I found a bunch of my old blog posts and comments from YEARS ago. Not all of them but wow, I’m not a great technical writer now but I sucked back then haha. Anyway in one post I wondered if we would ever honor Crazy Horse the way a Polish family in Custer, SD does with a memorial. I did stress that his family didn’t want that but also do we let a pile of rocks in Ft. Robinson and a mountain in the Black Hills rep our great leader? Do we let them memorialize him and gain profit while we struggle? See, I was naïve. What brought this post on was a white lady I met telling me we never liked him, because we didn’t honor him. She had the nerve to say he was the end of our way of life. I of course, counted backwards before I unleashed on her.
Anyways, the only comment on the post was from my dear friend in writing Scott, whom I have known through a great writing circle. He was better known as AtariShark. Scott was one of the ones who wrote to me on the inside and saw me gain freedom and he passed soon after. Rest in wonderful written word and Rest in Poetry Scott. Anyway, here is Scott’s comment.
“Monuments are usually made for heroes made, not true heroes. I don’t think Rushmore has anything to do with the good in people, just a whim, to become a whimper. Crazy Horse always seemed more like a revolution, and those don’t often get tributes as well. Obviously, he deserves a tribute, and it should be his mountains, his people, and his spirit that are involved. I can only hope for the best, and once again, it is you, and yours.”
Reading that again and now and knowing what I do now. Sure, I hate that strip bars, malt liquors, and clothing companies take his name. I hate that a town named Custer is carving a mountain named after him. I hate that they are not Lakota people are doing it.
However, in Scott’s comment I found the memorial to Tasunke Witko. I found how we honor our great leader. Just as he never gave up his fight for our people until his death and he never stopped believing in a better life for them then neither should we. As Lakota fight for their children, for their way of life, for their rights,and against the KXL pipeline and all the other fights we fight today. We have no choice but to fight for a better way of life. And that is what Crazy Horse did. Otherwise we are just assimilated, hangs-around-the-fort Indians waiting for the government to care for us. The same government that has tried to kill us will never “care for us.” They want us to be dependent on them. And this is the same government who caused the death of our hero, our revolutionary, Tasunke Witko.
He wasn’t a chief, he was a leader. Crazy Horse didn’t try to be a hero, he did what he had to, to protect the way of life of his people. That is a revolutionary. HE was the revolution and WE need to be the revolution. He gave the people hope. And that is the way we need to live our lives. We need to quit shooting each other down and we need to live that way, the way he taught us. We need to live everyday as if he is watching and thinking “This is why I fought so hard.”
We don’t need a statue for tourists to look at and take pictures by. Crazy Horse is in our heart and spirit. We Lakota have the same fight in us that he had. And if we don’t, our way of life will cease to exist. He predicted that.
Tasunke Witko Kiksuye!! Remember Crazy Horse! He never forgot us, continue our way of life!
“When you see the Black Hills, remember me.” -Crazy Horse
Ain’t gotta lie to kick it