Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube
MSNBC Commentator Lawrence O'Donnell outlines 500 years of colonialism in four minutes in discussing the water protectors standing against the Dakota Access pipeline in the August 24 edition of his nightly news show The Last Word.

‘This Nation Was Founded on Genocide’: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Dakota Access


From the start of colonial intrusion, the free and original peoples of this hemisphere  “have been treated as enemies and dealt with more harshly than any other enemy in any other war.”

While this in itself is not news, the source of this statement is. This quote comes not from an activist, a historian or a researcher squirreled away in an obscure academic corner, but from a high-profile commentator speaking on MSNBC.

“After all our other wars we signed treaties and lived by those treaties,” noted Lawrence O’Donnell at the segment at the end of the August 25 edition of his nightly news show The Last Word. “After World War 2 we then did everything we possibly could to help rebuild Germany.”

In other words, “no Native American tribe has ever been treated as well as we treated Germans after World War 2.”

O’Donnell issues this scathing indictment by way of explaining the peaceful protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. He talks of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fear of foreign invaders “who want to change our way of life” and notes that it’s “a fear that Native Americans have lived with every day for over five hundred years.”

And he does not stop there.

“The original sin of this country is that we invaders shot and murdered our way across the land killing every Native American we could, and making treaties with the rest,” he says. “This country was founded on genocide before the word genocide was invented, before there was a war crimes tribunal in The Hague.”

Nor does he end there. He explains how “Every. Single. Treaty.” has been broken; how only a few generations have passed since the "business of killing Indians” has ceased. He cites the camps near Standing Rock as potent reminders of despicable acts most Americans would rather forget…and on and on. It’s a statement worth watching more than a few times, and he ends with a statement that resonates, a paying of respect to the resilience and strength of Natives: “The people who have always known what is truly sacred in this world.” 

Watch the video here:

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Then the challenge to MSNBC’s

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
Then the challenge to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is quit your job-career, give up your home, give everything back to the local-established Tribal Native Nation and apologize for your ANCESTOR's taking and using the American Dream to advance their agenda. Otherwise Lawrence O'Donnell, you just talking words (again) and promoting your PROG- agenda that you've participated in and set this country back…..a generation.

tmsyr11 ... show your true

James1086's picture
Submitted by James1086 on
tmsyr11 ... show your true self instead of hiding behind a made up name...

While the above

Old Lady's picture
Old Lady
Submitted by Old Lady on
While the above acknowledgments by Lawrence O'Donnell are several centuries overdue, I still have to applaud this guy for doing the right thing here. Hopefully more will follow along these lines so that more steps needed to reverse at least some of the damage can be done. tmsyr11, it sounds like you're upset with the facts presented. Perhaps instead of hanging around here you could relocate back to Europe; you would probably fare better there.

tmsyr11, O'Donnell doesn't

spirit4earth's picture
Submitted by spirit4earth on
tmsyr11, O'Donnell doesn't have to sell everything and leave the country. He can be more helpful by spreading the word from his position of privilege. His was a forceful statement about Native American genocide. We have no idea what else he does---whether he donates, volunteers, etc----to help the cause.

I haven't heard nor seen

Holly Homan
Submitted by Holly Homan on
I haven't heard nor seen Obama or Clinton take a stand on this issue or even mention it. Sanders has spoken out against the pipeline, but no word from the president or the leading candidate. Obviously they don't want to upset their corporate sponsors