Civilize Them With A Stick Essay About Myself

Mary Crow Dog CIVILIZETHEMWITHASTICKand Richard ErdoesIn “Civilize Them with a Stick,” from Lakota Woman,Mary Crow Dog examines the attempt by white people to civilize Native Americans by sending them to paro-chial boarding schools. The essay follows Crow Dog’s transformation, not from an Indian girl to a "civilized" girl, but from an Indian girl to a young, self-confident, Indian woman with pride and respect for her heritage. The violence, hypocrisy, and pun-ishment in her school were often devastating to the child, and for many schooling created an intense hatred and distrust of white people: "Racism breeds racism in reverse." Although her time at the school was filled with violence and humiliation, she worked on the school newspaper and made her first foray into the world of re-bellion through the printed word. And one priest, the catalyst for her departure from the school, later became a good friend to her and to her people. The legacy of the Indian boarding school is shared by Crow Dog, her mother, and her grandmother, and the legacy is what she considers "a curse for our family for generations."CIVILIZETHEMWITHASTICKMary Crow Dog and Richard ErdoesGathered from the cabin, the wickiup, and the tepee, partly by cajolery and partly by threats, partly by bribery and partly by force, they are induced to leave their kindred to enter these schools and take upon themselves the outward appearance of civilized life. — Annual Report of the Department of Interior, 1901

After reading "Civilize Them with A Stick", it reminded me a lot about the education I received from Fairview Elementary school. The teachers were abusive in their own way, more mentally than physically. This literacy narrative on Observed Educaiton, also mentions the labeling of children. She did the right thing by leaving, I know I had to.

I observed in this reading that the author, Mary Crow Dog, wrote had horrible experiences while attending a Catholic School. Being a Lakota Indian she was forced to attend school there. It was abuse by teachers, and them not respecting the students - this made learning difficult for her. She was treated unconditional and questioned the learning she was receiving there. She would fight with her teachers and found she could learn much more from this method vs. what she could obeying their teachers rules. Not being able to stand the abuse anymore, Crow Dog left the school. 

I often wonder what my life would be like today if I had continued to receive education from the "Wicked Witch" of Fairview Elementary? Would I have become who I am today? Would I view life the same? What would have happened to me, would I have ran away as Crow Dog did this school if my parents wouldn't have made that positive change for me by switching me out of the school? Just like Audre Lorde, she too experienced a Label and abusive education. The nun didn't have time to teach Audre and help her learn. There was no compassion in either of their school. Nothing exsisted except strict rules, rather than having understanding and love provided to students that needed it most. However, I think Crow Dogs experience was by far worse than what Audre Lorde experienced.

Comparing the Crow Dog story to the "Dead Poet Society", they to had strick structure, they were paddled with a board with holes, were in the Crow Dog story it mentioned them being stripped naked and horse whipped. Fed only bread and water, kept in the darkness. At least at the school the boys attended there was not much abuse than the ones we observed.

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