Lincoln, the Dakota 38 and the racialist falsification of history

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    • #376731
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,777

      This is a WSWS piece condemning those tearing down statues of Abraham Lincoln because he doesn’t meet their moral standards, while they pretend to care about what happens to Native Americans now. I agree with it because I don’t believe in judging people of the past with the often faddish morals of today. It’s long, but I think a good read, and if nothing else you’ll learn a lot about the war between the Dakota Sioux and American settlers and troops in Minnesota in 1862, and how Lincoln did his best to handle the aftermath and avoid making things worse:

      On October 11, protesters in Portland, Oregon tore down a statue of Abraham Lincoln, leaving the phrase “Dakota 38” spray painted at its base. The attack took place during a protest called the Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage Against Colonialism, organized in opposition to the nationally observed Columbus Day holiday on October 12.

      “Dakota 38” is a reference to the Dakota War of 1862, which resulted in the execution of 38 Dakota Sioux Native American men for launching an uprising in Minnesota during the Civil War. This is the largest mass execution in US history. It was also the largest act of executive clemency in US history. Though the Civil War was raging and the fate of the nation hung in the balance in the autumn of 1862, Lincoln personally reviewed the case and reversed the death sentences of 265 other Sioux men. He suffered bitter political recriminations as a result.

      The executions took place during a war which would abolish chattel slavery at the cost of more lives than all other American wars combined. For leading the revolutionary struggle to emancipate 4 million slaves, Lincoln would ultimately pay with his life on April 15, 1865, just six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

      Ripped from this historical context, the tragic events that took place in Minnesota 158 years ago are manipulated to portray Lincoln as a racist no different from those who called for the extermination of the Native populations. This is part of a larger campaign, spearheaded by the New York Times’ 1619 Project, to undermine the democratic and egalitarian legacy of America’s first two revolutions.

      Full article here

       

       

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #376733
      HassleCat
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      • Total Posts: 7,265

      I agree. Applying today’s moral and political standards to old dead guys is foolish. Probably all of them were at least a little bit wrong by today’s standards. Leave that Jefferson Davis statue where it is, right there in front of the courthouse. It’s a fine place to gather and remember his cause for what it was, a tragic delusion that cost many American lives and still-lingering resentment.

    • #376756
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,361

      https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/portland-indian-leaders-roundtable-denounces-vandalism-theft-violence-mimicking-the-brutish-ways-of-our-colonizers-is-not-our-way/

      “We, the members of the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable, disapprove of the destruction and theft of property, and threat of violence by those participating in demonstrations last night. As with other resistance movements who have turned out in countless numbers this year, we understand that there is justifiable righteous indignation over the unconscionable mistreatment of our people and communities over centuries, and that Indigenous People’s Day is a time to reflect and speak out against these injustices. Yet, we cannot condone pointless acts of vandalism and the brandishing of weapons that serve only to detract from the real message that must be heard:

      Indigenous people continue to suffer at the will of systems designed to eradicate our self-determination, culture, economies, and families. Until we dismantle those systems, there will be no justice.

      Many of us have spent our lives advocating for the needs of our people and working to prevent re-traumatization of our elders and families. Acting only in anger is not our way. Disavowing the teachings of our elders is not our way. Wielding weapons and stealing what is not ours is not our way. Mimicking the brutish ways of our colonizers is not our way.

    • #376759
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,777

      @jbnw Good for them. It would be one thing if these protesters were demonstrating for greater Native rights and some well-deserved compensation, but instead all I see is people feeling good about pulling down statues of Lincoln. I don’t give a shit about the Confederate statues put up with the intent of putting Black people “in their place,” but Lincoln?

      I just don’t think his memory deserves that.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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