I think anyone familiar with the murder of Annie Mae and Wounded Knee 2 likewise
has some knowledge about Ray Robinson and the long standing accounts of unmarked graves.
Robinson’s wife had the devotion and courage to venture into the AIM stronghold seeking
answers when she personally met with Clyde Bellecourt and Dennis Banks in what could only be described as an exercise in futility. If they hadn’t been by the time of Annie’s and Ray’s murders the well rehearsed alibis and ensuing cover up were in full swing.
One would think Vernon, Clyde’s brother, and so called head of security would have had
a presence in that discussion and I’ve always wondered why he wasn’t there.
Vernon Bellecourt the former hairdresser, having set aside combs, hairspray, and favored clippers had proven that nepotism can be found anywhere in his ascension to a position of power within the ranks of AIM. I’ve always had this image of Vernon in the midst of strategy meetings and security concerns suddenly, compulsively, whipping out a comb and scissors to snip a little here, a little there, and coif the hair of those in attendance-kind of multi-tasking if you will.
What a motley crew this group comprised of former hair dressers, dance instructors, and ex cons who would lead AIM.
Cheryl Robinson, Ray’s widow, was abruptly left to struggle and raise their children on her
own and to this day has been unable to apply the healing balm of knowing the truth and where it is her husband lies.
There have been several accounts of a confrontation within WK between members of AIM and Robinson that led to him being shot at least once and apparently left to bleed out and die that can be found on the net.
Of interest is that a friend of Ray’s by the name of Janie Waller accompanied him to WK along with Emily Gordon and Gordon’s then boyfriend. Little if anything is heard of these individuals and I am of the opinion they quite possibly could shed some light on events as they occurred. In the aftermath I have often wondered why organizations like the NAACP or individuals like Sharpton and Jackson haven’t made an issue of the murder of Ray Robinson-they have considerably more influence than indigenous people do and that translates to political attention.
The CBFC-Congressional Black Caucus Foundation- not only has access to the power brokers in Washington but also represents a large voting demographic that unlike indigenous people can bring pressure to bear.
Of secondary importance is who leads this charge of discovery,whether it comes from indigenous people or any other ethnic group- what ultimately matters is the truth be known and those responsible be held to account.
Take a moment and visit their site at http://cbcfinc.org/ and request that they take an active role in this campaign for justice.
I never met Ray Robinson and it’s doubtful any who read this did-I also never met Annie Mae and think the majority of those who support justice for her ever did either. But that isn’t the issue, the issue is recognizing what people have done with their lifes, injustices done, and focusing on those.
Prejudice existed during the seventies just as it does now, and by all accounts their were those at WK who felt Ray was too “uppity”, that he should just bow his head, shuffle along, and say yasser massah-the very mindset that was proclaimed to be one of the reasons that gave rise to the birth of AIM.
WE all have our foibles and shortcomings, I’m sure Ray and Annie did as well, that makes them human and what they did accomplish all the more meaningful. A transcendent moment of epiphany may come to each of us during our lifetime, whether we act on them or not will define us as human beings just as it did Ray and Annie………..likewise as it did the petty warlords of AIM who were satisfied to wallow in their lesser humanity.
“I took part in every firefight of the whole occupation while still carrying on my duties as a leader; I met with the other leaders, to help negotiate, to make decisions about food, clothing, housing, who we should let in or out, informers, supply trains, outside help and support and other activities I could be involved in for the success of our new nation. During the last few days I went alone to the bunkers at night to talk loudly or shine lights around to fool the enemy into thinking the bunkers were still occupied. During every firefight I
was either in the the bunkers or at the command post fighting. I was always available to the people for any decisions that had to be made. I had to make the decision not to bring in Buddy Lamont until late afternoon after
I knew he was killed in the early morning. I had to leave Ray’s life to fight alone in eagle bunker after he was shot through both legs. I did these things to save other Indian lives. I suffered the humiliation of the final surrender when I would rather have died on free Indian land.” – Carter Camp
Suffered humiliation? What of the dispossessed people of WK whose homes and personal possessions were ravaged?
What of the suffering and humiliation of Wilber Riegert, who aged and confined to a wheelchair was evicted from the trailer that was his home so the Assholes In Moccasins could have a little comfort, an office?
What of Agnes Gildersleeve, a Chippewa woman, and her eighty year old husband who were likewise evicted and held as prisoners while the sum total of their lives was destroyed? What of Annie and Ray-did they suffer? Is there a greater humiliation for a woman than to be beaten and raped?
Where is the shame, suffering, and humiliation that would prompt a human being to at some point in the aftermath make some effort of restitution, reconstruction, to assist those many who lost not only their homes and automobiles but the dignity no one had the right to forcefully take from them?