Anthropologist Matilda Stevenson, who was an early advocate for American Indians, was present and recorded the event when We’wha died, one autumn day in 1896. We’wha suffered from heart disease. Not yet 50, she stoically prepared to go to her beloved Sacred Lake.
When Stevenson asked, “Why do you not lie down?”
We’wha replied, “I cannot breathe if I lie down; I think my heart break.”
She begged Stevenson not to leave. We’wha’s family, knowing of her serious condition, gathered around to comfort and assist her. Among her last words were expressions of gratitude and farewells to her people, her friends in Washington and Stevenson herself. And, with darkness entering the hearts of her mourners, We’wha died. Her memory lives on as one of the most respected members of the Zuni tribe.
Tens of thousands of gay servicemembers have been kicked out of the U.S. military both before and after the adoption of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And with the U.S. Senate’s December, 2010 vote to repeal that policy, it is fitting we remember the very first discharged – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin. It all [...]