3.22.2017 Doc of the Day

1. Shirley Chisolm, Gloria Steinem, 1969 & 1970.
2. Douglas Linder, circa 1995.
3. Helen Scott, 2000.
4. Kahentinetha Horn, 2005.

diversity technology woman women
Numero Uno“Mr. Speaker, when a young woman graduates from college and starts looking for a job, she is likely to have a frustrating and even demeaning experience ahead of her.  If she walks into an office for an interview, the first question she will be asked is, ‘Do you type?”There is a calculated system of prejudice that lies unspoken behind that question.  Why is it acceptable for women to be secretaries, librarians, and teachers, but totally unacceptable for them to be managers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, and Members of Congress.

The unspoken assumption is that women are different.  They do not have executive ability orderly minds, stability, leadership skills, and they are too emotional.

It has been observed before, that society for a long time, discriminated against another minority, the blacks, on the same basis – that they were different and inferior.  The happy little homemaker and the contented ‘old darkey’ on the plantation were both produced by prejudice.

As a black person, I am no stranger to race prejudice.  But the truth is that in the political world I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a woman than because I am black.

Prejudice against blacks is becoming unacceptable although it will take years to eliminate it. But it is doomed because, slowly, white America is beginning to admit that it exists. Prejudice against women is still acceptable. There is very little understanding yet of the immorality involved in double pay scales and the classification of most of the better jobs as “for men only.”

More than half of the population of the United States is female. But women occupy only 2 percent of the managerial positions. They have not even reached the level of tokenism yet No women sit on the AFL-CIO council or Supreme Court There have been only two women who have held Cabinet rank, and at present there are none. Only two women now hold ambassadorial rank in the diplomatic corps. In Congress, we are down to one Senator and 10 Representatives.

Considering that there are about 3 1/2 million more women in the United States than men, this situation is outrageous.

It is true that part of the problem has been that women have not been aggressive in demanding their rights. This was also true of the black population for many years. They submitted to oppression and even cooperated with it. Women have done the same thing. But now there is an awareness of this situation particularly among the younger segment of the population.

As in the field of equal rights for blacks, Spanish-Americans, the Indians, and other groups, laws will not change such deep-seated problems overnight But they can be used to provide protection for those who are most abused, and to begin the process of evolutionary change by compelling the insensitive majority to reexamine it’s unconscious attitudes.

It is for this reason that I wish to introduce today a proposal that has been before every Congress for the last 40 years and that sooner or later must become part of the basic law of the land — the equal rights amendment.

Let me note and try to refute two of the commonest arguments that are offered against this amendment.  One is that women are already protected under the law and do not need legislation.  Existing laws are not adequate to secure equal rights for women.  Sufficient proof of this is the concentration of women in lower paying, menial, unrewarding jobs and their incredible scarcity in the upper level jobs.  If women are already equal, why is it such an event whenever one happens to be elected to Congress?

It is obvious that discrimination exists.  Women do not have the opportunities that men do.  And women that do not conform to the system, who try to break with the accepted patterns, are stigmatized as ‘odd’ and ‘unfeminine.’  The fact is that a woman who aspires to be chairman of the board, or a Member of the House, does so for exactly the same reasons as any man.  Basically, these are that she thinks she can do the job and she wants to try.

A second argument often heard against the equal rights amendment is that is would eliminate legislation that many States and the Federal Government have enacted giving special protection to women and that it would throw the marriage and divorce laws into chaos.

As for the marriage laws, they are due for a sweeping reform, and an excellent beginning would be to wipe the existing ones off the books.   Regarding special protection for working women, I cannot understand why it should be needed.  Women need no protection that men do not need.  What we need are laws to protect working people, to guarantee them fair pay, safe working conditions, protection against sickness and layoffs, and provision for dignified, comfortable retirement.  Men and women need these things equally.  That one sex needs protection more than the other is a male supremacist myth as ridiculous and unworthy of respect as the white supremacist myths that society is trying to cure itself of at this time. …

My name is Gloria Steinem.  I am a writer and editor.   I have worked in several political campaigns, and am currently a member of the Policy Council of the Democratic National Committee.

I am here in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.  Before I get on with the statement I would like to point out that Mrs. Wolfgang does not disavow the principle of equality only disagrees on the matter of tactic.  I believe that she is giving up a long-term gain for a short-term holding action.  Some protective legislation is gradually proving to be unenforceable or contrary to title VII.  It gives poor women jobs but serves to keep them poor.  Restrictions on working hours, for instance, may keep women in the assembly line from becoming foremen.  No one is trying to say that there is no difference between men and women, only as I will discuss more in my statement that the differences between, the differences within the groups, male and female, are much, much greater than the differences between the two groups.  Therefore, requirements can only be sensibly suited to the requirements of the job itself.

During twelve years of working for a living, I’ve experienced much of the legal and social discrimination reserved for women in this country.   I have been refused service in public restaurants, ordered out of public gathering places, and turned away from apartment rentals, all for the clearly-stated, sole reason that I am a woman.  And all without the legal remedies available to blacks and other minorities.   I have been excluded from professional groups, writing assignments on so-called ‘unfeminin’” subjects such as politics, full participation in the Democratic Party, jury duty, and even from such small male privileges as discounts on airline fares.   Most important to me, I have been denied a society in which women are encouraged, or even allowed, to think of themselves as first-class citizens and responsible human beings.

However, after two years of researching the status of American women, I have discovered that I am very, very lucky.  Most women, both wage-earners and housewives, routinely suffer more humiliation and injustice than I do.

As a freelance writer, I don’t work in the male-dominated hierarchy5 of an office. (Women, like blacks and other visibly-different minorities, do better in individual professions such as the arts, sports, or domestic work; anything in which they don’t have authority over white males.) I am not one of the millions of women who must support a family. Therefore, I haven’t had to go on welfare because there are no day care centers for my children while I work, and I haven’t had to submit to the humiliating welfare inquiries about my private and sexual life, inquiries from which men are exempt. I haven’t had to brave the sex bias6 of labor unions and employers, only to see my family subsist on a median salary 40% less than the male median salary.

I hope this committee will hear the personal, daily injustices suffered by many women—professionals and day laborers, women house-bound by welfare as well as suburbia. We have all been silent for too long. We won’t be silent anymore.Q2

The truth is that all our problems stem from the same sex-based7 myths. We may appear before you as white radicals or the middle-aged middleclass or black soul sisters, but we are all sisters in fighting against these outdated myths. Like racial myths, they have been reflected in our laws. Let me list a few:

That women are biologically inferior to men. In fact, an equally good case can be made for the reverse. Women live longer than men, even when the men are not subject to business pressures. Women survived Nazi concentration camps better, keep cooler heads in emergencies currently studied by disaster-researchers, are protected against heart attacks by their female sex hormones, and are so much more durable at every stage of life that nature must conceive 20 to 50 percent more males in order to keep some balance going.

