The definition of a warrior-I think it a universal one: in the noun form it has been described as “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter”.
A single word in this definition excludes Dennis Banks-that word is brave. Warriors don’t flee with their tail tucked between their legs as has been the legacy of Banks every time a woman was at risk and a warrior would have stood his ground.
There is a long an honorable history of warriors forfeiting their own life for the protection of women-not handing them a weapon and telling them to cover their ass while they make good their escape.
Banks is the true marathon man, the true Forrest Gump, who tirelessly runs the length and breadth of the continent, running and denial are in his blood. I like that line from Gump about stupid is as stupid does-in Gump’s defense though he had a good heart and was a man.
Banks has been quoted as saying “When you have a spiritual foundation, you look at poverty differently then.” I would ask where is this spiritual foundation that seals the mouth of any when it comes to Annie Mae, or those who lie in unmarked graves at WK2? Where is the spiritual foundation that provides the comforts of a warm house and three meals a day when so many others have so much less?
Gandhi led an entire nation to freedom and owned only what he wore, a few books, a cup and a bowl to eat to drink and eat from-that’s a spiritual foundation. He didn’t brand and market Leech Lake rice or maple syrup under his name for personal profit.
He didn’t run from rez to rez seeking sanctuary, flee his country, or ever leave a woman in distress. An Ojibwe warrior? maybe when pigs fly.
Was this spiritual foundation bestowed by the “Professor of the Universe” Crow Dog, who has reduced himself to a website featuring him doing his pantomime with cloned in hawks flitting about in the background and faux thunder and rain in yet another attempt by that bunch to attach themselves to the gravy train? Let’s not forget that it was Crow Dog who in a fit of anger when Annie confronted him about the presence of alcohol at ceremonies that threw her out of “paradise” and branded her a snitch. Maybe it’s just me but I fail to see a spiritual foundation that would include a “monetary gifts” option and offer dvds for sale with the appropriate button attached to it. Sounds a lot like those televangelists.
Leaders lead, they don’t abandon and run. Leaders protect, not join in cover ups, or undermine the search for justice. And more importantly fathers are exactly that.. a father, and one who honors the mother.
“In sworn testimony, both Nichols and John Trudell, a former AIM chairman, have testified that in late February of 1976 Banks personally told them that a body discovered in the ravine was that of Aquash. This is curious, since the FBI did not positively identify the body until March 3.”
“In recounting his numerous encounters with celebrity, Banks proves once again what a truly bizarre country we live in. At one point, when he’s on the run from the law, Marlon Brando–with Harry Belafonte by his side!–gives Banks $10,000 in cash and the keys to his motor home. That act perhaps undermines Banks’s rather melodramatic characterization of his predicament at that time: “Kamook and I had become fugitives with all hands raised against us.” All hands, that is, except for those handing over 10 grand and an RV.” Money-a common denominator in all of this, and almost from day one.
Banks story is a common one as spoken by the AIM leaders of that time-their hands are clean, they are victims of a fed conspiracy, everything they ever did was the with best interests of their people, and ultimately they are modern day warriors in the finest tradition. If you don’t believe that just ask them. The truth of it is all such claims share a another commonality-that being their credibility is suspect.
The problem with being an Ostrich and thinking if you stick your head in the ground no one will see you is that your ass is left exposed for all to see- that’s enough to make a person go blind, so on second thought maybe the Ostrich knows something I don’t.