When you shuttle back and forth between sites like Annie’s page, Ray’s page, and the Peltier Still Guilty site there is a noticable ramping up of discussion, of facts and evidence being presented, making it increasingly more difficult for the deniers to offer anything credible in the way of a defense. Which then lends itself to the predictable name calling.
There is a cross section, a diversity not only of opinion but ethnicity and awareness emerging-that is a good thing, because the cultivated base for the free Leonard, free Graham, free whoever, has always been primarily the non indigenous, for a couple of obvious reasons.
One being that as a rule they generally are better off financially, the other is any familiarity they may have with rez life and the issues indigenous people face can be said to be of a secondary nature, an observer.
Not being there, not living there, and not experiencing the day to day they are dependent on the media, “autobiographies”, You Tube, and video “updates”. There are exceptions to this rule but they aren’t the ones I am addressing.
It is said American’s have a penchant for rooting for the underdog-if so it has taken them a while to realize that is the status of the nations, now that they have they throw their support behind the dogs that are barking the loudest, those that are most visible.
And as is the case in all “campaigns” it is those with the deeper pockets who have access to a greater visibility.
Commonly among the nations few have this access, and those recognizable ones who do, do so as the result of a concerted effort to first and foremost promote themselves-that requires the effort to “own” a topic.
Something that is current and resonates with the majority-as in Russell’s endless droning about matriarchy while never have lived it, or being dedicated enough to address the issues of Annie Mae and the “reign of terror” indigenous women suffer at the hands of rapists and abusers.
It is campaign talk-that and nothing more-and like campaign talk vacuous, self serving, and lacking substance.
It seems as though in this diverse gathering they are now looking a little deeper, digging beneath, rather than merely scratching the surface, and like a sleeping giant beginning to rouse from their slumber.
No thinking, reasoning, person can compare the realities of the murder of Annie Mae, Ray Robinson, or that of WK2 with those the AIM leadership has offered up and fail to have doubts-to look at it as a puzzle and not realize there are pieces that have been hidden and in their place substitutions that do not fit.
In this penchant to champion who is perceived as the underdog all it should require is a comparison of the live styles that Means, Banks, Bellecourt, Crow Dog, and others are living as opposed to the ones they profess to speak for-the differences are glaring.
Once that is done then the question should be asked who and how does one profit from the misery of others? What form of “service” is it, and what is the motivation? Is there a single justification for selling ceremonies?
Having done so the next logical step would be to review the ever changing stories they offer up, the constant state of flux and revision these stories are characterized by, and ask the same question of who and why.
This isn’t rocket science-it doesn’t require a remedial reading class, only openness and a willingness to accept what is obvious.
So by all means champion the underdog, champion justice, express the compassion you have, but take the time to educate yourself and not cast the pearls of your good intentions, your compassion, at the feet of swine-sow them where they will serve the purpose you intend-where they will make a difference your effort desires.
Hopefully that would be those many who share the familiar misery of rez and urban ndn life-not the walkers and talkers, not the “liberators” and “patriots”.
Not those who stand convicted for their crimes, and those who hopefully will be as well.
There are children out there, our children, who are oblivious to the games of their adult counterparts, yet bear the burden of them-elders who are aware of them and can do nothing-because the end game for AIM was and has always been to marginalize elders, to usurp the position they held.
These usurpers would now attempt to present themselves as elders-they are not in any sense of the word as we employ it-they are merely aged, and the same as they have always been-nothing has changed.
Many of these children are suffering the abuses of abject poverty, of parents or a single parent who in trying their best cannot provide what is needed-and sadly parent(s) who place their own pursuits first.
Children, women, who suffer physical and sexual abuse that these erstwhile heroes have done little or nothing to address. Have you seen so much as one lone “update” by any of them that has candidly addressed these issues? One that has said many of our women and children are targets for this sort of abuse?
Christmas toy drives? Nice public relations move, but calculating, and one designed to profit from the innocence of children as well who only know the reality of a toy in hand or the lack of a decent meal.
How about a drive to create safe havens, or a drive to confront these issues for the destructive and shameful reality they are?
How about creating communal bs free zones devoid of all this-all this campaigning and lying? A haven where children can revel in the simple joy of being a child, where women and elders can sit in comfort and security to visit and share, and perhaps to laugh as well.
To do any of this would strike at the heart of brotherhoods and the warrior myths they propagate. It would call into question their claims, their manhood-and lay the blame of the existence of such shortcomings squarely at the feet of men and counterfeit leaders where they belong.
I would have our children to truly be the children of men, of warriors, and all that implies.