Man’s hunting activities are forever being pointed to as tribal proof of superiority. But while he was hunting, women built houses, tilled the fields, developed animal husbandry8, and perfected language. Men, being all alone in the bush, often developed into a creature as strong as women, fleeter of foot, but not very bright.

However, I don’t want to prove the superiority of one sex to another. That would only be repeating a male mistake. English scientists once definitively proved, after all, that the English were descended from the angels, while the Irish were descended from the apes: it was the rationale for England’s domination9 of Ireland for more than a century. The point is that science is used to support current myth and economics almost as much as the church was.

What we do know is that the difference between two races or two sexes is much smaller than the differences to be found within each group. Therefore, in spite of the slide show on female inferiorities that I understand was shown to you yesterday, the law makes much more sense when it treats individuals, not groups bundled together by some condition of birth.Q3

A word should be said about Dr. Freud10, the great 19th century perpetuator of female inferiority. Many of the differences he assumed to be biological, and therefore changeless, have turned out to be societal, and have already changed. “Penis Envy,” for instance, is clinically disappearing. Just as black people envied white skins, 19th Century women envied penises. A second-class group envies whatever it is that makes another group first class.

Another myth, that women are already treated equally in this society. I am sure there has been ample testimony to prove that equal pay for equal work, equal chance for advancement, and equal training or encouragement is obscenely11 scarce12 in every field, even those—like food and fashion industries—that are supposedly “feminine.”

A deeper result of social and legal injustice, however, is what sociologists refer to as “Internalized Aggression.” Victims of aggression absorb the myth of their own inferiority, and come to believe that their group is in fact second class. Even when they themselves realize they are not second class, they may still think their group is, thus the tendency to be the only Jew in the club, the only black woman on the block, the only woman in the office.

Women suffer this second-class treatment from the moment they are born. They are expected to be rather than achieve, to function biologically rather than learn. A brother, whatever his intellect, is more likely to get the family’s encouragement and education money, while girls are often pressured to conceal ambition and intelligence, to “Uncle Tom.”13

I interviewed a New York public school teacher who told me about a black teenager’s desire to be a doctor. With all the barriers in mind, she suggested he be a veterinarian instead.

The same day, a high school teacher mentioned a girl who wanted to be a doctor. The teacher said, “How about a nurse?”

Teachers, parents, and the Supreme Court may exude14 a protective, well-meaning rationale, but limiting the individual’s ambition is doing no one a favor. Certainly not this country; it needs all the talent it can get.Q4

Another myth, that American women hold great economic power. 51% of all shareholders in this country are women. That’s a favorite male-chauvinist15 statistic. However, the number of shares they hold is so small that the total is only 18% of all shares. Even those holdings are often controlled by men.

Similarly, only 5% of all the people in the country who receive $10,00016 a year or more, earned or otherwise, are women. And that includes all the famous rich widows.

The constantly-repeated myth of our economic power seems less testimony to our real power than to the resentment of what little power we do have.Q5

Another myth, that children must have full-time mothers. American mothers spend more time with their homes and children than those of any other society we know about. In the past, joint families, servants, a prevalent system in which grandparents raised the children, or family field work in the agrarian17 systems—all these factors contributed more to child care than the labor-saving devices of which we are so proud.

The truth is that most American children seem to be suffering from too much Mother, and too little Father. Part of the program of Women’s Liberation is a return of fathers to their children. If laws permit women equal work and pay opportunities, men will then be relieved of their role as sole breadwinner. Fewer ulcers, fewer hours of meaningless work, equal responsibility for his own children: these are a few of the reasons that Women’s Liberation is Men’s Liberation, too.

As for the psychic health of the children, studies show that the quality of time spent by parents is more important than the quantity. The most damaged children were not those whose mothers worked, but those whose mothers preferred to work but stayed home out of role-playing desire to be a “good mother.”Q6

Another myth, that the women’s movement is not political, won’t last, or is somehow not “serious.”

When black people leave their 19th century roles, they are feared. When women dare to leave theirs, they are ridiculed. We understand this, and accept the burden of ridicule. It won’t keep us quiet anymore.

Similarly, it shouldn’t deceive male observers into thinking this is somehow a joke. We are 51% of the population, we are essentially united on these issues across boundaries of class or race or age, and we may well end by changing this society more than the civil rights movement. That is an apt18 parallel. We, too, have our right wing and left wing, our separatists, gradualists, and Uncle Toms. But we are changing our own consciousness, and that of the country. Engels19 noted the relationship of the authoritarian20, nuclear family21 to capitalism: the father as capitalist, the mother as means of production, and the children as labor. He said the family would change as the economic system did, and that seems to have happened, whether we want to admit it or not. Women’s bodies will no longer be owned by the state for the production of workers and soldiers: birth control and abortion are facts of everyday life. The new family is an egalitarian22 family.

Gunnar Myrdal23 noted thirty years ago the parallel between women and Negroes in this country. Both suffered from such restricting social myths as: smaller brains, passive natures, inability to govern themselves (and certainly not white men), sex objects only, childlike natures, special skills and the like. When evaluating a general statement about women, it might be valuable to substitute “black people” for “women”—just to test the prejudice at work.

And it might be valuable to do this constitutionally as well.  Neither group is going to be content as a cheap labor pool anymore.  And neither is going to be content without full constitutional rights.

Finally, I would like to say one thing about this time in which I am testifying.

I had deep misgivings about discussing this topic when National Guardsmen are occupying our campuses, the country is being turned against itself in a terrible polarization, and America is enlarging an already inhuman and unjustifiable war.  But it seems to me that much of the trouble this country is in has to do with the ‘masculine mystique;’ with the myth that masculinity somehow depends on the subjugation of other people.  It is a bi-partisan problem: both our past and current Presidents seem to be victims of this myth, and to behave accordingly.

Women are not more moral than men.  We are only uncorrupted by power.  But we do not want to imitate men, to join this country as it is, and I think our very participation will change it.   Perhaps women-elected leaders—and there will be many more of them—will not be so likely to dominate black people or yellow people or men; anybody who looks different from us.

