“A patriot sets himself apart in his own country under his own flag, sneers at other nations and keeps an army of uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries and keep them from grabbing slices of his. In the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for ‘the universal brotherhood of man’ – with his mouth.”
Mark Twain, excerpt from The Lowest Animal
Something that took me a while to accept is that truth is truth regardless of the language that speaks it-likewise wisdom and wit, whether it is acerbic, insightful, unconventional, or readily understood.
I thought, or maybe wanted to believe, no wisdom could be found outside of our own- I admit now I was wrong.
One of the more beneficial things I have done for myself was to begin to read, and I encourage all to adopt the habit.
Reading, learning, is a doorway, a portal to understanding- a tool to better equip ourselves to deal with the realities we must face-it surrenders nothing, it empowers.
Without the abilities it affords we would never have been able to make the advances we have, mount a legal challenge, understand the nuances, pitfalls, and carefully crafted inequities of agreements we as nations may enter into.
In this day and age the adage that knowledge is power has never been truer, never more necessary.
I have found that with what little I have come to know a greater appreciation for our people and ways has resulted-that the contrasts have become more obvious, shadows illuminated, and the value of our wisdom, our beliefs, enhanced.The needs more apparent.
Many of the topics we have discussed in this blog can be seen in Twain’s words-patriots and liberators who set themselves apart in their land and under their own banner.
Sneering not only at tribal convention but the traditional beliefs of their own people and that of the other nations.
They have had their “security” forces that were also assassins and heavy handed intimidators.
In the existence of various chapters they seek to make inroads into that of others while defending against like efforts, inroads into the sovereignty of nations other than their own-and they have for decades sought to wash the blood from their hands with their mouth, their words-this very same talk of brotherhood-yet the only brotherhood that has existed is one of silence, denial, greed, and deceit.
They are as Twain said-the lowest among us.
Makataimeshekiakiak -said essentially the same long before Twain: “How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.”
Little did he know it would have application for some among our own, and in doing so would speak to a greater avarice and greed, a greater betrayal.
That it is a standard, a metric, an indictment, that is not bound by ethnicity, nor the color of one’s skin, hair, eyes, nor the sound and cadence of the language they speak.
It is not Arapaho, Hopi, American, European, Cheyenne, Tewa, Dineh, Lakota, Comanche, Pima, Papago, Mexican, African, or singularly any nation-it is what is in the heart, or more pointedly what is lacking within it.
We have fallen and continue to fall-not in battle, not with honor, but at the hands of pillagers, murderers, and rapists-beguiled by words and our own pent up frustrations-a terrible need, a longing to strike back-to say we are a people not willing to endure more, no longer willing to have our children and aged live in poverty and the generational inequities of treaties and oppressive policies that determine our lives, mandate our rights and movement.
In this poverty, this frustration, we have turned upon ourselves, casting the very nature of who we are aside and replacing it with drugs and alcohol, rape and abuse, crime and corruption, when it is they we should have cast aside, driven from our midst…..and all the while they have found a way make a profit from every level of our misery.
We pace the confinement of the cage constructed for us-gnawing at our foot to free it from the steel trap that crushes it.
We found ourselves in a similar position to the German’s under the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, and like them listened to the voices of men who spoke of pride and revival, only to be plunged into a greater abyss.
The destruction that was WK2 is evidence of that, a revival of Sherman’s scorched earth policy-their willingness to sacrifice any or all of us-they have prospered while we have suffered.
It is our homes, our families who have borne the brunt-ours who have done without while they and theirs have not. They vacation and fly about the country while we struggle to put food on the table and clothes on our children’s and elders back, shoes on their feet, and a blanket when the snow swirls and the wind howls.
We raise our voice in protest-we seek to help another with no expectation of compensation -yet they demand tribute, the pieces of silver, as though an entitlement, and determine the effort they bring based not on the merit of an issue but the size of the fee they will receive and the level of publicity.
They sell a brand, an over inflated name of canned goods-whose ingredients if read would be passed over for the toxins and artificial contents contained within.
Government issued canned meat and processed cheese rebranded and presented as liberator prime and the finest of aged cheddar. Autographed jars of syrup -dented, swollen cans filled with what they claim is the nutrition of their wit and wisdom- a little something to feed the soul while we await the deliverance that will come and somehow linked to their personal wealth.
What manner of men are these-and what manner of people is it who will listen to, defend, or follow such as they? Are we to continue being slain by the jawbone of asses?