It’s understandable that there are some things people want to forget – a memory may be too painful or even embarrassing.
Some memories regardless of how painful they may be should be retained, not just retained but shared with others in an effort to secure justice and closure.
Others as an historical record, a lesson not to go down the same road again – that in part is why I’m opposed to revision in the name of political correctness.
I don’t want words struck from books – I don’t want blatant lies referred to as “falsehoods”, “alternative facts”, or “I misspoke”.
A lie is lie and we all know that – some lies are institutional in nature like the lies perpetrated by governments and entities like the American Indian Movement.
But a lie remains a lie regardless of who tells it, and the reasons for lying are well understood – it’s about saving face, saving one’s ass, covering up, or an attempt to gain an advantage in some way.
Then of course you have pathological liars who are incapable of speaking the truth.
A pathology long associated with the AIM leadership, with Leonard Peltier, and a supporting cast all believing there were both things to hide, things to gain, and asses to save.
Sometimes lies work in the immediacy of the moment, they may even gain traction and become something of a meme – eventually though they begin to unravel and the need to generate additional lies in an attempt to sustain the originals becomes the way of it.
If the pathology of lying is a lifestyle no problem as long as accountability is off the table – if it isn’t then misdirection and the supporting cast take on an additional importance.
Of necessity “sweetheart deals” to avoid responsibility often come into play as well.
It’s a giant leap from having committed or being complicit to murder to becoming a “respected elder” and ‘spiritual leader”.
No less so to proclaiming oneself a “political prisoner”, “warrior”, or intimating you are Crazy Horse come again.
Russell Mean$ and Dennis Bank$ have alternately been referred to by the media as the most well known ndns since Sitting Bull.
I wouldn’t ague the point as they certainly did everything to cultivate their personal brand, but mere notoriety is vastly different from actual substance, and when it comes to substance both Mean$ and Bank$ were and are sorely bereft – a truth that covers the AIM leadership in it’s entirety.
In the past when as nations we fought, when we waged wars we didn’t wage them against our own nation, we didn’t destroy our own villages, we didn’t rape, steal, murder, and plunder victimizing our own people as AIM did during Wounded Knee 2.
AIM had captured the attention of the media, they were mesmerized, here in real time was every romantic image Hollywood had conjured up – an honest to goodness Wild West Show being played out before their very eyes.
Theater the media either ignored as such or were oblivious to the fact that they were being played, they were cast as the obligatory bumbling trusty sidekick to heap praise on a faux Roy and Dale, Igor to Frankenstein, a Victor Mature cinematic Crazy Horse wearing an iridescent bonnet, or a Burt Lancaster as Massai crawling through a scrub patch of corn wanting only to be left alone.
Hollywood may be forgiven for the movies they’ve made depending on an individuals perspective, but the carnage and murders depicted though they may have had some basis in fact didn’t lead to the murder of those involved during production, and that is the difference.
AIM’s production led to real blood, real carnage, and real deaths – and yes like Hollywood the box office receipts generated a profit.
Revenue that never “trickled down” – this wasn’t interactive theater in the monetary sense, those who tripped the light fantastic were singularly about self aggrandizement, the personal bankroll, and if crimes against the humanity of their own people served as a vehicle then so be it.
Justice and closure thus far is a glass half filled – the DOJ has clearly stated AIM murdered Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, they’ve said the same of Perry Ray Robinson jr., and danced around the issue of AIM’s multiple other victims – the clear implication being sweetheart deals have been made.
Leonard Peltier has been exposed for every fraudulent claim he has made, every lie that came back to bite him in the ass in the tawdry B grade production he and AIM have cobbled together.
At the core of the AIM leadership “in the spirit of Crazy Horse” never existed anymore than there is an Equalizer, Batman, or any other fictional hero.
As nations we’ve had real heroes, real warriors both men and women – we have them to this day, and I can see no justification for any to elevate villains to hero status.
It isn’t just the Mi’kmaq who remember Annie Mae but every good hearted person among the nations.