Obscure Member of a Nation
Many of our great Historic Chiefs died in the humiliation and defeat of American captivity. They were ultimately overpowered, outgunned and they refused to cower and hide. These Chiefs suffered in Americas first Death Row Execution Chambers. The Great Sun, Osceola and Black Hawk, each were described as being forlorn and despondent after being locked up in isolation before being killed by the U.S. Military. The last inscribed words of Chief Black Hawk touched me deeply in my heart, because it was really his deepest held wish for the reader not to suffer the same fate. He referred to his writing simply as a “dedication”. Although, I have no doubt that it was dedicated to those who would rise up after his departure.
The great Sauk and Fox Chief Black Hawk, wrote prophetic words in 1833, capturing the essence of his heartbreak, while awaiting orders to be carried out calling for his death at the hands of his captors, the U.S. Army. Chief Black Hawk pondered his powerlessness and inability to spare his people of the coming scourge of uninvited visitors intent on completing their Manifest Destiny, which included eradicating his dissent, his righteous indignation at their arrogance and the misfortune of destruction of his beloved people right before his very eyes, as well as the taking of their ancestral lands. His words are well known to all Black Indians. Without further ado, Black Hawk’s message;
“I am now an obscure member of a Nation that formerly honored and respected my opinions. The pathway to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on yours and that you may never experience the humility that the power of the American Government has reduced me to, is the wish of him who in his native forest was once as proud and bold as yourself .”
10 Moon, 1833
Ma tai ka me shia kiakuk
Discussion: Considering Black Hawk‘s words 176 years later, it is not difficult for to understand his feelings of helplessness. The power wielded and used by the “American Government” to take precisely what it wanted from Ethnic Indians (which was infinitely more than it needed to establish its Colonies) can only be considered a continuing perpetual crime of excessive force on the order experienced by the Great Chief Black Hawk, as well as our predecessor Sovereigns mentioned earlier, as well as Tuscaloosa, Abraham, John Horse, Black Coat and others.