this land of ours
Since 2016 my faith in this [un]United States of America has sorely been dwindling — however much I try to remain hopeful. As the world crumbles around us — the petty grievances we manage to turn into raging divides — are all the more heart rending.
Our constitution is being turned against us [we, the people] — misappropriated and willfully misinterpreted by a select few. Trust is being whittled away while we are brought to our knees. Whether in prayer or burdened beyond breaking point — this is what matters most now.
The constitution is the symbol for the highest laws of our land. Mount Rushmore too is the shrine of democracy and another iconic symbol of the United States — attracting over three million visitors annually to South Dakota.
The Black Hills are considered sacred for millennia to Native American nations of the United States and Canada. What is now better known as Mount Rushmore is what the Sioux call their Six Grandfathers.
Mount Rushmore was carved into the land that was promised in perpetuity through the Treaty of 1868. The Black Hills are central to the creation stories of the Lakota who prayed and lived on this sacred land. Then when gold was found in the hills, our founders took back this promised land and ruined it with toxic greed.
Originally commissioned to honor the west’s greatest heroes, both Native Americans and pioneers. Instead, the monument embodies the age-old struggle and desecration of a government over its people.
The four presidents that are now carved on it had some terrible Indian policies that continue to plague native residents to this day.
Abraham Lincoln was responsible for hanging the Dakota 38+2, the largest mass hanging in U.S. history. George Washington declared an all-out extermination against the Iroquois people in 1779. Thomas Jefferson supported a policy of assimilation and failing that he ordered the extermination of the Cherokee and the Creek.
Theodore Roosevelt, after being elected governor of New York, announced, “This continent had to be won. We need not waste our time in dealing with any sentimentalist who believes that, on account of any abstract principle, it would have been right to leave this continent to the domain, the hunting ground of squalid savages. It had to be taken by the white race.”
The Six Grandfathers (Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe) was named by Lakota medicine man Nicolas Black Elk after a vision. “The vision was of the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below. The directions were said to represent kindness and love, full of years and wisdom, like human grandfathers.”
The granite bluff that towered above the Hills remained carved only by the wind and the rain until 1927 when Gutzon Borglum began his assault on the mountain. America needs to remember this always.
History may have been written by the conquerors of that day. Today its survivors are telling the real story — we need to listen to them. Or this land will be lost to us all.
An apt and timely reminder this Independence Day, 4th of July 2022.
Originally published at http://changewarrior.blogspot.com.