The internet exploded with memes and jokes following Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway's reference to the "Bowling Green Massacre," an alleged terrorist attack by ISIS that never occurred, as an excuse for Donald Trump's immigration executive order. During an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews on Thursday, Conway made her already infamous comment about the fictional Bowling Green Massacre, an event she neither specified as occurring in Bowling Green in Manhattan, Ohio, or Kentucky.
Almost instantly, Conway's comment were immortalized on the web through all manner of tongue-in-cheek Bowling Green Massacre jokes.
However, as a post on the Indian Country Media Network aptly pointed out, there actually was a real Bowling Green Massacre that occurred in 1643. The real Bowling Green Massacre, also known as Kieft's War, occurred when white Christian colonizers were instructed by the governor of the Dutch colony known as New Netherlands, Willem Kieft, to fight members from the Lenape tribes for claim of the Manhattan land.
It's natural to wonder, given Trump's documented history of clashes with Native Americans, if Conway and Trump would dare pay equal lip service and lamentations to the real Bowling Green Massacre? The unfortunate evidence point toward a glaring no.
Another post on the Indian Country Media Network, also documenting the inhumane and devastating Dutch massacre of Lenape tribe members, includes quotes from the Dutch witness David Pietersz de Vries, who reportedly unsuccessfully tried to talk Kiefts out of waging war on people from the Lenape tribe. The segments from DeVries' gruesome account were sourced from the book by Herbert C. Kraft, The Lenape: Archaeology, History, and Ethnography:
How different would it look if the Trump administration, or even Conway on her own, had commented on the actual massacre at Bowling Green?
Well, the co-chair of Trump's Native American Affairs Coalition, Rep. Markwayne Mullin told Reuters he hopes to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations on Monday. "We should take tribal land away from public treatment," he said in a Reuters article. "As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country."
In response to threats of privatization, Tom Goldtooth, a Navajo and Dakota tribe member who runs the Indigenous Environmental Network, told Reuters that Trump's plans echo America's history of colonialist violence:
In reality, if Conway had been referencing the real Bowling Green massacre during her interview on Hardball, the corresponding travel ban would ostensibly apply to all of us who aren't Native American. Until then, feel free to donate to the Indigenous Environment Network, the resistors at Standing Rock, and follow Indigenous Action Media.