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The “Battle” At Wounded Knee

hey guys it’s Nick Hodges here and today I’m going to talk about a historical event that truly shocked me when I learned about it you’ve all asked me if I could do podcast talking about little snippets of history that may never make it into my video reviews they’ve all been fantastic suggestions and it makes sense for me to put them into podcasts as you can imagine every single day I am literally just pouring over documentaries online articles and books from my research and about 95% of them will never make it into my reviews just because there are so many things that have of course happened to us even though all of them are equally fascinating so I tried to store them in my head for maybe one opportunity in the future where something will pop up in a film that would justify me using what I have learned however do my research yesterday I came across a story that I couldn’t just put away for a rainy day the story doesn’t get as much attention as it should and I am fairly certain that no high school criteria covers this because it’s subject matter concerns and especially dark chapter in American history now the purpose of this podcast is not to point fingers and it’s certainly not meant to be taken as anti-american we of course cannot turn back the clock and is not right to judge an entire people based on the crimes their ancestors have committed however recent they may be now the reason I say this is because this is a podcast concerning Native American history topic many Americans either uncomfortable with or confrontational about all I can say – that is good you should be uncomfortable the same way Belgians should be uncomfortable when the Congo is brought up or the British should be uncomfortable when India the Maori and the Aborigines are brought up as I always say the only way to really self improve is to self criticise first and even though we cannot bring back the dead the legacy of this tragic event can still be fixed today so let’s get to it in 1889 a way of life that existed for thousands of years for Native Americans had finally come to an end the great people of the plains were forced off their land and were now constricted on remote reservations they now had to change their entire culture and become farmers but the land they were expected to was infertile and incapable of producing enough food to feed themselves this was of course land that the United States didn’t really want anyway they picked the best for themselves and these are simply just like scraps leftover so of course famine was widespread throughout the reservations and the Native Americans had to rely on corrupt government officials to bring in food and supplies just to stay alive but of course there was never enough and they began to starved as a result so combine this with disease and the picture gets worse a comparison I can make is any time you turn on the television and you see those charity commercials with crying disease-ridden African babies with swollen bellies and that’s a modern-day equivalent to what was going on in these reservations now I’m sure you guys can imagine that these Native Americans probably missed the good old days where they rode across the prairies and hunted Buffalo and knew absolute freedom so would you hold it against them if they reminisced on the those days and wish to return to a time before the white men ever came because the United States government at the time certainly did in desperation the Native Americans have started performing the Ghost Dance a heartbreaking cry out to their ancestors to resurrect the lives of all those they had lost and loved within that year and to restore them all to the Past they had once known in porcupine Creek thousands of Lakota people undertook this dance so all day and all night they danced and chanted without rest it would come to a point where individuals would drop dead like flies from exhaustion so more and more Native Americans started joining them and then the United States government viewed this dance as a challenge to their authority perceiving it to provoke resentment and anger among the Indians and that the uprising would soon follow so they outlawed the dance stating that it was an unlawful assembly and I direct threat to the people of the United States the thing is though when your people are starving and suffering from an epidemic you kind of have it in your head of what else have you got to lose so I understand why needs many Native Americans ignore this it was said that this dance would work if they all just joined in that the nearly extinct Buffalo would return and their ancestors would hear them if everyone simply just took part and showed their commitment so just after Christmas in 1890 a band of nearly 400 hakuzo-su mostly women and children left the Sheyenne River agency in South Dakota and headed for a meeting at the Pine Ridge Agency in hopes that said this Ghost Dance would be an answer to their prayers they were then intercepted by the infamous 7th cavalry at porcupine Butte and ordered to make camp at Wounded Knee Creek when the Native Americans woke up the next morning they found that they were completely surrounded by over 500 American soldiers who had positioned themselves on a ridge overlooking the encampment with rifles and rapid-fire cannon sticked on their position the Native Americans were then all ordered to gather around a flag of truce while several soldiers went down to the camp confiscating any possible weapons they could find whether it be guns – even cooking utensils one soldier tried to take a rifle from a deaf man who allegedly wasn’t letting go saying that he had paid a lot of money for it the gun then went off by accident and immediately the entire 7th cavalry opened fire