A People of Unclean Lips
By the Rev'd Tom Bost
Today, I listened to an episode of This American Life, a radio show out of Chicago. If you’ve not listened to This American Life, I’d highly recommend it (though I don’t support all their views).
The episode I knocked out today on my morning commute deals with the rather unknown Dakota War fought in the northern plains of the U.S. in the 1860’s. The episode uncovers the history behind the this war, how these years of violence were essential to the formation of the state of Minnesota, and how most Minnesotans have never heard of it before. One thing that comes out in the show is the way in which our government repeatedly lied to the Dakota/Sioux tribe in order to get their land. This, of course, is not a unique story. A survey of U.S. history makes it seem like swindling and murder were the government’s modus operandi with the native nations of our land. There were exceptions, of course, but in general, it is a shameful story. And as I drove westbound on I-40 this morning, hearing about this again, it hit me just how unjust the realization of Manifest Destiny really was. Our country, and even the very road I was driving, was built upon unjust dealings, oppression, and at times, murder.