Killers Of The Flower Moon movie
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Everybody is talking about Killers Of The Flower Moon because it is now a Hollywood movie. The book, written by David Grann, was published some 6 years ago in 2017. This is a great story and more importantly a true story. It tells us about the nature of human beings and how white people have treated those who have come before them. It is an American story involving native Americans and their displacement by European settlers. It is an American story, also, because it is about money and get rich quick schemes at any cost. It has something to say about how First Nations people were treated by white colonising powers in the creation of the New World.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann book cover

First Nations & White Killers Of Land Rights

In Australia, we are having a referendum about First Nations Australians being recognised in our Constitution and being granted an advisory voice to parliament on matters directly affecting them. Killers Of The Flower Moon has something to say to us on this basis as well. The main point of difference, however, is the fact that Aboriginal people in Australia were never recognised as land holders by the invading British force and therefore were never granted reservation land in their name. This is despite the fact that DNA evidence now tells us that they had been the original inhabitants for some 70, 000 years. White people considered Aboriginal people as savages and no more deserving of respect than animals.

Young Black Dog, Osage, from the American Indian Chiefs series (N2) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands
Young Black Dog, Osage, from the American Indian Chiefs series (N2) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands by Allen & Ginter is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Wealth The Target Of Killers Of The Flower Moon

The Osage Indians had been moved from their tribal lands twice by the time they were finally shunted onto rocky territory in the northwest of Oklahoma. It was an ironic twist of fate that these would turn out to contain the largest oil deposits in America. Thus, after some clever contracting about owning the mineral rights beneath the land the remaining Osage Indians became the richest people in America. Now, they were a target for the greed and envy of every immoral American. Those of us trying to comprehend how America voted for Donald Trump can look to Killers Of The Flower Moon to see the underbelly of white America. There are a lot of god awful folks in the US of A.

native americans walking in parade
Photo by Beatriz Braga on Pexels.com

Racist White Australia & America

In Australia, we have a bunch of racist white folk as well. All of them will be voting No in the Voice referendum on 14 October 2023. We have something called downward envy down under. This is disgruntled white folk blaming those further down the wealth ladder, toward the bottom, for their own woes. Cowards often do this, rather than try and take on the powerful white people stealing their lunch, they blame weaker folk to vent their seething rage somewhere. Racist politicians on the conservative side channel this downward envy into support for their political parties. The LNP garners the racist vote in Australia through dog whistling on Indigenous issues like the Voice to Parliament. Trump, obviously, does this in America, despite him being a fraudulent real estate billionaire with a history of ripping off people. “Stupid is as stupid does,” I suppose.

Osage Indians: Mohongo, Washingsabba (or

Murderous Greed & Racist Depravity

The level of depravity that was displayed by the white men that infiltrated the Osage Indian family groups was shocking.

“Tribe members began to be killed. They were, in the evocative words of a reporter at the time, “shot in lonely pastures, bored by steel as they sat in their automobiles, poisoned to die slowly, and dynamited as they slept in their homes.” Few if any of these crimes were solved. Who cared about, Grann writes, using the intolerant lingo of the times, a “dead Injun”?”

This captures the brutal indifference of racists. Something I still come across in Australia today when talking with older generation white men expressing their racism openly, especially in regional areas. There are people who do not see the shared humanity between Indigenous and white human beings.

Racism is something that is handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, and so on. It is an evil that remains in this world today. The true story behind Killings Of The Flower Moon captures that evil and its foul workings at play.

Institutional Racism Open Doors To Evil

Institutional racism came to the fore when Congress passed guardianship laws to be imposed upon the Osage Indians due to their perceived incompetency to handle their own wealth and affairs. This opened the doors to unscrupulous businessmen, bankers, and lawyers to screw the Osage Indians out of their wealth. Whites married into Osage Indian families to get their hands on the money. This is when the killings started to remove Indians from the gravy train.

