Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


July 21, 1995

On the twelfth of July, the Minneapolis Star Tribune had an article in the Metro section reporting the jury’s decision that the Native American Press/Ojibwe News publisher and staffwriter were “not guilty” of “defama­tion of character,” or any of the other charges filed by Noreen Beaulieu Smith.  Bill Lawrence was not name-calling, he and Gary Blair were reporting the news accurate­ly; what they wrote was the truth—and, sooner or later, the truth always comes out.

SUE INDIANS:  In other news, the two Indians who got a humiliating and dirty ride in the trunk of a squad car won their case against the City of Minneapo­lis, although the settlement awarded to them by the court was only a fraction of the damages that should have been paid—they’ve been sold out before, and they were ripped off again by their lawyer.

The Minneapolis police were “not guilty” of violating the Indians’ rights—it was the Minneapolis cops who did it.  The difference between the police and the cops goes like this: when they wear their cap or helmet, they’re policemen.  But, when they don’t have a cap on, they’re only cops.  The cops are the ones who put the people in the trunk of their car, not the police.  What the cops did is also known as “trunk and Indian,” and even cops should know that without a designated driver, “trunk” and “Indian” don’t mix.

There’s a new movie out, “Indian in the Cupboard.”  I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve been wondering what strange characteristic it is about Western culture and its mythologies, that these people always want to stuff Indians in the cupboard, or in the trunk of a car, or any place else that’s out of sight and out of mind.

After the French and Indian Wars, the British stuffed the defeated French Indians out of the way, in prisoner-of-war camps.  Their heirs changed the name to “Indian Reservations,” and stuffed the rest of the French Moors, the fur trade half-breeds, the Indian Chiefs, and even the aboriginal people onto the Reservations and into the invented identity of “Reservation Indians.”  Re-naming things seems to be a European trait (their Bible tells them to give everything names—so they’re great at name-calling).  They can’t leave it alone, and they’ve changed the names again, this time to “Indian Nation;” and to keep their “Native Americans” from contaminating the WASPs, they’ve re-segregated them (after a phase of assimilation) and called them “sovereign.”

The immigrant Euro-Americans seem obsessed with segregation—they segregate themselves in the suburbs, and segregate their minorities and ethnic groups in ghettos and in rural poverty (they should call this place the Un-united States).  The animals in a zoo are also segregated—but would they be a sovereign nation?  The people in the ghettos are segregated and isolated as thoroughly as Indians are on the Reservations—the way I see it, they’re set apart by matrilineal ancestry, so using the White man’s crooked linear logic, the “other America” must be sovereign too.  The people in prisons are also segregated from society, so are they sovereign or is it just apartheid under another name?  What exactly does this word “sovereignty” really mean?  It seems like forked-tongue speaking, because making human beings into wards of the government under trusteeship is a human rights violation, but I don’t see how this kind of “sovereignty” or sivilization has any connection to that claimed by the United Nations, the Queen of England, or the Roman Empire (whose heirs are here).

MORE MYTHOLOGY:  Burger King, which sells ecologically devastating fast-food hamburgers, has a new promotion scheme based on the movie Pocohantas.  Have you seen the Indian caricature on their french-fry packages—boy, is he ugly, and I mean ugly!  He’s even uglier than the Ka-lai-jah, the wooden Indian across the street from Paul Bunyan in Bemidji.  Everybody’s getting into the Disney-promotional tie-in scheme.  The rumor is that there is a new perfume coming out, also based on the Pocohantas mythology.  It’s called “Beaver Tail,” and it’s an irresistible lure which only attracts Squaw Men, especially those square-jawed Europeans who are tall, blonde and blue eyed.  It would have been more accurate to call this new perfume “Genetic Engineering,” or maybe “Continental Conquest”—because the origin of Indians begins with a Squaw Man, and the Europeans depended on their Indians to steal this Continent.

The mythologies of the Western European man and of his Disneyland are interesting.  I wonder what would have happened if Ka-lai-jah or Chief Wahoo found Cinderella’s glass slipper?  Would the South rise again?  Would anybody say anything if Uncle Tom romanced Princess Pale Moon, or would Aunt Jemimah spend her life as a spinster?  Would Disney, Inc. spend millions of dollars making a buxom, glamorous and highly promoted movie about either story?

ORIGIN OF MAN: There are many different myths and theories which different cultures have about the Origin of Man, and two of these theories are in the news again because of the prayer-in-school issue.  (This is an example of the Western hierarchies’ classical diversionary tactics, as well as being social engineering legislation no matter which side wins.)  One of the most hotly debated pseudo-controversies is Darwin and Spencer’s evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest.”  Darwin’s brainstorm was inspired by sitting on an island with an intact ecology (which he didn’t see—he called it “wild”).  This Galapagos island had not yet been exploited by Western European man, although it had been inhabited by Aboriginal people since time immemorial.  What Darwin thought he saw was animals rapaciously devouring other animals, but he did not understand that the predators were only practicing ecological euthanasia by eating the weak and the sick who would have died anyway—they did not kill to extermination like the people of Western so-called Sivilization have done for millennia, shooting everything and letting it rot.  The inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands lived in balance and in harmony, but Darwin couldn’t see it because he was culturally crippled and a prisoner of his violent language.  Darwin should have pursued his studies farther, gone back to Western Europe and sat on one of the islands there, and then written about the consequences of “survival of the fittest” on land which had once had a balanced ecology like that he saw on the Galapagos islands, but had been plundered into a barren rock.

A POKE IN THE RIB: Western European scientists’ theory of origin is the “Big Bang.”  The principal competing theory is that of Adam and Eve.  It looks like Adam married his own rib—did he commit a sin, or was that was before sin was invented?  I don’t know what he said when he introduced Eve at a social occasion, did he say “and here’s my wife—my rib” or did he say “this is my apple-polisher.”  To me, this Good Christian mythology features a role model of the ultimate in incest, promoting a very effective way to create a gene pool with recessive and mutated genes.  People who claim “this is only a myth” should think about what their scientists are doing with the condors and the wolves and other “endangered species.”  Instead of admitting that they destroyed them, they’re following the Adam-and-Eve theory of origin, using a few individuals to re-create an artificial, crippled species full of recessive mutations and other genetic defects, which has no chance of surviving in a demolished ecosystem and polluted watershed; in cities filled with guns, drugs, crime and violence; in suburban trophy-rooms; or in D.N.R. offices.  They should face the consequences—they’ve already forced them into extinction.  They can’t escape the destructive patterns in their English language, and the Westerners want to make this Continent into a wasteland like old Europe—if they’re so homesick for a trashed ecology, why don’t they just move back to Europe and leave this place alone.

My telephone number is (218) 679-2382 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56601.

Wub-e-ke-niew


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