Journal Postings

Group A

01/10/02 (The Missing Peace)

 

Lisa Bard                   

Peace is beyond doubt no where near the most common word heard in today’s society. In fact, it’s hardly used by any of today’s dominant societies.  It was also found that peace was not even a common word as early as the 1800’s. One odd Native American tribe that tried to overcome the violence of our natural violent society was the Cheyenne tribe.  This tribe had a motto or slogan that the people of the tribe lived by. My beliefs were that there slogan:

“Do not go and seek revenge. Take your pipe. Go, sit and smoke and do nothing for you are now a Cheyenne chief.”

was extremely overrated.  In view of the fact that it is human nature to have the desire to retaliate against those who harm us as people or us our country as a whole. Although many chiefs followed these rules of no revenge, which they thought would give them a long prosperous life, most of them they did not live long enough to pass these rules on to upcoming generations.  I am not a pacifist therefore I feel that you should do unto others as they do unto you. As the book points out we learn from our history and in our history is violence, we are a violent nation. I don’t understand why historians and other people think our nation has been a successful and growing nation and that if we had a no violence policy that our nation would not strive as well as it is now. If our nation were a nonviolence nation we would be just like the Cheyenne tribe, almost extinct. Cheyenne were pacifist and took no action and they got left behind. Not like our country, which is one of the largest leading countries in terms of power. The pacifist point of views might work for some people but in actuality the violence of war and history has gave them the right to be pacifist because if our country wasn’t free they wouldn’t have that choice to make.

Website: www.crystalindks.com/cheyenne

www.dickshovel.com/genosite

 

Ewa Budzynska

I've read the preface and chapter 1 from "The Missing Peace", and I'm happy that I have a chance to look at American history from a different perspective (in Poland I had a basic course in Am. history, though not very detailed). I like this kind of "peace approach", the more so because Polish history is also mainly about wars (both great victories and great suffering).

As for the book, I was glad to read so many good things about Native Americans. Most probably, I don't know as much about the Indians as my American friends do. However, I've always had positive associations with them and I feel sorry for what happened to their unusual civilisation. Or maybe it's rather anger at the white man for the taking of the Indians' land and forcing them to live in reservations. That is why I really liked thestory about the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, and the Quaker community, who were willing to maintain friendly relations with Native Americans. I also enjoyed reading about different Indian tribes and peacemakers or peace movements within them.  

 

R. Eric Burdette

I found the preface and first chapter of The Missing Peace to be quite enjoyable and thought provoking.  I believe in non-violence and I also have lived a good part of my life among Native Americans; for these reasons the reading really hit home for me.

Having just taken a United States history course last semester, the issues discussed in The Missing Peace made a lot of sense to me.  In the history textbook that we used there was a lot to be said about wars and conflicts, but very little to be said about mediators, peacemakers, and other people who resolved conflict without the use of violence.

I agree totally agree with the authors of the book in that America needs to develop an entirely new mentality when it comes to the issues of conflict and violence.  I agree that America is too completely enveloped and caught up in the “myth of redemptive violence.”  I agree that America holds violence as its religion and uses violence on an unequaled scale, through the use of the death penalty to the current bombing/war in Afghanistan.  The current leadership of America (who’s name is a synonym to shrub) is too thick skulled to realize that violence only perpetuates more violence, and that killing innocent people will eventually lead to more attacks against the United States.

Switching to another aspect of the book, I found certain stories of the peacemaking Native Americans very moving and emotional to me personally.  One quote that I thought has particular relevance for our country today was the quote by a Sanpoil chief, saying: “Our children are dead and our property destroyed… But can we bring our children back to life and restore our property by killing other people?”  This struck me as wisdom that America needs to believe and act upon in the present time.

http://www.journeytowardforgiveness.com/stories/hart/biography.asp 

 

Jamie Burke

While I believe that war and violence is not the answer to society's problems, I think that there are times when war is the only answer.  I feel that the current situation dealing with the "War on Terrorism" is one of those times.  I don't think that it is right that innocent civilians in Afghanistan died because of our nation's bombings.  However, I do feel that if our nation would have not done anything that we would be in a different situation.  Other nations could have thought that we were weak and wounded and possibly tried to attack us as well.  I don't think that war is right, but sometimes it is the only answer.  I also think that without the wars that have already occured, our nation would be different.  Those wars helped shaped how our society developed.  Without them, things would not be the same.  I am not saying that things are better because of the wars.  I am saying that they are different.