“Something far more sinister was lurking in the shadows behind shady con artists and dishonest attorneys. As with any appointed guardianship, if the ward died before the legal age of competency, the guardian could petition to inherit their estate. As the 1920s progressed, dead bodies began turning up on the Oklahoma prairie. Detectives and doctors ruled them as suicides or alcohol poisoning, but never considered opening a murder investigation. “

cute native australian child giving beautiful toothy smile
Photo by Zakaria HANIF on Pexels.com

Disrespecting The Sanctity Of Life

This complete lack of respect for the life of these human beings by the white Americans clearly reveals their attitude toward the Indigenous population. America had been an apartheid nation, a slaver nation, for much of its history.

Despicable attitudes lie in the bottom drawer of many families around the USA. Hollywood reinvented America in the eyes of the world and in their own eyes. It is ironic that a bunch of Jewish, eastern European exiles and emigres rewrote the stories of America in a bid to cement their own sense of belonging. Hollywood movies made out that America was this great place where fairness and equality reigned for all. Of course, myth making is always built on lies and half-truths.

FBI Born Out Of Killings Of The Flower Moon

“In 1925 the Osage Nation petitioned the FBI to investigate the crimes and uncover who was behind the conspiracy. The new Director of the Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, became wholeheartedly interested in the case and dispatched a seasoned Texas lawman, Tom White, to Oklahoma with a team of private investigators and police detectives. White began an infiltration operation, telling his team to assume new identities and take up local trades. This would allow them to ingratiate themselves with the locals and help dig up any leads on who was responsible for the Osage deaths. 

White and his officers heard one name repeated constantly: William Hale. Hale was a local rancher and businessman—a mover and shaker in the Osage Hills region. His political and business connections along with his personal wealth made him influential, but also a dangerous personality to cross. When trying to purchase the headrights of Henry Roan, a wealthy Indian, he forged a life insurance policy for $25,000 to cover funds he had loaned to Roan over the years.

On February 6, 1923, Roan was found dead. While no official investigation was carried out at the time, White and his team uncovered the fraudulent insurance policy and ultimately used this as the means to arrest Hale and co-conspirators. Because the murder occurred on a reservation, it constituted a federal indictment. 

  • (Jessie Kratz, Native American Records, Nov 2021)
Osage Warrior
Osage Warrior by The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0
God Damned Lies & Distorted Religious Beliefs

A bunch of white European settlers come to America and steal the land out from under the Indigenous population via guns and the armed forces. The white folk tell themselves it doesn’t matter because these savages are no better than animals. They wrap themselves in their distorted version of a story now known as Christianity. Conveniently they skip over the fact that Jesus was not a white man but a brown semitic fellow. Still today, the sons and daughters of evangelical Christians depict Christ as this blue eyed whitey and they act in totally un-Christian ways toward people of colour not on the same page as them. It is another warped American foundation myth of how the west was won. William Hale professed himself to be a deeply Christian man and perpetuated the most sinister series of crimes against humanity over many years. Racism in America has poisoned the culture of this nation.

Australian Killers Of Aborigines

In Australia, white settlers in many instances deliberately poisoned the local Aborigines by giving them foodstuffs laced with arsenic or poisoning water holes. Indigenous children, women, and men would die agonising deaths from these foul acts. To make matters worse some settlers would falsely claim in letters to newspapers that they were the aggrieved party and had done nothing but good to First Nations people in their area. This was contrived subterfuge to cover their tracks in the public record.

“Ms Jobbins is still uncovering her ancestor’s trail of destruction nearly 200 years later. She now knows that John Jobbins was an emancipated convict turned butcher.  The first settler to get a pastoral licence south of the Murray – at what is now Tawonga — he set the precedent for native land titles to be taken away from traditional owners. Hundreds of Indigenous people died in the years after John Jobbins and his neighbours arrived on the banks of the Kiewa River, after settlers fed them arsenic-laced damper.

