Militiamen and So Called Patriots Do not Support the Cause of Indigenous Sovereignty

Obama announcing that Riverton Wyoming is now under Indian jurisdiction.

Obama announcing that Riverton Wyoming is now under Indian jurisdiction.

Many white people say they support the treaty rights of indigenous people. Those people are invaluable allies. Many say they do but do nothing to show it. Let’s explore this a bit.

Earlier this year President Obama in a rare show of support by a sitting US president announced that the town of Riverton Wyoming and around one million acres of land in the surrounding area were part of the Wind River Reservation and that they must be returned. The state of Wyoming, Republicans, and militiamen all over the country spread  the story. “Riverton Wyoming told they are not part of the United States.  Well Riverton Wyoming is not part of the United States. The Wind River Casino is in Riverton. The town has no problem with all those casino revenues. Interesting.

Now in the wake of the Cliven Bundy situation, I have written and article on this blog that challenges the two sided justice Indian people are receiving in Nevada. Drawing attention to the fact that the Bureau of Land Management had released the Bundy cattle while in 2003 Carrie and Mary Dann had 504 cattle confiscated and sold at auction because they were grazing on tribal land. Now I am being attacked on all sides by militia nuts who say 1) I am a racist 2) I hate Mormons 3) Let’s all stand together against the evil government.

So I wanted to write this piece to call out to all of these socalled new found friends to say a couple of things. First I want to know, do you support the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone in the return of Riverton Wyoming and the 1 million acres to the tribe? You see Republicans and militiamen in Wyoming have also raised the alarms of black helicopters and tyranny over this issue. Well do you? Do you support the honoring of all treaties being broken even if it means that you yourself may have to move into a new home purchased by the US government to make way for Indian people to come back home?

If you do not support the honoring of all Indian treaties you are not supporting American Indians or the indigenous people of this land. It is quite simple. Another example? The Black Hills were promised to the Lakota people in the Fort Laramy Treaty of 1868. This includes an area of 8,400 square miles. This is an area almost the size of New Hampshire or 7 times bigger than Rhode Island and almost exactly the size of New Jersey. The Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the treaty was still binding but found that it was unreasonable to honor the treaty at this time. So the US government offered an miniscule amount of money to get the Lakota to relinquish their claim. The Lakota turned the money down. The land must be returned. If you claim to support Indian people then you will support these treaties. There are hundreds of treaties that have been broken. It is time they be honored.

Militiamen are quick to run to the defense of a millionaire Mormon grazing on public land and refusing to pay the grazing fees. The fact of the matter is that most white people and especially white people out West are in no hurry to support indigenous land claims. Many white people do support the honoring of treaties and I honor them.The militia movement was founded in this country by men like John Trochman a former white supremacist, many of the militia organizations in the country were founded by right wing fascist who hide behind the American constitution and it’s flag.

Look at the case of the Arizona minutemen Shawna Forde who has been convicted of killing a Latino father Raul “Junior” Flores  and his 9 year old little girl Brisenia. This was a robbery gone wrong where the Minutemen were looking to make money from robbery. There have been reports in Arizona of the Minutemen shooting Latinos crossing into the US and others. Do indigenous people have any allies among these extremists? I do not think so.

It may be tempting to look for allies among these American thieves but remember their main line. They SUPPORT THE US CONSTITUTION in its original form. What does that mean? We know what it means Indigenous people, African people. all nonwhite people were not considered human. Slavery was legal. Women did not have right to vote. Thomas Jefferson himself authored the Indian Removal act first in 1803 and then it passed under President Jackson. So do we really have anything in common with a bunch of militiamen threatening federal agents to protect a Mormon who says it is his “divine right” to graze on stolen Western Shoshone land? We do not.

Several have posted on this site. “We are all in this together”. So I challenge all you militiamen and Republicans out there. If you support Indigenous people, then support the return of Riverton Wyoming back to the Wind River reservation. Support the return of the Black Hills. After that happens maybe we might believe you when you say you are on the side of indigenous people.

Millionaire Mormon Ranchers Always Get Their Way, Indians Get Off Of Your Land!

