My master’s thesis examined the role of the media during the period, you will excuse the expression, of the “Indian Wars” between the Lakota and Cheyenne Nations and the government of the United States. Specifically from May 1862 until Wounded Knee (December 29, 1890). Needless to say the conflict between the Lakota, Cheyenne and the United States did not turn out favorably for these American Indians. Of the 574 federally recognized tribes, technically known as “domestic dependent nations”, it would be fair to say that they have become marginalized. The wonder of it all is that any were able to survive the interaction with the U. S. government. Which brings us to the Navajo.
Painting and photography share a commonality. Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” was the inspiration for this image, minus the pitchfork of course. Probably taken in the southwest U. S. c.1925 we present “American Gothic II“. Appears to be of an American Indian couple.
A rare image worthy of special recognition is this American Indian couple on the streets of Lawton, Oklahoma taken several months before statehood in 1907.
The current buzzword is “fake news”. In the 1930’s it would have been called the “big lie” as Goebbles perpetuated his propaganda. The point is made that if you say something often enough and loud enough people will begin to accept it as truth. So it was that the hatred against the Jews depicted in Hitler’s Mein Kampf came to be systematically institutionalized in the Nuremberg Laws a decade later. The slow unraveling of nothing less than genocide against the Jews was legal under German law. They were not the only people to face discrimination. Hitler railed against Slavs, communists, blacks, and many other groups. Where does the press figure into all of this?
In my Master’s thesis I explored the role of the media with respect to the period of the “Indian Wars”, specifically the period from the outbreak of hostilities in May 1862 in Minnesota to the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29, 1890. Previous treaties between the United States and the Lakota and Cheyenne Nations respecting territory ended with the passage of the Homestead Act as white settlers moved into Indian territory.