By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
On the 40th anniversary of the murder of two FBI agents, Washington State is honoring the art of the two agents’ killer. It is a shameful and dishonorable act that highlights the man who took the lives of two young law enforcement officers and an affront to their families who have for forty years endured resurrection of this killer in the news with little mention of the fallen officers.
Last Thursday I read of a Native American art exhibit being held at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries headquarters in Tumwater, Washington. Being a fan of Native American art I travelled to the agency to review the artwork. To my dismay in the main rotunda of the state agency’s offices I saw four paintings from Leonard Peltier along with cards reading how to contact Mr. Peltier’s gallery for purchases of his works. I am familiar with his art and these works are consistent with his style of painting.
Leonard Peltier is currently serving two consecutive life sentences for the 1975 murder of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams at the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Now, we have a situation where a government agency is promoting the art of this convicted cop killer, which is only certain to generate controversy in the Law Enforcement Community along with the families of those who have lost their loved ones. The State of Washington is sponsoring a murderer’s artwork and providing free advertisements toward its purchase. I view this as highly unethical and a strong conflict of interest. The State of Washington should not be in the business of helping convicted cop killers profit while in prison. It is an insult to the families of agents Coler and Williams and those who have served in the profession.
The great irony of this affair is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is the agency charged with paying benefits to police officers injured on the job and to also administer the Washington State Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund.
In 1975 FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams were attempting to question a man suspected of a theft at the Pine Ridge Reservation. A brief informational of the murder may be read here. Execution would be a closer representation of how these agents died. Mr. Peltier was later found in Oregon where he allegedly fired on an Oregon law enforcement officer. Officials found Agent Coler’s handgun in Peltier’s vehicle.
A video dedicated to these agents’ service, along with narration from family members may be seen here.
I do take great exception to Washington State’s actions. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) not only hosted the exhibition of Mr. Peltier’s paintings, but made announcements on L&I webpages and composed flyers showing its support of the artwork. Moreover, each of the paintings had a card naming the artist and where to purchase his works. In other words L&I is acting as an agent to advertise a convicted murder’s works where he or his agents will receive revenue and sales as an intended result.
Mr. Peltier has become somewhat of a cause célèbre among Hollywood actors and celebrities convinced that he is innocent. Regardless of this, and the fact that he has genuine artistic skill in his own right, I find this rather insulting to the police community. But for a government agency to display his works and solicit ways for him or his agents to gain money during his incarceration violates ethical constraints of government and the spirit of preventing criminals from profiting from their crimes or incarceration.
Labor and Industries should remove Mr. Peltier’s artwork and refrain from freely promoting incarcerated cop killers or economically supporting their ventures.
Here are some of the pictures I took of the display. The first shows the official flyer having a picture of Mr. Peltier within a prison facility.
Note: The information on the black wall is for another artist, not Mr. Peltier.
For information on the exhibit click here. A copy of the department’s handout may be read here.
Those having questions about this display may contact the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, or telephone their switchboard at (360) 902-5800.
Please honor Ron Williams, Jack Coler and their loving families.
By Darren Smith
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Photo Credits: Own work, released to the public domain.
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
120 thoughts on “WA State Agency Promoting Art Of Convicted Cop Killer Leonard Peltier”
Hey, even Pocahontas knows that ending a sentence with a preposition is a no-no.
“Just because the white settlers did not know how to actively spread smallpox doesn’t mean they were not trying to kill off the inhabitants.”
Straw man. No one argued the latter, as we were at war with the Indians.
“There is plenty of evidence that numerous efforts have been made over the centuries to murder, enslave, kidnap, torture, and otherwise abuse the native people.:”
There is plenty of evidence that numerous efforts have been made over the centuries to murder, enslave, kidnap, torture, and otherwise abuse the all humans in all of world history, including by Native Americans against early American settlers and each other.
You’ve proven nothing except that successful tribes/cultures spread and defeat unsuccessful tribes/cultures.
Where in human history has it been otherwise?
“We don’t make progress by trying to whitewash our past.”
1. Define “progress.”
2. Neither do we “make progress” (whatever that might be) by trying to lie about our past, as the Howard Zinn approach does.
