The right to freedom has always been considered as one of the most important aspects of any person’s well-being. Unfortunately, not all individuals have the privilege of living by their ideas. Sometimes, the choice is made by others who try oppress the person’s or group’s freedom and make this group live by new demands. This week’s readings and lectures were focused on Wohaw and Dr. King as the major figures in the fight for freedom. When one group’s idea of the good life requires others to sacrifice their individuality and freedom, conflict is inevitable. The forced assimilation of a minority group into a majority one cannot remain without negative outcomes.
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By forcing native Americans to give up their usual lifestyle, the US government deprived those people of their freedom of choice to live the way they wanted (“Giving Up the Ghost”). An example of Wo-Haw’s response to the demands placed on him by the majority is attacking of the non-natives who came to kill the bulls that used to constitute the core value of the tribe. Even in prison, Wo-Haw did not refuse from his identity and continued picturing himself as a man supported by Kiowa spiritual values (Palmer 226). Thus, Wo-Haws reaction to the demand to sacrifice freedom can be described as rebellious.
In contrast, Dr. King’s response to the demands placed on him by the majority was non-violent. An example of Dr. King’s reaction can be found in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which the activist is trying to persuade his opponent in a peaceful manner (1-2). Despite such differences in their activity, both Wo-Haw and Dr. King suffered because of their position. Thus, when one group’s idea of the good life requires others to sacrifice their freedom, negative outcomes, such as protests or violent response, are inevitable.
“Giving Up the Ghost: Confronting American Cultural Genocide in the post-Civil War Era.” YouTube, uploaded by GRCCtv. 2011. Web.
King, Martin Luther. Letter from Birmingham Jail. 1963. Web.
Palmer, Vera B. “Tracing the Schoolhouse/Big House Legacy: Ledger Art and Prison Work.” Ledger Narratives: The Plains Indian Drawings of the Lansburgh Collection at Dartmouth College, edited by Colin G. Calloway, University of Oklahoma Press, 2012, pp. 219-232.