American Dream at the Expense of Others Essay

Submitted By ivigliotti
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American Dream At The Expense Of Others

The Native Americans suffered a great deal at the hands of the white Americans. The Native Americans wanted the same as anyone would, peace and freedom for their people. In the book Black Elk Speaks, the White Americans or Wascihus were portrayed as barbarians that went to great lengths in order to pursue their dreams. Their “American Dream” was to expand their territory and become rich from the discovery of gold. Black Elk witnessed his village invaded and destroyed and loved ones killed by the Whites. The Native Americans did not consider living the “white” way, they were more spiritual and had different views on life. Native Americans believed that there would be a better life for them after they die. After seeing their own villages burned down and torn apart, this enraged the Natives and created feelings of hatred towards the Whites.
When General Custer, referred to as Pahuska by the Natives, discovered gold in the Black Hills this created a sense of greed for the Whites. The discovery of gold created an opportunity for the Whites, but created turmoil and distress for the Native Americans. The Natives knew of the gold or yellow metal as they referred to it as. The Natives had no interest in the gold. They were more spiritual and had opposite views than the Whites. “Our people knew there was yellow metal in little chunks up there; but they did not bother with it, because it was not good for anything.” (Neidhardt, p38.) In order to search for the gold the Whites needed to occupy the land and destroy the villages. “Also the Wasichus had made a treaty with Red Cloud [1868] that said it would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow.” (Neidhardt, p.38). Despite having a treaty with Red Cloud that granted the land to the Natives, General Custer disregarded the agreement. He decided to pursue the land in search for the gold anyway. “Later I learned too that Pahuska had found there much of the yellow metal that makes the Wasichus crazy; and that is what made the bad trouble, just as it did before, when the hundred were rubbed out.” (Neidhardt, p.38) He had a level of determination that spared no one.
People were killed and the villages that the Natives called home were devastated. The Whites had absolutely no regard for the lives and memories that they tore apart. They were pursuing their goals of finding gold in order to become successful. “Suddenly there were many shots and horses galloping through the village. It was the cavalry of the Wasichus, and they were yelling and shooting and riding their horses against the tepees. All the people rushed out and ran, because they were not awake yet and they were frightened. The soldiers killed as many women and children and men as they could while the people were running toward the bluff. They set fire to some the tepees and knocked the others down.” (Neidhardt, p.43). The Whites wanted to expand their territory and obtain an abundance of land. They expanded their territory at the expense of the Native Americans. “These people were in their own country and were doing no harm. They only wanted to be left alone.” (Neidhardt, p.43).
By means of intimidation and force, the Whites took virtually everything from the Natives . In order to justify the situation the Whites built homes for…