After all, we won’t have our masculinity to prove.” Shirley Chisolm, “For the Equal Rights Amendment;” from the Congressional debate, 1969, & Gloria Steinem, “Testimony Before the Senate Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment;” 1970 

children, kids, art, sun
Numero Dos“The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial, the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history, should serve as a cautionary tale.  When it was all over, the government had spent seven years and $15 million dollars investigating and prosecuting a case that led to no convictions.  More seriously, the McMartin case left in its wake hundreds of emotionally damaged children, as well as ruined careers for members of the McMartin staff.  No one paid a bigger price than Ray Buckey, one of the principal defendants in the case, who spent five years in jail awaiting trial for a crime (most people recognize today) he never committed.  McMartin juror Brenda Williams said that the trial experience taught her to be more cautious: ‘I now realize how easily something can be said and misinterpreted and blown out of proportion.’  Another juror, Mark Bassett, singled out ‘experts’ for blame: ‘I thought some of the expert testimony about the children told you more about the expert than the child.  I mean, if the expert says children are always 100% believable and then you have a child who is not believable, either the expert is extremely biased or they’ve never seen anything like that child before.’

 

The McMartin trial had its origins in a call placed to police in Manhattan Beach, California by Judy Johnson, the mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old son who attended the McMartin Preschool on about ten occasions in 1983.  Johnson told Detective Jane Hoag that a school aide, Ray Buckey, the 25-year-old son of the owner of the preschool, had molested her son.  Despite the fact that the young boy was unable to identify Ray from photos and medical investigations of the boy showed no signs of sexual abuse, the police conducted searches of Buckey’s home, confiscating such ‘evidence’ as a rubber duck, a graduation robe, a Teddy bear, and Playboy magazines.  Detective Hoag arrested Buckey on September 7, 1983.

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The next day, Police Chief Harry Kuhlmeyer sent a letter to 200 McMartin Preschool parents informing them that Ray Buckey was suspected of child abuse and asking them for information. The letter asked parents to “question your child to see if he or she has been a witness to any crime or if he or she has been a victim.” The letter listed the possible criminal acts under investigation:

[The acts include] oral sex, fondling of genitals, buttock or chest area, and sodomy, possibly committed under the pretense of “taking the child’s temperature.” Also photos may have been taken of children without their clothing. Any information from your child regarding having ever observed Ray Buckey to leave a classroom alone with a child during any nap period, or if they have ever observed Ray Buckey tie up a child, is important.

Chief Kuhlmeyer’s letter ended by asking parents “to please keep this investigation strictly confidential because of the nature of the charges and the highly emotional effect it could have on our community. Please do not discuss this investigation with anyone outside your immediate family.” Needless to say, it wasn’t long before everyone connected with the McMartin Preschool, and indeed most everyone in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, knew of the ongoing investigation of Ray Buckey.

Judy Johnson’s reports of misbehavior at the McMartin Preschool became increasingly bizarre. She claimed that Peggy Buckey, Ray’s mother, was involved in satanic practices: she was said to have taken Johnson’s son to a church, where the boy was made to watch a baby being beheaded, and then was forced to drink the blood. She insisted that Ray Buckey had sodomized her son while his head was in the toilet, and had taken him to a car wash and locked him in the trunk. Johnson told police that Ray pranced around the preschool in a cape and a Santa Claus costume, and that other teachers at the school chopped up rabbits and placed “some sort of star” on her son’s bottom.

Eventually most prosecutors would come to recognize Johnson’s allegations as the delusions of a paranoid schizophrenic, but the snowball of suspicion had been started rolling. Chief Kuhlmeyer’s letter led to new accusations and demands from parents for a full-scale investigation of doings at the McMartin Preschool. Bowing to this pressure, the District Attorney’s office handed a major portion of the continuing investigation over to Kee MacFarlane, a consultant for the Children’s Institute International (CII), an agency for the treatment of abused children.

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Kee McFarlane (photo:Easy Rider)

Parents were encouraged to send their children to CII for two-hour interviews. MacFarlane pressed 400 children, through a series of leading questions and the offer of rewards, to report instances of abuse at McMartin. Children generally denied seeing any evidence of abuse at first, but eventually many gave MacFarlane the stories that she clearly wanted to hear. After the interviews, MacFarlane told parents that their children had been abused, and described the nature of the alleged abuse. By March 1984, 384 former McMartin students had been diagnosed as sexually abused.

In addition to interviews, 150 children received medical examinations. Dr. Astrid Heger, of CII, concluded that 80% of the children she examined had been molested. For the most part, she based her findings not on physical evidence, but on medical histories and her belief that “any conclusion should validate the child’s history.”

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Virginia McMartin, founder of the school

On March 22, 1984, a grand jury indicted Ray Buckey, Peggy Buckey (Ray’s mother), Peggy Ann Buckey (Ray’s sister), Virginia McMartin (founder of the preschool thirty years earlier), and three other McMartin teachers, Mary Ann Jackson, Bette Raidor, and Babette Spitler. The grand jury initially indicted the “McMartin Seven” on 115 counts of child sexual abuse. Two months later, and additional 93 indictment counts were added, as District Attorney Robert Philobosian pursued his strategy of hyping the McMartin case to boost his chances in an upcoming primary election. In June, bail for Peggy Buckey was set at one million dollars. Ray Buckey was held without bail.

The Preliminary Hearing

By the time the preliminary hearing began in August 1984, Prosecutor Lael Rubin was telling the media that the seven defendants committed 397 sexual crimes (far more than the number for which they were indicted) and that thirty additional individuals associated with the McMartin Preschool were under investigation.

Searches of the McMartin Preschool and the homes of defendants failed to produce much incriminating evidence. No nude photographs of children were discovered, despite the insistence of investigators and parents that such photographing was commonplace at McMartin. No evidence was found of the “secret rooms” where massive instances of sexual abuse were said to have taken place. In March 1985, a group of nearly fifty McMartin parents, determined to unearth the fabled secret tunnels, began digging at a lot next to the school. A few days later, the parents were joined in their efforts by an archeological firm hired by the District Attorney’s office. Still, no secret rooms were ever discovered.

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Digging for tunnels by the McMartin school

The longest–and probably strangest–preliminary hearing in history began before Municipal Court Judge Aviva Bobb in early 1984. The chaotic proceeding featured seven defendants (each with his or her own attorney) and three prosecutors. Unlike the typical preliminary hearing in which the prosecution tries to demonstrate cause for bringing the defendants to trial and the defense passively observes, the defense in the McMartin hearing mounted an “affirmative defense,” aggressively cross-examining a parade of prosecution witnesses including allegedly abused children, McMartin parents, therapists, and medical experts. The defense repeatedly tried to raise questions as to how abuse on such a massive scale could have gone undetected for years and suggested that much of the testimony of the prosecution’s child witnesses was flatly unbelievable.