I found a website that deals with people who are against war.  I wanted to find out more about other people's opinions on why war is such a bad thing.  Like I said before, I don't necessarily approve of war, but I feel that sometimes it is the only solution.  So, I went to www.warresisters.org/ to find out more information.  The site was very informative.  It gave a background about the group.  It gave a calendar with current events on it.  It listed how to join the group.  The site did not change my mind at all, but it gave me a little more insight into other opinions.

 

Matthew Chiles

In the first part of the reading it tells mainly about the history of violence in the United States.  It then tells how that in our society we mainly act in violent ways towards the things that are happening around us.  Then the author shows us studies of how people in our country only remember the historical people that have had to kill people like in a war.  They finish the first part by saying that we need to construct a new system of meaning for violence in our country.

The main thing that is being discussed in my views is how the Native Americans were the original peacemakers, and they managed to keep peace even with all the things that the white man has caused them.  They examine how each of the main Indian tribes keeps peace instead of acting in a violent way.  They tell of how the Iroquois use a system of righteousness, health, and power to keep order in the tribe.  They also told of things that white men had brought upon the Native Americans.  Some of these things are the taking of their land, and the diseases that the white men had affected them with. The reading finishes with a story on how the Cheyenne Indians were betrayed by the white men in a reenactment.  I feel that this is right because we have taken a lot of land and caused many things that have portrayed them in a bad way.

On the Internet I found a web site that helps Native Americans against the major problems that they are facing in the country today.  Some of these things are sovereignty issues, sports and mascot issues, and to help educate the non-Indian population.  I feel that this site and the people behind it are doing a good thing to help the Native Americans.    (http://www.geocities.com/CapitalHill/7153/index.html)    

 

Tony Cleveland

I agree with Thomas Merton’s belief that nonviolent action will only be practiced if it is found in the minds of the modern people.  It makes sense because without the support of the people any idea would just fade away.   Violence would continue to be answered with more violence if it weren’t for those people who express their ideas of peace.   

I also see how the way history is taught could influence the way people see violence.  I remember many more wars being emphasized than any non-violent act.  If people are only taught that violence was used to solve problems than some people may not consider their other options.  I also think that wars are talked about more because most people today want to be entertained and reading about a war would be more exciting than a treaty. 

The way the Native Americans were treated was interesting.  In some cases the Europeans went for blood and slaughtered the natives as soon as they landed.   Sometimes white people committed these acts of genocide because of the different skin color.  I’m not really surprised that skin color mattered back then.  The white people with power have always looked for people that were weaker and controllable.  In other cases the Native Americans died from disease.  Here I don’t completely blame the white explorers.  The Native Americans were not used to these diseases and the whites had no way to know that they posed such a threat. 

I used the used the website www.constitution.org/cons/iroquois.htm.  It is an outline of what Deganawidah followed when he gathered with the other lords together.  It is divided into different sections.  Some of these sections discus the rights and duties of the lords while others go into topics like adoption, power struggles, and treason or secession by a nation.  

 

Kyle Cutnaw

Here is a web site related to the reading for 1/10/02:

http://members.aol.com/mayflo1620/indian_relations.html

My initial reaction to this reading was one of shock. The Native American people had to battle many different kinds of diversity in America. To be honest, prior to the reading I had not know much about Native American history. After reading this section, I felt guilty for the way the Native American people were treated. They were killed in wars, through genocide, and through ecological destruction. The Europeans were no better than the Nazis during the halocaust. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of the way the Native American people were treated. In all actuality, the Europeans were thieves. Europeans treated the Native Americans as if they were wild animals. They were torn from their homes, and slaughtered. This mass genocide occurred to make way for a new nation. However, if these events had not occurred, none of us would be here today. So in a way, it is a double-edged sword.

This reading also gave me insight on the thinking of the Native American people. Their spirituality has so much honor, one cannot help but admire it.

I enjoyed the story of Deganawidah and the burying of the arms under the pine tree. Any fool can solve conflict through physical violence, but I think it takes a true man of honor to make peace by using his mind. An example of this was evident in the story about Metacom and the "praying Indians". Metacom chose to use violence to try to solve his problems with the Puritans. Chief Metacom ended up being killed and his wife and children were sold into slavery. The "praying Indians" used literacy as their weapon, and received better representation in the courts. They were able to protect their land by using intellect, and survived to pass on their heritage to the next generation. I believe that the author's intent was to show examples of how nonviolence can be a far more effective weapon than any used in hand-to-hand combat. The reading even says that the warriors who fought were brave, but they died in battle. These warriors are a very important part of Native American history, but the true heroes were the Native Americans that used their minds as weapons in the fight for survival.

 

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