Sept. 10th, 1955, Gunsmoke – Season 7, Episode 34 “The Boys”
Professor: “Yessir, we’re gonna bleed this town white!”
The professor, named Pa, heads a family of grifters and robs a stage dressed as Indians, killing and maiming the riders. Then they talk the Dodge town folks into hunting the “Indians” for pay.
Banker Hank Green:-“We gotta do something to protect ourselves from those Indians……”
The grifters go out and kill three innocent Indians. “Just like shootin’ fish in a barrel”….
Hank Green: “Well Marshall, it looks like our Indian troubles are over. …”
Hank Green: “Ain’t no such thing as an innocent Indian. …”
Matt Dillion: “That stage wasn’t held up with bows and arrows. Do you see what these men have done? They have gone out and murdered three innocent Indians.”
Hank Green: “There ain’t no law against killin’ Indians….”
Matt Dillion: “Those are men-I don’t what color they are and they’ve been murdered. That’s the dirtiest money you men will ever earn…”
There were a lot of messages early media taught us. In September 1955, segregation was still in effect, yet by December Rosa Parks had been arrested, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott was beginning. Termination of Tribal and Sovereignty rights had been underway since 1953. In doing so, Congress attempted yet another land grab from Native Americans.
Yet here was Matt Dillion, by all accounts a great upstanding mythical American hero, speaking from his heart for three Non-Christian men of color. I say from his heart, because, as Hank Green indicated, it wasn’t illegal to shoot them, then, in Gunsmoke land.
Don’t give me any simplistic crap about “Old Yeller”. You gotta wonder about the metaphor of rabid behavior that someone like Ted Nugent presents when he invokes that yellow hound. It appears he got stuck on Disney level and his parents didn’t let him stay up for the westerns. It’s unfortunate ’cause he is still having tantrums. Maybe that usurped western hat he wears hides tears and teenage angst.