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Tim Giago: 'Oz' author called for genocide of the Lakota
Tuesday, June 6, 2006

"Most Americans know about one horrible day, at least horrible to Native Americans, that occurred on December 29, 1890. It was the day when the officers and enlisted men of the 7th Cavalry, General George Armstrong Custer’s old outfit, turned their Hotchkiss guns, their rifles and pistols on the nearly 300 Lakota men, women and children at a creek called Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and slaughtered them in an orgy of bloodletting that was dreadful to behold.

Six days after the massacre, while the frozen bodies of the Lakota men, women and children were being dumped into a mass grave, L. Frank Baum, the editor of a weekly newspaper in Aberdeen, SD, wrote an editorial calling for the annihilation of any Lakota still alive.

His editorial read in part, “Having wronged them once perhaps we should wrong them again and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”

Perhaps it was a sign of the times that the white settlers wanted to see all of the indigenous people destroyed but if any editor had called for genocide against any race of people other than Indians there would have been a huge public outcry. In an ironic way it reminds me of the millions who remained silent while Jews were herded into concentration camps in Poland and shoved into the gas chambers. The life of an Indian meant as little to the white settlers as the lives of the Jews meant to the Germans."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: Gonzaga honors an editor who called for genocide of the Lakota (The Native American Times 6/5)

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