Kee MacFarlane testified at the preliminary hearing that the abuse was able to go on for years because children either suffered from “denial syndrome” or were afraid that revealing McMartin’s dark secrets would result in their own deaths, or the deaths of family members. MacFarlane explained that she succeeded in bringing out the secrets with the help of anatomically correct dolls and a set of puppets, through which she asked children questions during her interviews. The puppets included Mr. Alligator, Mr. Snake, Detective Dog, and Mr. Sparky. Videotapes of the interviews also showed that MacFarlane and other therapists relied heavily on leading questions and subtle pressure to persuade children to join the chorus of accusers. The defense played tapes that showed therapist Shawn Connerly telling a child interviewee that 183 kids had already revealed “yucky secrets” and that all the McMartin teachers were “sick in the head” and deserved to be beaten up.

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Prosecutor Lael Rubin

The testimony of children at the preliminary hearing was shockingly bizarre, and often riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. Several children reported being photographed while performing nude somersaults as part of the Naked Movie Star Game. One child said that as the game was being played the children sang, “What you see is what you are, you’re a naked movie star!” Others testified as to playing a nude version of “Cowboys and Indians”– sometimes with the Indians sexually assaulting the cowboys, and sometimes vice versa. Children testified that sexual assaults took place on farms, in circus houses, in the homes of strangers, in car washes, in store rooms, and in a “secret room” at McMartin accessible by a tunnel. One boy told of watching animal sacrifices performed by McMartin teachers wearing robes and masks in a candle-lit ceremony at St. Cross Episcopal Church. In response to a defense question, the boy added that the kids were forced to drink the blood of the sacrificed animals. Perhaps strangest of all, was the testimony of one boy who said that the McMartin teachers took students to a cemetery where the kids were forced to use pickaxes and shovels to dig up coffins. Once the coffins were removed from the ground, according to the child, they would be opened and the McMartin teachers would begin hacking the bodies with knives.

By September 1985, and well over a year into the preliminary hearing, some members of the prosecution’s own team began to express doubts about the case. One prosecutor was quoted as saying, “Kee MacFarlane could make a sixth month old baby say he was molested.” The two co-prosecutors in the case urged dropping all charges against five of the seven defendants, and pushing ahead with prosecution only for Ray Buckey and Peggy Buckey. Chief Prosecutor Lael Rubin, however, argued that all seven deserved prosecution. After a December 1985 meeting involving over a dozen members of the District Attorney’s Office, the decision was made to drop charges against all defendants except Ray and Peggy Buckey. So far the case had cost Los Angeles County four million dollars–and the trial had yet to begin.

Defense attorney Daniel Davis

The First Trial

A legal bombshell exploded before the trial was scheduled to begin in the courtroom of Judge William R. Pounders. Independent filmmakers producing a documentary on the McMartin trial turned over to both the California A. G.’s office and to defense attorneys copies of a taped interview with McMartin prosecutor Glenn Stevens. In the interview, Stevens acknowledges that children began “embellishing and embellishing” their stories of sexual abuse and said that, as prosecutors, “we had no business being in court.” Stevens also admitted on tape that prosecutors withheld potentially exculpatory information from defense attorneys, including evidence concerning the mental instability of the original complainant in the case, Judy Johnson, as well as evidence that Johnson’s son was unable to identify Ray Buckey in a police line-up. Based on the revelations contained in the Stevens interview, defense attorneys moved that charges against Ray and Peggy Buckey be dismissed, but Judge Pounders denied the motion.

Jury selection took weeks. The twelve finally selected included eight males and four females. Half of the jurors were white, three African-American, two Asian, and one Hispanic. All but two jurors had at least some college education. Defense attorneys said later they were pleased with the jury.

In many ways, the trial was a condensed version of the preliminary hearing. While the prosecution attempted to prove widespread sexual abuse of McMartin children, the defense tried to prove that the whole show was driven by the suggestive and overzealous interview techniques of the crusading therapists of CII. In addition to featuring two rather than seven defendants, there were fewer charges, fewer attorneys, and fewer witnesses. Still, by any measure, it was a major trial. Before it was over, the prosecution would present 61 witnesses, including nine child witnesses, a jailhouse informant, parents, medical specialists, therapists, and even a woman who had sexual relations with Ray Buckey.

Opening statements in the McMartin trial began on July 14, 1987. Deputy District Attorney Lael Rubin characterized the trial as one about the betrayal of trust. Dean Gits, attorney for Peggy Buckey, described a case in which the children, the parents, and the McMartin teachers were all victims of an overzealous prosecutor. He told the jurors to consider that the McMartin Preschool operated for over twenty years without complaints, and that the prosecution–despite moving heaven and earth in a search for secret tunnels, pornographic pictures, semen, and buried animals–had turned up no hard evidence of any sexual molestation. Daniel Davis, attorney for Ray Buckey, said that he would offer a “common sense defense” that would show his client to be the victim of suggestive interviewing techniques and a virtual witch hunt.

The prosecution produced several parent witnesses to lay a foundation for the accounts of their children that would follow. Typically, a parent would testify that prior to the infamous letter of Chief Kuhlmeyer announcing that Ray Buckey was suspected of child abuse, he or she had no reason to suspect that his or her child had been molested. After taking the children to CII and talking with Kee MacFarlane, however, the parents became convinced that their children had been sexually abused. Parents suggested that bladder infections, nightmares, anatomically correct artwork, or masturbation were confirming evidence of abuse. A couple of parents theorized that the massive abuse might have occurred during nap time, when parents were prohibited from picking up their children.

The prosecution’s child witnesses, ranging in age from eight to fifteen, repeated many of their stories from the preliminary hearing. Jurors heard of the Naked Movie Star Game, Ray Buckey scaring the children into silence by executing a cat with a knife, and numerous graphic accounts of sexual abuse by both Ray and Peggy Buckey. The defense countered with evidence of contradictions between trial testimony and testimony at the preliminary hearing, videotaped interviews in which the children denied that they were molested, and CII interviews revealing MacFarlane coaching children and rewarding “right” answers.

