Statement of the Lakota Student Alliance Regarding Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

Published on November 27, 2014 by Amy

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Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore is a Shrine of HYPOCRISY!

Mt. Rushmore is a desecration of our Sacred Mother Earth and a slap in the face of Lakota peoples everywhere. Documents have stated that Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a shrine to democracy. As you read further, you will find that American was founded on the blood and lives of Indian peoples. We question what type of democracy this shrine represents.

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The four faces carved on stolen Indian lands supposedly represent the four most notable presidents of the United States. With their ideals and values defined through the study of Iroquois society, America’s founding fathers are indebted to the Lakota and all Indian peoples for their mere existence. But, in the Sacred Black Hills (our church, our synagogue, our temple) those presidents carved on that granite rock were more than mere democratic deviants.

The founding fathers on that rock shared common characteristics. All four valued white supremacy and promoted the extirpation of Indian society. The United States’ founding fathers were staunchly anti-Indian advocates in that at one time or another, all four provided for genocide against Indian peoples of this hemisphere.

George Washington…

In 1779, George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack Iroquois people. Washington stated, “lay waste all the settlements around…that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed”. In the course of the carnage and annihilation of Indian people, Washington also instructed his general not “listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected”. (Stannard, David E. AMERICAN HOLOCAUST. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 118-121.)

In 1783, Washington’s anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves: “Both being beast of prey, tho’ they differ in shape”, he said. George Washington’s policies of extermination were realized in his troops behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois “from the hips downward to make boot tops or leggings”. Indians who survived the attacks later re-named the nation’s first president as “Town Destroyer”. Approximately 28 of 30 Seneca towns had been destroyed within a five year period. (Ibid)

Thomas Jefferson…

In 1807, Thomas Jefferson instructed his War Department that, should any Indians resist against America stealing Indian lands, the Indian resistance must be met with “the hatchet”. Jefferson continued, “And…if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, ” he wrote, “we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi.” Jefferson, the slave owner, continued, “in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them”. (Ibid)

In 1812, Jefferson said that American was obliged to push the backward Indians “with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains”. One year later Jefferson continued anti-Indian statements by adding that America must “pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach”. (Ibid)

Abraham Lincoln…

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution, by hanging, of 38 Dakota Sioux prisoners in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of those executed were holy men or political leaders of their camps. None of them were responsible for committing the crimes they were accused of. Coined as the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History. (Brown, Dee. BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970. pp. 59-61)

Theodore Roosevelt…

The fourth face you see on that “Stony Mountain” is America’s first twentieth century president, alleged American hero, and Nobel peace prize recipient, Theodore Roosevelt. This Indian fighter firmly grasped the notion of Manifest Destiny saying that America’s extermination of the Indians and thefts our their lands “was ultimately beneficial as it was inevitable”. Roosevelt once said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth”. (Stannard, Op.Cit.)

The apathy displayed by these founding fathers symbolize the demoralization related to racial superiority. Scholars point toward this racial polarization as evidence of the existence of Eugenics.

Eugenics is a new term for an old phenomena which asserts that Indian people should be exterminated because they are an inferior race of people. Jefferson’s suggestion to pursue the Indians to extermination fits well into the eugenistic vision. In David Stannard’s study American Holocaust, he writes: “had these same words been enunciated by a German leader in 1939, and directed at European Jews, they would be engraved in modern memory. Since they were uttered by one of America’s founding fathers, however…they conveniently have become lost to most historians in their insistent celebration of Jefferson’s wisdom and humanity.” Roosevelt feared that American upper classes were being replaced by the “unrestricted breeding” of inferior racial stocks, the “utterly shiftless”, and the “worthless” (Ibid)

The impossibility of persuading those four presidents to change their belief is as realistic as the impossibility that Indian peoples will relinquish our determination in seeking the return and restoration of the sacred Black Hills. So long as the last Lakota is standing and alive, the consciousness of America will be the primary target in the Lakota struggle to regain the spiritual center: The Black Hills.

Source: dickshovel

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