My Life Is My Sun Dance By Leonard Pelois

Decent Essays
The United States is the home of the free, and the land of opportunity. People from places all around the world come to the United States to give themselves, or their families a chance at a better life. People of all races and backgrounds have come for freedom and equality since the land was “discovered”. However, In Leonard Peltier’s Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance, he emphasizes the repulsive ways of the American Justice system and the desire the Native Americans have for that same freedom and equality in today’s society. In the novel, Peltier shows the American life that still suffers from the dilemma of racial inequality against Native Americans. He shines a light on racism that many people don’t think about, racism against…show more content…
Specifically, the treatment of the many prisoners at the hands of the guards had really stood out to me. How handcuffs, leg-irons, strip searches, and comments such as “spread’m, Tonto” had become his day to day routine. In just a small section of the book, he shows the attitude that many guards take when dealing with people they are arresting or who are already incarcerated. They disrespect the inmates, not because they have to, but almost because they want to. It is very difficult to detach oneself when reading about him and his entire race’s struggles. For example, this specific quote really shows his heartbreaking truth about how he believes native people dislike Columbus and how they regret the “discovery” of America.
"My own personal story can't be told, even in this abbreviated version, without going back long before my own birth on September 12, 1944, back to 1890 and to 1876 and to 1851 and, yes, all the way back through all the other calamitous dates in the relations between the red men and white, back to that darkest day of all in human history: October 12, 1492, when our Great Sorrow began" (Peltier, 50).
The fact that he feels this passionately about the “discovery” of America speaks volumes. Essentially saying that in order to fix all of the pain of his people he would have to go back to the day Columbus “discovered” this land. Everything that is happening to Leonard Peltier and everything
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