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Russell Means, Indian activist, actor, dies at 72
Question of the Day
Authorities believe three AIM members shot and killed Aquash on the Pine Ridge reservation on the orders of someone in AIM’s leadership because they suspected she was an FBI informant. Two activists _ Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham _ were both eventually convicted of murder. The third has never been charged.
Also in 1975, murder charges were filed against Means and Dick Marshall, an AIM member, in the shooting death of Martin Montileaux of Kyle at the Longbranch Saloon in Scenic. Marshall served 24 years in prison. Means was acquitted.
In addition to his presidential bid, Means also briefly served as a vice presidential candidate in 1984, joining the Larry Flynt ticket during the Hustler magazine publisher’s unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination. Flynt was typically a Democrat.
But Means always considered himself a Libertarian and couldn’t believe that anyone would want to call themselves either a Republican or a Democrat.
“It’s just unconscionable that America has become so stupid,” he said.
His acting career began in 1992 when he portrayed Chingachgook alongside Daniel Day-Lewis’ Hawkeye in “The Last of the Mohicans.” He also appeared in the 1994 film “Natural Born Killers,” voiced Chief Powhatan in the 1995 animated film “Pocahontas” and guest starred in 2004 on the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Means recounted his life in the book “Where White Men Fear to Tread.” He said he pulled no punches in his autobiography, admitting to his frailties and evils but also acknowledging his successes.
“I tell the truth, and I expose myself as a weak, misguided, misdirected, dysfunctional human being I used to be,” he said.
Means’ death came a day after former U.S. Sen. George McGovern died in Sioux Falls at the age of 90. McGovern had traveled to Wounded Knee with U.S. Sen. James Abourezk during the 71-day takeover to try to negotiate an end.
“I’ve lost two good friends in a matter of two to three days,” Abourezk said Monday morning. “I don’t pretend to understand it.”
Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton.
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