Was talking with a friend, a woman, who brought up John Graham, in doing so she referenced an earlier blog and an exchange that took place between Antoinette Nora Claypoole and myself.
Claypoole mentioned Graham’s age at the time he murdered Annie Mae Pictou Aquash and the fact that he had been in one of the boarding schools.
My friend asked if this was meant to somehow mitigate Graham’s guilt?
My response was that I didn’t know, but all one need do is follow the news to know that individuals younger than Graham kill.
As I say I don’t know if this was an attempt to lessen Grahams’ guilt or not, but what I do know is I know elders who were in the boarding schools who would never have so much as considered killing a woman as she knelt praying for her children…..any woman, much less one of the nations.
Nor would they have stuck a gun in a woman’s mouth while interrogating her with the option to kill as Peltier did of Annie Mae.
One in particular, Grandfather, who carries both the physical and emotional scars of his time in the “schools”.
A man so honorable I doubt I will ever meet another his equal.
To tell the truth it kind of aggravates me the more I think about it following this conversation if the intent was to somehow minimize Graham’s guilt when I look at a man like grandfather.
The boarding schools left an indelible mark upon those consigned to them, and upon the nations as well.
Lives were ruined, children ripped from their parents, shorn like sheep, beaten for speaking their own language, sexually and physically abused, some unto death.
Yet inspite of all this the great majority went on to lead a good life as decent human beings – inspite of all they had endured they prevailed, they remained true to who they were, true to the ancestors and traditions.
They raised children, sought to do their best by them and instill a sense of values and pride.
Sometimes I think I wish I could have been a man on the day when they came to came to take grandfather away, someone would have had to kill me as I would not have allowed it to happen.
Grandfather is not the kind of man who seeks attention, if he does a good turn for another he doesn’t want it known, the doing is enough. A man singularly without pretense or guile.
Grandfather would sooner be struck mute than to tell a lie, to fabricate a story as Graham did about DNA being gathered from a park bench, or that he dropped Annie off at a “safe house”.
Graham and his AIM cohorts aren’t fit to stand in grandfather’s shadow.
There are men of honor and dishonorable men – Graham is among the latter.
John Kay of Steppenwolf recorded a song by the name of God Damn The Pusher Man – I say God Damn John Graham, Leonard Peltier, and the AIM leadership.