We were all wounded at Wounded Knee


There is a beautiful episode of the series The West Wing called Indians in the lobby. It takes place during Thanksgiving-day I believe. Two Indians are exactly doing that: They’re standing in the lobby, waiting for someone to talk to them. Nobody comes, and everybody basically thinks they’re just an annoyance.

Of course it says something about the guilt complex of America for what happened with the aboriginal inhabitants of their country. No battle was more dramatic than the battle at Wounded Knee. The guilt complex is exemplified by the different names: the Native Americans call it a massacre, WASP America calls it a battle. The army is now just calling it Wounded Knee, very diplomatically.

On December 29 1890 nearly three hundred Lakota people were killed near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. Some stories about what happened tell that it happened while the US Army was disarming the Lakota men.

The song came out in 1973, and in the US it was banned by some radiostations. In Europe it was more popular. Maybe the popularity of the song was in part due to the success of Dee Browns bestseller Bury my heart at Wounded Knee from three years earlier.

The Indians in the lobby had something to say alright.

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