imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Bush at Mount Rushmore: The Shrine of Hypocrisy

by First Nation's Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 8:45 AM

Teddy Roosevelt deserves a special mention because of his racist attitude towards Indians and others. As Roosevelt wrote in his book "The Winning of the West", "American and Indian“ .... wrote, "it is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant races of the world."

Newcomb: Bush at Mount Rushmore,‘The Shrine of Hypocrisy’

Posted: August 6, 2004

by: Steven Newcomb / Columnist / Indian Country Today

On my office wall hangs a photograph of a Dakota medicine man jailed back in the late 1800s by the Court of Indian Offenses. The Denver public library digital photo collection where I found this image says the medicine man’s name was, "Frosted." The photograph shows the spiritual leader wearing government-issued jeans, a denim shirt, lace up work boots, and a hat.

The medicine man’s feet are shackled, and a steel chain with a ball at the end of it is slung over his left shoulder; the heavy steel ball is prominently displayed at his waist level in the photograph. The photograph well symbolizes how the white man’s "democracy" and "rule of law" came to the Great Sioux Nation. The ball and chain is a perfect metaphorical symbol of the history of U.S. Indian law and policy.

I mention the shackled medicine man because of a photograph of President George W. Bush I saw in Indian Country Today (Vol. 23, Iss. 43). The photograph was taken when Bush visited the "Mount Rushmore National Memorial" on August 15, 2002, where he gave a speech on "homeland security." He is looking directly at the camera so that his face is shown along with presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. According to news reports, this was an intentional effort by the White House to shape public opinion about Bush.

Bush’s insensitivity to the fact he was delivering his speech in the Sacred Black Hills of the Great Sioux Nation, and their allied Native nations, was made evident with the following remark: "I mean, after all, standing here at Mount Rushmore reminds us that a lot of folks came before us to make sure that we’re free. A lot of pioneers came to this part of the world to make sure that enterprise could flourish."

I’d like to know how Bush’s statement about "folks" coming "here" to make sure that "we’re free" can be reconciled with the photograph of the shackled Dakota medicine man, and the system of injustice that photograph represents. "Know your audience" is the first rule of public speaking, and it’s clear that the only audience President Bush had in mind was a non-Indian one.

I remember walking through the airport in Rapid City, S.D. in the early 1990s, and seeing a video developed by the Mount Rushmore Preservation Fund that was narrated by former President Ronald Reagan (he made the video voice-over after leaving office). Part of the video showed the German people tearing down the Berlin Wall, and Reagan’s voice-over referred to Mount Rushmore as the "Shrine of Democracy," an amazing claim about a monument carved from Sacred mountains illegally held by the United States.

The makers of the video clearly intended the granite presidential faces to represent "justice" as contrasted with the injustice of the Berlin Wall. But, from an informed Native perspective, both the Berlin Wall AND Mount Rushmore are symbolic of oppression and injustice. George Washington was responsible for destroying whole Indian towns in New York and the Ohio River Valley following the Revolutionary War. The Haudenosaunee named Washington "Town Destroyer." Lincoln was responsible for the largest mass execution in American history, by ordering the hanging of Dakota Indians in Minnesota. Jefferson, in addition to claiming U.S. sovereignty over millions of acres of Indian lands via the Louisiana Purchase, advocated using trading houses to run Indians into debt and then persuade Indian people to part with huge areas of their lands in order to pay off the debt.

Teddy Roosevelt deserves a special mention because of his racist attitude towards Indians and others. As Roosevelt wrote in his book "The Winning of the West", "American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori, - in each case the victor, horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people."

Roosevelt went on to write, "it is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant races of the world." (Thanks to Steve Melendez for bringing this quote to my attention.)

In addition, Mount Rushmore perfectly represents the illegal occupation of the Black Hills by the United States. The monument was built without the permission of Great Sioux Nation and its allied nations, in violation of treaties. According to the 1851 and 1868 treaties of Fort Laramie, the Black Hills are situated within the homeland of the Great Sioux Nation, and are not legally part of "the homeland" of the United States.

Thus, the presidential faces towering over President Bush during his speech about homeland security perfectly symbolize a dark and disturbing legacy of U.S. history. Those faces also represent the illegal occupation and desecration of the Sacred Black Hills. For Bush to give a speech at the site of such a notorious symbol of injustice, without any acknowledgment of the U.S.’s horrible treatment of the Great Sioux Nation and other Plains Indian nations, demonstrates an incredible lack of awareness on the part of the White House of the larger historical context of contemporary Indian issues.

Was it the U.S.’s effort to make the Plains Indian nations "free" by massacring more than 300 women, children, and men at Wounded Knee and then unceremoniously burying them in a mass grave in 1890, and afterwards giving some 28 Congressional medals of honor to U.S. soldiers who participated in the massacre? Was it part of the U.S.’s effort to make sure the Indian nations were "free" by violating and refusing to abide by numerous treaties, or by imprisoning medicine people and thereby attempting to destroy Native spiritual traditions?

Is the President of the United States insensitive to the history of his country’s policies toward American Indians? Is he blind to the many crimes his country has committed against Indian nations and peoples in the name of "freedom" and "democracy," such as the millions of buffalo intentionally killed as formal U.S. policy and the billions of dollars in gold stolen from the Black Hills where he gave his speech at Mount Rushmore?

Looking back, perhaps it can be said that Mount Rushmore - the so-called Shrine of Democracy - symbolizes the United States’ effort to "bring democracy" to the Plains Indian nations by bullets and warfare in the same way that the United States is now claiming to be bringing "democracy" to the people of Iraq by warfare. The U.S. used deadly force in an avowed effort to "pacify" the American Indian nations, and is now doing the same, as General Kimmit has stated, to "pacify" the Iraqi people.

And, finally, how truly sad and ironic that some of the weaponry used in the current war in Iraq have been named "Apache" and "Blackhawk" and that U.S. military officials dubbed alleged mobile bio-weapons units in Iraq as "Winnebagos of death." How dare they use the name of the Sauk Chief Black Hawk, and the names of the Apache and Winnebago nations in such a manner.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 14 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
shame, IMC editors, shame. Sheepdog Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 1:32 PM
imc policy and removing posts imc editor Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 7:40 PM
hey listen, folks...Yous IMC editors Sheepdog Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 8:54 PM
Din't hide or delete any posts.... Omnivore Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 9:45 PM
Mr. Omnivore Sheepdog Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 10:01 PM
Well pardon me!!! Omnivore Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 10:07 PM
expose the seriously sick Omnivore agree with Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 10:53 PM
To ingrate Newcomb Mt. Rushmore Forever Sunday, Aug. 08, 2004 at 11:34 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2004 at 7:13 AM
there are a lot of bullshit articles being posted Life Under Terrorism Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2004 at 2:22 PM

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Fbi fears this post J22 9:21PM

Disabled Folks among the extreme poorest in US counts J22 7:03PM

Banks Enriched By Trump Deficit Increase Of 4 to 5 Trillion $ J22 5:48PM

Illegal Russians Receiving Land and Homes in West Bank 2018 J22 11:24AM

Un monde de pauvreté J22 12:54AM

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy