Opinion

Peter d'Errico: United States refuses to acknowledge its genocide






A marker at the site of the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado, where a militia attacked a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho village, killing upwards of 200 people, mostly women, children and the elderly. Photo: Carptrash

Why hasn't the United States taken steps to address its genocide of indigenous peoples, beyond an apology that was never formally acknowledged by the White House? Retired professor Peter d'Errico argues that the American holocaust has never really ended:
Many other countries have made efforts to recover from historical traumas caused by official violence. The United States Institute of Peace Truth Commissions Digital Collection contains profiles of bodies of inquiry from nations worldwide—with links to the official legislative texts establishing such commissions and each commission’s final reports and findings.

One notable—but unremarked—omission from the list of countries: The United States. No “truth commission” or “holocaust memorial” has ever been undertaken by the U.S. to acknowledge—let alone compensate for—the historical violence against Native Peoples otherwise known as Native American genocide.

In fact, the U.S. government has done more to acknowledge its role in other countries’ genocides than to acknowledge Native American genocide. For example, when Brazil formed a National Truth Commission to investigate repression by state security forces between 1964 and 1985, the U.S. agreed to a special declassification project on Brazil, identifying, centralizing and reviewing hundreds of still secret CIA, Defense, and State Department records from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, when U.S. agencies assisted Brazilian state terror.

The National Security Archive (a non-profit, non-governmental organization of journalists and scholars based in Washington, D.C.) review of Brazil’s 2014 final report showed it provided far more information about Brazil’s system of state repression—including names of those who committed atrocities—than the U.S. provided in a 2014 Senate report on official U.S. torture.

Read More on the Story:
Peter d'Errico: Native American Genocide or Holocaust? (Indian Country Today 1/10)