Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another Trail of Tears

When Europeans came to the “New World” they brought with them more than just culture. They brought with them things like smallpox, more efficient killing weapons, life numbing whiskey, and in the end…a genocide. The settlement of the Americas by other cultures eventually all but wiped out the descendents of hundreds of generations of indigenous people. The Apache, Cherokee, Sioux, Pequot, Comanche, and so on.

Thousands and thousands of people who once lived and protected the land were driven out, hunted down, and crammed together on smaller and smaller bits of remote land. The settlers brought more than just their culture to the American Indian, they brought with them death and destruction in all its many forms.

Now it happens again. Now the players are different but the victims are the same. This time the victims are not being driven off their lands but killing themselves off with a gang culture.

Yes the cultural genocidal attitude of Gangsterism has a firm foothold in practically every Indian reservation in the United States. The same devices that allow gangs to grow and destroy are operating in this once “separate” culture. Denial, apathy, ignorance, and people unwilling to make a change in their own homes.

Indian youth are picking up flags, picking up guns, selling drugs, and killing each other in the name of a gang. It wasn’t enough that the suffering of a clash of cultures has spanned nearly 600 years. Now modern society with a supergang mentality evolving from the turmoil of the 1960s is making war on another group of people who have bled too much already.

Finally, the names of Native American gangs, whether they are urban or reservation-based, may suggest affiliation with a larger, national gang structure, such as Native Gangster Disciples, or Indian Crips, while other names, such as A-Town, Nomadz or Wild Boyz are unique to a community or other geographical location.
- Captain Christopher Grant
Rapid City (SD) Police Department

Yes kids on Indian Reservations are killing one another. And for what? The same endless war over territory that no one will own. The color of a rag. The sake of “respect.” The numbers are just as staggering in this isolated culture as the rest of the country…

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota estimates the gang membership in 2003 to be approximately 3,500 out of 15,000 residents.
-Officer John Mousseau.

This time there is no long march to remote reservations. Only the march of funeral processions. This time there is no massacre of the Pequot at Mystic River. Only the massacres of children by other children in South Dakota. This time there is no Trail of Tears through the Tennessee mountains. Only a trail of tears from neighborhood to neighborhood across the scattered remnants of the new wild west. A trail of tears that is only the beginning of a new atrocity.