” HOW CAN YOU HONOR SOMETHING THAT HAS NO HONOR”
I saw this comment made in response to the above photo on the Leonard Peltier Still Guilty site- it of course is made in reference to the flag Russell is posing in, and a fair enough question if it represents the poster’s opinion.
But I would ask another-HOW DO YOU HONOR A MAN WHO HAD NO HONOR ?
A man that lied, scammed, hustled, and promoted his way through life.
A man who when push came to shove following his assault on his then eighty year old father in law and the Dine attempted to exercise their sovereign right to hold him accountable immediately launched into his now infamous Chinle defense where he made every effort to kick sovereignty not only for the Dine, but for all the nations under the bus to save his own singularly sorry ass.
Has everyone forgotten that’s what the nations have been fighting for for over five centuries? Have they forgotten the body count- the reservation system, the boarding schools? Have they forgotten our children had their heads bashed in, our women raped and gutted even if pregnant-their breasts made into tobacco pouches?
Would they say now that in the past when reservations agents enriched themselves at our expense it is somehow different if Means, Banks, and their cronies have done likewise? Is this what the last real Indians is about?
The better question is what has become of the last real Indians-where are they to be found? On the net pushing their wares or promoting themselves and their sites? Or showing up at rallies for an appearance fee? Are they the ones who have the “foundations”always dunning people for a donation for some “project”?
Are they the ones who obstruct and deny justice and closure for victims and their survivors-the same one’s who call anyone seeking those things feds, rats, and whatever other lies they can spew off their last real Indian tongues?
Are they the same ones who don’t have a damn word to say about the reality of rape and abuses our women and children face?
If so what does that make them-merely “controversial”?
How do you honor a man who says he knew who was responsible for the murder of Annie Mae but had given his “word” not to tell-choosing instead to prolong the grief of her children and family?
How do you honor a man who not only assisted in leading the assault on WK2 that ransacked, murdered, pillaged, and looted,the homes, businesses, and lives, of indigenous people, and then lied and boasted about it for decades? One cannot say his people because he was not Lakota.
How do you honor a man who was the equivalent of a Mafia Don in a criminal organization?
I know how it is done-by refusing to address the realities and instead say Russell was a “controversial figure” and leaving it at that.
But then genocide regardless of whose hands it is at is always “controversial” isn’t it? As are all the other crimes he and cohorts are guilty of.
I don’t much care about a lot of codes, like Manifest Destiny, and treaties that can be said to be “codes”, and I haven’t forgotten that the code of this flag represented death and destruction for our people just the same as AIM’s flag has-and I sure as hell don’t care about the code of Me-ism Russell lived his life by.
A personal code that commodified the misery, history, and poverty of indigenous people.
You cannot honor such a person-you can only honor the truth by speaking it. Something these last real Indians can’t seem to bring themselves to do.