“Mr Jobbins of Namina near Yass … is a great sufferer by the aggression of the blacks; and what makes it more vexatious is that he tries by all human efforts to conciliate them, furnishing them with blankets and provisions every time his teams go up.” – Letter to the editor of the Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, November 11, 1839.”

The history of early Australia is littered with such manipulation of the historical records by white settlers. Terra nullas was established in Australia by the British to justify their invasion and land grab. Savages were declared nomads and on this basis had no property rights. This short sighted argument is perpetuated by white historians like Geoffrey Blainey and Keith Windschuttle to this day. A white definition of Aboriginal relationship to their land is used to justify the actions of colonial powers in disenfranchising them.

This refusal to recognise First Nations people has caused them to be treated abysmally over centuries by white Australia.

Local Oklahoma Police Corrupted By Greed & Racism

Local law enforcement in Oklahoma did nothing for the Osage Indians despite them being murdered at alarming rates. This institutional racism is deeply embedded in America . The Osage called in the FBI, a nascent federal force of investigators under the auspices of a young Edgar Hoover. Money talks loudly in America – louder than law in many instances. We see this today in the life and times of Donald J Trump. Outsiders ask themselves how has this compulsive liar and cheat evaded his comeuppance for such a long time? The Hollywood version of America should not allow such a thing. A bigoted, braggart convicted of raping a woman in a civil case, surely should not be leading America at home and on the world stage. A business fraud who has inflated his wealth and success far beyond what it is really worth. A God damned liar leading the Republican party, the GOP, a merry dance to probable extinction. A God damned liar and cheat with the American evangelical vote in his pocket. If the Christian Church had any integrity they would disenfranchise the evangelicals from using the term Christian, as their behaviour is anything but Christian.

Jesus Christ did not curry favour with tyrants and autocrats. He did not threaten people with weapons. The truth, sadly, is that Christianity has had little to do with Christ and his precepts for the longest time. Just ask the Osage Indians, the black slaves, the Aborigines, and Indigenous peoples everywhere. Europeans took a brown man and reinvented him and his message as a white messiah of a white’s only religion.

Edgar Hoover FBI
Killers Of The Flower Moon Conspiracy Conclusion

“Two months into the trial, Ernest did something shocking; he rescinded his not guilty plea and entered a guilty one. He confessed that his uncle William Hale masterminded the entire conspiracy. William Hale, the “King of the Osage Hills,” was found guilty for conspiracy to commit murder and was transferred to Leavenworth Prison. Ironically, Tom White, the leading FBI agent on the Osage murders, was appointed Leavenworth’s new warden when Hale arrived to serve his sentence. 

Nearly 60 people were killed on the Osage reservation, and some of those murders are still unsolved. Hale, Ramsay, and all other co-conspirators are long since dead, but the tragedy remains in northern Oklahoma. The memories are visible today as families continue to cope with the trauma of lost relatives and have never received justice. Just as sudden wealth brought riches and a higher quality of life, it brought the darker side of human greed and malice.” 

  • (Jessie Kratz, Native American Records, Nov 2021)

David Grann reports that in his assessment after 5 years of research into the extant records that the actual death toll of Osage Indians was in the hundreds. I watched a number of Grann’s presentations and lectures after the launch of his book and he remains deeply moved by the plight of these First Nations people. Innocence murdered by the savage greed of the white man. Who really are the savages? Europeans cover their nakedness but underneath their bestiality is awake and hungry. Slavers. Nazis. Balkan nationalists. Russians. Spanish fascists. The list of atrocities committed by white men could go on and on. Killers Of The Flower Moon may be a good movie, but it is much more than this, as a true story depicting the treatment of First Nations people by white settlers and their progeny.

In Australia, if you do one good thing in your life. Vote YES in the referendum for recognition of First Nations Australians and to give them an advisory Voice to Parliament on matters directly affecting them.

Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom.

©Midas Word

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