by Annette McGivney | July 2021
The national memorial draws nearly 3 million visitors a year – and Native Americans want the site back with a focus on oppression.
Mount Rushmore national memorial draws nearly 3 million visitors a year to its remote location in South Dakota. They travel from all corners of the globe just to lay their eyes on what the National Park Service calls America’s “shrine of democracy”. Phil Two Eagle is not opposed to the fact that the giant sculpture of American presidents is a major tourist attraction but he thinks the park should have a different focus: oppression. “It should be turned into something like the United States Holocaust Museum,” he said. “The world needs to know what was done to us.” Two Eagle noted what historians have also documented. Hitler got some of his genocidal ideas for ethnic cleansing from 19th and early 20th century US policies against Native Americans.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Denial] [Silencing POC] [Politics] [Social Justice] [Policing] [Economics]
by Robert Williams | July 2021
I never thought I would be a cautionary tale. More than that, I never thought I’d have to explain to my daughters why their daddy got arrested in front of them on our front lawn. How does one explain to two little girls that a computer got it wrong, but the police listened to it anyway — even if that meant arresting me for a crime I didn’t commit? This is what happened to me: As I was getting ready to head home from work one day in January of 2020, my wife called me and told me that a police officer had called and said I needed to turn myself in. She was scared and confused. The officers called me next, but wouldn’t explain why I was supposed to turn myself in or what I was accused of, so I thought it was probably a prank. I couldn’t imagine what else it could be. But as I pulled up to my house, a Detroit police squad car was waiting for me. The squad car swooped in from behind to block my SUV — as if I would make a run for it. One officer jumped out and asked if I was Robert Williams. I said I was. He told me I was under arrest. By then, my wife, Melissa, was outside with our youngest in her arms, and my older daughter was peeking around my wife trying to see what was happening. I told my older daughter to go back inside, that the cops were making a mistake and that daddy would be back in a minute. But I wasn’t back in a minute. I was handcuffed and taken to the Detroit Detention Center.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [-ing While Black] [Systemic Racism] [Policing] [Assumptions] [Politics]
by Zack Linly | July 2021
Some white people are racist, and some white racists are just nasty AF. On Jan. 6—the same day as the whiny wypipo rebellion at the U.S. Capitol—Black woman Keren Prescott was leading a Black Lives Matter protest outside the Connecticut Capitol building when she told an “all lives matter”-spewing white woman, Yuliya Gilshteyn, to “back up,” because she wasn’t wearing a face mask. Gilshteyn wasn’t even asked to back away because she was yet another fragile-ass melanin-not who still, in 2021, is pretending not to understand that the words “Black lives matter” do not, by any rule of the English language, imply that other lives don’t. All Prescott wanted was to get this maskless white woman TF out of her face – instead, Gilshteyn spat on her.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [“All Lives Matter”] [White Privilege] [Justice System] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [White Culture] [White Supremacy]
by Storyteller | JULY 2021
The son of former slaves, Garrett Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky on March 4, 1877. His early childhood was spent attending school and working on the family farm with his brothers and sisters. While still a teenager, he left Kentucky and moved north to Cincinnati, Ohio in search of opportunity. Although Garrett Morgan’s formal education never took him beyond elementary school, he hired a tutor while living in Cincinnati and continued his studies in English grammar.
… On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new “gas masks” and went to the rescue. After the rescue, Morgan’s company received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks. The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I. In 1914, Garrett Morgan was awarded a patent for a Safety Hood and Smoke Protector. Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a gold medal at the International Exposition of Sanitation and Safety, and another gold medal from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [History] [Role Model] [Assumptions]
by Andrea Donlon & Kathy Urffer | June 2021
For hundreds of years the Indigenous history of the Northeast has been systematically erased. It is time to speak up to make sure that the federal government and power companies do not continue that bitter legacy. Five hydroelectric facilities on the Connecticut River are renewing their operating licenses under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Later this summer, the public will have an opportunity to weigh in on terms for these licenses that will impact more than 175 miles of the Connecticut River for the next 40-50 years. The five hydro facilities are the Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon dams in Vermont and New Hampshire, and the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project and Turners Falls dam in Massachusetts.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [Environment] [History] [Systemic Racism]
by Christoph Strobel | February 2022
The essay explores the often-ignored histories of the indigenous people who resided on the confluence of the Merrimack and the Concord rivers up to the 1650s. This place is characterized by a significant bend in the Merrimack River as it changes its southerly flow into an easterly direction. Today, the area includes the modern city of Lowell, Massachusetts, and its surroundings. While the 1650s saw the creation of a Native American “praying town” and the incorporation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s towns of Chelmsford and Billerica, it is the diverse and complex indigenous past before this decade which North American and global historians tend to neglect. The pre-colonial and early colonial eras, and how observers have described these periods, have shaped the way we understand history today. This essay problematizes terminology, looks at how amateur historians of the 19th and early 20th centuries have shaped popular perceptions of Native Americans, and explores how researchers have told the history before the 1650s. The materials available to reconstruct the history of the region’s Native Americans are often hard to find, a common issue for researchers who attempt to study the history of indigenous peoples before 1500. Thus, the essay pays special attention to how incomplete primary sources as well as archeological and ethnohistorical evidence have shaped interpretations of this history and how these intellectual processes have aided in the construction of this past.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Implicit Bias] [Myths] [Politics] [Slavery] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [Silencing POC] [Health Disparities] [Economics]