Reflections from the Ahnishinahbæótjibway (We, the People)
Quotas, such as Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, and Indian Preference are all racism. These programs are not designed by minorities; they are preferential policies designed by White men to maintain their racist structure. They are stopgap measures that seem to work for about a generation, hide the real problems, and divert the pressure for change. Because of the “generation gap” it becomes a perpetual motion machine, with the same problems coming back over and over again. The “White Liberals” and the “Far Right” are both protecting the same privileges in the White Paternalistic society. The elite only needs a certain number of henches and hacks, and dehumanized people who are cannon fodder, cheap labor, and the homeless are just as necessary to the maintain the structure. Why aren’t there helicopters dropping food and the Red Cross helping the homeless here? Some of the U.S. ghettos look like they were bombed out, but there wasn’t any United Nations Resolution behind “Urban Renewal,” which is another racist White linear-thinking social program. These programs all have White Backlash built into them; blame the victim—they were designed that way.
There are alternatives to these programs. The alternatives have to designed, owned, and controlled by the people that they benefit. Affirmative Action, and other preferential policies only change which of the subordinate classes get slightly better jobs; not who owns and controls the economic system. We can go for ten thousand years of “Indian Employment Programs” designed by Whites, and it won’t solve the problems. The solutions created by the White community are racist. Why send all Whites to the Reservation to work, and send all the Indians to Bemidji to work? That’s dumb, like school-integration bussing, which was intended to sell busses and gasoline and “create employment,” not to provide a good education for Minority children.
The way the system is set up, the “recognized Community Leaders” of any Minority community are controlled by the White community (in their back pocket or purse). For years, they have been talking about “economic development at Red Lake.” But these White-appointed “Community Leaders” all develop paralysis when it comes to actually developing a program that employs anybody but Whites (and maybe a few of their relatives in “token jobs”). It’s a lot easier to sit on your fat ass and be a rubber stamp, than actually have to go work, or even think for yourself. Just recently the 1934 I.R.A. Council signed a “Government to Government” agreement with Beltrami County for welfare and social services. $900,000 dollars (almost none of it County money) goes to A.F.D.C. grants—which are spent in Bemidji. $4,100,000 goes to administer the program, for “program costs” which go directly to the White community.
Hollywood, anthropologists, and other Technocrat P.R. flunkies have labelled the Indian community as “socialist” and “primitive Communist.” These con artists, who are Capitalists posing as Socialists, have the rip-off built right into the Indian (and other Minority) “social programs” on all levels. Capitalism ripping off Socialism. None of the programs come from the community that they are supposed to “help,” and they are not owned by it; they are owned by the State (and so is Bingo, gambling, and the school system).
The reality is that the State of Minnesota, and other White States including Christiandom, have always held the Indian’s Sovereignty. “Indian” is an identity created by the White man. This is written into racist hierarchial law in—among other places—Title 25 of the United States Code, Section 479, “For the purposes of this Act, Eskimos and other aboriginal peoples ... shall be considered Indian.”
“Indian” is a fantasy definition. The people in India are Tamils and Sikhs and hundreds of other ethnic groups. “Indian” according to the first definition in the dictionary is a category used by the British to oppress these people of South Asia. According to the second definition, “Indians” are White British men who have lived in India; it doesn’t say so in the dictionary but apparently “Indian” also includes the descendents of French Voyageurs who got caught between the British-Canadian and British-American armies and herded into the concentration camps called “reservations” along with the Aboriginal Indigenous People.
In the 1860 Census of Minnesota, racist strategies were used to disenfranchise these French Voyageurs; later they became “Indians” and are still disenfranchised by, for example, the Beltrami County Board’s gerrymander line right through Red Lake Reservation. Red Lake Reservation has about half the population that Bemidji does—there should have been a Beltrami County Commissioner from Red Lake a long time ago, as long as they want to put County Line signs up on our land.
Jim Crow and Affirmative Action are two facets of the same ugly thing—they are linear lies in Crooked English which have the sole purpose of keeping the people who have power, in power. From an Anishinabe Ojibway perspective, this “power” relationship is a parasite living off of a host. Jim Crow/Affirmative Action is part of the economic system; this economic system is a necessary part of the Utopia that the privileged few already have. Crooked English has many words and many definitions. It’s slick and slippery. The names change, the definitions change, outward appearances change—but the same thieving thought is here, there, and the underlying structure hasn’t changed for centuries.
When Moses was on his way down from the Mountain, he dropped at least one Stone Tablet and broke it. “Thou Shalt Not Lie;” “Thou Shalt Not Be Greedy;” “Thou Shalt Live In Harmony With Creation;” “Thou Shalt Not Foul And Pollute Anybody’s Nest” and “Thou Shalt Respect All Of Creation” never made it down the mountain. What goes around, comes around, and what turns, returns. It’s our turn to study the Indo-Europeans, his value system and his religion, and what his sicknesses of greed, violence, and linear dishonesty have done to the world. Civilization has to return to this continent again.