Fort Wayne HIS-Story reform

| September 10, 2013

THE HACKLEY REPORT by Eric Donald Hackley

The only state of politicians better at re-writing history than those in Texas are those located in Indiana. Texas has only totally reframed slavery, equating it with being an unpaid intern. Indiana on the other hand, has literally deleted Indians from Indiana history and out of Indiana public school education. According to many dictionaries, the definition of Indiana is the land of the Indians. When was the last time you asked, if this definition is true, where are they? What happened to them? Can the same thing happen to blacks?

I bet if you switch Texas state legislators with Indiana state legislators, the people of each state wouldn’t notice the difference. Either Texas and Indiana are the same state, or they have taken the art of re-writing history to a Shakespearean level.

On this specific point, many Fort Wayne African Americans want to argue with me. Some say that I address Indian’s problems too much and I don’t put my full focus on black people’s issues. This dilemma makes me contemplate the question: Is it easier to interest Fort Wayne blacks in TEXAS REVISIONIST HISTORY concerning enslaved blacks or is it easier to interest Fort Wayne’s blacks in INDIANA REVISIONIST HISTORY concerning Indians?

The Fort Wayne story of how the Indians who once lived on this land had it all taken away from them as they were being escorted off this land to Kansas and Oklahoma to be forgotten about and hardly ever mentioned? Atrocities against blacks and Indians are equally indigestible because they are perhaps unintentionally endorsed and orchestrated by HIS-Storians with their own agendas and co-authored by too many citizens who think history is boring and irrelevant to their lives. Ladies and gentlemen, in this instance, it’s the same game being played on both parties. But, many detractors are too narrow minded to see it. Many of us have mastered the art of keeping ourselves divided from potential allies and conquered.

KEKIONGA BLACKS are a SWAT team of Fort Wayne blacks who have a warrior spirit that permeates through a strong bond and respect for their own African Heritage and culture. And at the same time, they have developed an intense curiosity and respect for heritage and culture of the land on which they now live, and for the people who once lived here who local history shows as being irrelevant and extinct.

KEKIONGA BLACKS are visionary activists who through an American history lens sees a spiritual connection between the Indians who fought in Little Turtle’s wars against European terrorists and the black freedom fighters against slavery of the same time period through presently. Just as our African history before, during and after emancipation has been obscured, minimized, changed and ignored, the history of Native Americans who occupied this land called Fort Wayne been minimized, ignored and constantly re-edited before our very eyes. And, very few citizens especially educators says a thing.

KEKIONGA BLACKS have therefore theorized that the motivating forces and common denominator between Chief Little Turtle’s historic War coalitions of the 1700s and today’s black activist mindset seeking solutions to black empowerment is the ethnically delegitimizing and debilitating doctrine of early American white supremacy.

KEKIONGA BLACKS further theorize that the psychological disease known as indoctrinated “slave mentality” has led to another psychosis that is very seldom ever discussed. More than 400 years of white supremacy/black inferiority ideologies have led to a myopic intellectual sterility, no longer capable of producing real brilliance. Instead of being innovative and truth seeking, sometimes it is easier to just change the story and keep the people ignorant. If you keep the people ignorant to facts, you will be able to speak pure jibber-jabber with an occasional quack-quack and the people will never know the difference.

According to the Urban Dictionary the “his” in history means the white man’s story.

For the past eight and a half months, we’ve heard enough HIS-Story to be legally certified as retarded in Fort Wayne history. How can you ever discuss Anthony Wayne’s name without giving Miami War Chief Little Turtle his earned and due respect? Throughout this debate period, no one ever explained: Who was Major General Anthony Wayne? What did Anthony Wayne do to warrant having a statue sculpted in his likeness? What did he do to be remembered by having a city being named in his honor? What would have happened if Anthony Wayne had lost to Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket in the Battle at Fallen Timbers?

Concerning the debate on relocating the Anthony Wayne Statue to the Allen County Courthouse Green, I was in complete agreement with Mayor Tom Henry with one exception—he didn’t go far enough. The Statue of Chief Little Turtle should have been included in the deal. The idea of Anthony Wayne and Little Turtle standing side by side would have an educational potential of Renaissance proportions. Again, how can you discuss any aspect of Major General Anthony Wayne without giving at least an honorable mention to Chief Little Turtle? How? You just do it in the guise of HIS-Story. Being that the history of Little Turtle’s Wars and his personal history is not specifically taught in Fort Wayne or Indiana schools, we have been voluntarily mis-educated, programmed to be history illiterate and incapable of independent critical thinking.

