Orlando shooting headlines gloss over Native American massacres
OregonLive, June 13, 2016
As the country continues to mourn the tragedy in Orlando and citizens search for answers, there remains a point in history that seems to have been forgotten by most news organizations covering the shooting and elected officials who have rushed to condemn the attack.
Nearly every news outlet, including The Oregonian/OregonLive, originally billed the attack as «the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history,» but that isn’t true.
When Autumn Depoe-Hughes—a descendant of survivors from the Sand Creek massacre in 1864 in which at least 70 Native Americans were killed— started seeing the headlines, her stomach dropped.
«It looked to me like a rewriting of history,» she said. «I saw my family’s history disappearing before my eyes.»
Sand Creek was far from the only massacre ignored by major news outlets.
On Dec. 29, 1890, at least 150 men, women and children of the Sioux tribe were killed at Wounded Knee in the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment attempted to disarm the tribe. At least 25 soldiers also died in the fighting, though many are said to have been brought down by friendly fire.
Some estimates put the death toll closer to 300 and, though Wounded Knee is the most known massacre, it is just one of roughly half a dozen similar incidents that haven’t been counted on our country’s morbid historical tally of gun deaths.
To be sure, many thousands have died in armed military conflicts in the U.S. throughout history and those deaths should be counted in a different category than the events in Orlando, but Depoe-Hughes noted that «these massacres differ from wars and battles because some were done under the waving of white flags, and promises of safety,» as was the case at Wounded Knee.
Angry over the repeated omission, Depoe-Hughes began emailing every publication she saw using the headline to note the oversight including The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, Rolling Stone, Salon, Slate, Vox, Huffington Post, ABC, NBC and the New York Times. Her anger boiled over when she saw President Obama use the term «worst shooting in U.S. history,» when he addressed the nation on Sunday.
She emailed the president as well, but as of Monday morning had yet to receive responses from the majority of the news outlets she contacted, save for the Guardian, who she said punted responsibility to the BBC who said they picked up the headline from the Associated Press.
After an internal discussion, The Oregonian/OregonLive clarified our wording in stories about the Orlando attack, qualifying it as the most deadly shooting «in modern U.S. History.»
Stories appearing on the Associated Press’ website and distributed by the wire service began carrying a similar qualification Sunday afternoon «in response to historical concerns,» Paul Colford, a spokesman for the AP said in an email.
But presenting the events in Orlando without historical context does a disservice to us all, Depoe-Hughes said, especially Native Americans, whose brutal treatment at the hands of the U.S. government has often been given less attention than it deserves.
«This sort of thing does have negative effects on the self esteems (sic) of Natives,» Depoe-Hughes said in an email. «I feel it can be one of the factors that is involved with high suicide and depression rates.»
Правительство США жестко нарушало мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com
Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 12 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют мою пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.
ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — запретить меня выступать в СМИ и не пропускать отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…