Genocide – the Holocaust, Armenians, Pol Pot, Stalin, Sarajevo, Killing Fields, Mao, ISIS, Native American Indians, the Disappeared, now all of Nature

Genocide – the Holocaust, Armenians, Pol Pot, Stalin, Sarajevo, Killing Fields, Mao, ISIS, Native American Indians, the Disappeared, now all of Nature.

Lest we forget

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We’re very good at it. Throughout history we storm through and kill everyone who is different. It probably started with the Neanderthals – maybe even before that with other species of hominids.

We are xenophobic, racist and have a cruel, barbaric streak.

The Mongols were good at it. Colonists are good at it. We ruthlessly cull the populations we encounter.

In the modern times we have got industrial.

In South America and North America we used germ warfare – smallpox, chicken pox, flu, measles. There were no defences in the indigenous populations.

In Australia you could shoot aboriginals as if they were rabid dogs.

In New Zealand and the Philippines, everywhere we’ve gone.

On the Crusades we slaughtered. On the Jihads we slaughtered.

All races, all places, all times, all people. It is no particular race ; it is all of us.

It’s in our genes!!

Right now we are still doing it!!  These days ISIS is at it.

We use the excuse of religion or politics – even science.

But our viciousness towards each other is not restricted to our own species. We are just as cruel when it comes to everything else. We’ve already wiped out most of the mega fauna and are now working our way through the rest.

We are slaughtering trees, insects and animals, butchering our way around the world.

It’s time we stopped! It’s time we started respecting each other and other forms of life.

It’s time we start to grow up and become intelligent and civilised!

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The Trail of Tears – a poem about the genocide on the Native American Indians.

The Trail of Tears

 

They took all the land

When they discovered the gold.

The treaties were worthless

That had not even grown old.

They drove them away

On a great march of shame.

Thousands died on the way

Though they weren’t to blame.

All they received

For their misery and suffering

Was a measly promise –

A peace offering.

 

Opher 28.6.2018

 

 

The genocide practiced on the Native American Indians was a stain on the USA.

They lied over treaties.

They used smallpox infested blankets.

They deliberately exterminated the plains bison to starve them.

They stole their land.

They hunted them down and killed women and children.

Even in the twentieth century they stole their children to educate elsewhere.

Finally they forced them onto reservations and force-marched them hundreds of miles in the snow on a Trail of Tears on which thousands died.

A Native American Indian girl on a Greyhound bus across the States.

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A Native American Indian girl on a Greyhound bus across the States.

In 1971 I was on a greyhound bus with my girlfriend, now my wife. We’d spent three months in the States working in Boston and then hitch-hiking and bussing our way around. We’d been up to Canada, down to Mexico and across to San Francisco, the redwoods, San Diego and Los Angeles with a memorable night under the stars at Big Sur where the mountain lions howled.

There were numerous incidents and tales that came out of that trip, tales of cars, crashes and near death, friends, camping and music. But now it was nearing its end.

We were heading back from the West Coast to the East in order to get a plane back to Britain.

On that long bus ride I got talking to a young woman. She was a Native American Indian who had been across to visit her grandfather on the West Coast and was now returning home to the East Coast.

She told me her tale.

Her grandfather had contacted her and asked her to come and visit as he was dieing. When she got there she found him hale and hearty and full of life. He lived in a log cabin he had built himself. It was set into a ridge. He had carved it into the ridge and used logs to timber up the front. It fitted into the landscape.

She asked why he had summoned her. He told her that he would soon be gone and he wanted to share his life with her and for her to help him say goodbye.

Together they rode round all the places he had lived and visited. At each place he sat and reminisced about his life and said goodbye. For three weeks they had travelled round. When they returned to his cabin he dug up a number of artifacts buried in the floor of his home. They were ancient artifacts that had been passed down through generations. He was now passing them on to her.

She would not show me most of them. She told me they were too sacred. But she did show me one thing. She unwrapped it from a leather bag sealed with a thong. It was a large rounded rock about ten inches across. Around it there was a well worn groove. It looked ol but I could not tell what it was. She explained that it was a traditional weapon for killing buffalo. The hunter would ride alongside the buffalo twirling this heavy implement around and then bring it down on the buffalos head. The stunned beast would drop. He would leap off his horse and cut its throat with a knife before it could recover.

As I held that rock in my hand I could imagine the skill and bravery. To ride flat out, bareback, hanging on to a horse at full gallop with hand on mane and knees as it careered in the midst of a buffalo herd, where any slip meant death by trampling. To guide that horse and twirl that heavy rock at the same time and bring it down with precision; to spring down and kill a huge animal in the midst of a stampeding herd. That was skill and bravery.

