In search of Justice- The Native Americans [Extra Credit]

“There is increased activity over on the Indian side. There are disagreements, laughing, singing, outbursts of anger, and occasionally some planning…. Indians are gaining confidence and courage that their cause is right.
The struggle goes on. .. . Indians are gathering together to deliberate their destiny…”
– Mel Thorn

Native Americans were greatly ignored throughout the mid-20th century in the sense that United States never honored the treaty made with the Indians. Howard zinn mentions a quote by this young college graduated, Paiute Indian (who was the first president of National Indian Youth Council) to demonstrate that Native Indians were practically getting involved in their civil right movements and with such educated young leaders they would contribute greatly towards the betterment of Native Americans throughout the country.




“I am a Yakima and Cherokee Indian, and a man. For two years and four months, I’ve been a soldier in the United States Army. I served in combat in Vietnam-until critically wounded…. I hereby renounce further obligation in service or duty to the United States Army.

My first obligation now lies with the Indian People fighting for the lawful Treaty to fish in usual and accustomed water of the Nisqualiy, Columbia and other rivers of the Pacific Northwest, and in serving them in this fight in any way possible. …
My decision is influenced by the fact that we have already buried Indian fishermen returned dead from Vietnam, while Indian fishermen live here without protection and under steady attack… .
Just three years ago today, on October 13, 1965, 19 women and children were brutalized by more than 45 armed agents of the State of Washington at Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually river in a vicious, unwarranted attack. …
Interestingly, the oldest human skeletal remains ever found in the Western Hemisphere were recently uncovered on the banks of the Columbia River-the remains of Indian fishermen. What kind of government or society would spend millions of dollars to pick upon our bones, restore our ancestral life patterns, and protect our ancient remains from damage-while at the same time eating upon the flesh of our living People . . . ?
We will fight for our rights.”
– Sid Mills

The United States tradition of not honoring the treaties signed with Native Americans continued with treaties such as the treaty signed with the Iroquois that gave all rights of that specific land to seneka nation, but kennedy violated the treaty by building a dam on that land. In his book Howard Zinn mentions this quote by a Native American who had served in Vietnam war, Sid Mills (who was arrested fishing illegally at Nisqually river) to show that in general the Indians were disappointed by the fact that United States was not acknowledging their contributions towards the betterment of the country.

Immoralities of President Nixon’s “Regime”

The shooting at Kent State (1970)

“When the national guardsmen got to the top of the hell all of a sudden there was just a quick movement , a flurry of activity, and then a crack or two cracks of rifle fire, and I thought, Oh my God! I turned and started running as fast as I could. I don’t think I got more than a step or two and all of a sudden I was on the ground. It was just like somebody had come over and given me a body blow and knocked me right down. The bullet had entered my left heel and had literally knocked me right down.”

-Tom Grace

As Tom grace describes the horrific events of Kent state shootings of innocent college students who were protesting against the Cambodian campaign by the President Nixon. This quote represents the immoral actions by the Nixon government. Government seems to care none for the people and rather was busy with re-electing the President. The Shootings were a result of Nixon’s Cambodian Campaign, and the victims were mostly the college students who were protesting against invasion of Cambodia.

President Grover Cleveland a Corporate Puppet?

“No harm shall come to any business interest as the result of administrative policy so long as I am President … a transfer of executive control from one party to another does not mean any serious disturbance of existing conditions.” (Grover Cleveland, Chapter 11)

President Cleveland was a democrat presidential candidate in 1884, he ran against republicans candidate, James Blaine. Common perception throughout the country during the presidential campaign was that the Cleveland would stand against the big corporations and provide relief for the small and new businesses. However, after being elected, Cleveland was seen surrounded by big businesses and their interests to keep the poor and rioting rebels under control. He personally assured the industrialist and corporates that the government during his presidency won’t make any such policies that would contradict their interests.

He used every opportunity to help big business and completely neglected the needs for the rest. Howard zinn gives an example of 1887 when Cleveland vetoed a relief bill of $100,000 for the Texas farmers who were suffering from drought but later on during the same year he used his gold surplus to pay off wealthy bondholders at $28 above the $100 value of each bond-a gift of $45 million. Cleveland appointed his chief adviser William Whitney as Secretary of the Navy. William started to work on “steel navy” and started to buy steel from Carnegie’s plants at scandalously inflated prices. What Howard Zinn is trying to assert is that Cleveland was truly a corporate puppet, who served the industrialist with all his will. While neglecting small business, such as farmers in Texas who were not able to buy grains and seeds due to drought that had taken over their lands.