Friday, December 3, 2004

Found on the Web

Natives must educate America, or perish Growing anti-Indian movements threaten to destroy many of the gains that Indian country has made Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images file Anti-Indian movements might be angling to utilize California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a spokesperson to greatly raise their public profiles. Full Article at MSNBCI did not grow up on the reservation, but have seen more than enough of it, because of my involvement as an adult working in the various levels of tribal government. My grandparents left the rez many years ago because of the in-fighting. The MSNBC article disturbed me very much. How can one group of people in this day and age, have so much hatred towards them? How can people be banding together to form ANTI-INDIAN organization, is this not the 21st century? What happened? Oh, I know, we're making money and this pisses people off, because they're not getting any. I encountered this first hand this weekend while at a holiday party. A friend of the host's, in an effort to make conversation with me, was telling me about her neighbor and how all he did all day was sit at home and collect money. I didn't quite understand so I asked: what does he do? Nothing, he's Indian and he get casino money. Oh, this is going to be a good one, so I grabbed my drink, sat back and listened further. At this point, I've only met this girl once before, and not really spoken much with her, so she has no idea of my background, forget that I have dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin and high cheekbones, never mind that most people with a brain don't figure me as Caucasian, but I digress. She explained to me that now her and her sister were looking into their roots and they really weren't sure on where to look for information, and what did I think about it. How they thought that since their neighbor was entitled to this free money, she should be too, since she was Indian. In an effort to keep me from shaking her violently, I asked questions. Such as: so what tribe are you? oh! you don't know, it's your grandfather who knows because he's the Indian, oh! he doesn't know either? Note to self: If have a claim to something, at least know what you're claiming, she had no idea, and your grandparents obviously knew they didn't have enough of a claim, that they didn't even bother. Let me further explain that this neighbor of hers is affiliated to a California tribe (of which she did not know which one) and she was from back east and thought that "they must be connected somehow". Her next comment was what drew me out of my calm and serene place. "Well these people should be happy (meaning the tribal members) that we're trying to find out our heritage". At which point I told her point blank "THEY DON'T WANT YOU" (you money grubbing whore (I wanted to say that but was attempting to have a grown-up discussion without name calling)), why should a tribe want someone if just to give them money, someone who really has no interest, much less knowledge about their heritage. Why would a tribe want to help propagate more ignorance and negative stereotypes about them, from this money grubbing whore. After an hour or so of conversation, I just had to but an end to the discussion, because "it was still free money" and she did not get it. It's situation like this that I would like to avoid, if only rez indians would come together and wake the fuck up of what is going on in the world around them.Read the article and come to your own conclusions.