In a feat that is truly so ignorant, so completely fucking oblivious that I have literally run out of words, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park hosts a camp to become “a soldier in Custer’s 7th Cavalry.” Don’t recognise the reference? Here you go:
On November 27th, 1868, Custer led an early morning attack on a peaceful band of Cheyenne living with Chief Black Kettle near the Washita River. Custer, who had previously been convicted of desertion and mistreatment of soldiers, had recently been reinstated by Gen Sheridan to lead a campaign against the Cheyenne. Sheridan was frustrated by the inability of previous officers’ efforts to engage successfully against tribes and felt Custer would help lead successful campaigns.
Prior to the attack, Custer refused to confirm the band of Cheyenne over looking that this band under Chief Black Kettle were a peaceful band and flew a white flag of truce in the middle of the camp. Just four years earlier, Black Kettle had survived another surprise attack at the Sand Creek massacre.
Custer’s surprise attack happened at dawn. He ordered his men to destroy “everything of value to the Indians,” and in a few hours over 100 Cheyenne’s had been killed including Black Kettle, his wife, and over 800 horses. Custer also took over 50 women and children into captivity.
While originally labelled as a “Battle” the slaughter at Washita River was later called a “massacre of innocent Indians” by the Indian Bureau.
Custer would later lead a gold finding expedition into the Black Hills in direct violation of the 1868 Ft. Laramie treaty. Later, Custer who once declared “There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the 7th Calvary” would meet his fate at the Battle of the Greasy Grass (the Battle of the Little Big Horn) by an alliance of Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors. The battle would go down as the worst military defeat in US military history.
In 1890, a blood thirsty and revenge driven 7th Calvary rounded up a peaceful band of Lakota, primarily Ghost Dancers, under Chief Big Foot and slaughtered over 300 women, men, and children known as the Wounded Knee massacre.
I’m sure at least some of the parents enrolling their kids in this camp have no idea what Custer or the 7th Cavalry means, but that just makes matters worse.
You’re sending your kids to celebrate a mass murderer. That doesn’t suddenly become okay because the victims were indigenous, for fuck sake.
Caine’s piece is longer and more thorough. I just see this and go, “I can’t even.” Why are white people so fucking dumb? (Yeah yeah, I know. Privilege. But why?)