Sunday, 25 March 2012

American Ancestors: Mine and Yours

Who spotted the discrepancy? Over twenty people were convicted in recent years as part of an antiquities bust of digging up collectable and saleable antiquities including in some cases desecrating countless graves - and amassing huge (in at least two cases, 'lorry load' huge) collections of complete pots, baskets and personal items, some of which they sold for substantial sums. Over in the Four Corners area the collectors got no jail time and merely a few months probation from Judge Waddoups and later counterparts.

As part of another antiquities bust, a single unemployed guy was convicted under the same laws of running a metal detector over a battlefield, and possibly disturbing some graves into the bargain. John Jeffrey Santo, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer to 366 days in prison followed by three years of supervised probation, he lost his collection and was ordered to pay hefty fines, reportedly $7,346.

Two different countries? No, both in the (supposedly) United States of America. Both groups of looters were white, too. The convictions were made under the same legislation. The only difference is that the first group of people were digging up "injun" graves in the archaeological resources of the USA and the second guy was digging up the White Man-past of the USA. Cases like this suggest to me that the US justiciary recognize two distinct types of heritage in their territory. One that they are prepared to accept the responsibility of protecting and concerning which they will enforce the law, and that of "the Other" where it seems they are not.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.