The Red, White, and Bruises


Pixabay Free Images

A slice of an American favorite, cherry pie.

Lexi Anchondo, Writer

The good and the bad are characteristics that have always described in what ways someone should trust a person, and why. There is always the question of whether there is a level of safety wherever someone goes. In America, there is always that same fear. The fear that someone is going to be the target of a “bad” person. School shootings, bombings, arson, murder, robbery, terrorist attacks, sexual based crimes, and trafficking, are just a few of these very real fears, even if some may be unrealistic in some cases. However, the severity of these cases is not over-exaggerated.  

America was founded on violence and continues with its history of violence. Started by colonial occupation, and an economy of enslaved people, it shows just how real it all is. Countless wars, and a substantial number of deaths, have and will continue to occur, over little arguments that could be solved over a simple conversation. Instead, the actions of America’s leaders turned into full-scale wars, with unnecessary losses on both sides, just because of an adversary. While it may be said that violence was the only option in a situation, looking at one of these such instances, The Great Sioux War of 1976 (also known as The Black Hills War), it becomes obvious that most of the violence that occurs is by choice, not a necessity.  

Countless wars, and a substantial number of deaths, have and will continue to occur, over little arguments that could be solved over a simple conversation.

The first 120 years of America’s beginning were plagued with continuous warfare against the Native American tribes that lived in this territory. Some of these wars came with purpose as the natives may have attacked a settlement, or another grievance was made. Yet, most were caused by the settler’s greed for power of territory, land, or resources. Therefore, the Black Hills War started, thus instigating inappropriate amounts of bloodshed, without an actual reason. In 1876, this poorly conceived war began after white settlers continued encroachment onto treaty-distributed lands that belonged to the Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux. The U.S. government was unwilling to restrict such immigration to these lands, called the Black Hills, and after unconcerned negotiation, decided to simply seize most of the valuable area from the tribes. This rash and careless decision resulted in one of the most serious military defeats in the Indian Wars for the U.S. 

 In this defeat, the Seventh Calvary was annihilated at the Battle of Little Big Horn, losing almost three hundred military personnel, including troopers, officers, and scouts. The general of the regiment, Colonel George Custer, was mutilated severely at this battle, fault of his own, seeing as he was underprepared for a battle this size and overconfident with the insignificant amount of information he had gotten. The settlers eventually won this war, as is the American way, forcing the natives into permanent reservations, and taking the land not distinguished for the reserves. All deaths, and the destruction of more than one tribe’s livelihood, could have been avoided with a compromise, or respect for the treaty and each other’s opinions, customs, and beliefs.  

In a more recent example, 2020 saw violence and crime based on a group movement called “Black Lives Matter”. This group had protested, after a colored man, George Floyd, had died after what some called the accused police brutality by a white officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis. The group itself had started in 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. The movement grew nationally in 2014 after the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Their mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. However, no matter how “pure” the intentions of this organization were in the beginning, they immediately resulted in violence throughout America.  

America is made up of great traditions, however, violence should not be one of them.

The first show of aggression they made, was on May 26th, 2020, just one day after Floyd’s death. What started as a peaceful protest, turned into vandalism, and arson, with police officers using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to keep protesters at bay. May 27th began the movement across the country, with one death in St. Louis, and six deaths in Chicago, after a shooting. Through the rest of May, until early June 2022, there were more cases of looting, vandalism, deaths, and arson. Instead of more peaceful examples, portions of the group choose violence to solve their issues, as if going off the past examples of America’s ancestors. Choosing to destroy their own communities and families, instead of coming to an understanding, cannot be blamed on these individuals, seeing as it is another one of the American traditions. 

America is made up of great traditions, however, violence should not be one of them. As H. Rap Brown said, “Violence is as American as cherry pie.”  In a cherry pie, you have the filling, the crust, and the pan it sits on. Cherry pie became popular in America during the 20th century, just as violence did, the day America was founded.  

In America, the filling is the bloodshed and violence; the crust is a thin, crumbly layer trying to conceal it all, with the “equal and fair” laws becoming a waste of time and resources, and the pie pan is just the wasted potential of the land that was once great. If something is not to one’s satisfactory, the result is to just try and eradicate the cause of the dissatisfaction, time and time again. As is the way, in the beginning, the present, and obviously, the future. All of America came with violence, increasingly so, and there will never be an end to it, until the country is ravished and destroyed, just like the dessert it is referred to.  

America was born of violence, or partial to it. What was once a minor problem to some, has started affecting us all. The standards have become cause hurt or be hurt.