No matter how much we try to smooth it over with turkey holidays and wacky football team logos, the treatment of the Native Americans was a genocidal nightmare. Along with slavery, it's one of those historical black marks that Americans would prefer to leave buried in the distant past. When kids used to play Cowboys and Indians, they pretended they were in the Old West, not the disco era.
"Jimmy, your mom and I would like to talk to you about what adults call 'sexual identity.'"
But Actually ...
First of all, full-blown battles to force Native Americans off of their land continued longer than most people think -- as in, after World War I. In 1923, there was a clash with tribes who refused to leave their land in Utah called the Posey War. Still, 90 years is a long time ago, maybe it's no surprise that violence was still flaring up on occasion. OK, so how about 1973?
Two hundred Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement followers seized Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on February 27, 1973, during the Wounded Knee incident.
This shit happened. Like, during the Nixon era.
Taking place a full 82 years after the Wounded Knee massacre of at least 150 Sioux, the Wounded Knee incident of 1973 resulted in a standoff between armed members of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization, the American Indian Movement, United States Marshals and the FBI. And when we say "standoff" we're not talking an "Occupy Wall Street" type protest where they just squatted with some signs until they got arrested. This was a full-blown battle, with more than 130,000 rounds of ammunition spent over the course of 10 weeks.
By the time it ended, an FBI agent and two Native Americans had been killed in the ongoing gun play. Fortunately, this battle could be considered the official end of the American Indian Wars. So the killing only lasted for, oh, about 450 years.
Xavier Jackson has a Facebook page and can be contacted at XavierJacksonCracked@gmail.com. Jacopo della Quercia is on Twitter. Follow him. Eric Yosomono writes for GaijinAss.com and has a Facebook page.
For more ridiculous tidbits of history you're probably unaware of, check out Fun Size Countries: The Insane Histories of the World's 6 Tiniest Nations and 6 National Anthems That Will Make You Tremble With Fear.
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