Oklahoma Indian Times Inc.
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HIDING GENOCIDE: The National Museum of the American Indian
By Carter Camp
There is an enormous cultural rip-off being foisted upon our Nations by Washington D.C. I've warned of it before, but a small voice is easily drowned out when millions of dollars are being spent and the voice of the Great White Father anoints Indian leaders.
For a decade or more the Smithsonian fundraising machine has gone merrily along, draining much needed funds away from the Indian community and diverting America's attention away from the economic, cultural and legal devastation going on across our homelands. Many interest groups coveted the final two vacant spaces on the National Mall. Congress in its wisdom awarded one site to a very politically powerful (and deserving) Jewish applicant and another to the very politically powerful Smithsonian Institution, their 'keeper of the loot'.
Contrast the two new museums and you can see how they are used to support a conqueror's cleansed view of history: For the Jewish museum no thought at all was given to using it to show the world ancient Jewish culture and artifacts. They could have displayed scenes of ancient Jewish life: hunting, tanning hides and pastoral living. Like an Indian museum, it would have been beautiful and easy for people to enjoy.
It wasn't done that way for one reason...The Jewish people were in charge and they decided for themselves what aspect of their history to show the world. They decided with one voice to use the rare space as a shield to protect their people against a repeat of the Nazi holocaust. Jewish politicians funded and protected Jewish intellectuals, artists, historians, Rabbis, and survivors as they crafted a way to commemorate their dead and to use their past to protect their future. They refused to allow the dreams of others to distort the truth of their horror, and now their museum is a powerful testament to a Jewish dream, not a gentile revision of reality. Our space, and the world's window to our Nations, was turned over to the Smithsonian Institution to enshrine the lie of 'manifest destiny' and the historical inevitability of the American Holocaust.
America's museums have always been a prime purveyor of the big lies of American history, now the largest and worst is given an army of non-Indian historians, anthros, romance writers and a couple of Indian scouts, to define us to the world.
THEY decided with one voice NOT to use our rare and precious space as a shield of truth against the American Holocaust or to prevent the conclusion of its evil purpose against my people. We still die, our sacred sites are paved over, our dead dug up, our children stolen and mis-educated. Missionaries search the jungle for the last of us.
American's sensibilities are being spared at the cost of continuing depredations against Indian people. Americans will go to the Holocaust Museum and be told the horrible truths of what Hitler and the Nazi's did to the Jews. They will cry for the victims and mourn with the survivors, in the end they too will be determined to protect the Jewish people from a repeat of the Holocaust. All thinking people support this. They will also be comforted (and exempted) to know that America defeated the Nazi, stopped the killing, and helped Jews return to their homeland. Next, Americans can walk over to the museum of 'Indian' history.
They will be amazed and pleased at the beauty of our past. Scenes of tipis, tanning hides and pastoral living will hide the blood covering every-square-inch of America. Our blood. They will go home marveling at our ancient art and beauty and a little sad we had to pass into history.
They may even feel a twinge of guilt at the part their ancestors played in our demise. But they will go away without seeing or knowing the "time of horror" each and every Tribe went through upon contact with the European. They will go home without realizing how much of the slaughter was an officially inspired, government planned, and racist policy of genocide. They will not realize the depth of the crime committed so they will not understand the crimes being committed today or the need for reparations to heal the devastation. They will not understand that there were entire Societies for whom the "final solution" worked.
Entire Tribes, as whole and complete as the Jewish Tribes, were completely erased from Mother Earth. Their language will never be heard, their poetry, music, science and art is lost to the world because they met a people who believed in their own, god given, superiority and the inferiority of all else. (The base cause of all genocide.) They will go home without feeling the need to help Indian Nations secure their own homelands or becoming determined there never is another American Holocaust.
Worst of all, they will go home and not know that our people still suffer ongoing policies of genocide and attacks on our existence. Missionaries and Governments still work and plan to erase us from the face of our Mother Earth. Indian Country, from the Artic to Antarctica, is still awash in the blood of our People.
Should American Indians be suspicious about the placement and content of these two Museums? Jew and "Indian?" Did it take some C.I.A. psy-war expert to figure out how best to cover-up the murder of over 200 million people? Will this museum, with a mere nod to the 500-year holocaust, stand as the permanent enshrinement of the American lie and the final resting place of Indian history? I believe there should be a holocaust museum on Americas National Mall, in Americas Capitol city. But not one of the European disasters. It must be a Bright Red Museum of the American Holocaust! It must call the roll of entire Nations of beautiful people who succumbed to the genocidal onslaught.
"IT MUST BEGIN OUR TIME OF MOURNING BY ENDING OUR TIME OF FEAR" ...for all my relations.