The defense tried to produce a child witness of its own, the young boy who started the whole investigation rolling: the son of Judy Johnson. With Judy Johnson now deceased, the boy’s father flatly told reporters that his son would testify “over my dead body.” Judge Pounders agreed with Johnson that trial testimony might prove too stressful for his son and declared the boy legally unavailable as a witness.

Perhaps the key witness in the trial was CII therapist Kee MacFarlane. In her five weeks on the stand, MacFarlane fought to defend her controversial interview techniques that included naked puppets, anatomically correct dolls, and telling children what other children had previously reported about sexual abuse at the McMartin School. Before MacFarlane finished her lengthy testimony, even Judge Pounders was expressing concern about her techniques. Outside of the presence of the jury, Pounders declared, “In my view, her credibility is becoming more of an issue as she testifies here.”

Defense expert Dr. Michael Maloney, professor of psychiatry at USC, further discredited MacFarlane’s interview techniques. Maloney criticized the technique as presenting children with a “script” that discouraged “spontaneous information” and instead encouraged the children to supply expected answers to “please mother and father” and prove themselves “good detectives.”

Another distinct weakness in the prosecution’s case was the lack of medical evidence of sexual abuse. Although Dr. Astrid Heger testified that she found numerous scars “consistent with rape,” the defense’s medical expert, Dr. David Paul, said that his review of the medical evidence turned up virtually no evidence of molestation. In the case of nine of the eleven alleged victims, Paul found the body parts to be “perfectly normal.”

Perhaps the strangest testimony at the trial came from jailhouse informant George Freeman, Ray Buckey’s cell mate and a nine-time felon and confessed perjurer. Freeman testified that Buckey had admitted to him that he sexually molested children at the McMartin School and elsewhere, had a long-standing incestuous relationship with his sister, shipped pornographic materials to Denmark, and had buried incriminating photos of himself and children in South Dakota.

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Peggy McMartin

The high point of the trial, from the standpoint of media attention, came with the testimony of the defendants themselves. Peggy McMartin Buckey was the first to testify, telling the jury “never” when asked whether “she ever molested those children.” She also told jurors that she never witnessed her son behaving in a sexually inappropriate way at the school. Ray Buckey also denied each and every prosecution charge–as well as the allegations made by jailhouse informant George Freeman. He testified that he was not even teaching at the school during many of the times in which he was accused of abusing children. During cross-examination, prosecutor Lael Rubin kept hammering Buckey with questions about two barely relevant facts uncovered during the investigation: that Buckey sometimes did not wear underwear and that he owned several sexually explicit adult magazines.

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McMartin jury at press conference

On November 2, 1989, after nearly thirty months of testimony, the case went to the jury. The jury spent another two-and-a-half months deliberating its verdicts. On fifty-two of the sixty-five charges against the two defendants (some charges were dropped during the trial), including all of the charges against Peggy Buckey, the jury returned an acquittal. On the thirteen remaining charges against Ray Buckey, the jury announced that it was hopelessly deadlocked. Jury foreperson Luis Chang explained the vote: “The interview tapes were too biased; too leading. That’s the main crux of it.” Another juror told reporters, “Whether I believe he did it and whether it was proven are very different.” Judge Pounders offered his own appraisal of the verdict: “I was not surprised by the verdicts. I would not have been surprised at any decision the jury made.”

Aftermath and Second Trial

Child protection groups and parents pressured prosecutors to retry Ray Buckey on the charges on which the first jury deadlocked. Five hundred people, including many McMartin parents, marched through the streets of Manhattan Beach carrying signs such as “We believe the children.” One McMartin parent called the verdict in the first trial “a crime…almost equal to the crime that occurred outside the courtroom.” A television poll showed 87% of respondents thought the Buckeys guilty.

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Judge William Pounders

District Attorney Ira Reiner signed off on the retrial. Two new prosecutors were assigned to the case, Joe Martinez and Pamela Ferrero. The second trial also saw a new judge, following a successful motion by defense attorney Daniel Davis to have Judge Pounders removed from the case. Pounders expressed relief at the development: “I’m finally free after three years and three months. I was honestly afraid I couldn’t live through it.” Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg was assigned to replace Pounders.

The second trial was a much more focused proceeding, involving only eight counts of molestation and three children. The prosecution presented its entire case in just thirteen days (compared to fifteen months in the first trial) and offered only eleven witnesses. One of the witnesses was a mother who, on the stand, glared at Ray Buckey and announced, “I’m so angry at you, I could kill you right now.” The prosecution chose not to call CII interviewer Kee MacFarlane; instead, MacFarlane was called as a defense witness.

Jury deliberations after the three-month trial were described by one juror as “excruciating.” The jury ended its deliberations deadlocked on all eight counts. The jury leaned toward acquittal on six of the counts, and leaned toward conviction on only one count.

Following the mistrial, District Attorney Reiner chose not to retry Buckey a third time and all charges against him were dismissed.

The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial was costly in many ways.  In monetary terms, it cost taxpayers over $15 million dollars.  For the defendants, the costs of the trial included long terms in jail (Ray Buckey spent five years in jail before being released on bail), loss of homes, loss of jobs, loss of life savings, and a stigma that might never leave.  The children, too, were victims.  Ray Buckey in a CBS interview said: ‘Those poor children went through hell,…but I’m not the cause of their hell and neither is my mother..The cause of their hell is the …adults who took this case and made it what it was.’  Parents, too, suffered.  Many felt betrayed by the justice system.  The community of Manhattan Beach was another victim, left uneasy and polarized by the long investigation and judicial proceedings.

The effects of the McMartin trial even extended beyond the state of California.  Across the country, day care providers resisted the temptation to hug or touch children–contact almost all child experts say children need–out of a fear that their actions might be interpreted as signs of abuse.  Many day care centers were forced to close their doors after insurance companies, fearing molestation lawsuits, dramatically raised liability insurance rates.  Early publicity surrounding the McMartin investigation also spawned a rash of charges against day care providers elsewhere, many of which proved to be unsubstantiated.

There are many lessons to be learned from the McMartin Preschool Trial.  There are lessons for police and prosecutors, but there are also lessons for the media.  It was ‘pack journalism’–slanted heavily toward the prosecution, providing sensational headlines day after day, almost never seriously questioning the allegations–that turned the McMartin trial into the expensive and damaging fiasco that it became.”  Douglas Linder, “The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial, an Account;” Circa 1995

CC BY by Boston Public Library
CC BY by Boston Public Library
Numero Tres“The Mark Twain we learned about in school is a less than inspiring figure: Twain, the children’s author of riverside idylls; Twain, the bitter misanthrope who lashed out at society because of his personal failures; Twain, the racist who grew up in a slaveholding family.  Most famously, there is Mark Twain, Father of American Literature – the figure consciously created by the American literary establishment in the 1940s and 1950s.  This Twain is a powerful symbol of the American dream, the spirit of the frontier and Westward expansion – he is a nationalist hero.Yet Twain was one of the most forthright critics of American ruling-class ideology at the turn of the twentieth century.  Especially towards the end of his life, Twain’s published and unpublished writings and speeches are overwhelmingly antiracist, anti-imperialist and revolutionary:

I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle.  I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute.

