- The title comes from an American Experience video production,
broadcast on PBS Television, which is currently available to rent or purchase.
This five part series gives Americans a comprehensive view of the native
history that has formed a huge part of what this nation was, as well as
what it has become. It is not simply a political diatribe; nor are these
observations as clear cut as many have believed they were.
- "With depth, breadth and richness, Native American
history is told through indigenous eyes in this revolutionary five-part
docudrama. Exploring five pivotal periods, the series spans 300 years of
Indian adversity, resilience and self-determination. Benjamin Bratt narrates
the sweeping series as it reexamines a cornerstone of America's story and
offers insight into how history's heartbreak and hope resonate with American
- What this series uncovers are a number of critical junctures
between the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent, and the various conquering
influences that came from the East to colonize this land; under the terms
of what was then the basic law for Europeans of conquest, blood and power.
- This is not an easy or a simple story-it is however the
story of the birth-pangs of what later became the United States of America;
and this story is told against the various truths that obtained at the
time in which they happened. It is above all a mixture of values, of traditions
and violations of contracts, treaties, and intentions; coupled with the
realities of the times in which they occurred. Had these events been taught
to Americans as a basic part of our actual history-which they are-then
the current takeover of this nation could not have proceeded as it has
with so little resistance to the barbarity that has come to us, cloaked
as it is, in the threadbare rags of a 'democracy and freedom' that is no
longer even a shadow of its founding concept.
- Part One, 'After the Mayflower' begins with the landing
of the first settlers and their initial struggles, which ended when white
settlers began to arrive by the thousands: This totally changed the integral
early relationship between strangers on a strange land, and the people
that had welcomed them. It also describes the slaughter of the 700 Indians
that we still perversely refuse to refer to when we celebrate 'Thanksgiving,'
as "our" national holiday. In addition part one introduces us
to the virulent diseases of the Puritans that brought with them their hatreds
and their racism as they sought to build a New Puritanism in which they
were the only beings that mattered-and where all the people here had to
be destroyed in order for their puritanical passions to survive and prosper.
- Part Two, 'Tecumseh's Vision' outlines one of the stories
of resistance that is seldom discussed, but is pivotal to understanding
exactly how colonialism has always created slavery, and plants the seeds
of ignoble empires, wherever it has planted its bloodstained boots. This
part describes their debt-management of the native population, and how
through duplicity and treason, amid so many lies, the leaders of the colonial
powers were able even then, to crush all else in their own imperial drive
to own-it-all: Well before this place was even considered to be a real
nation in its own right.
- Part Three, 'The Trail of Tears' describes the terrible
battle of the Cherokee people in their very different approach to the coming
of the settlers into their lands. Here we discover the origin of the term
'civilization' which was used to change the habits of native people, to
get them to conform to the artificial ways of the white's over their more
traditional natural-rhythms for living with nature, instead of on it, as
the white man then preferred to do. The term "CIVILIZATION" was
and still is the name of a Christian project designed to steal the language,
the rituals and traditions of a people and to erase 'other' people from
- The events described throughout this series point out
exactly how the same principles of debt-control over the population, coupled
with the national management of disease and poverty have always been used
to crush the will of the people of so many nations-that have become victims
down through the centuries and that have yielded only loss, injustice and
the outrageous wars that in the end have only confirmed the very small
minority of those that have always sought total control over all the various
people of this world, together with their resources and their lands.
- If you look closely and read between the lines throughout
this series you can easily see how the world has "chosen, by not choosing"
to endure the nightmare of the Palestinians, or the new Trail-of-Tears
that will become the fate of so many nations in the world today: Carried
out this time with F-16's and missiles instead of muskets and shot, yet
identical in their outcomes; unless those that resist now, also take the
lessons learned from this history to overturn the tyranny of the minority
and turn the truth behind this history to their own advantage.
- There are of course "many truths" at issue
here but the course of history must be considered if any people anywhere
are to ever have nations of their own again. What is also clear is that
words must have meaning, just as consequences must flow from the lies and
deceptions of leadership everywhere-because there can never be any kind
of lasting peace, or genuine prosperity without the active and realistic
rule of law-that must apply to all that live in each place where laws have
been justly created. To do this treasons must be answered with the penalty
of death for those that commit that crime; this is the only way back to
sanity and life from this nearly total nightmare in which we are now living.
- This is about education and about language and its uses,
both white and red, in the continuing struggle for supremacy over the land
and consequently over the people that sought to live and prosper on these
disputed lands, going so far as to have a Supreme Court Ruling that granted
the Cherokee nation its 'rights' over their own lands-only to have President
Jackson officially refuse to obey that ruling-that ultimately led to the
infamous Trail of Tears.
- Americans as a nation today, will soon be facing today's
form of the Trail of Tears if we continue to fail to forcefully resist
the coming clash between 'this New-Reality-on-the-ground' and the now defunct
laws of what was in theory only, "our country." This is why the
FEMA camps were created, to house the millions-of-us who will be forced
out of this place by the current deceptions and treasons which we (as a
people) have steadfastly refused to recognize. "In the 1830's what
we did to the Southeastern Indians was (and still is) ethnic cleansing."
These crimes that formed our national beginnings cry out to the universe
for consequences-maybe that is why we are where we are today-or maybe we
will listen to the needs of national and personal honor and chose to change
what is obviously waiting if we fail ourselves AGAIN, and do not resist
whatever may be coming in September.
- History is about to repeat itself, but not just as it
affected the Cherokee Nation in the 1800's, or as it has afflicted the
Palestinian people for the last sixty plus years-this time the stakes are
for all of everything in this blood-soaked and treacherous country and
by collateral and correlated actions globally against the rest of the world
as well-unless we rise against the coming political and military whirlwind
that will wipe us out as a people of any kind, in the known world that
has chosen to refuse to deal with reality.
- ?This series is about the 'stories in our blood' that
in many ways are carried in the blood of so many people the world over-but
what remains missing from these stories is the justice-delayed that is
always 'justice denied' for far too many in the current form of 'the civilized
world.' How we have chosen to "Build Our Future" is now more
important than ever!
- This series tells an important missing part of what this
nation came from. Yet 'we' today know so little of our real past supposedly
as a nation, that it would be laughable if it were not so barbaric a past
and so riddled with the crimes of the oppressive few that have made a Nest
of Vipers from what was supposed-to-have-been 'a place apart' where 'new
beginnings' could have remade the world in an entirely other way had the
people involved behaved differently than what the history has shown us
in this series.
- There are two other parts to this series that deal with
Geronimo in Part Four and Wounded Knee in Part Five. In the interests of
space and time I'll leave this article here, and ask that you watch the
entire series for yourself; because the past is too important not to know
as much as possible about what really happened here so long ago-that has
left so many crimes unanswered and that must still be dealt with, if we
are to ever have the joy of a tomorrow that stands for promise, instead
of surrender, to the Dark Side on every front.