Voices from Russia

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Crazy Horse’s Last Stand

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In the early 1940s, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear, wrote to Polish-American architect Korczak Ziolkowski and asked if he’d be willing to build a monument to commemorate Native American history. The letter ended:

My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.

However, who was it they proposed to embody the epic history of their people? It wasn’t Sacagawea. Although she was a formidable woman, she personified cooperation with white America at a moment when Native leaders wanted to express resistance. The recent completion of Mt Rushmore enraged Native America. It was a monument to white presidents in the Black Hills of South Dakota… land sacred to the Natives of the region. Henry Standing Bear and his fellow chiefs wanted their counter-sculpture to represent someone who fought against the American empire. The choice was easy… Crazy Horse (killed by American soldiers on this day in 1877).

An Oglala Lakota (one of the many sub-branches of the Sioux people), Crazy Horse was born in 1840 at a time when the United States’ thirst for land was driving a bloody expansion into what remained of Native land in North America. Crazy Horse grew up with his younger brother, Little Hawk, in a Lakota camp in modern-day Wyoming. He had his first experience of US brutality there in 1854 that when Federal forces stormed the camp in search of a supposed cattle thief, murdering the camp’s chief, Conquering Bear, in the process. After this, Crazy Horse committed himself to a life of resistance against the USA and its growing empire.

He was well-suited to the task as a fearless warrior and shrewd tactician. By the mid-1860s, his band named him Ogle Tanka Un (“Shirt Wearer”… the war chief) for his successes in battle against US forces. Soon after, in December 1866, Crazy Horse led a decoy manoeuvre which enabled a combined force of Lakota and Cheyenne to defeat a US force ranging out of Fort Phil Kearny in northeast Wyoming. A lull followed, until the Natives of the north had their final showdown with the US empire… the Great Sioux War of 1876-77.

It began with an astonishing Native victory in the river lands of Montana. On 17 June 1876, at the Battle of the Rosebud, Crazy Horse led 1,500 soldiers in an attack against 1,000 US troops under George Crook. The action delayed Crook, who was trying to link up with the 7 Cavalry Regiment of Colonel George A Custer. The rest is well-known. On 25 June, beside the Little Bighorn River, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led a large Native force to a dramatic victory against Custer. Crazy Horse’s earlier action at Rosebud Creek made this possible, and his bravery on the field was a defining feature of both battles. One eyewitness recalled of Crazy Horse at the Little Bighorn:

He was the bravest man I ever saw. He rode closest to the soldiers, yelling to his warriors. All the soldiers were shooting at him, but he was never hit.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was the last great war-cry of Native America against its conquest. Alarmed by Custer’s defeat, the federal government poured more and more troops into the region. After a harsh winter in 1876-77, Crazy Horse surrendered to save his people from starvation and death. Later, on 5 September 1877, an American soldier bayoneted Crazy Horse whilst he was in US Army custody.

It goes without saying that no commemoration, whatever its scale, can redress the historical injustice done to the Native American people… an injustice upon which the modern USA was built. Three centuries of colonisation, genocide, and ethnic cleansing can’t be undone with a statue of Crazy Horse. However, such tributes can, at the very least, prevent the dispossession of Native Americans from being written out of the American story just because it’s an uncomfortable truth for those who rule. What’s more, the story of Crazy Horse and his resistance gives hope, not just to Native Americans, but to all who confront the forces of colonialism. To borrow the words of American journalist Chris Hedges:

There are few resistance figures in American history as noble as Crazy Horse. His ferocity of spirit remains a guiding light for all who seek lives of defiance.

By the way… the Crazy Horse Memorial is still under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota!

5 September 2018

Pete Morgan

Radical Tea Towel

https://www.radicalteatowel.com/blog/crazy-horses-last-stand/

Saturday, 26 August 2017

26 August 2017. Geophysical and Cultural Map of North America

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The original lettering on this map SUCKED. Therefore, I pulled out the old PS and got to work. I also spiffed up the map itself with some PhotoShop enhancements to make it POP. By the way… most of the cultural regions are spot-on. New England and Atlantic Canada do share a common culture… Texas IS distinct from the rest of the old Confederacy (and West Texas is more aligned with Arizona/New Mexico/Norteño Mexico)… the Prairie Provinces and the Upper Midwest are one… “California” is really only a small coastal strip and Washington/Oregon/BC/Northern California are the Northwest… the Northeast and Southern Ontario really do make a discrete region… the First Nations do “rule” most of Canada. The most interesting region is Deseret… the Mormon heartland. It’s the most Anglo part of the country, so one could even say that Mormons are the most “American” of Americans. They’re Anglos who follow a made-up American religion. They have no cultural ties left to foreign parts, as most of the rest of us do.

BMD

Sunday, 11 December 2016

11 December 2016. Which Side Are YOU On?

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Last Sunday night at Standing Rock, with fellow veterans at their camp. They established a command team and an operational TOC, and are assisting with safety and security operations in the camp. I’m honoured to have met these incredible veterans, who inspire as they continue their mission of service. They are in this for the long haul, planning to stay until the drilling pad and construction equipment are removed.

Tulsi Gabbard

Facebook

Editor:

The top image is of militarised police of the sort set out by the oligarchs to beat and abuse the protestors. As Jay Gould put it, “I’ll hire half the working-class to beat the other half”. These men serve evil… if you serve evil, your goodness becomes weaker and weaker. This is the “conservative” mindset (especially noxious are so-called “paleocons”… they came up with the racist “Southern Strategy”). Evil strides across our land in ten-league boots; it calls itself “Conservative” and “Christian” (it’s why anti-religion is growing in the USA… true Christians must distance themselves from “Evangelical” sectarians or risk being lumped in with them).

The second image is of military veterans who are onsite with the First Nations protestors at Standing Rock. These people serve good… if you serve good, your bad impulses become weaker and weaker. This is Justice… Equity… Conservation… Fairness… everything that the “Conservative” Moloch opposes. These people stand on the barricades defending us from “Conservative” rapine and greed. They stand for everything that our Church truly teaches (our Church is NOT the plaything of the rightwing loudmouths, as much as that appears to be so here in the diaspora).

You must stand with one side or the other. You can choose Evil or you can choose Good. There’s no way around it; there’s no “middle ground”. Note well that the Fathers-quoting fanatics amongst us have chosen Evil. Yes… they chose it, with their eyes open. Remember what Our Lord said of those who claimed to have served Him and what His response was. Yes… the fate of our immortal souls are in the balance. Choose wisely…

BMD

Sunday, 4 December 2016

4 December 2016. DAPL Stopped… FOR NOW… Will Trump Reverse the Order?

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There’s much glee about the supposed rerouting of the DAPL by the Army Corps of Engineers. I’d say that it’s much too early to break out the bubbly. Trump will take office in six weeks, and he’s got his own money invested in the pipeline. Furthermore, he’s an asshat who enjoys suckerpunching people. Therefore, just because Obama and the Corps of Engineers rejected the present route, doesn’t mean that Trump won’t reverse that order. There’s no call for any celebration yet. It’s time to organise… for when the plug-uglies pull a fast one (it’s not a question of “if”). Besides, the Corps didn’t nix the pipeline, it merely rerouted it, which means that DAPL is still a threat to the environment. I’d point up that’s there’s no call for joy in Mudville, yet. There’s every chance that the oligarchs are planning a riposte, with their boy in office. Have a care… the times are evil…

The First Nations won a reprieve for the time being, not a lasting victory (sad to say).

BMD

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