to my people.

dcjhawk 10 years ago

For Christy K. Part of your point is incorrect. You wrote: "3. Federal Taxes are not paid on reservations because they are independent nations. The Federal government technically doesn't own the property but is the "trust" or guardian of the property." Yes, the government does hold the land in trust and the governement does look at indian nations as sovereigns. But, as US citizens each Native American MUST pay FEDERAL TAXES. No individual can get around Uncle Sam.
Today, Tribes are owed Billions due to government mismanagement of trust funds(Cobell v. Norton) Will tribes ever see a penny of the money, prolly not-it is not a priority-funding the war is.

mamacat 10 years ago

Hell yes Native Americans are entitled to an apology - and much, much more!

With the exception of enslaved Africans, every non-Native person to settle in the Americas came here because they could not survive - let alone prosper- in other lands. And the payback for the kindness Native Americans showed all the newcomers has been over five centuries of betrayal - of all sorts.

Most people reading this are living the good life, thanks ultimately to being allowed to live in what is still Indian Country. You'd never have it this good in Europe, believe me.

And as to the crap about "get over it", listen the most arrogant s.o.b.'s spouting that stuff are always the first to scream bloody murder when they get ripped off. What's fair is fair, and that left over Manifest Destiny crap just doesn't get it.

The "white makes right" bunch need to get their fingers out of their asses, take their thumbs out of their mouths, face reality instead of hiding behind some whitewashed version of history, and for once act like men and women and do the right thing here.

multiplied_by_twilights 10 years ago

Non-Native postings here are expressions of an outsider's mentality concerning the indigenious people of Turtle Island. Apology? No good. Reparations? Nice but not likely. Being understood by this country? LMAO, whatever.....All my relations.

SammyS 10 years ago

Well, while you white folks all busy talking about something that you don't REALLY KNOW, us skins are still being seen as cartoon figures,mascots,people from whom y'all can borrow our culture stuff without so much as a "may I?", and who's lands and funds are being seen as the petty cash jar by your President. We're the peeps they pick to dump their uranium trash on. It's our dead folks they dig up to put in a highway.

You guys think since the treaties got broke so long ago, we should "just get over it."

It'd be nice, but, damn, the white gov still stealing from us, still treating us like we don't exist, or that we are here to be used in whatever way is conveniant. If it suits them to do so, they will go back on the agreements they made with us to try and fix it for breaking those EARLIER agreements..... and on and on. Now they wanna skim from the IHS some more. That's our HEALTH. That's money for our little kids to get baby care and vaccines,(against white people disease), that's health care for the diabetes we get from eating all this damn white people food.

The IHS, our reserve land, per caps...lotta you folks seem to think it's a HANDOUT, like charity or something. It's NOT. It's money the Fed OWES our peoples from stealing the land. Land they said was ours, then they decided they needed to take it. move us somewhere else. It's not your damn tax dollars. Shoot, the Fed is holding it, won't pay it out, they getting intrest on OUR money.

I couldn't care less about APOLOGY. That's just some sorta self consolation let-us-off-the-guilt-hook lip service.

I want the genocide to stop,(oh yes it is, what do you think keeping us starving-poor, dumping radioactivity on our land, and taking away our health care is about?), stop taking our culture because you think "it's pretty", stop administering us like we are a buncha little kids to your Great White Father schtick. Settle the debts with us, KEEP YOUR TREATIES, stop taking away from us, just because you WANT what we have.

Stop messing up the Earth so we can't live on it any more, can't even eat in the tradishional ways or have WATER, because you stole it for Las Vegas......

Stop acting like we don't have a right to be the Peoples that we are. You people act like we are all the same, all look like that Mutual of Omaha symbol or talk like Tonto.

We aren't "Dances with Wolves". We aren't your "prairie niggers" and the word "sq**w" IS offensive to us. Even black people think it's okay to charicature us.....that's how very marginalized and demeaned we are by the elitest domcult here in USA.

Keep the stinking apology, just deal with us as the many Nations of Real Peoples that we are.

I don't go around yodeling "woo woo woo", neither....................

1derer 10 years ago

We don't teach hate? Really? Take a re-read of today's posts.

Someone did!

Jay_Z 10 years ago

I think the US Government should apologize for the Great Depression.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

My ancestors were really depressed during the Great Depression and my feelings are hurt because of that. :(

Jay_Z 10 years ago

And I think I should be compensated because my ancestors lost a lot of money during that time.

1derer 10 years ago

I think you've pretty well hit the bottom here. (No pun indented.) Hopefully tomorrow's question will make reading or posting more tolerable. This is my second post and I definitely feel like I should have stopped wasting my time earlier in the day when I was content to just read the comments.

Jay Bird 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

multiplied_by_twilights 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jay_Z 10 years ago

Multiplied by twilights:

So I'm an ass clown....ouch, that hurt.

Anyway....lighten up buddy, those comments were a JOKE, not meant to be taken seriously. Seems some people are pretty uptight around here.

sakoni 10 years ago

I think turning Columbus Day into a federal American Indian Day holiday would be a fine way to apologize. It would show respect and give the country a good opportunity to celebrate the Indians' contribution to and sacrifices for the United States. Make it a three day weekend so we powwow.

Archangel 10 years ago

Apologies are unacceptable without a humble heart.
Forgiveness cannot be given without confession AND recompense. Full and complete sovereignty would be too much recompense for most, and any less would not be adequate.

It is not just about sins of the past, it is also the continuation of that legacy, whereby the oppression of a peoples culture and religion continue to this day. A child is not necessarily what the childs parents are, but in the case of accepting the inheritances of land, culture, and even power that was wrongfully taken from others, they ARE continuing the sin of their parents/ancestors.

The sin of pride? Even God and Angels have become something miniscule in the eyes of many who profess religion under the guise of a word ---- Christianity.

Religion is not a book, and neither literacy nor earthly gain are the determining factors of spiritual honor.

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