Genocide, So Animated – Robert Horton

Washington Redskins - Photo published in Slate Magazine
Washington Redskins - Photo published in Slate Magazine

Washington Redskins - Photo published in Slate Magazine
Washington Redskins – Photo published in Slate Magazine

THUNDER BAY – Aboriginal – This written work is in response to Slate Magazine honourable retiring the Washington Redskin’s moniker from their publications, as well in the spirit of Raphael Lemkin (who coined the term genocide) and his often overlooked definition which, among many other aspects,  includes both physical and cultural destruction.

“Genocide, So Animated”

Bury the past beneath the body, forgetting those who fell
A holocaust is marketable – if the victim sells
Genocide so animated, ignoring humanity’s claim.

“Annihilate their Nations”, now the memory all the same.

In the spirit of Columbus, as “school spirit” mends
A history’s crimson past forgotten – now truth fraying at the ends
Athletic department “warrior”, sowing mythical seeds
Logo upon your chest and Sand Creek upon your sleevesTwo Mascots -

Bureaucrat “educators” turn a shoulder to ignore
Coaching to forget a holocaust that staggers – occurring on our own shores
Miseducators invest and claim to “honor” – a denial for a dime
But “honor” and exploitation cannot exist at the same time

Genocide, now dehumanize.

Do you wear this “past” with pride?

With each culture narrowed and cheapened – a mass grave becomes more wide
Entitled hands repackage our prophets – for profit –
“because we honor your ancestor” is the aim.
But remember that honor is in the eyes of the recipient
not on the tongue of a shallow claim.

Who will wear a lie on their hands
and imperialism on a jersey today?
Genocide by any other name is a colonial legacy sustained
We Fancy-Dance around these claims
through the ashes, lies, and dust
By standing tall with pride and voice – those who honor are us.

Genocide so animated
Overshadowing graves unnamed
Beyond 500 years of all the same
Never forget that we remain.

written by Robert Animikii Horton
“Bebaamweyaash”
Rainy River First Nations

Anishinaabe

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