History articles minimize crimes against local Indians

Letter to the editor published in The Daily Triplicate

While I’m glad to see The Daily Triplicate write articles about the region’s history, I’m concerned about the spin the Triplicate is putting on these seemingly historical articles, minimizing the theft, murder and genocide that characterize the settlement of the region.

A prime example is the headline “Miners, tribe clash in Klamath in 1855” (Feb. 24). “Clash”? The article itself describes whites moving in to what had been Indian land for thousands of years, the unprovoked attack on Indians (including “those who did not even plan to resist”?) by whites, the rape of Indian women and so on. And of course when Indians did resist (even when “no lives were lost”) the whites used the power of the state to kill even more Indians and to burn more villages. The article even uses the word “atrocities” in describing the white actions. “Clash”?

Let’s bring this up to the present. Suppose some gang from far away burst into the homes of Crescent City residents, killed men, raped women, burned down houses – burned down entire communities – and stole land. Then when some community members began to fight back, these gangs call in reinforcements to kill even more Crescent City residents and to burn more of our communities. Would the headline read: “Gang members, residents clash in Crescent City?” I don’t think so. The newspaper would call it what it is: an invasion accompanied by mass murder.

Please give these horrors the respect they deserve. Even more to the point, please give those Indian nations on whose land we all now live the respect they deserve.

Derrick Jensen
Crescent City

Filed in Essays
No Responses — Written on March 16th — Filed in Essays

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