Extra Credit: Sid Mills and Adrienne Rich

Sid Mills was a Native American who, for all intents and purposes to the U.S government was a protester first, and a Vietnam war veteran second.  Sid was arrested at Frank’s Landing in 1968 during a protest. He later made a statement in which he highlighted the lack of consideration and respect for Native American tribes, especially those which included veterans of the war. ‘we have already buried Indian fishermen returned dead from Vietnam, while Indian fishermen live here without protection and under steady attack…’ (493) He concluded his statement by saying that the indigenous people’s would fight for their rights. Zinn included this because this statement creates an opening for the topic of the Native American plight over the course of America’s short history. The native tribes have been fighting against the oppression of the white settlers for as long as the threat has posed itself. However, in more modern history, their fight has been a partially dormant conquest. The natives have been thought to be a nearly extinct peoples, without much claim left and a seemingly lost cause. This was not the case. The occupation of the village of Wounded Knee is but one example of the Native American resistance. Sid Mills brings light to the relentless disregard of Native Americans. Veteran’s of the war, whose ancestors homeland was invaded, have given their lives to this country are still left without protection. As Sid Mills stated ‘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. …’. The natives have made attempts to assimilate but they are still met without any real prominence in government standing. They are treated as outcasts, when they are factually more American, not less.

On the topic of women’s suffrage, a much more broad point was made through a woman named Adrienne Rich. Adrienne’s inclusion instills the argument that the control of women in society was not done directly by the state as with other oppressed people, but within the family, in their very homes. After women had gained the right to vote many years prior, there were no vital outstanding laws preventing women from proceeding as prominent members of society. Nearly any and all oppression was birthed within the walls of one’s own family. ‘the family was used-men to control women, women to control children, all to be preoccupied with one another, to turn to one another for help, to blame one another for trouble, to do violence to one another when tidings weren’t going right.’ Adrienne was a housewife fulfilling the ‘traditional’ tasks as a woman, completing her role. She questioned her doings, but was met with the answer ‘this is what women have always done’. Women’s liberation began with the women themselves, within their own bodies, as women’s bodies are the very base of their exploitation. The largest part of women’s suffrage and perhaps the most difficult was within the boundaries of the home. ‘They could revolutionize thought and behavior in exactly that seclusion of family privacy which the system had counted on to do its work of control and indoctrination. And together, instead of at odds-male, female, parents, children-they could undertake the changing of society itself’