December 29, 2016, has the U.S. learned nothing?

It is December 29, 2016, the year social media became collectively conscious of the ubiquitous presence of Death’s hand and the reality that the powers that be tell convenient lies they call talking points. At Standing Rock, the water protectors stand on frozen grounds facing the overpowering forces of greed and corporate expansionism at any cost while standing strong in a movement founded in prayer. They, and their allies, stand strong. They endure on a day when the Lakota Sioux remember the massacre at Wounded Knee in another time and place called Pine Ridge.

By Trager & Kuhn, Chadron, Nebr. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

They make their place in the ongoing legacy of living history that some of them, their parents, and maybe grandparents may have witnessed when the bloody tensions that sparked a civil defiance occupation by the AIM movement that led to two Native persons losing their lives, and a U.S. Marshall being seriously wounded in February of 1973. Yet, still, the U.S. government seems to have learned nothing of the endurance of their heritage against oppression and the “manifest destiny” “kill em all” doctrine.

John C. H. Grabill [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image by Conor Handley

The formula just keeps repeating. Isolation, vilification, blockading, attacking, and color of law tactics paired with military weapon support. This time, the Lakota have no weapons of war, yet the formula still persists. The maximum extermination of their voice, their agency, continues.

https://i1.wp.com/www.unicornriot.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Snow.png?resize=618%2C350
Source: Unicorn Riot

The prejudice, bigotry, and racism still continues. Common human decency was brought into peril when it came to the systematic breakdown of compassion in this fight. As seen here, when the local Ace Hardware decided not to sell to the water protectors or their allies:

https://twitter.com/RuthHHopkins/status/804119814318985220/photo/1

Will we see a repeat of what happened in 1890? Will bodies lie frozen in the snow when the armed forces that serve DAPL finally snap now that the media is blinking and looking toward celebrity deaths? The water protectors are still fighting the good fight, do not forget that they still stand in prayer and in the face of repeated offerings of violence.

Original image source: Bykst

But some of us show that promise of progressive spiritual and honorable change. Veterans, outraged by the dishonorable and disgraceful abuse of power and disregard for the rights of the water protectors mustered to form a shield against the spear of political and profiteer abuses under the color of law. They joined the lines and were a symbol of hope and growth.

We must never forget the short step into the dark that this nation is on the verge of taking again. That foot is always poised against the valiant in the face of tyranny, despite the vision of the founders of this nation. Let us hope the tree of liberty need not be nourished with blood again, as the man said.

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