Kickass and Blackhawk war

Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper has finally finished his bedtime book: “Blackhawk–The Battle for the Heart of America” by Kerry Trask, history prof emeritus at UW Manitowoc.

The book is an incredible work and leaves him–the keeper uniquely conditioned to join his clan at a Labor Day gathering on a sandy Wisconsin River beach within sight of where some of the unspeakable atrocities were committed by frontier predecessors against the desperate Sauk people as documented by Prof. Trask.

As usual, the keeper’s Wisconsin River clan gathering will swarm with little ones fixated on a good time, and the keeper will recall Trask’s writing about the white militia members who hunted down terrified women and children and justified slaughtering them in the name of settler safety.

It was only 100 years prior to the keeper’s birth that immigrant predecessors saw fit to kill children as a necessary part of stealing the Native Americans’ land and destroying their culture.

As Prof. Trask writes in a concluding paragraph, “Most of the reconstructed memory of the Blackhawk War has been designed to make white people feel good about themselves.”

Noting that “we have not yet become honest or introspective enough about this or any other war against the Indians to face some truths about ourselves and the cycles of violence we seem doomed to repeat again and again.”

 Prof. Trask concludes with, “As always it has been a problem deeply rooted in our collective identity and in the stories we keep telling ourselves about who we imagine ourselves to be.”

The keeper and Phyllis don’t imagine themselves to be anything that they aren’t and that is two “vintage” people happy to be around for another Labor Day, and mindful that they carry genes with unthinkable latent potential.

One Comment

  • Julie Richardson

    dear Bill –
    I enjoy your column daily (read several) as
    an antidote to the news !

    And we look forward to your new book about the Native Americans !!

    Julie & Ken
    Thank you !

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