All Those Upon This Land This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 8, 2011
By , Atlanta, GA
This is the land we call our home; where for many of us--our parents and their parents where born. This is the land that people want to come to for a chance at opportunity, for a glimmer of hope. Where we stand for human rights, freedom of speech and religion. Where each and every single person is significant. Yet in the year 1830, we removed the original occupants of our nation in the Indian Removal Act, --and justify it.

Andrew Jackson deemed his actions acceptable by the idea: what man would rather the primitive life they where living, in the forest and surrounded by savages, over the civilized way of life the American Republic would create? His believed that his crime was justified simply because math justified it. What matter was it if he harmed one tribe, for the good of all mankind, truly it wouldn't have mattered?

I completely disagree with the ruthless decision to throw out the Indians from their homes and into the streets. It was a brutal selfish act and no amount of convincing can lead me to think otherwise. The helpless Cherokees where arrested and literally dragged from their houses, they where loaded like animals into wagons and sent off like trash.

There was endless violence, and the human rights we spoke of so proudly where buried in the ground. Then they tell me that if it where not for this exportation, America would never be what it is and we would never be living here. And what of it I ask? If it where not here than another nation would have risen up in its place, one cannot miss what one has never had. We, until then did not have an America, but they did. We took away their possessions, and stripped them of all their freedom. Forget law! Doesn't common sense or natural human compassion tell us that this was wrong? And yet we dare to deny the error we committed.

The Native Americans now live within the borders that the great white man has placed upon them--within borders that lie on land that once belonged to them. How can we look upon all the large cities and tall buildings, to look upon the vast valleys and trees; without seeing the blood that inhabits the roots of these said objects? Verily the crimson liquid of the Native Americans stains this land.

A whole people was destroyed, everything they had. And I stand firmly believing that the removal act of 1830 severely violated their political, legal and human rights. We took what did not belong to us, the greed that overtook us was unimaginable. The Native Americans where sent off westward by force, placed under miserable conditions that forced many to die en-route. They where whipped and forced to endure illness, even the women and children where not saved from the harsh reality. Such acts have happened in the past, and we labeled the oppressors as criminals. Yet we are guilty of the very same crime.

Alas! If only it were an embarrassment! If only our youth turned back and felt shame. But nay, this action, they say it was necessary and justified by the "manifest destiny". Do you want to know what the density really was? It was an excuse that some powerful white men created; men who where so consumed with greed and could never be pleased with what they have. Who insisted on growth, even if it meant stealing the lives--the land, the hard work and the rights of a people other than them. They created this theory, and the lambs beneath them followed without any concern for their actions. They tell them to fight and they fight, without needing to know or even ask for what cause they are fighting for.

Let us learn! Never again let us label injustices by others a crime…let us merely learn, and know that we ourselves are not perfect. Man commits wrong, it is of human nature--so let us rise from the ashes and become fuller--as individuals as well as a nation whole. Until then, I will weep for the people of this land, the ones who are buried in it, and the ones who stand atop. I weep.

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