Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

September 18, 2013

A statement from the Lakota Student Alliance regarding Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

“Mt. Rushmore is a desecration of our Sacred Mother Earth and a slap in the face of the Lakota peoples everywhere. Documents have stated that Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a ‘Shrine to Democracy’.”

The Lakota questions what type of democracy this shrine represents.

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 Indiana peoples for their mere existence. But, in the Sacred Black Hills (our church, our synagogue, our temple) those presidents carved on the 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.

In 1779, George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack Iroquois people. Washington said, “lay waste to all the settlements around… that the country may not merely be overrun, but destroyed.”

In the course of the carnage and annihilation of Indian people, Washington also instructed his general to not “listen to any overture of peace before total ruin of their settlements is affected.”

In 1783, Washington’s anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves:

“Both being beast of prey, tho’ differ in shape,” he said. Washington’s policies of extermination were realized in his troops’ behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois “from hips downward to make boot tops or leggings.” Indians who survived the attacked 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.

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