The closest thing to an official free land program that freed slaves were really offered was the Homestead Act, which gave away 160 acres of federal land to anyone willing to improve it. (The number of mules was never officially specified.) Of course, they had to steal this land from the Native Americans first.
Clueless white people.
To their credit, white Americans really want to make reparations to the Native American people for that whole attempted genocide thing. One of the most potent symbols of our bourgeoning friendship with the First Americans is that of Sioux chief Crazy Horse, the Native Americans' greatest badass. So progressive is this message that a project is underway in South Dakota to carve an entire mountain into his likeness, so ridiculously huge that it's less than halfway finished after 60 years of work.
Erosion works faster.
While their hearts are in the right place, the irony is that the statue, conceived by Polish American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, was intended as a response to controversy surrounding his other great sculpting project: Mount Rushmore. It kind of misses the point about why defacing mountains in the middle of sacred Native American territory is a bad idea.
Carving shit up isn't solution to all of life's problems.
Unlike us Euro-Americans, who think out national heritage sites like Gettysburg can be made better by putting a Wal-Mart next to them, Native Americans are pretty satisfied leaving holy-enough alone. As Native American actor and activist Russell Means said in an interview: "Imagine going to the holy land in Israel, whether you're a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, and start carving up the mountain of Zion. It's an insult to our entire being."
But that wouldn't have stopped Ziolkowski.
The real kicker is that Crazy Horse refused to be photographed in his life, and was so adamant about it that no images of him are believed to exist. So, carving a 563-foot tall sculpture of him that dominates the Great Plains actually kind of serves as the most elaborate "fuck you" ever conceived by mankind.
You can read more from Philip at PhilipRodneyMoon.com
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