Freedom Ain’t Free

Seeing people flee their countries in order to try and save themselves and their families is distressing to put it mildly. It is a human tragedy not witnessed in this generation. Many, many of them are dying. Men, women and babies drowning at sea. All taking that uncertain risk, in order to escape an almost certain death.

Most of them are Muslim, although many are Christian…seeing as how the Christian churches in this area of the world, which had been under the protection of the strong man dictatorships in Iraq and Egypt, are now totally unprotected.

I was reading through some comments on posts today where someone was expressing regret over the death of so many babies and children…no matter if they were Muslim. Another person commented in that same post with a reply which I knew well, and which I consider the most repugnant and vulgar line ever uttered by a human being. He said he didn’t care about the death of these babies and young children because: “nits make lice” That line makes my skin crawl with rage.

It was first uttered by an ex preacher turned militia leader named John Milton Chivington. He was the Colorado militia leader who said, concerning the Indians in that territory during 1864: “Damn any man who is a sympathizer with the Indians. I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right under God’s heaven to use any means to kill Indians. Kill and scalp all, big and little. Nits make lice.”

So at Sand Creek, in November of 1864, he and 700 men slaughtered, raped, mutilated and desecrated an estimated 200 or more Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, two thirds of whom were woman and children, who were there supposedly under “protection” of the government with Chief Black Kettle, a peace chief as their leader. Nothing was ever done to punish Chivington for his leadership and participation in this heinous act against people whose sole sin was ownership of land which other men coveted, and a difference in beliefs and customs. When I first read this account in Michener’s “Centennial” many years ago, I thought it was fiction. Research showed it was not.

I go back then to the current situation of these Syrian and Iraqis refugees whose homes have been destroyed, who are being herded into camps with little or nothing to eat, no hygienic facilities, no dignity and little hope for a good future. I see the clips of their women and children…the innocent children. They are being displaced mostly because of their beliefs and customs, and because someone else covets their property.

It infuriates me about the comparison to the 19th century Native Americans. Is a massacre of these current refugees imminent if something isn’t done? Are there more John Chivingtons out there, both overseas and here in America? Of course there are. The fact that someone would use Chivington’s words prove it.

I hope if I have any Facebook friends out there who feel like a John Chivington, they will just go ahead and unfriend me after they read this. I don’t need them.

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