Free «The Wounded Knee Massacre» Essay Sample

The Wounded Knee experienced a massacre of its own kind. There is no justification to why that incident should not be described as genocide. This is because there was massive killing, which did not separate children from adults. The war was subjected to the Lakota who were American-Indians by the federal government’s soldiers. This brutal massacre left 150 people dead and 51 wounded from whom some later died. Assessing all the genocides that have occurred in history, this was extra ordinary since it happened within few days and resulted to massive loss of lives. This was not something simple as the Americans tend to present it.

The whole idea of war was unfair to the Lakota. They were not psychologically prepared and the only thing they knew is that the US government wanted them to sign out their land. After being gathered at Wounded Knee, the federal government’s troops engaged in disarmament. They endeavored to secure all the riffles and dangerous weapons owned by the Lakota. Unfortunately, one person refused to give out his gun and what resulted the fire that killed masses. Normally, one cannot be hit and fail to hit back even when the weapons are available. It seems the government wanted to disarm them so that they would have no objections to any orders subjected to them. This shootout led to so many people being shot at close range. I thought this only happens in movie fiction and not in real life, but I was wrong. People were gunned down like goats or sheep whose life is not that important. Moreover, it is as if soldiers did not have human feelings at all.

Looking into the video critically, ethnicity and racism is evident. This was a war between white Americans and red Indians. The Indians were referred to as Lakota and it seems the Whites were bothered by their land ownership. This was a discrimination of the highest caliber since the Whites did not value the life of Indians. They forgot that even the Lakota were human beings with blood and feelings as they did. They did not portray any value for life in their senses. This is well shown on the video when the massacre began and the soldiers invaded the camp full of women and children. They opened fire forcing them to flee for safety. The soldiers also encountered the wounded Indians and finished them off mercilessly.

To prove that this war was a thing of the past and that it was preplanned, the refusal of the deaf man to surrender his gun was not enough reason for opening fire. It seems the soldiers were prepared to sweep the Lakota and forget that they existed. Consequently, the Indians fired back to defend themselves and stop the killing. They were justified to do that since they valued their life and had a responsibility of protecting the interest of their community. The Indian men could not have sat back and watch their community vanishing.

Negotiations were possible, but the government declined claiming that they would not cooperate with Indians who had their guns pointed to the soldiers. This means that concession was only potential if the Indians surrendered their riffles. Definitely, the Indians could not have fallen to that trap and this was thoughtful. If by mistake they surrendered their riffles, it is most probable that the massacre would have happened without defense. Moreover, if the soldiers could not preserve the life of children and helpless women then they would have shown no mercy to disarmed men. In my humble opinion, the idea of returning fire with fire was considerate since the massacre could have claimed more lives that it did.


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