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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 27th 2024

Frank Reflections: “Land of the Free” and “Freedom of Speech” predates white settlers arrival”' Who Knew?

By Frank Erickson

I find Dakota Nation history, since the arrival of the white Europeans, to be still so raw, current and painful, while others will see it as the distant past.

A quick hit 90 second “Minnesota History Moment” on PBS radio, had a man from Fong du Lac, talk about being put in an Indian boarding school in the 1960”'s as a little boy. At night before going to sleep, he said one boy would start crying, and then the boy in the next bed would start crying, until the whole room was crying; Broken-hearted from being separated from their families. As a white man, who grew up in Minnesota having everything I needed and being very wealthy, it is so hard to hear such accounts. Dominate cultures, without even realizing it, can break and crush the outsiders.

The white man calls it the “land of the free,” and has taken credit for that freedom, but everything was free around here before Whites arrived, and Natives never called it “land of the free,” I just was.

The whites gave North America ”˜freedom of speech,” but everyone was free to speak and express themselves before whites arrived. What the Europeans brought over from the Old World was not freedom, that was already here, what they brought was the sickness of control.

Natives had no concept of “freedom of speech,” which is rooted in the sickness of control. Whether you suppress or protect freedom of speech, you are taking possession of it. The fact the Natives had no knowledge of wha t freedom of speech was, is proof that Natives were spiritually and intellectually more advanced than whites.

Natives had never thought of taking anyone”'s right to speak, that was the white man”'s wonderful gift he gave to North America.

You are experiencing an enormous amount of arrogance, when you inform people that you are protecting their freedom to speak”¦you are taking control of them, and it is dangerous to assume they want your protection. Your arrogance and need to control, has you blinded to the fact that you are the problem.

Imagine how things would have gone down, if Natives had approached whites with a plan to protect the white man”'s “freedom of speech”—whites would have felt threatened.

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