Ghosts on the Landscape

I’ve come to realize I don’t really write poetry.  I’d call what I do more of an untrained punk format I’d call,”Rantoetry.”

Here is my latest “Rantoetry.”

Ghosts on the Landscape

Our Founding fathers were considered great men.
Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention
26 owned slaves 19 relying on slave labor for their livelihood.
Robert Morris did not own slaves but owned a slave ship
and invested in plantations using slaves.
James Monroe, as governor of Virginia
after rushed trials, executed nearly 30 slaves
because they had attempted a revolt.
Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry,
both whipped their slaves backs
so they’d pick cotton to be used to make
clothes for white people’s backs.
The group of 26 slave owners
were part of those drafting a document
declaring their freedom from England.
Plantation owners were thought of as
good free market capitalists,
proving a product people wanted.
If it produces profit and wealth then it is OK just like it is now
to us who buy products made by third world sweatshop labor.
Women, children, indentured servants,
slaves and the backward Native Peoples
today exists to be exploited by corporations
just like they were by our white, male
property holding Founding Fathers.
The exploited of today’s sweatshops
cry out for justice not unlike
the ghost of 10’s of millions of
brutalized African America slaves.
Like the slaves before them
they will be forgotten to history
while the Founding Father slave masters
will have monuments, buildings,
cities, rivers, parks, and more
named for them so they will never be forgotten.
The landscape is full of ghosts
upon whose backs nations were built
while their tormentors are honored.
The names of the slaves who built the pyramids
are only whispered by the desert sands
for they are lost to history while the name
of the Pharos lying in the pyramids are remembered.

To further expand the America continent
millions of native Americans suffered a genocide
by the descendants of the Founding Fathers.
500 native tribes suffered the violation
of 389 U.S. – Indian treaties.
Like the current mantra of greed
drill, baby drill that calls for
the rape of mother nature
the Native Americans heard,
the only good injun is a dead injun
the terminology for greed for more land
would be eventually be made more palatable
by calling it Manifest Destiny by the time
the country got around to stealing land from Mexico.
The spirits of the real founding fathers
Native Americans still dance the
Ghost Dance and call out for justice
not reservations and gambling casinos.
Most of their names are long gone from history
but the Indian fighters who stole their way of life
are memorialized and have things name in their honor.
Kit Carson whose scorched Earth policy
forced the Navajo to surrender. will long be remembered
as he has 4 elementary schools, one middle school
and a school district named for him,
also:, a trail, a pass, 2 ways, a national forest,
2 campsites, a road, a valley, 2 parks, a mountain,
a river,  an army post, 2 counties and 4 cities.
Gen Sheridan devised a plan to deprive the Indians
of their primary source of food.
He had hunters, trespass on Indian land,
and  kill over 4 million bison by 1874.
Many Indians starved to death before
the tribes finally surrendered.
The ghost of those killed by Sheridan
are over shadowed by the honor paid Sheridan.
He has a fort, two parks, five counties, 7 cities,
a route, a square, a street and a tank all named for him.
Even famed Indian killer Gen George Custer
has many things named after him.
Counties in 6 states, 2 townships, a mine, 2 villages,
2 towns, a military camp, a state park and a few monuments.

Civil war slaves and the ghosts
of union soldiers sing out
about how those who killed them
are being honored today.
620,000 perished in the
war between the states.
Union deaths were 360,000.
Today’s south spits in the face
of dead slaves and union soldiers
by honoring Generals and others
who served in the Confederacy
like it’s president Jefferson Davis.
In Texas 38 counties are named
for Confederate Civil War Generals.
Why just in Fairfax County, Virginia you have:
Jefferson Davis Hospital, Jefferson Davis High School,
Jeb Stuart High School, Lee High School,
Mosley Wood Elementary School, Lee Highway,
Jefferson Davis Highway,  Lee-Jackson Highway,
and Pickett Road.
David Levy Yulee was the first
US Jewish Senator.
He joined the Confederate Congress
and Levy County and the town of Yulee
both in Florida are named for him.
Baker City, Florida is named for
James Baker senator in Confederacy.
There has been some break through to honor
those killed by the confederacy in recent years.
The grounds of the South Carolina State House
are also home to a monument dedicated to
the contributions and history of African-Americans
it’s near the monument to South Carolina’s Confederate dead,
a monument that includes a flagpole flying
a traditional Confederate battle flag.
Nearby is a statue of racist Senator Strom Thurmond.
Recruits from up North some who are the descendants
of Civil War Northern soldiers come down South
and train at forts named after Confederate generals.
Like: Ft. Bragg, Ft. Lee, Ft. Hood, Ft. Rucker, Ft. Hill, and Ft. Benning.
Gen. Henry Benning was actually born on a plantation.
Unlike the slaves who worked that plantation
he has a place named in his honor.

Ft. Benning, Georgia houses the School of the Americas
since it moved to Georgia from Panama  in 1984.
It has been nicknamed, the School of Assassins
since it’s purpose is to train death squads
to serve Third World Dictators and global corporations.
President Reagan was responsible
for training lots of death squads here
for his dictator friends in Latin America.
Reagan financed and trained
a bloody regime in Guatemala
that destroyed four hundred Mayan villages
and butchered 200,000 peasants.
Reagan also supported the Salvadoran military dictatorship.
More than 75,000 people were killed there
including 16,000 unarmed civilians,
Archbishop Oscar Romero,
four US church workers (raped and murdered),
four Dutch journalists and six Jesuit priests.
Reagan financed mercenaries to overthrow
the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.
The resulting war killed over 50,000 people, mostly civilians.
Through out Latin America mothers have stood in plazas
with photos of their disappeared ones asking for help.
The ghosts of Latin American  freedom fighters,
nuns, priests, activists, union organizers
and environmentalist buried in hidden mass graves
scream out for overdue justice against
evil mass murderers like President Reagan.
There is lots in the USA named for Reagan
a hospital,an airport, a freeway, a trade center,
aircraft carrier, a courthouse
and even though he is responsible
for over 300,000 deaths he has a peace park
in Illinois named after him.
While his victims are forgotten by American citizens,
four GOP candidates are running for president
fighting each other over who is the most Reagan like.

No history for America’s victims
only history for her killers.

Racist Bumper stickers.

Words of Wisdom From Native American Elders

The Roots: “Can’t Turn Me Around.”

A country without a memory is a country of madmen. ~ George Santayana

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Ghosts on the Landscape

  1. Mike

    Jim – By far your best, most educational, lie-shattering, truth-promoting piece. I will spread it far and wide to my lists.

  2. elecpencil

    Mile ~ Thanks! It is plenty long already but I would have liked to have added a section about Robber Barons. An example I’d use is how I am disgusted every time I’m in Pittsburgh and see Frick’s name on things. Frick is responsible not only for the deaths at Homestrad but not enough has been made of how he and other Robber Barons are responsible for the Johnstown flood disater killing 2,200 people. Add in some of the other Robber Barons and name their crimes and victims and it sounds like a great song (might not be popular in Pittsburgh).Thanks again. ~ In Solidarity Jim

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