At the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota.
At the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota.
The topic of the Crazy Horse monument that is located a few miles from Keystone, S.D. and Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills came up this morning and set me to thinking about my one trip there with an elder several years ago.
While I have a great appreciation for Korczak Zilokowski’s ability as a sculptor and wood carver I’m not big on carving up mountains.
I’ve heard the argument that if there is to be a Rushmore then there should also be a Crazy Horse – maybe, maybe not, but my personal opinion is that there should be neither.
It’s been a decade or so since I was there and in looking on the net it doesn’t seem as though a lot of progress has been made, but then it is a huge undertaking.
The monument is characterized as being “a memorial for all Native American Tribes” and initially the idea of Henry Standing Bear who pursued Ziolkowski to undertake the work as an homage to Crazy Horse and indigenous people.
Initially Gutzon Borglum the creator of Mt. Rushmore was sought for the task but didn’t express any interest.
The good that will come from this should it eventuate will be a satellite campus of the University of South Dakota which as part of the curriculum will include indigenous study courses, a scholarship program, and student housing.
Close to seventy years later versus fourteen years to complete Rushmore and what has emerged is a representation of the face of Crazy Horse.
Thunder Mountain cannot be put back together so protests seem a moot point at this stage of the game and one can only wonder how many more seventy year cycles will it take before this “monument” is finished?
In my opinion the greatest of monuments are pristine mountains and wilderness areas – monuments that have stood for eons of time and should be left as they are.
Bakken has been stopped at least temporarily but the amount of money and corporate interest doesn’t bode well in the long run.
The bottom line is no one, no corporate entity, bank, or oil conglomerate has the right to arbitrarily usurp tribal sovereignty.
In the midst of celebrating the Obama administrations intervention we should all remain mindful that he is heading out the door and this presidential “injunction” may amount to little more than kicking the can down the road in the interests of personal legacy building.
The question to ask is what course would a Clinton or Trump administration take? I don’t believe a positive can be found in either but hoping I’m am wrong.
The joint statement released by the DOJ, military, and Department of the Interior appears to take a balanced approach – but historically none have been a friend to the nations so I’m inclined to believe it is in the nature of public relations while again hoping I am wrong.
Conservatives in government are going to wail and moan about jobs and energy independence demonstrating once again that they don’t give a damn about the environment or people.
For them it’s about sucking up to their corporate handlers while feverishly quoting bible scriptures and waving the flag.
If it’s about energy independence the technology exists to convert to alternative cleaner sources – the bottle neck is that the last dollar hasn’t been squeezed out of fossil fuels.
Congress most assuredly will attempt an end run with some form of legislation, and if there’s any way to cut off funding to anything related to the nations they’ll probably go there too.
When it comes to national sovereignty it is of secondary consideration when it involves foreign investments – there is a new land/resource grab being conducted by foreign interests ably assisted by politicians.
With that being the case it’s something of a no brainer to expect that the sovereignty of our nations would not be shown a greater deference.
If the country were not in the dwindling days of an election cycle the “official” approach might well be different.
Too often in the past we have taken cash “settlements” when pursuing a legitimate claim and I expect such a “settlement” will be offered at some point – but it’s time to break that cycle and stand firm.
Eminent Domain, the weapon of choice to legitimize Bakken and countless other abuses is in the end an extension of Manifest Destiny and conquest – no mistake should be made about that.
Bakken is a tweaked version of Keystone, and we shouldn’t forget that Keystone likewise was halted only to reappear with a different name.
In the environmental threat as nations I believe we are also obliged to support those not of our nations through whose land this proposed pipeline will also run – the above photo provides an illustration of the entire route from North Dakota to Texas.
Hopefully as a result of this we will all become more aware of and attentive to our personal carbon footprint and demonstrate the same commitment.
All things considered I’m inclined to believe that even among his supporters only a minority continue to believe Peltier is innocent.
They are of course obliged if pressed to say he is, but as time has passed more has come to light and that coupled with his many verbal miscues have made it increasingly difficult to do so.
The emphasis now seems to be the amount of time Peltier has done as though that alone is reason enough to release him.
I’m half inclined to believe as Obama heads out the door he may sign off on clemency or some form of sentence modification like house arrest accompanied by a statement that doing so is an effort to promote “healing”.
That’s a misnomer to me as the ones who are in need of healing are either the survivors of victims or were lowered into their graves decades ago, and I doubt the survivors would view such an executive action as a healing measure.
Granting clemency is above my pay scale just as it is for anyone other the president, so while I may offer an opinion should Peltier be released I’ll accept the fact that’s there nothing I nor anyone else can do about it.
Obama is pardoning non violent offenders, on the surface that may appear as though those convicted of violent crimes won’t be considered, but I would point out those who are being pardoned aren’t being presented as an act of healing, there isn’t a specific demographic being played to.
Obama like all of his predecessors in the twilight of their tenure engage in legacy building, a little house cleaning and a bit of dispensed pastery to embellish the record and how they will be remembered – it is for that reason I say I wouldn’t be surprised if he released Peltier as a “humanitarian” act in a world far from humane.
Ultimately though I wouldn’t place a bet either way as the evidence against Peltier is overwhelming and a precedent would be set in pardoning a cop killer that I doubt would go over well – and you can rest assured that as president Obama has access to a lot more documents and information than any of the rest of us do.
He may not be persuaded by out of context excerpts or claims nor any myths that have been created as have the Peltierites- he’ll be looking at those disciplinary and parole board hearing records ILPDC and Peltier have so zealously guarded and refused to sign off on for public release.
