Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

November 11, 1994

The election is over, and you did it again!  You said you were going to “kick the rascals out,” and you voted the same old ones, and some new ones who are just as bad or worse, right in to office.  The American electorate, most of whom did not look beyond shallow campaign rhetoric of which candidate was going to execute the most “criminals,” got just what they deserved for the next term, while these newly elected rascals raise your taxes and steal your autonomy and paycheck.  If there isn’t a big payoff, why would California Senatorial candidate spend $20 million of his own money for a $90 thousand a year job, if he wasn’t going to get his investment back (plus interest and a big tax break) in kickbacks and sweetheart contracts.

1492 SYNDROME: California’s Proposition 187 made history as one of the many election-year con jobs, diverting the attention of the voters—as the duly elected government legislatively picked your pocket, while slapping you on the back, kissing your babies, making sweet campaign promises and telling you what a great sucker you are.  The Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted immigration reform advocate Sally Vaugn about the massive Chicano demonstrations against Proposition 187: “How would people in Minnesota feel if 100,000 Canadian immigrants marched through the streets of Minneapolis carrying Canadian flags, shouting anti-American slogans? ... The arrogance is just appalling.”  The ruckus over “illegal immigration” is like the pot calling the kettle black.  If you get right down to the nitty-gritty, the people who call themselves “Canadians,” “Americans,” and “Indians” are illegally here, squatters and carpet-baggers.  The self-righteous people complaining about “illegal immigration” are foreigners and outsiders themselves, living on stolen land.

ROLE PLAYING: According to the Los Angeles Associated Press, former Acting President Reagan “disclosed ... that he has Alzheimer’s disease.”  Reagan has spent too many years in Hollywood.  When he was elected President in 1980, he didn’t know what was happening, he didn’t know where he was going, and he didn’t know where he’d been.  He’d had so many roles in the movies, it seemed as though being President was just another acting job, and he got the difference between playing roles and reality confused.  For Reagan, Alzheimer’s has come to the rescue, and is giving him a post-facto justification for his most-often quoted sound bytes, “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” and his paraphrasing Dirty Harry, “Make my day.”

KISSING COUSINS:  Western Civilization and their Indian identity have already destroyed the community and the family, so that 90 closely related Shakopee Sioux can’t get along.  I have always said that there is not one issue about which the Indians can get together in solidarity, and I know—I’ve tried to get people together to improve the community, and there are always Indians who will stab you in the back.  Maybe one of the problems was that I’m not an Indian and I’m not a White man, and any time the Indians manage to get something done, there is always a White man behind the scenes running things.  One of the factors is also that the Indian doesn’t own his own identity—the Indian identity is a fraudulent caricature which is given to him by the White man, so that the Indians would be used to replace the Aboriginal people.  Living a lie makes it impossible live harmoniously.

The volatile issue about which the Shakopee Sioux are quarrelling is tribal enrollment—and the per-capita payments from Mystic Lake Casino which come with enrollment.  The Shakopee Sioux are Sovereign and are wards of the U.S. Government under trusteeship and the self-proclaimed plenary power of Congress; and the Indian Casinos are minority business front operations, where management decisions are being made by the White man, as they always have been.  Indians are kept—by their very identity—in a position of political powerlessness, and part of the sham of the Indian identity is taking their frustrations out on each other.  That’s the way it’s always been, on all the Indian Reservations and among other oppressed people.

Instead of quarrelling about “tribal enrollment” and who’s got more “Indian blood,” why don’t they just pay the Casino per-capita payments proportionally, on the basis of Indian blood: a person of 1/4 Indian blood would get 25% of what an Indian fullblood would (if proportional per-capita payments were made on the basis of Aboriginal blood, very few of them would get paid).  If the Shakopee Sioux were to re-determine their Indian blood quantum on the basis of their genealogy, some of the present enrollees would get about ten bucks per capita, and some would get a buck three eighty—but I guess that’s better than nothing.


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