Posts Tagged ‘Ethnic cleansing’


Chris Mato Nunpaby Chris Mato Nunpa, PhD
retired Associate Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University and author of the upcoming (Sept. 2019) The Great Evil: Genocide, the Bible, and the Indigenous People of the United States

 

One hundred and fifty-six years ago, on November 07-13, 1862, 1,700 Dakota People, primarily women, children and elders, were force-marched 150 miles from the Morton & Redwood Falls area in southwestern Minnesota to a concentration camp at Ft. Snelling, near the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The cold weather that we [in Minnesota] have been experiencing during this November reminds us, the descendants of the survivors, of this act of Genocide perpetrated by the State of Minnesota, the military, and its Euro-Minnesotan citizenry.

Dozens upon dozens of Dakota People were murdered – shot and killed, or bayoneted, or frozen or starved to death on this march! One of my grandmothers was stabbed in the stomach by a saber-wielding white soldier on horseback. Her “sin” was not understanding an order given by a white soldier in a foreign language, English. A friend of mine (now deceased) had a grandmother who was shot and killed because her “sin” was needing to relieve herself, for modesty’s sake, in the woods, along the forced-march route. We know not how many of our women were raped and murdered along the way, and we know not how many of our elders and children who lagged behind because of age, sickness or physical weakness, were shot and killed.

The commander of the troops who enforced the march was a Colonel William Rainey Marshall, who later became a governor of Minnesota, and he has a street in St. Paul, a county in northwestern Minnesota, and a town in southwestern Minnesota, named after him – Marshall! Colonel William Rainey Marshall was a Genocidaire, a perpetrator of Genocide. Forced marches are what Genocidaires do. Forced Marches are genocide, as I learned this from other Genocide scholars when I belonged to the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

The savage cry of “Extermination or Removal” was uttered many times, publicly, even in a speech to the state legislature, by the then-Minnesota Governor, Alexander Ramsey. He was referring to the extermination of the Dakota People of Minnesota, and the removal of the Dakota People from our own Dakota homelands, Mini Sota Makoce, ”Land Where the Waters Reflect the Skies.” In an atrocity six months prior to the November forced march, on May 04, 1863, “Removal” was authorized by the Minnesota state legislature, and 1,300 Dakota women, children and elders were forced from our homelands.

The forced march of 150 miles and the forcible removal were just two of a number of genocidal acts, and various crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the State of Minnesota and its Euro-Minnesotan citizenry, on the Dakota People of Minnesota. However, the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Ghoul Society (aka the Minnesota Historical Society), and white academia continue to suppress the truth about what was done to the Dakota People of Minnesota and who did it.

We need the help of our white allies and supporters, and the help of other Indigenous Peoples, to help us Dakota People of Minnesota in our struggle to have the truth told! After 156 years (since 1862), it is time for truth-telling!! Namayahunpi kin he nina piwada! “Your listening to me is greatly appreciated!” Ho, he hecetu do! “Yes, it is so!”


The Four Thousand coverThe Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred, by Greg Egan (Subterranean Press, 2016, 88 pp., $40 library edition, $2.99 e-book)

reviewed by Zeke Teflon

Australian sci-fi author Greg Egan has produced a novella that seems eerily relevant to the present-day political situation in the United States, with the rise of Donald Trump and the racist right, and Trump’s scapegoating of Mexican and Muslim immigrants.

But given some details in the story, Australia’s own immigration problems seem more likely to have inspired The Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred than the situation in the U.S.  (Large numbers of desperate emigrants from south and southeast Asia are attempting to immigrate to Australia. Many of them have been locked up for years on “the world’s largest open-air prison,” Nauru Island.)

The two primary characters are Camille, a doctor and a member of the Sivadier minority on Vesta, and Anna, the port director on Ceres. The plot revolves around the scapegoating and persecution of Camille’s minority by a make-Vesta-great-again demagogue and his followers.

That persecution is bad enough that members of the  Sivadier minority feel compelled to flee en masse, some hitching rides on cargo between the two asteroids, some fleeing by more conventional means. This, and the escalating persecution by the Vestan government, force Anna into making an impossible choice.

The Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred does a disturbingly good job of describing the horrors of scapegoating and persecution; it provides its victims with a human face, something that is the exact opposite of what persecutors do, who routinely describe their victims as “freeloaders” and “vermin.”

On the negative side, there are remarkably few descriptive passages in this novella. Much of it could be set anywhere where demagogues persecute a minority.

The book would have been richer with more physical description of both the characters who populate its pages and the places they inhabit.

But that’s not the point of The Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred. It’s intended as a cautionary tale about demagoguery, scapegoating, and the persecution of minorities. In that regard, it succeeds frighteningly well.

Recommended.

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(Zeke Teflon is the author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia. He’s currently working on its sequel and on an unrelated sci-fi novel. A large sample from Free Radicals, in pdf form, is available here.)

Free Radicals front cover