I could see it in my head.

I have never seen or heard of such a device yet I held one in my hands and saw it being used in my mind.

Native American Indians – a tale of genocide and betrayal.

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Native American Indians – A story of genocide and betrayal.

As a young boy I was brought up on Westerns. The red Indians were savages who attacked settlers and stage coaches with the intent of scalping everybody. We used to play cowboys ans Indians in the streets. The cowboys had rifles and the Indians had bows and arrows and whooped a lot.

It was a portrayal that bore only scant resemblance to the truth.

The Native American Indians were a disparate group of tribes. They, along with the entire indigenous population of South America, have, determined through DNA analysis, descended from just seventeen breeding males. At some point these intrepid individuals made the hazardous journey across the Bering Straits into Canada. They probably originated as a band of hunter/gatherers; a group of men, women and children who set out to follow the game and hunt. They were self-contained. It was once thought that they were able to pass through certain passes that opened up after the ice retreated but that theory has been replaced by the idea that they probably came down the coast and used canoes to leapfrog their way down. They made their way from Canada, along North, Central and South America right down to Tierra Del Fuego – some journey in flimsy canoes full of men, women, children and all their possessions.

Having settled in various parts of North, Central and South America they adjusted to the local conditions and developed their own varied life-styles accordingly.

In North America on the East Coast there were agriculturally based. These are the tribes that took in the Pilgrim Fathers and fed and sustained them through that first winter. Without their assistance none would have survived the winter. These were also the tribes that were wiped out by the disease the Europeans brought with them, diseases that the Native American Indians had no defence against – measles, influenza, common cold, syphilis, smallpox and chicken pox. Some reward for their compassion and altruism.

On the West Coast there were established villages with fishing as a major life-style – extending up through Oregon, Washington to Siberia and the Inuits.

In the South they established settlements with pueblos, farming and the planting of corn.

But it is the Plains Indians that captured the imagination and set the image. Their nomadic life was played out on horse-back (horses having been introduced by the Spanish) following the vast buffalo herds as they migrated across the oceans of prairie. It was this heroic life-style that set the tone. They were brave, strong and daring as they galloped bareback in the huge herds where to fall was death under the thundering hooves. They brought down the huge beasts with bow and arrow and their prowess and skill was legendary. Their clothes were made of buffalo hide, as were their tepees. They ate buffalo meat and preserved it as dried meat for the winter. They even used dry buffalo dung as fuel for the fires.

I wanted to be an American Indian. That was the life for me. Free under that vast sky, at one with my horse, hunting and laughing with my comrades. It was every male youth’s dream, wasn’t it?

Well perhaps not. In reality it was a hard life. The risk of injury and death was always present. It was a dangerous occupation. And if you were injured there were no hospitals. Food was plentiful at times and absent at others. There were periods of starvation. The winters were cruel and disease always prevalent. You had to defend your territory against other tribes in order to maintain sufficient land to support you. You usually died young.

But what a life!

As the Europeans set up their cities on the East Coast and started to expand they increasingly intruded on the Native American lands. There was a clash of cultures. The Europeans felt superior. They had technology. They farmed intensively. They built great buildings. The Indians lived a simpler life. They had their rituals and social codes but they were nomadic and did not leave much in the way of artefacts to show any great civilisation. Their civilisation was in their customs and practice.

The Europeans had gunpowder and guns. The Indians had bows and arrows.

What followed was an indictment of American European culture. The Indians were forcibly removed from their traditional lands on the pretext that they were not using them. The understanding the needs and practice of a hunter/gatherer society was lacking.

The white settlers intruded into Indian lands and set up home. Any resistance was met by force. When the Indians tried to repel the settlers the army was used. They used their artillery and rifles to decimate whole tribes, they used blankets infested with small-pox to remove tribes, and practiced genocide. Treaties were made promising the land for as long as the grass grew and then were torn up when it proved not convenient. The Indians were hounded, harried and destroyed.

One of the tactics used was to remove the buffalo that the Indians lifestyle depended on. It was a government policy. These buffalo roamed in herds of millions. Hunters went out to systematically destroy them, trains passed through vast herds with guns firing out of every window. The herds were devastated. The prairies were covered with rotting corpses of buffalo – all to bring the Indians to their knees.

The buffalo were almost extinct. The vast herds of millions reduced to a few stragglers. It is reminiscent of what is happening to the Africa elephant.

It worked.

It destroyed the culture and lifestyle, removed the future, and brought the Native American Indians down. Their tale is one of tragedy. The American government’s policy of genocide is one of callous infamy.