Dear Decaturish – Please remove this weapon of war from the Decatur SquareThe cannon from the Indian War of 1836 that Andre Williams is walking past is one of the monuments to hate and white supremacy currently located around the historic DeKalb County courthouse that were demanded to be removed during the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights “Take It Down-No More Monuments to White Supremacy” rally on the Decatur Square June 17, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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This letter is addressed to DeKalb County commissioners.
My name is John Winterhawk. I want to speak to you about the cannon on the Decatur Square.
I want people to know that I am half Muscogee Indian, about a quarter Scotch-Irish, and a quarter Cherokee. My mission is to have equal treatment among people. This is such a big task that it seems impossible to do but my heart yearns for it so much that I am trying to do anything I can to have it come about. When I see one race or the other trying to be the supreme being, I ask what is supremacy?
In my mind, it is trying to take the place of Creator. The reason slavery happened in this country is because there was a crack in the wall and supremacy slipped through. In our hearts, we have to be equal to each other or we will never get to the place we want to be.
The Muscogee Nation raised our children here on this land which is a gift from Creator. It is not to be taken lightly. This ground supported us in raising crops to feed our families and to hold the green corn ceremony which is a celebration of the first fire that Creator gifted us. Creator drew us together and said I want man to carry my fire and carry my heart and carry my spirit for one another. He said I give you this fire for one common reason. I have placed this fire in the hearts of all people to come and stand at the fire and have peace together.
Let there be no more war. No more fighting. No more arguing. No petty beliefs. Only honor, love, respect, and kindness will be shared. Until that moment happens there will be no peace.
We have these weapons we’re showing that have been historically used in battle. Do we still need to do this in modern times? To show how one group lorded over another? I don’t see what that gets us but more lording over each other. It’s time to bring that to a stop and ask ourselves why we needed to do that. It’s not fair to lord over each other because we are just humans, wonderful humans. There is a place in all our hearts where we have glorious wonder and when we touch that in each other, we glow in the dark.
Our teachings have been erased. They have been replaced by supremacy teachings and weapons of war for people to look at every day. Do we want to tell stories of war and being supreme and taking over people’s lands, destroying their way of life, and removing them to another place they don’t know?
I believe we have lost the ability to ask the question, “Have I turned around right? Am I walking in the light?” You can judge yourself. Which do I want? To walk in the dark or the light? Respect, honor, and wisdom is what we are trying to gain in our journey back home. We must stop and speak to our hearts.
Please remove this weapon of war. Thank you for your time.
– John Winterhawk
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