1972.04.01: Bury My Heart at Uni High Indians Abused by School Policies (Red Tide)

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]

Red Tide, Vol. 1, No. 3 [Issue #3]
April 1972

Bury My Heart at Uni High
Indians Abused by School Policies
[By Michael Letwin]

The issue of Indian mascots at Uni was brought up in Student Court recently. A woman from leadership brought the issue to the Court. The Student Court made a recommendation to the Student Senate that they take some action in this question. The Student Senate, in their normally efficient manner, postponed making any decision, [and] therefore no change has been made.

The Red Tide believes that the Student Senate should take immediate action in changing the mascots of Uni to names other than Indian ones, and that since Uni has helped distort the truth about the Indians, that the Senate take action to initiate programs that will the truth about the Indians.

America has net always been the polluted, ugly, shit-hole that it is today. Nor is the area where Uni stands always been the disgusting travesty of the word “education” that it is now. For Uni used to belong to the Indians, and all of the U.S. was once inhabited by Indians.

At Uni, mascots are called the “Warrior”, “Chief Mud-in-the-Face” and other degrading symbols of America’s racism and contempt for a race which did not believe in owning land or food or water, but one that shared and one in which there was room for all, which lived without destroying the world around it.

The Indians were not the “murdering, thieving, savages” that are portrayed on TV, but rather were a people lives were not selfish or centered around individuals but who cared for each other, the sick, the old, the helpless; all worked for each other.

A person can have no idea as to how grotesque the Uni Hi stereotypes of Indians really are until you have looked at the ideas and ways of life of White American society, and that of the Indians.

White society is geared to make people selfish and individualistic. The whole basis of our society is exploitation: “screw anyone you have to as long as you make money.” People give others as little as possible regardless of what they can afford. All of these things and many more have been drilled into us by way of TV, magazines, the paper, and most of all by the schools.

It is not hard to see that these aspects create unhealthy people, both mentally and physically. Thousands of people have nervous breakdowns and go insane everyday as a result of this system. White society does not care at all for the earth and recklessly destroys it for profit. These are many of the things that compose a capitalist society, an example of which America readily provides.

The Indians had a primitive communist society in which the land was for people to use, but not to abuse. There was a balance of nature and there was food and clothing for all. Cooperation was the essence of this society and the Indians were a strong people living happy lives.

These two societies are completely contradictory to one another. For Uni Hi to use Indians as mascots and names is a racist mockery of all that the Indians were.

The U.S. broke almost every treaty that it made with the Indians. The Indians trusted the whites as people and the whites destroyed them as gratitude. So the Indians finally learned that they could not trust the whites and that all the whites wanted was their land. They fought to the end to preserve their culture, way of life and lives. Who can say that this was unjustified?

The media has for years along with the textbooks, portrayed the Indians as the “bad guys”, but what made the Indians “bad guys”? The fact that they, like the oppressed peoples of Viet Nam, Cuba, America and Uni Hi, to mention a few, resisted and are resisting America’s death and oppression.

Every tribe of Indians as been lied to by the whites for years, and most of the land that the Indians once used has been stolen from them and given to the whites to mine, or timber or just generally destroy for profit.

Of course, the government was kind enough to give them land that could not be farmed, or used for any purpose except to infest disease, to the Indians and to give them corrupt Indian agents to steal the provisions “meant” for them, and to give them blankets deliberately infected with measles and malaria, in order to kill them.

For the Indians it was a struggle for survival, which for most practical purposes they lost. They lost to a society which has built Attica, San Quentin, the Pentagon, Hi school and countless other monstrosities, and which makes them everything that they are.

“I DID NOT KNOW HOW MUCH WAS ENDED. WHEN I LOOK BACK NOW FROM THIS HILL OF MY OLD AGE, I CAN STILL SEE THE BUTCHERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN LYING HEAPED AND SCATTERED ALL ALONG THE CROOKED GULCH AS PLAIN AS WHEN I SAW THEM WITH EYES STILL YOUNG AND I CAN SEE THAT SOMETHING ELSE DIED THERE IN THE BLOODY  MUD AND WAS BURIED IN THE BLIZZARD. A PEOPLE’S DREAM DIED THERE. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DREAM. . . . THE NATIONS THE NATION’S HOOP IS BROKEN AND SCATTERED. THERE IS NO CENTER ANY LONGER, AND THE SACRED TIME IS DEAD.”

–Black Elk of the Minneconjou Lakota (Sioux). One of the few survivors of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, December 29, 1890, in which the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry ambushed and murdered 310 of the Lakota tribe, in a partially successful effort to exterminate the Indians.

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