“There is plenty of evidence that Peltier might be innocent. I presented that above.”
I don’t give SJWs any leeway about that. “Might” be innocent”?
Meh. Prove it.
Your claims are just like the Mumia, Rosenberg and Hiss lies until verified by non-SJWs.
Since SJWs always lie, it is reasonable to conclude that their claims about history are almost certainly lies.
The smallpox blanket story was a lie, and repeating it is a lie.
SJWs don’t care if something has been debunked, they keep saying the same lie over and over again.
Thus, not merely a mistake about the facts, but an intentional lie.
As for Peltier, because -as I pointed out above- the left has lied about many famous cases in the past, I am also safe to assume that they have to overwhelmingly prove their case about Peltier before making any claims as to his innocence.
‘Raising doubts’ is insufficient.
Absolute incontrovertible proof is required of the left, much as mendacity is their touchstone.
That is, liars tend to lie, so their claims should be considered bogus political Sovietized disinformation until proven otherwise.
Such is the state of your side’s reputation for veracity.
There is plenty of evidence that Peltier might be innocent. I presented that above.
There is plenty of evidence that numerous efforts have been made over the centuries to murder, enslave, kidnap, torture, and otherwise abuse the native people. As I said before, massacres, forced marches, lies, broken treaties, kidnapped children, court decisions ignored and so on. The FBI has a long history of spying on people, framing suspects, instigating trouble and advocating criminal acts to frame targeted suspects.
Just because the white settlers did not know how to actively spread smallpox doesn’t mean they were not trying to kill off the inhabitants. Just because Ward Chruchill lied, does not make it all a lie. We Americans have a history that is both remarkable and despicable, wonderful and horrific. We don’t make progress by trying to whitewash our past.
“exactly what that has to do with Peltier?”
You can ask your leftist friends, who raised the matter.
“does not mean that there is not solid evidence of atrocities committed”
Then why lie about atrocities that never occurred?
“You can ask your leftist friends, who raised the matter.”
I hope you don’t mind but I intend to hold the question open for all my friends and all the readers of this blog. Everyone is welcome pitch in to search for the truth – regardless of political affiliation.
You know people like me – we don’t take anyone’s word for it – nobody has a copyright on the truth.
“Then why lie about atrocities that never occurred?”
I think you did a service presenting evidence of Churchill’s fabrications.
But who else lied? There is a great difference between lying and being proven wrong, or making a mistake, or relying on a fabricator like Churchill.
If some else on this blog has lied you certainly have not presented any evidence of it.
I think smearing a group of people with a term like ‘lie’ with out any evidence ought to reflect on the accusers credibility. That kind of accusation without evidence certainly reflects a lack of judgement.
Whether the subject is Peltier or the treatment of native Americans, I don’t think the subject is illuminated by someone making unsubstantiated accusations. In my opinion it really detracts from an otherwise interesting conversation.
PhillyT, if you can’t defend your point, best to go back and research it and find evidence supporting your claim, rather than offer some passive-aggressive comment.
“PhillyT, if you can’t defend your point, best to go back and research it and find evidence supporting your claim, rather than offer some passive-aggressive comment.”
Sounds like excellent advice to me. The fact that the rudimentary germ warfare techniques of the past were ineffective does not mean that there is not solid evidence of atrocities committed against native Americans.
That ought to be an interesting discussion. I am still wondering however, exactly what that has to do with Peltier?
I do like the term, tongue junk. I think it has legs.
Larry David, doing his hilarious parody of Bernie, got paid $5k for yelling tongue junk @ Trump on SNL last night. The reprobate that made that obscene Hispanic kiddie ad offered the cash to anyone who heckled Trump on SNL.
BFM. Lot’s of tongue junk expressed on playing fields and courts. Politics has become become almost entirely tongue junk.
OK I take it all back.
Nothing bad really happened to the native people that inhabited North America. And if it did, it was either their fault or they had it coming, My apologies for suggesting otherwise. It’s all good, man.
Ha! I stand corrected. 😉
This is not only junk history, this entire campaign against America and Americans is taken out of historical context as it singles America out. It’s sole legitimacy exists in the guilt that liberals immerse themselves in.
