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American Indian Movement of Colorado

Spirituality • Self-determination • Solidarity • Sobriety
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Thursday, July 08, 2004

The coming of the Whiteman-Yank Badhand

Our homepage has a photo of an AIM elder carrying the AIM staff. That elder is Yank Badhand. Every year, Yank carries the banner on Columbus Day. Though surrounded by AIM security, it still takes a tremendous amount of courage to walk into a gang of cops, who protect themselves with riot equipment & weapons in addition to hiding behind plastic shields.

Columbus Day 2002

When not facing off with the Denver Riot Police, Yank works at the Four Winds Survival Project, keeping the place running and in order. Yank is also a writer. The following column was first published in 1971. It was republished in 1991 and we are putting on the blog in addition to adding it to our website.

The coming of the Whiteman
By Yank Badhand

The “Whiteman” came across the great salt waters and discovered (by mistake) the “Redman” of the “new world” as he called it. To us the “Indian”(another whitemans mistake in definition) this “new world” was as old as time itself.

Since that black day in 1492 we, the native inhabitants of this great land, have weighed the whitemans contributions to our lives against the great injustices he has heaped upon us. In every category the “whitemans” gross wrongs have far outweighed his contributions.

With craftiness and cunning and inherent greed he bartered with us for our sacred land. For glass beads, mirrors and steel utensils, woolen blankets, iron kettles and woven cloth he took our most prized possession, our Mother the Earth. Over two billion acres of God’s creation fore mere trinkets. When he could not barter and trade for our land he stole it by merciless slaughter and bloody massacre of our ancestors. His offer of trade was then an ounce of lead from the end of a gun barrel for all the land soaked with our blood.

The whiteman gave us the great message of love from Jesus Christ while he systematically destroyed our spiritual way of life.

He gave us a dream of equality for all men, while carefully and craftily destroying our form of government, our economy(the buffalo) and our other ancient social institutions.

He gave us strong drink to blot our sense and took our fair young maidens in exchange for his pleasure.

He took our corn, our potatoes, our herbs and our medicines and in return he gave us hunger, poverty, disease and a bleak existence on barren lands

He gave us his technology and took away our communion with Wakontanka-“God”

He gave us his inventions and took away our strength, our stamina and our courage.

He gave us his Christian love and taught us suspicion, hate, distrust, greed, envy, lust and prejudice.

He gave us syphilis, gonorrhea, the “clap”, T.B, small pox, alcoholism, malnutrition, diabetes, paranoia, schizophrenia and other psychosis.

He gave us rags to wear, shacks to live in and surplus commodities to eat in exchange for fifty million buffalo.

He gave us natural gas, electricity, the split atom and the laser in exchange for susceptibility to colds, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, death by radiation and instant annihilation from a beam of cohesive light.

He gave us the internal combustion engine, the pneumatic tire, the jet, the rocket, the hydrofoil boat and took away the strength of our arm, the keenness of our eyes, the sturdiness of our legs and the stoutness of our bodies.

He gave us the deep freeze, the vacuum pack can, the cellophane wrapper and the instant T.V. dinner at the same time he gave us unbreathable air, undrinkable water and the stench of his garbage heaps.

He gave us doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, engineers, politicians, statesmen, architects, philosophers, businessmen and countless other kinds of professionals in exchange for our national beauty.

But such beauty came from WAKONTANKA and in the final balance the whiteman will be weighed by him.

(Yank Badhand, Sicangu, wrote this article in 1971. He believes it means a lot even today.)


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