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Month: August 2020

Epidemic, Onondaga, 1918.

Epidemic, Onondaga, 1918.

How did the “Spanish Flu” epidemic that hit the United States in 1918 affect the Onondaga Nation? I cannot tell for sure, but going through the census records kept by the Interior Department and the State of New York has given me some ideas. We know that the epidemic did great damage in Native American communities. One scholar estimated that more than 6200 Native peoples died from influenza in 1918, 2% of the total Native American population. The Seneca Jesse…

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Lezmond Mitchell is Dead

Lezmond Mitchell is Dead

Last night officials at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute executed Lezmond Mitchell for a brutal crime committed half his lifetime ago.  The 38-year-old was the only Native American on federal death row, and the fourth person killed by the government since the Trump Administration resumed executions after a hiatus of nearly two decades.             Mitchell was convicted of a truly horrifying double homicide.  In 2001, according to the New York Times, Mitchell and three others “plotted to carjack a…

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The Republican Party’s View of American History is Stupid and Dangerous

The Republican Party’s View of American History is Stupid and Dangerous

The list of the Republican National Committee’s resolutions and the bullet-point list of goals the Trump Administration has set for its second term show that the Republican Party is as obsessed with the teaching of American history as at any time since Rush Limbaugh began decrying the National History Standards back during Clinton’s first term. It is more racist now than it was then.             Limbaugh had read Lynne Cheney’s infamous piece in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the Standards,…

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Goodbye, Columbus

Goodbye, Columbus

This past Thursday, the Onondaga Nation issued a statement on the notorious statue of Christopher Columbus located in Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse. They did so at the invitation of a Syracuse Inter-Faith Commission, and as a contribution to the 23-member panel that will issue recommendations to the mayor about what to do by the end of the summer. The Onondaga Nation’s statement is worth your time and attention. The Nation expressed their hope that “through diplomacy, discussion, and open…

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The Saga of Dr. Jesse Goldberg

The Saga of Dr. Jesse Goldberg

Jesse Goldberg is a graduate of the institution where I teach, SUNY-Geneseo.  Though I never taught him, I have followed his career on Twitter largely because he was spoken of so highly by a number of my colleagues.  I have followed closely as well the recent controversy surrounding some of Dr. Goldberg’s tweets and the craven response of Auburn University, where he recently signed a one-year contract to teach.             Dr. Goldberg wrote on Twitter, “F*ck every single cop. Every…

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