How do we correct this “unintended” social and educational problem? The first thing community leaders need to do is realize that you can’t market the image and identity of Fort Wayne based solely on Anthony Wayne’s history. Before the writing of Fort Wayne’s next HIS-Story chapter, I would like for local HIS-Storians to consider a different approach to the marketing of Fort Wayne to the rest of America and local citizenry.

 

Fort Wayne has three key attributes no other American city has and they all center around War Chief Little Turtle and his homeland of Kekionga:

1. Brigadier General Josiah Harmar, Major General Arthur St. Clair and Major General Anthony and their terrorist soldier’s mission was to kill Indians and burn their crops so they will starve in the winter months. This first battle became known as Harmar’s Defeat, October 20, 1790. Ironically, on this same date exactly four years later, the Fort Miami was re-named and officially dedicated Fort Wayne for Major General Anthony Wayne’s Battle at Fallen Timbers’ victory two months prior.

2. Miami War Chief Little Turtle, in defending his homeland (now called Fort Wayne) against enemy terrorists, is on record for killing the most European American soldiers. In my book, that makes Little Turtle an equal to Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne. No white supremacy here, at least not yet.

3. The first use of Executive Privilege according to The Washington Times Communities Saturday, June 30, 2012, History on Purpose article by Dennis Jamison entitled Executive privilege, George Washington and President Obama:

“It is estimated that over 830 Americans were killed in the intense battle with the warriors under the leadership of Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Buckongahelas. The natives suffered relatively few casualties. This battle made the defeat of Custer at Little Big Horn, look insignificant as the number of U.S. soldiers killed in this engagement was more than three times the number killed with Custer. The casualty rate was over 97%, the highest the Army has ever suffered in history.

“Soon afterward, the House of Representatives initiated an investigation into the fiasco. It was in fact, the very first investigation into the actions of the executive branch and the members of Congress demanded certain documents from the War Department to make sense of what had happened. Knox informed Washington of the request and the matter escalated to a full cabinet meeting, perhaps one of the first such meetings in which all of Washington’s department leaders met as one body.

“Washington and Knox were joined by Thomas Jefferson, the secretary of state; Alexander Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury; and Attorney General Edmund Randolph. The issue on the agenda was the sensitive nature of the embarrassing foray into the details of war with the Indians of the Ohio River Valley. The subsequent meetings between Washington and his closest advisors generated the underlying theory of executive privilege, which in practice, allowed the executive branch to refuse to share any paperwork or materials that could cause damage to the ‘public good’ or that would be better kept from the other branches of government because of the fundamental and constitutional principle of the independent nature of the three branches of government.”

Since placing the statues of Anthony Wayne and Little Turtle is now officially dead and out of the question, I have an alternative suggestion: Place their statues on the north side of Fourth Street at the Clinton intersection—Little Turtle on one side of Clinton facing north and Anthony Wayne on the other side of the street facing north, perhaps on an elevated mound if you like to enhance their supreme status as great warriors of the world. Build an arch over Clinton Street in front of the statues that quotes Little Turtle when he discussed the “The Glorious Gate.” The glorious gate was used by Chief Little Turtle in 1795 when signing the Treaty of Greenville when he said he’ll be the first to sign the Treaty and last to break it.

The “Glorious Gate” concept could be ideologically developed to accent the inclusive worthiness of local African American and Indian people’s histories to reform the thinking inside the box of Fort Wayne HIS-Story. As you drive on North Clinton heading into downtown Fort Wayne, passing under “The Glorious Gate” (proposed) arch across Clinton Street, in front of and between the images of Miami War Chief Little Turtle and Major General Anthony Wayne, there sits the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge.

A blind person can see the symbolic significance to the many ethnic groups now residing in Fort Wayne. Dr. Martin Luther King is an international symbol of peace. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge symbolically represents all the good things about America; tolerance, justice and equality.

The “Glorious Gate” concept can be incorporated into the downtown re-development thinking and extend to the south side of Fort Wayne. The “Golden Gate” was in reference to the fact that one could travel by water from New Orleans, Louisiana to Quebec, Canada and the only time they had to leave the water was to walk across Fort Wayne’s land for approximate 8 miles, then back into the river to continue their journey to Canada. This is a unique American history fact specific to North American geography. This was a major North to South and South to North international water highway system. The same metaphor can be used today in the development of the Fort Wayne community, both financially and intellectually and based on fact, not HIS-Story.

In my opinion, this idea has legacy fund written all over it.

 

The first half of this article originally appeared in the Sept. 11 print edition. 

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Category: Local, Opinion

About the Author ()

Eric Hackley is a veteran independent journalist, television show host and producer focusing largely on history, particularly family history in the black community. His award-winning public access television shows have featured a host of local and national icons. Hackley can be contacted at hackonomicstv@gmail.com.

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