In the light of such passion, it is excruciating to think how schools and universities have managed to make Twain such a boring character!  In retaliation, this article will focus on the Mark Twain they didn’t teach us in school.

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the slaveholding state of Missouri in 1835. He once wrote that slavery dehumanized the slave and made monsters of the slave owner. For much of his early adulthood, however, Clemens did not question the dominant ideas of his childhood.

Following the early death of his father, Sam Clemens had to earn money as soon as he could. His first paid work was as a printer’s apprentice. He spent four years in the mid-1850s working in various East Coast cities in horrible conditions and for practically no wages.

Clemens joined the print union and was an active member wherever he went. He also spent his evenings in the free libraries, where he “found a world that he never would have discovered in (Hannibal’s) public schools.” [2]

Clemens returned to the Midwest in the late 1850s, where his brother Orion, influenced by increased opposition to slavery had become active in Abraham Lincoln’s antislavery Republican Party On the eve of the Civil War, Orion was sent by Lincoln to be Secretary of the Nevada territory

Meanwhile, Clemens underwent a miserable apprenticeship as a riverboat pilot. In Life on the Mississippi, he describes the development of a dosed-shop union and the benefits reaped by all riverboat workers. This chapter was reprinted and read in union halls throughout the 1880s and 1890s. [3]

By his mid-twenties, Clemens had become a prosperous river pilot. His career was interrupted, however, by the Civil War. Although decades later Twain said that “Lincoln’s Proclamation … not only set the Black slaves free, but set the white man free also,” [4] Clemens remained “neutral” at the outbreak of the Civil War, even while troops were taking positions on both banks of the Mississippi. At the low point of his life, Clemens joined a militia fighting for the South, which was formed by his old friends from Hannibal. He deserted after three weeks and joined his brother in Nevada in 1861.

After a few wild years during which he tried (and failed at) silver prospecting, lived mostly on credit and consorted with the unconventional Bohemians, Clemens became a journalist. Although Clemens still held many of the prejudices of the day, while in Nevada and then California he adopted a distinctive brand of social satire that championed the downtrodden and ridiculed the powerful.

He wrote a series of articles protesting discrimination against Chinese immigrants and exposing police brutality in San Francisco. “I have seen Chinamen abused and maltreated in all the mean, cowardly ways possible to the invention of a degraded nature,” he wrote in 1868, “but I never saw a Chinaman righted in a court of justice for wrongs thus done to him.” [5] After condemning the law’s double standard-he pointed out that the crimes of the wealthy go untouched, while the police brutalize the poor for the crime of being poor – Clemens was himself a victim of police harassment.

In 1865, he told his deeply religious brother Orion that “there is a God for the rich man but none for the poor,” which marked the beginning of his consistent skepticism towards religion. [6]

Clemens became a popular public speaker and adopted the persona of “Mark Twain” for his writing and speaking – a name taken from the cry of the Mississippi riverboat leadsman, “By the mark, twain” to indicate that the boat was safe with twelve feet of water under it.

He returned to the East Coast and married Olivia Langdon, the daughter of a wealthy but liberal family who had been active abolitionists. Through the family, Clemens met socialists, principled atheists and activists for women’s rights and social equality; He befriended figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass and the utopian socialist William Dean Howells.

Over the next two decades, Twain achieved fame and fortune through his writing and speaking tours. Some of his best-known works were written in the 1870s and 1880s, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Both works were established as “literary classics” by the critical establishment in the 1940s and 1950s, but at first the literary elite condemned them. The Library Committee of Concord called Huckleberry Finn “trash, only suitable for the slums.” [7]

The subject matter and style of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were deemed “coarse” and “common.” Both books tell tales of the adventures of poor boys in the rough frontier towns along the Mississippi River. They reject the moralism of the contemporary Sunday School stories, and they are written largely in dialect, with a liberal sprinkling of swear words and slang. In an era when steps towards racial equality were being dismantled, the elite hated Huckleberry Finnespecially because the white hero, Huck, escapes with a runaway slave, Jim, and they develop a close friendship.

Huckleberry Finn has subsequently been condemned for its racism. The book does contain language that has racist connotations today, and this has been “whitewashed” or ignored by the critical establishment. However, even figures such as Frederick Douglass used the same language when attempting a “realistic” representation of life under slavery Furthermore, the story undermines the logic of slavery to such an extent that “the authorities regarded the exposure of the evils of slavery and the heroic portrayals of the Negro characters as ‘hideously subversive’.” [8] Any antiracist would want to acknowledge these facts, and the book should be understood in this context.

Identification with the oppressed

Twain’s response to his critics tells us more about the person he was becoming. By 1889, Twain was identifying with “the mighty mass of the uncultivated” and “not with the thin top crust of humanity.” [9]

Mark Twain was a contradictory figure: He continued to identify with the poor and oppressed and became increasingly critical of the social system, but he also lived the kind of life that was unrecognizable to ordinary Americans. He plowed most of his and his wife’s immense fortune into a series of crazy and disastrous investment schemes, including a new typesetter that he was convinced would make him a multimillionaire. (The project was ultimately abandoned.) He was wiped out by the financial crises of the late 1880s and 1890s, and he spent the last decade of the century traveling in Europe, recovering from his financial losses through his always popular speaking tours. In the 1 890s he also underwent a series of personal tragedies and deaths in the family. He faced bankruptcy at one point, only to be bailed out by an eccentric millionaire industrialist.

Some critics have argued that Twain’s reliance on such wealthy sponsors undermined his independence and compromised his social criticism. Twain presents his own ironic account of the limits of free speech in Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar: “In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to exercise either of them.” [10] It is true that Twain sometimes chose not to do or say something for fear of offending his sponsors or sections of his readership.

Despite such obvious moments of compromise, however, in the last two decades of his life – he died in 1910 – Twain became an outspoken anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist. This era was one of extremes. The completion of the American Revolution with the end of slavery brought the promise of equality and democracy for all. But the same period saw the rise and consolidation of monopoly capitalism, vicious racism and divisions between rich and poor as great as any in Europe.

