"The children of the forest, our red brethren of the Choctaw nation, contributed the majority of that sum, $170."
Even though they are separated from you by many miles of land and an ocean, those distant folks have sensed the influence of Christian example
and have cheerfully contributed to this noble cause." — General Irish Relief Committee of the City of New York, Myrndeck Van Schaick, 1847
My forefathers were indigenous people once upon a time, a long time ago. Then, foreigners came. They took our land, slaughtered our leaders,
outlawed our religion, annihilated our native language and culture, destroyed any attempt at rebellion, and starved us out of our homes.
There are so many people who have departed that there are perhaps 70 million of us living somewhere in the world. Six million of us discovered
the sea to a land where, in a crushing historical irony that too few of us ever considered, we became part of an immigrant population that benefited
from a government that stole the land, murdered the leaders, forbade religion, stamped out the native language and culture,
crushed any attempt at rebellion, and starved the indigenous people who were already here.
As a result, neither Columbus nor his festival are appealing to me. But, in the spirit of both Daniel O'Connell and Squanto, Robert Emmet and Geronimo,
Michigan State's head football coach, Mel Tucker, is charged with sexually harassing a rape victim.