It is only the guilty that pay any attention to this Silliness T.
Genghis Khan was said to have killed 40 million people.
Conquest was the global modus operandi of all capable nations for millennia until WWII.
So stipulated: Europeans expanded into the New World and conquered territory.
And you didn’t.
Life is winners and losers.
How’s that losing working out for you?
Funny thing, the best the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda could do was sort of incoherently conquer each other with machetes.
“…to this junk history…”
“exposed tongue junk history. …… to this junk history”
Actually, I think I like ‘tongue junk history’ better. It seems more expressive of exaggerations, meaningless claims, and inappropriate metaphors.
Yes, I am hoping ‘tongue junk’ enters the language whether it is analysis, advice, legal argument, or history.
bfm – tongue junk would accurately describe the history that Ward Churchill was teaching and writing about for years.
Paul: yes, and the terrible part is that most Americns have been exposed tongue junk history.
“whether there were intentional efforts on the part of the settlers to infect the native population or whether it was a “happy” coincidence for them.”
Lacking any evidence for the former, you equate it with the latter.
As risible as it is reprehensible.
Next, kids, we’ll read about how the FBI and the CIA conspired to give Peltier smallpox, along with shingles, back acne, hemorrhoids, eczema, autism, malaria, acid reflux, diabetes, psoriasis, gout, dandruff and the clap, by providing him with infected paintbrushes and blankets. Ya see, kids, the system is broken, I tell ya, it’s broken! Those damn imperialist pigs! They also, intentionally, of course, put a hex on his ability to paint, thus rendering everything that he manages to create to look like s&@t. Ya see, if only there wasn’t that all powerful hex, he’d be a star.
The Howard Zinn approach to politicizing history has ruined the reliability of many sources.
Wikipedia is so absurdly SJW in orientation that I have to check each reference, as they often are misrepresentative or outright lies.
As such, I no longer believe a single thing the left has written about Peltier, assuming instead it represents Soviet airbrushing or show trials.
No, that’s not the question that remains.
In this thread you have revived a typical leftist accusation of bioterrorism by Americans against the Native American Indians in support of your claim that the US government is lying about Peltier.
The remaining question is instead why SJWs continue to spread these lies, like so many infected blankets.
Because that’s what SJWs do, they lie and they project.
They would do the very thing they accuse the early settlers of, because that’s how they approach such problems.
A more detailed review of smallpox in the Pacific Northwest Indians suggests the origin of smallpox in them is far from clear.
KCFleming – nobody gets mad at the Chinese for bringing the bubonic plague to Europe several times, but if whitey accidently infects an Indian with smallpox, its katy bar the door. You have to realize people that smallpox was just as infectious for whitey. Killed whitey just the same.
Well, that’s very interesting. The question remains whether there were intentional efforts on the part of the settlers to infect the native population or whether it was a “happy” coincidence for them.
Governor Bradford of the Massachusetts Colony in 1633: “For it pleased God to visit these Indians with a great sickness and such a mortality that of a thousand, above nine and a half hundred of them died, and many of them did rot above ground for want of burial.” It has been estimated that between smallpox and measles particularly, between 85 and 95% of the native population died. Granted there is no way to know precise numbers.
The endless wars, treaty violations, massacres, forced marches, etc. continued unabated until Manifest Destiny ran its course. Getting back to the topic at hand, I believe Peltier deserves an independent investigation of the matter, certainly NOT conducted by the FBI.
phillyT – are you aware, according to the Vinland Sagas, Indians attacked peaceful Europeans first? Having lived in Indian country all my life, it is not all black-and-white. In Arizona, the biggest massacre of Indians was lead by another group of Indians. They don’t like each other.
One data point is not ‘plenty,’ especially where there was no evidence the plan actually was undertaken.
Moreover, even if the plan had been attempted, it would not have succeeded.
Smallpox transmission by fomites such as blankets may have been a desired goal, but it was extremely unlikely to work because smallpox infection is not spread by linens, as modern data show, but by aerosols, something the early colonists could not have known.
Indians got smallpox the same way everyone else did: personal contact with infected people.
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