The turn of the century witnessed the growth of the labor movement and the American socialist party. Twain publicly championed the union movement, especially the Knights of Labor. For centuries, Twain observed, the ruling few had sneered at the idea of a challenge from below, but the Knights of Labor-and organized labor more generally-showed the hope for a change in the whole order:

When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call Power … when these rise, call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen. [11]

Twain’s talent for humor, satire and storytelling and his hatred of oppression and inequality enabled him to encapsulate the contradictions of the era and also to offer a vision of a better world.

Mark Twain – anti-imperialist

As U.S. industry expanded at a dizzying pace at the end of the nineteenth century America was using its growing might to challenge its European rivals and conquer markets and territory abroad. In the process, it violated other peoples’ rights to independence and self-determination – the very values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The country’s first efforts to build empire focused on wresting Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spanish control in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war was portrayed as one to free subject peoples from Spanish tyranny, and this initially confused Twain. But he quickly came around. For Twain, and many others at the time, Americas imperialist expansion violated the expectation that America would be different from the colonial powers of Europe. Twain explained in 1900 how he went from praising to condemning the “American Eagle”:

(I used to be) a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific …Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? … I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American Constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish-American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. [12]

In 1897, Twain published Following the Equator, the unifying theme of which is hatred and condemnation of imperialism of all stripes. He also wrote many pamphlets that were published by the Anti-Imperialist League, which Twain supported after his return from Europe in 1900. The League, which had tens of thousands of members, was organized around opposition to the U.S. slaughter in the Philippines. In The Conquest of the Philippines, Twain describes the massacre of 600 Moros (a Philippine tribe), who were armed only with knifes and clubs and fortified in an extinct volcano crater, by American troops standing at the rim and shooting down on them. The president called this a “brilliant feat of arms.” This is what Twain had to say:

The enemy numbered 600 – including women and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States. [13]

A later report revealed that the death toll was even higher, and Twain continued:

Headline: Death list is now 900. I was never so enthusiastically proud of the flag till now. [14]

Twain also wrote and spoke with passion against European colonial domination, which he often compared to plantation slavery. He said of Cecil Rhodes, the mastermind of British colonialism:

He raids and robs and slays and enslaves … and gets worlds of charter-Christian applause for it. I admire him, I frankly confess it. And when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake. [15]

Some of Twain’s most sardonic invective was reserved for Belgium’s King Leopold III. As sole ruler of the “Congo Free State” – a giant tract of land he acquired by pretending to pursue a humanitarian mission to abolish slavery in Africa – King Leopold used systematic murder, mutilation and starvation to force the local population to bring in ivory and rubber, which was then sold at a massive profit. It has been estimated that some six to ten million Africans perished at the hands of Leopold’s henchmen in the Congo.

E.D. Morel, the head of the British Congo Reform Association, asked Twain to write a piece against King Leopold’s enterprise in 1904. The result, King Leopold’s Soliloquy, could not find a “legitimate” publisher. Twain gave it to the American Congo Reform Association, who built its organization primarily on the popularity and proceeds of Twain’s brilliant little exposé.

In the Soliloquy Leopold whines that though he has spent millions to suppress any revelation of his atrocities, meddlesome missionaries, reporters and activists continue to expose him:

They have told how for twenty years I have ruled the Congo state … seizing and holding the State as my personal property; the whole of its vast revenues as my private ‘swag’ – mine, solely mine – claiming and holding its millions of people as my private property; my serfs, my slaves; their labor mine, with or without wage; the food they raise not their property but mine; the rubber, the ivory and all the other riches of the land mine – mine solely – and gathered for me by the men, the women, and the little children under compulsion of lash and bullet, fire, starvation, mutilation and halter.

These pests! – it is as I say, they have kept back nothing! [16]

A frustrated agent employed in the U.S. by the Belgian government complained that as a result of Twain’s pamphlet a strong anti-Leopold movement was developing in the United States.

Imperialism is laid out before our eyes by Twain, not only as the domination of the weak and poor by the strong and rich, but also as a brutal competition between the great powers. In To a Person Sitting in Darkness (1891) Twain refers to imperialism as “the Game” and reflects that the person sitting in darkness (the colonial “savage” in need of “civilization”) may just look at America’s entry into this game, and say

It is yet another Civilized Power, with its banner of peace in one hand and its loot basket and its butcher knife in the other. Is there no salvation for us but to adopt civilization and lift ourselves down to its level? [17]

One of Twain’s most powerful pieces against the brutality of imperialist war is The War Prayer. The setting is a pro-war rally in a church to pray for the success of American troops. A messenger comes down from God and insists on putting into words the unspoken parts of these prayers:

Oh Lord, our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded…help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the waste of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst … [18]

In the 1960s, The War Prayer was reprinted in pamphlet form by activists against the Vietnam War.

Mark Twain’s revolutionary sympathies

Although Twain denounced imperialist war, he was not a pacifist – he supported violence in the cause of freedom. His revolutionary sympathies in part stem from his appreciation of the fruits of past revolutions, most obviously the American Revolution and Civil War. As he reflected in a letter of 1890:

My privilege to write these sanguinary sentences in soft security was bought for me by rivers of blood poured upon many fields, in many lands, but I possess not one single little paltry right or privilege that came to me as a result of persuasion, agitation for reform, or any kindred method of procedure. [19]

Twain hated monarchy and undemocratic rule of all kinds. The main character in his 1889 novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; after describing the farmers and artisans as constituting the “Nation,” remarks that

[T]o subtract them would … leave behind some dregs, some refuse in the shape of a King, nobility and gentry; idle, unproductive, acquainted mainly with the art of wasting and destroying, and of no sort of use or value in any rationally constructed world. [20]

Twain celebrated the French Revolution, but in the course of his life he changed his view of it:

When I finished Carlyle’s French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read it differently – being influenced and changed, little by little, by life and environment … and now I lay the book down once more, and recognize that I am a Sansculotte! – And not a pale, characterless Sansculotte, but a Marat. [21]

The catalyst for his radicalization was what he saw as the transformation of America from a Republic to a Monarchy – a monarchy not ruled by a king or queen but by money men, corporations and their lackey politicians, all driven by “money lust.” [22]

Not surprisingly, Twain supported not only revolutions of the past, but also those of his present. He defended the 1905 revolution in Russia and was bitterly disappointed by its defeat:

Russia was on the high road to emancipation from an insane and intolerable slavery; I was hoping there would be no peace until Russian liberty was safe … One more battle would have abolished the waiting chains of billions upon billions of unborn Russians, and I wish it could have been fought … [23]

In response to Russian reformists who were afraid of revolution, Twain asked:

What is the Czar of Russia but a house afire in the midst of a city of eighty millions of inhabitants?  Yet instead of extinguishing him, together with his nest and system, the liberation parties are all anxious to merely cool him down a little and keep him.

