Call it doubling down or two fer Wednesday as you will but this is the second post of the day.
There are elements of truth in this characterization of having lost something depending on the interpretation of lost.
If a person had their wallet or car stolen would they refer to having lost them, or having them stolen?
As a people we didn’t “lose” anything, we had it stolen from us as the result of of concerted effort of genocidal conquest.
The genocidal history this country was founded on isn’t nor has it been a conversation the government wants to take place.
Sure they’ll make a carefully crafted reference to it on occasion when they believe it serves a purpose, maybe a little public relations- but what it will take is a truth and reconciliation commission like the one South Africa instituted when Mandela was elected, this one with independent international observers like the U.N. and U.S. call for related to elections in other countries.
A commission that sought to confront the past and then move forward – the only approach I believe that actually has value and takes the long view.
The loss of land regardless of how that was affected remains a major issue among the nations as it should, and the loss of additional land continues to this very day.
But there are other losses no less important that produce an equally devastating impact.
The question that must be asked is how many of our people have been lost?
Not just in battle, sickness, or the attrition of old age, but lost when it comes to language, to an understanding, respect for, active participation in the traditions, ceremonies, and communal standards that defined us as a distinct people?
This is another genocide we must face, a genocide we need to speak as forcefully against – it is the genocide of culture, and the bottom line is much of it is being authored within our own communities – we cannot continue pointing the finger and assigning blame to everyone but ourselves.
I liken it to a bad habit – people who smoke and wind up with cancer blame the tobacco companies…bottom line? Nobody held a gun to their head and made them smoke.
Bottom line….no one is holding a gun to our head to tolerate the presence of gangs, alcohol, drugs, the abuse of women and children, or the marketing and corruption of our ceremonies.
If our traditions and way of life are becoming corrupted, being lost within our communities that is where our initial focus must be, if not then we may as well spit in the wind for all the good it will do and accept the role others would culturally impose on us.