(Edited: redsk—s)”I, have false historical memory syndrome”

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

“I never did hear the words Native Americans, American Indians, or First Nations in school. I was taught about the Civil War and Slavery, but never did the word Native American come out of my junior high school history teacher’s mouth. He was the football coach of our team, the “Red Skins.”


I began college right after my high school graduation and took the course, American History to 1877. The Department Chairman taught that course. Consequently, I became so upset at being made to read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown in that class, that I could not sleep for two nights.

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

I lost yet more sleep having to write a paper on a chapter of the book. So depressed was I, that I decided I needed psychological help. I looked for my potential therapist very carefully; one who was ultra – conservative. When I finally found one who answered affirmatively to, “Do you think Rush Limbaugh is genius?” I knew I’d found the one for me. The appointment was made.

I drove up to my new therapist’s well – to – do home. I was extremely impressed with its overall size and well kept lawn. I found myself already wanting what this therapist had to offer. “Come on in,” the therapist said with a welcoming smile. In addition to my having been impressed with their nice house and well kept lawn, I also found myself impressed with the home’s cleanliness and well placed religious items. I was directed to their office and sat down.

“What is bothering you?” The therapist inquired after I had filled out the questionnaire. I adjusted myself and made myself more comfortable. I told the therapist what was weighing so heavily on me: “Did Christopher Columbus really commit genocide; did the Europeans do likewise; and if so, are those effects still alive today?” “Well,” the therapist said, “Let’s take you back to when you were in Kindergarten.”


I closed my eyes and was taken to an altered state of mind, that of which I had never experienced before. I was five years old and on my red square. The room had the stale smell of children having come in from recess all sweaty. The teacher quieted the class and turned on the tape player. “Christopher Columbus discovered America” the lyrics sang in a cartoonish tone. I clapped with glee to the words, singing it with the rest of the class. I was smiling apparently, for the therapist asked me what I was experiencing. I said I was singing along to “Christopher Columbus discovered America.” My therapist then counseled me. “That’s right. Germs had wiped out almost all the Indigenous People. The very few Indigenous People who were left after Columbus arrived were killed by war among themselves and by wars with the Europeans. Some tribes even committed genocide. Consequently, less advanced civilizations must give way to more advanced ones. That’s what the studies say.” I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. “Let’s go to when you were thirteen now,” my therapist said.

I was in my junior high history class; we’d just had lunch. I was feeling nervous, since I was working up the nerve to ask the girl I had a crush on for ice cream. The coach of the “Red Skins,” who was my history teacher, spoke in a sarcastic tone. “The Indians were freed before the African Americans were. Also class, the Indians gave up their land willingly.” My therapist asked me what I was seeing. I told my therapist about what I was remembering; specifically, I told my therapist about what the coach had said. “Yes! They did indeed relinquish their land willingly and were paid well for it. That’s also what the studies say. Did you know any Native Americans when you were there?” I remembered one who sat in the back of the classroom. We called him “Tonto” when his hair was long and “White Boy” after he cut it off. My therapist asked me again, “Did you know any Native Americans when you were there?” “No,” I replied. My therapist then guided me out of the trance. As I opened my eyes and as they adjusted to the room, I felt all the burdens lifted off me for which I had come.  “What do you make out of all that?” My therapist asked me.

I said that my teachers had been right, and that I finally saw things in their proper perspective. As I left the well – to – do home and immaculate lawn, the miraculous consequence of the immense burden that was lifted from me was: I’ll never have to listen to any of this nonsense again.

I have…

LIMBAUGH: So, in your mind, they’re simply trying to duplicate the actions taken by the American injuns, and get themselves set up so they have casinos over there?

I have seen…

Michigan: Racism toward Native Americans in school

The man claimed that his son, a second-grader at Stambaugh Elementary, has been singled out because he is a Native American. According to the complaint, a white teacher grabbed the student on Jan. 26. The teacher has allegedly grabbed the student multiple times in the past, but the school district has taken no action against the teacher, the complaint added. “My son has had problems with white students, yet he is written up and the white students are not,” the man stated in the complaint.

I have seen the light.

“To: Jodi Rave

“I cannot stand it. ONE MORE DAY!! How many front page articles to do with Indians? Oh my God…almost every day? Do I live in a city that is Mostly white or am I living on a Reservation and don’t know it? Wait a minute…if I were on a reservation then I would get everything for FREE, guess I am in Missoula. I assure you, most of Missoulians do not give a crap if a tribe “adopted” Barack, or how the economy is affecting them, or all that other silly shit you manage to get on the front page. How about putting your stupid stories on the territory page once in awhile if you must. THEY ARE NOT FRONT PAGE MATERIAL!! …

“What is tomorrow’s front page “How Native Americans wipe their ass?”

I, have false historical memory syndrome.”

*Content for fictional story complied from first and second hand experiences, both witnessed by the author.

And Arthur Higbee has “false historical memory syndrome” as well.

Arthur Higbee: “Naming teams after American Indians does not dishonor but pays tribute to them and keeps them alive in the national consciousness. In misguided notions of political correctness, we may soon find ourselves erasing Indian names everywhere. We’ll have to rename Tecumseh, Mich.; Indian Hill Road in Winnetka, Ill., and thousands of other places. ”


Skip to comment form

    • Robyn on February 14, 2009 at 01:09

    I hear similar from time to time.

  1. http://www.dailykos.com/story/

    • Temmoku on February 14, 2009 at 09:49

    (my experience as a teacher—trained to teach American History – but never did legitimately) we all have a false historical memory syndrome. What passes for History Education in this country, especially in the Grade Schools, is appalling. I try to tell myself that it is necessary to begin somewhere, but….

    Students don’t learn history, their teachers don’t know history and the “facts” are so jumbled and twisted. Most educators rely on movies to “teach” history….but, of course that is useless. Movies are just a “propaganda” for the ruling elite….

    While some of the History teachers that I observed in my High School where I taught Remedial Reading, were very good, most were appalling. My Freshmen often came to me with something they had been taught in their World History Class and would ask me about it. I couldn’t believe what their teacher had been teaching them!  I remember one episode where I had to explain to the students that tithe was NOT pronounced “titty”. I gave them all dictionaries and showed them how it was properly pronounced. Their History teacher was furious with me. How dare I contradict her because she pronounced it correctly and I was wrong! Oh well… You can imagine what she did with other things!

  2. used frequently toward certain ex-boyfriends of mine whose persistent behavior has demonstrated it over time, is “the mobile reality distortion field”.

    I consider it significant, in fact, that someone else who is familiar with the people in question was the one who came up with the term. It certainly fits.

    Bigoted propaganda is always in season. It deserves no less. Nice shootin’. 🙂

Comments have been disabled.