on the Indians with their rifles and then their cannons some of the Indians who had not given up their rifles returned fire but they were instantly killed the 7th cavalry fired indiscriminately and without pause into the camp women and children tried to flee the camp but they were hunted down on horseback and were either shot or butchered with Sabres some had been killed up to two miles away from the camp when it was all over 25 Americans had been killed mostly by friendly fire and at least 230 Sioux were dead the soldiers then dug a massive grave and piled the bodies into it it was the last act of the American Indian wars and are still officially known today as the battle I Wounded Knee it wasn’t a battle it was a [ __ ] massacre in a disgusting fashion President Harrison administration at the time blamed everything on the Native Americans saying that they provoked the senseless slaughter and proclaimed the soldiers as heroes handing out twenty medals of Honor for what they did I find this truly disturbing as to what I recollect the Medal of Honor should only be given out for acts of Valor that goes above and beyond the call of duty valor that means courage there’s nothing especially brave about murdering defenseless women and children Colonel James Forsythe who commanded the seventh Cavalry that day and ordered them to open fire was later exonerated for his actions and promoted to Major General these twenty medals of Honor are still officially recognized and legitimized today Native American to the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation have asked Washington time and time again for those medals to be rescinded Senator John McCain has acknowledged that what happened at Wounded Knee was wrong but defends these medals stating and I quote the policies and decisions of the United States government they’re led to the Army’s being at Wounded Knee in 1890 doubtless can be categorized as unjust unwise or worse nevertheless a retrospective judgment that the government’s policies and actions were dishonorable does not warrant rescinding the medals awarded to individual soldiers for bravery in a brief fierce fight in which 25 soldiers were killed and 45 others were wounded neither today standards for awarding these medals or nor policies of the United States with regards Indian tribes are what they were in 1890 so basically what he’s saying is that just because we believe that massacring innocent people is wrong today doesn’t justify rescinding these medals because the mindset was different back then um why where does he get that logic from the people awarded these medals and responsible for this are long dead I seriously out that their families would kick up a fuss in fact I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t dare it’s not going to cost you anything to do this and it would be a good first step towards improving relations with the Lakota people one I think that Washington is long overdue one and certainly needs to improve and finally it’s not a break away from tradition to do so because it wouldn’t be the first time America has rescinded medals of honor why John McCain is only half right in a statement of how the mindset was different back then it’s because in those days medals of Honor were handed out like [ __ ] skittles because Congress established no criteria in earning these medals in the first place between 1891 and 1897 presidents at that time awarded more than five hundred medals compare that today with how many servicemen were awarded in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined and the number adds up to 16 the reason why there are so few awarded is because today absolute proof of the most distinguished gallantry and battle needs to be provided in order for you to deserve that medal in fact the axis number of medals awarded in the late 19th in the early 20th century cheapen the value of these medals so much that in 1917 911 medals were rescinded because they did not justify their merit so I don’t understand why they just don’t rescind them already the only ones causing a fuss is them this horrific atrocity brings shame on a medal that’s supposed to honor only the most courageous of American servicemen not 20 racist [ __ ] who committed mass murder so I implore you to sign a petition today to rescind these medals I’ve added the link below in the description box and it’s just not going to take up that much of your time and if you can share this petition with others there’s not much that can be done to make up the crimes committed against the Native American people but you know what at least this is a start if you would like to know more about the subject than I would highly recommend for you to watch the HBO movie bury my heart at Wounded Knee it’s absolutely fantastic and another example and why HBO is taking the lead in producing mature and excellent television programs so I hope you found this story at least interesting and I promise next time that I’m going to upload another podcast this can apiece slightly less depressing there was just there was something about this story that jumped out at me and I think it’s one that deserves recognition in the meantime thank you all so much for your support every single one of your comments really make my day in reading them each one makes me so excited to move on to the next review so on that note I would like to officially announce the next review that will be uploaded on Saturday the 15th of August will be kingdom of heaven if you’ve been waiting for me to tear apart a terribly historically inaccurate film then I think you’re going to like this review in the meantime this is Nick Hodges and thank you very much for listening
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODoRfetMkMU

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