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Re: Ramapough Mountain Indians
In Response To: Re: Ramapough Mountain Indians ()

Dear A.C.
Correction. T Marshall did not go to Hillburn "just so they could go to school". At the time, according to my mother, the children DID go to school. The High school has been integrated for some time.(Suffern). It was the Hillburn elementary school that was all white. Mr. Marshall came to hillburn to integrate the hillburn elementary school. THIS WAS NOT AT THE REQUEST OF THE MOUNTAIN INDIANS. It was brought to his attention by a staff member in his office' persuit to end segregation in this country. It was, at the time, one school of many. Then, like now, it is mandatory that all school age children are educated in the "white mans" way! Indians, Blacks, Latino's, and all other minorities have always, and only been taught history (HIS STORY) based on the majority perception of it. There never was a seperate educational cirriculum concieved of only for our children.
By refusing to migrate west with other scattered indian groups,it was then presumed that we would assimilate, and live peaceably amoung the valley residents. That also included the education of our children. School intergration, for us, was a part of the package. The governnment didn't give us any other options, or special priviledges. We have had to live in two worlds. Educated in both.
With regard to "keeping our family history secret", that wasn't exactly the case. At the time, Indians were the threat du soir. Where the stereotypes prevailed,and white children were told that if they misbehaved, wild indians would come and take them off, into the woods. It was presumed to not rock the boat, while in the company of whites. It reminds me of the woman (susan smith) who drowned her own children, and blamed it on the "BLACK MAN". Sadly, she put the blame where she thought she could, to get away with it, and everyone
in her camp believed it! Why? because like indians in the early yearsa of this countries history,black people had become the new threat du soir, after citizens were told the indian problem had been
taken care of.
Why today,are 5 young black men standing and talking on the corner, considered a threat, while 5 young white men doing same are not?
Perception and truth, are two entirely different things!

Autumn

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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