It seems to me that this is illogical – idiotic, in fact.  Suppose you had this granite-hearted, bloody-jawed maniac of Russia loose in your house, chasing the helpless women and little children – your own.  What would you do with him, supposing you had a shotgun?  Well, he is loose in your house – Russia.  And with your shotgun in your hand, you stand trying to think up ways to ‘modify’ him.

When we consider that not even the most responsible English monarch ever yielded back a stolen public right until it was wrenched from them by bloody violence, is it rational to suppose that gender methods can win privileges in Russia? 

Like Frederick Douglass, Twain saw that ‘without struggle there is no progress.’  In his 1886 speech, Knights of Labor – The New Dynasty, Twain asks:

Who are the oppressors?  The few: the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents.   Who are the oppressed?  The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat. 

This is a voice that should be remembered and celebrated: anti-imperialist and revolutionary – this is the Twain of ourtradition.  If Twain were alive today, he would denounce the imperialists carving up Kosovo and killing Iraqis and Serbs in the name of freedom.  He would say of Bill Clinton, ‘When his time comes, I’ll buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake!’

The literary establishment – the modern equivalent of those who scorned Twain – has claimed him for their own.  It is up to us to keep alive the other Twain and to fight for the world he wanted.  As Twain proposed in 1902, ‘Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers, and put in a squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love.’”  Helen Scott, “The Mark Twain They Didn’t Teach Us About in School;” International Socialist Review, 2000

from Espresso Stalinist
from Espresso Stalinist
Numero Cuatro“The ‘final solution’ of the North American Indian problem was the model for the subsequent Jewish holocaust and South African apartheidWhy is the biggest holocaust in all humanity being hidden from history?  Is it because it lasted so long that it has become a habit?   It’s been well documented that the killing of Indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere since the beginning of colonization has been estimated at 120 million.  Yet nobody wants to speak about it.

Today historians, anthropologists and archaeologists are revealing that information on this holocaust is being deliberately eliminated from the knowledge base and consciousness of North Americans and the world.  A completely false picture is being painted of our people as suffering from social ills of our own making.

It could be argued that the loss of 120 million from 1500 to 1800 isn’t the same as the loss of 6 million people during World War II.  Can 6 million in 1945 be compared to 1 million in 1500?

School children are still being taught that large areas of North America are uninhabited as if this land belongs to no one and never did.   The role of our ancestors as caretakers is constantly and habitually overlooked by colonial society.

Before the arrival of Europeans, cities and towns here were flourishing.  Mexico City had a larger population than any city in Europe.  The people were healthy and well-fed.  The first Europeans were amazed.  The agricultural products developed by the Indigenous people transformed human nutrition internationally.

The North American Indian holocaust was studied by South Africa for their apartheid program and by Hitler for his genocide of the Jews during World War II. Hitler commented that he admired the great job Americans had done in taking care of the Indian problem. The policies used to kill us off was so successful that people today generally assume that our population was low. Hitler told a past US President when he remarked about their maltreatment of the Jewish people, he mind your own business. You’re the worst.

Where are the monuments? Where are the memorial ceremonies? Why is it being concealed? The survivors of the WWII holocaust have not yet died and already there is a movement afoot to forget what happened.

Unlike post-war Germany, North Americans refuse to acknowledge this genocide. Almost one and a quarter million Kanien’ke:haka (Mohawk) were killed off leaving us only a few thousand survivors.

North Americans do not want to reveal that there was and still is a systematic plan to destroy most of the native people by outright murder by bounty hunters and land grabbers, disease through distributing small pox infested blankets, relocation, theft of children who were placed in concentration camps called “residential schools” and assimilation.

As with the Jews, they could not have accomplished this without their collaborators who they trained to serve their genocidal system through their “re-education camps”.

The policy changed from outright slaughter to killing the Indian inside. Governments, army, police, church, corporations, doctors, judges and common people were complicit in this killing machine. An elaborate campaign has covered up this genocide which was engineered at the highest levels of power in the United States and Canada. This cover up continues to this day. When they killed off all the Indians, they brought in Blacks to be their labourers.

In the residential schools many eye witnesses have recently come forward to describe the atrocities. They called these places “death camps” where, according to government records, nearly half of all these innocent Indigenous children died or disappeared as if they never existed. In the 1920’s when Dr. Bryce was alarmed by the high death rate of children in residential schools, his report was suppressed.

“Indian boarding school” – cultural genocide

The term “Final Solution” was not coined by the Nazis. It was Indian Affairs Superintendent, Duncan Campbell Scott, Canada’s Adolph Eichmann, who in April 1910 plotted out the planned murder to take care of the “Indian problem”.

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habitating so closely in these schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards the final solution of our Indian Problem”. (DIA Archives, RG 10 series).

In the 1930’s he brought German doctors over here to do medical experiments on our children. According to the study the majority of the lives of these children was extinguished. School children are taught his poetry with no mention of his role as the butcher of the Indian people.

Those who carried out this annihilation of our people were protected so they could declare full-scale war on us. North Americans as heirs of the fruits of this murderous system have blood on their hands. If people are sincere about preventing holocausts they must remember it. History must be told as it really happened in all its tragic details.

It’s not good enough to just remember the holocaust that took place during the lifetime of some of the survivors.  We have to remember the larger holocaust.  Isn’t it time to uncover the truth and make the perpetrators face up to this?

In the west there are a whole series of Eichmanns.  General Amherst ordered the distribution of small pox infested blankets to kill of our people.  But his name is shamelessly preserved in the names of towns and streets.  George Washington is called the ‘village burner’ in Mohawk because of all the villages he ordered burnt.  Villages would be surrounded.  As the people came running out, they would be shot, stabbed, women, children and elders alike.  In one campaign alone ‘hundreds of thousand died, from New York across Pennsylvania, West Virgina and into Ohio.’  His name graces the capital of the United States.

The smell of death in their own backyard does not seem to bother North Americans.  This is obscene.” Kahentinetha Horn, “The North American Indian Holocaust;” Mohawk Nation News, 2005