I was watching a documentary on Geronimo tonight and was appalled, as I often am, on the way the Indian race was treated by the Federal Government. I knew, of course, that the Apaches were sent to Florida as war criminals (women and children as well), and that Geronimo and his band of “renegades” who were fighting for their people’s freedom voluntarily surrendered and were sent to Florida as well.
What I did NOT know was that they had been promised a return to their homeland after two years of confinement in Florida. What I did NOT know was that the Apaches who had volunteered and worked with the US Army to capture the tribe were arrested and sent to Florida as war criminals as well.
Geronimo lived for twenty-two years after his surrender and he was never allowed to return home. He and his people were sent to Florida, then Alabama and then to Oklahoma. The first few years in Florida were deadly; nearly a quarter of the people died from disease.
This was in spite of all the promises that the Federal Government had given the Apaches when they surrendered.
This has happened time after time after time in our country. Our government made promises and broke promises to practically every Indian tribe in America. This was their country, we took it over and we have been stepping on their rights ever since. This also happens many times to other races in America. It also happens to other religions if you are not Christian!
America, the land of the free …. If you are white! If you are Christian! It makes me ashamed to be American, many times, and makes me ashamed to be white.
When will this country unite as one people, no matter what the race, what the color, what the religion?