RCC Honors History Project

Posted by jabberwhacky on December 30, 2008

Primary Source: Speeches to the Special Joint Committee on the Condition of the Indian Tribes, 1865

Class Discussion Post

I’ve been reading up on an older post plastered some time ago in regards to the unjust treatment of various Indian tribes during 1865, and I’ve come to wonder whether we truly learn from history.

The saying is almost cliche: “History has a tendency to repeat itself.” I wonder, though, is it prejudices that cause history to repeat itself?

Whenever I hear about a great injustice, whether it is occurring in modern day society or whether from the historical past, great injustices seemed to be intertwined with great prejudice.

In this speech, two Native American’s named Strike and Ree speak about America’s unfair conditions: “My grandfather, Mr. Redfield, the first agent, did not tell me the same things that my grandfather [the President] told me, neither did Agent Burleigh, but both of them told me lies; they filled my belly with lies.” He goes on to further state, “When the goods come they are not according to the treaty; they never fulfill the treaty. When the agent goes away he says he is going to leave these things to be done by his successor.”

I wonder if it is the fact that we consider ourselves a superpower or somehow superior that we, as a country, permit ourselves to invoke injustice in the name or prejudice. I don’t know, but it does lead me to question whether or not we have truly grown as a country.

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