A couple years ago, freshman Congressman Dusty Johnson said that rescinding the Medals of Honor given to the Seventh Cavalry for slaughtering women and children at Wounded Knee in 1890 was “an aggressive act” that lacked enough nuance and basis in fact to help the country “move forward” from that awful historical error.
Now second-term Congressman Johnson has apparently moved past that position. When he cast his vote for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 on Thursday, his vote also helped pass an amendment to that sprawling bill incorporating the Remove the Stain Act, which would revoke those twenty ill-gotten medals:
The Remove the Stain Act was reintroduced in March of this year by Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele (D-HI), a Native Hawaiian citizen, along with several co-sponsors including Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
…“The Wounded Knee massacre was one of the deadliest attacks on Native American people in history. It shouldn’t be remembered with honor or prestige for the perpetrators, but rather with compassion for the men, women, and children whose lives were taken,” Davids said to Native News Online. “The Remove the Stain Act is a step towards righting a tragic wrong and, hopefully, helping families start or continue to heal from that generational trauma” [staff, “‘Remove the Stain Act’ Moves Forward as House Passes Defense Bill,” Native News Online, 2021.09.24].
The revocation of those massacre medals moves along with the NDAA to the Senate, where we’ll get to see if Senator Mike Rounds has matured along with Representative Johnson and moved past his own resistance to righting this historical wrong.