What Have We Done?

Geronimo and Wes Studi, actor

Geronimo and Wes Studi, actor

I know this is an old subject. Racism is just one of those issues that just keeps coming up, doesn’t it?

I watched a terrific movie the other night. It’s not a new movie. It’s an old movie on an old subject. A movie made in 1993. A particular subject that goes back to the beginnings of America. No, it’s not about slavery, but it certainly is about the enslavement of man.

Directed by Walter Hill, Story and Screenplay by John Milius and Staring Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall and Matt Damon with a heart wrenching performance by Wes Studi, an American Indian of the Cherokee Nation, this totally compelling film, Geronimo, was both fascinating and broke my heart.

Wes Studi as Geronimo

Wes Studi as Geronimo

I’m a white guy – of English and German descent. Descendent of two warring nations and born into a third – America. For most of my life, I thought of myself and my country as the “good guys.”

I’m no longer so sure of that. (When was the last time you saw a movie and the CIA was the good guys?) And after the other night’s two hours with Wes Studi and his characterization of the great Geronimo, Apache warrior and last free man of his tribe, I find myself pretty disgusted with the whole notion of cowboys and Indians.

My God, how we did them wrong …

Geronimo of the Apache Nation

Geronimo of the Apache Nation

Sad to think that that period of such total confusion was one of the beginnings of America. We conquered the Indian Nations of America, wiped out their homes, imprisoned them, destroyed their culture, and looked down our not-so-holy noses at their religion and their God.

Shame.

We need these kinds of films. They are reminders of the gross mistakes we have made and reminders of the travesties of our actions.

The movie has haunted me for days.

I am deeply sorry.

 

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