Should Peltier be released money making opportunites will abound, Dennis Bank$ and AIM will be in the middle of it doing everything they can to personally capitalize, they’ll overlook the fact that there was and can only be one Crazy Horse and liken “dumb as dirt” to him, even though Russell Means sought to cultivate a believe that he was the embodiment of all that Crazy Horse was and the entire pack of grifters routinely claim to speak and act “in the spirit of Crazy Horse”.
So much of all that has insued could have been avoided had a reciprocal transparency
existed on both sides, a true desire for justice and closure – if that had of been the case and “healing” is the goal it could of already been accomplished.
As it is whether Peltier is released or not a festering wound will remain, a wound in large part borne by the nations.
Should Peltier be released It would become a circus replete with barkers and all manner of memorabilia at an inflated cost – a little something to save for the grandchildren, a collectible bobblehead or a tee shirt featuring Peltier sitting on an ass as a Sancho Panza to Dennis Bank$ Don Quixote.
That would be fitting as Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra wrote the novel Don Quixote as a work of fiction and both Bank$ and Peltier’s stories are equally ficticious.
Well, to all the Peltierites here’s your boy and an inescapable truth – the “warrior” who would have you believe he lives his life in the spirit of Crazy Horse.
I wonder if any of his supporters are actually familiar with Crazy Horse, the kind of man he was – if so they would believe as I do that Peltier couldn’t carry Crazy Horse’s jock strap had he ever worn one, nor could a single one of the AIM leadership.
“Dumb as Dirt” as his associates nicknamed him, nothing more than a thug and gofer for Dennis Bank$, a “man” who wouldn’t hesitate to threaten a woman, and a “man” who undoubtedly had knowledge of and input in the decision to murder Annie Mae Pictou Aquash.
A “warrior” in the midst of boasting and saying he’d do it all again who now whimpers and pleads for others not to allow him to die in prison.
P.T. Barnum would have loved this guy, not the “man” but the sheer hucksterism, the smoke and mirrors as misdirection to separate the rubes and marks from their money – to convince them that the freak show is the real article.
I’m given to understand a legal way exists if Peltier is released to access his parole board and disciplinary records, if so the myth will come to a screeching halt and culminate with a whimper.
Strikes me as ironic that Mathiessen would employ the phrase In the Spirit of Crazy Horse as the title for his book and immediately the thugs and grifters of the AIM leadership and gofers like Peltier would begin using it as some sort of provenance attached to every word they say and deed they do.
Neither I nor anyone else I believe has ever heard of Crazy Horse stealing from his own people, or murdering a woman of the nations, not even looting and burning a village belonging to his own people such as AIM did at WK2.
The differences that separate Crazy Horse from these pretenders is as vast as the ocean – it’s like comparing a sewage pond to the Pacific or Atlantic.
Crazy Horse never gave himself a title, he in fact relinquished one when he felt he didn’t deserve it.
Can anyone imagine a Means, Banks, Crow Dog or Peltier doing likewise?
Peltier has it backwards, AIM isn’t and has never been a people’s movement, it’s been an organization run by criminals.
Free Leonard? How about actually trying to live in the spirit of Crazy Horse for a change?
It’s a little curious that the avenue of approach the Peltierites opt for now is that he was abused by the parole board-then almost as an after thought add oh yeah, almost forgot, he’s innocent.
Understandable though as the innocence claim has a very hollow ring to it, so maybe it’s better to reference that as an addendum, kind of like those other asides involving Blackhorse, Mr.X, and apparently now Theda Clark as well.
Well, it is about theater and reading from a script as Russell said-thing about theater though is it is role playing, acting-the actors aren’t really the person they are portraying-they aren’t really Hondo, Chato, or BatMan for that matter.
Victor Mature really wasn’t Crazy Horse, Chuck Connors really wasn’t Geronimo, and Burt Lancaster really wasn’t Masai.
That fat man at the mall in a Santa costume isn’t really Santa-kind of like Clyde’s recent theatrical floor flop- it’s theater-tickets available through the ever present paypal link-no rsvp, just toss some money into the pot as the bell is rung.
Means, Banks, and the Bellecourts aren’t really patriots and liberators, Peltier isn’t a victim-it’s theater as Russell let slip.
Actors get paid-they can have a lucrative career based on fantasy and fiction-as I understand it the lesser extras are compensated as well but but not those in the panoramic crowd scenes taken on streets etc.
Maybe they are aware they are being filmed and the fact that they are actually going to be included in a cinematic work of fiction, a theatrical presentation, is enough-kind of like those compensated personal appearance rallies AIM celebrity actors are noted for with the crowd scene. I kind of wonder at times if some one is holding up cue cards saying laugh now, wave banners, or applaud?
Thing is some people actually believe it’s real-like the ones who bought into the videos and story telling about the mysterious rogue Planet X aka Nibiru.
They have a difficult time separating fact from fiction-they’re like Fox Mulder and want to believe, when they wind up with the inevitable mud on their face they just move on to the next bit of theatrics completely immersed in it’s “authenticity”. Kind of like Crow Dog’s ceremonies.
Life without art, which theater is considered to be, could get a little dull at times, important to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction though-between A and B grade actors.
Credit where credit is due – at least in the theatrical portrayals by Mature, Connors, and Lancaster they didn’t kill any of their own women. They didn’t burn, ransack, and loot their own villages.