The American Christian Holocausts

Powerful Essays
The American Christian Holocausts As a high school student I was always annoyed by students who would ask: Why do we have to learn this stuff [history] anyway? We learn history so we don't repeat our mistakes. This is the common answer that my teachers, my father, and just about any other adult would give. This answer made perfect sense to me then, and I easily accepted it. In high school, students learn about the Nazi-Holocaust, and rightfully so. Information abounds regarding this topic. However, my teachers never taught me that our country has a Holocaust of its own (actually there are two; one killing 40 to 60,000,000 Africans, and one killing 100,000,000 Native Red Peoples). Hitler himself often expressed his admiration for the expediency in which the American Christians removed the Native Americans and gave them mass graves like the one in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Have you ever heard the words American Holocaust(s) before? As I read about history I was drawn to the Indian Wars. One day I began reading Dee Brown's book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." I was shocked by what I read. I had never been taught these things, yet this history seemed so important and unparalleled in American history. Recently, I picked up Brown's book and read it a second time. Finally, the words shook me from the sleep in which we Americans love to overindulge; the sleep of denial, materialism, and hedonism. The thoughts and images evoked in Brown's book came back and my heart filled with an indescribable feeling of painful anger again. I thought to myself, I'm glad that is all over with, I don't know what I would have done if I had been alive then. The words of William McPherson of the Washington Post regarding Brown's book reassured... ... middle of paper ... ...rican flag and peace medals by Abraham Lincoln and Colonel A. B. Greenwood in Washington only a year earlier and was told that as long as the American flag was above them, no one would be harmed). The braves present surrounded the women and children gathered under the flag. At 8:00 am more than 700 cavalry men under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington and Major Scott J. Anthony, rode in and fired on the huddled Indians from two directions. After the initial charge the US soldiers dismounted and continued the indiscriminate killing of men, women, and children. During the killing unspeakable atrocities and mutilations were committed by the soldiers. Accounts from two white men, John S. Smith and Lieutenant James Connor, described the acts of dehumanization." According to John S. Smith, Colonel Chivington knew these Indians to be peaceful before the massacre.
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