Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Perry Ray Robinson's Wife Cheryl Writes to PBS President Paula Kerger

"Perry Ray Robinson Jr., was a civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, and Andrew Young in the the south during the 1960's. Robinson went to Wounded Knee in 1973 to support the American Indian Movement, was seen inside during the occupation, but was never heard from again after April 25, 1973 after a confrontation with AIM Security guards Carter Camp, David Hill and Leonard Crow Dog inside the village."---News from Indian Country

Perry Ray Robinson, a black civil-rights activist, was murdered by a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1973 occupation of the South Dakota Indian village of Wounded Knee. Ray Robinson is reportedly buried in an unmarked grave near the ruins of the village. His wife Cheryl Buswell-Robinson has written to PBS because the May 11 "Wounded Knee" episode of the PBS series "We Shall Remain" fails to document her husband's tragic murder. The film was produced by Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media.

Cheryl Buswell-Robinson also asks PBS why they failed to document the presence of the AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash during the occupation. Aquash was kidnapped and murdered on the orders of AIM leaders in December, 1975.

According to the Wounded Knee Victims and Veterans Association:

[M]ost of the AIM leaders interviewed for this film have been implicated in the Aquash and Robinson murders. Anna Mae likely knew about the Robinson shooting and her leaders’ attempts to keep his death a secret, and now it appears Nelson has joined the effort to write her out of existence as well. AIM leaders must surely approve.

Here is Cheryl Buswell-Robinson's letter as posted on American Indian Mafia's Wounded Knee page (scroll down):

Paula Kerger
President & CEO, PBS
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3785

May 10, 2009

Dear Ms. Kerger,

I am writing about the final episode of your series “We Shall Remain.” My name is Cheryl Buswell-Robinson. I am the widow of Ray Robinson, who was shot to death inside Wounded Knee during the 1973 occupation. Ray was a Southern civil rights worker mainly in Mississippi and Alabama from 1963 until his death. He went to the village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in order to build a bridge between the black human rights struggle and the Indian movement.

I am saddened that the producer Stanley Nelson failed to include any mention of the death of my husband and failed to document the presence of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash during the occupation. Journalists, historians, and the Courts have documented AIM’s 1975 murder of Ms. Aquash. It would have been a positive addition to the historical record to finally document other aspects of her life, particularly her role during the occupation of Wounded Knee. Anyone’s death is a tragedy, but not to have the death acknowledged is a double tragedy. Why did Nelson decide to eliminate all mention of Ms. Aquash and my husband when there were several people who offered to be interviewed about this?

Let me tell you a little bit about my husband and why I am so devastated to learn that his last days at Wounded Knee were omitted from this documentary.My husband was profoundly influenced in his political development by the tenets of non-violence; but he believed, as many did even around Martin Luther King, that armed self-defense was important. Isn’t it odd that he would find himself in the middle of a violent occupation of a small hamlet? No, not really.

I witnessed actions of his that were even more remarkable. One day, at our rural home not far from Selma, Alabama, a carload of young foul-mouthed whites drove to the front of our home and began to shoot it up. I ran for cover. Ray and Rev. Percy Tabb, who happened to be visiting, ran to cut off the car as it turned the bend. They got the drop on the young thugs, forced them out of their car, and marched all five of them up to our house at the point of their shotguns.

Ray lined up the guns on the wall of our home and sat for the next few hours talking to the young men about civil rights/human rights/workers rights. It was the force of his charisma, his honesty, and his passion that changed their hearts. Gradually, they went from being frightened to being calm. They actually began to listen and ask questions. We invited them to come back in peace the next day, and one of them did. I will never forget Richard Snodgrass: one day he was trying to shoot us, and the next day he was working with Ray to fix our old car.

Ray’s power was to see past temporary conditions and to help even very prejudiced, fearful people envision new possibilities for our divided society. Ray was able to connect with all sorts of people more than anyone I have ever known. Since he cared so much about opening people’s eyes, I am saddened to learn that the whole history of Wounded Knee, where my murdered husband rests in an unmarked grave, was suppressed.

Cheryl Buswell-Robinson

Detroit, Michigan


Blogger peter said...

The murder of Anna Mae has not been proven as having been ordered by AIM, that is hearsay.
We all want justice for Mr. Robinson.Just as we all want justice for Anna Mae and peace for her family.We hope they can feel that now.
It strikes me that the government has put so much into developing Anna Mae's case, but how much time and resources have they put into other unsolved murders from that era....Joe Stuntz, and the approximately 60 unsolved murders during Reign of Terror?...What is the government's motive in ignoring those cases but putting great effort into Anna Mae's case.?Cointelpro survives under any name.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Skabewis said...

Her name was Annie Mae Pictou - Aquash. Feel at peace, hmmm, how do you do that - their mother is dead. AIM did not order her execution, but AIM leaders like Clyde Bellecourt, Russell Means, Dennis Banks and Leonard Peltier all had motives, and their actions, lies and knowledge of Perry Ray Robinson's death, have been exposed with time - Nogeshick Aquash was part of security in 1973, along with Frank Black Horse, Carter Camp, Stan Holder, Clyde Bellecourt, Ted Means and Leonard Crow Dog, the traditional gun toting priest of the Movement. Crow Dog had to conduct a 7 Pipes ceremony to calm the spirits of Wounded Knee 1973, and later accused Annie Mae of being an FBI snitch because she complained about alcohol and drugs at Crow Dog's Paradise. Nobody ordered it. The leadership all knew there was an alleged problem, they just needed somebody to take care of it. Both of those men are now in prison, one woman has recent passed of cancer, Thelma Rios and another is in a nursing home. There are others that went to Wounded Knee and heard the rumors, the saw some of the victims -- when will they step forward, and tell their story to Cheryl Robinson and others?

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Antoinette Marks said...

All my grandmother, Cheryl Robinson, wants is to know where her husbands remains are! My grandmother and are family are NOT interested in finding his killers! We just want to give my grandfather a funeral and proper burial that his family can visit and have some closure!!!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can someone reach Ms. Buswell-Robinson, should there be new information or something to share?

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am saddened to learn that the whole history of Wounded Knee ... was suppressed."

No. It wasn't. It is not.
What does that even mean? That's pretty brutal, even grandiose. Wounded Knee history isn't dependent on any one individual.

The entire premise, with the varying anecdotes, is bizarre. Lacking in genuine information that might establish a real working framework to locate a missing person.
Those who reduce the American Indian Movement to a bunch of naughty uppity Indians and nothing more than betrayals, mischief and mayhem, have their own agenda. Trimbach insists there was only one Black man there. This simply isn't true. Veracity is an obvious problem, no matter who you think are the good guys and the bad guys.

Start with the facts. Did he go to South Dakota with four other African-Americans? Or was it three? A Black woman? Or three White students/activists from New York? When, exactly? These other people know and they are not AIM. So why are they keeping secrets?

Where was he immediately before? At a Vietnam Veterans meeting in New Mexico? Or Alabama? New York? Did he drive a vehicle or did he hitch-hike?

What coat did he wear? What kind of luggage did he carry? Jewelry, tattoos, etc.

Where was a Missing Persons report filed? When? Why did it take 44 years for him to be listed in the National Missing Persons database?

A lot of blanks to be filled in before it can be reasonably concluded he was killed in Wounded Knee. One more Cowboys and Indians story...and the Indians always lose.

6:30 PM  

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