It’s more than a little disconcerting to me and should be to everyone that a first generation citizen honors and knows more about liberty, freedom, justice, and equality than does the newly elected president, his cabinet appointees and a dysfunctionally conservative stacked Congress and Senate.
In the sixties during the UFW strikes and boycotts the treatment and abuse of farmer labourers became so egregious that Senator Robert Kennedy went to California to discuss the issues with growers and workers.
During one such discussion as they broke for lunch Kennedy suggested the growers take the opportunity to read the Constitution.
To read the Constitution isn’t enough in itself, nor to pay lip service to it’s contents in the midst of attempting to undermine it.
If the Constitution is a “living document” as often referred to then it must also be nurtured rather than suffer the slow death of a thousand cuts.
American Exceptionalism has come to mean taking exception to the basic fundamental rights of all people and those specifically enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
On the subject of rights people should also familiarize themselves with the 9th Amendment that speaks to rights not specified but none the less exist and have not been ceded.
As indigenous nations we are capable of telling others what it means to have these rights abridged, to be excluded from the protections they afford, to be denied the vote, what being denied a voice or being held captive by a hostile government means.
And make no mistake about it, the current administration is a hostile one seeking only to impose it’s will.
Those who protest and resist will become known as a “problem” just as our people became the “ndn problem”.
Justice if it follows the model applied to us as nations and individuals will be withheld, manipulated, or ignored.
Five hundred plus years speaks to this from the landing of Columbus, to Plymouth Rock, and now to Standing Rock and comparable sites where corporate greed takes priority over people and the environment.
I submit that it is a revealing commentary when a first generation woman born of immigrant parents seeking a better life and the nations have a greater understanding and respect for liberty and equality than elected officials, Wall Streeters, and beer guzzling Neanderthals waving the discredited flag of the Confederacy.