In the news in the last week has been the story of a downtrodden millionaire rancher who has refused to pay the Bureau of Land Management grazing fees for 20 years.  Cliven Bundy refused to pay grazing fees on federal land and invited 1000 of his militia Nazi buddies who were heavily armed to release his confiscated cattle. The Federal government backed down yesterday to a bunch of Neo nazi shit kickers. Add to this menagerie of assholes is that Bundy is claiming his right to continue bilking us out of our money the fact that “my Mormon faith teaches me I have a right to this land”. What a load of shit!

.White Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy who refuses to pay for grazing on public land. Government Backs Down After Heavily Armed Militia Nazis Show up to protest.

White Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy who refuses to pay for grazing on public land. Government Backs Down After Heavily Armed Militia Nazis Show up to protest.

Now contrast this with the treatment of Western Shoshone Tribal members Carrie and Mary Dann in 1998 after grazing cattle on land that was rightfully theirs since 1973 the US government ordered them off of their own land. In 2003 Federal agents with back up from local cowboys swept onto the Dann sisters traditional grazing lands in helicopters, on ATVs, and on horseback they confiscated 504 horses that belonged to the Dann sisters. at one point elder Clifford Dann doused himself with gasoline to stop federal agents to no avail. In the end the Federal government hung a 3 million dollar bill around the Dann sisters necks and kept their horses. Mary Dann passed on in 2005 at the age of 82. Carrie is still with us. The Western Shoshone land claim was upheld by the United Nations. The United States refuses to acknowledge the treaty.

Carrie and Mary Dann Ordered by the BLM to remove livestock they owned from contested Shoshone tribal lands. Forced to comply.

Carrie and Mary Dann Ordered by the BLM to remove livestock they owned from contested Shoshone tribal lands. Forced to comply.

So here we are in 2014 and white ranchers are still using their faith to steal our land and Indigenous people who have a real and spiritual claim to the land are still being herded, harassed, and intimidated into giving it up. Had Cliven Bundy been an Indian we would be talking about a dead Indian. White millionaires just have an amazing ability to get whatever they want.

Personally, I believe that Indian people should follow Cliven Bundy’s lead and forcibly seize treaty land back. If all a millionaire Mormon rancher has to do to refuse to pay his taxes and invite a few friends with M-16s over to the house and wave the guns at federal agents then I guess that is what Indian Country should do. The last time I checked when people did things like this the government was accusing them of ‘acts of terrorism”. I guess not. I guess this means it’s open season for anyone who wants to steal from the government.

The absurdity of the BLM to back down in this situation is staggering. Because he claimed that according to his Mormon faith he doesn’t have to pay for grazing fees? Really? The legal ramifications of this will resound all over the country if the US government refuses to hold this “cowboy” accountable to the same standards that a person of color, a poor person, or anyone else for that matter. The head of the BLM is either in on the gag or is a yellow chickenshit wimp.

The memory of the proud Dann sisters standing up to demand that the Ruby Valley Treaty of 1863 be upheld. In 1979, the Us government offered the Western Shoshone miniscule amount of money to abandon their claims to the land. 80% of the Western Shoshone people voted against the settlement and the tribe, the nation, demanded the treaty be upheld. It has never been upheld. This situation is extremely troubling. The fact that the land that Cliven Bundy was grazing his cattle on was possibly on disputed Ruby Valley Treaty land that had been stolen from the Western Shoshone is more than ironic.

If the feds refuse to hold Cliven Bundy accountable for his tax liens then I say they can hold no one accountable. None of us should pay this sham government a penny until it has honored all treaties with the indigenous people of this land. What right do they have to round up some poor indigenous folks livestock for non payment of BLM grazing fees on THEIR OWN LAND and then walk away when some redneck millionaire screams “I’m a Mormon this land is mine”.  All of this happens on a backdrop of a government that stole a trillion dollars from the tribes that was then paid back 10 cents on the dollar in the Cobell Settlement. The BLM, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the entire US government to blame. Troubling, troubling indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life With Bubba, The World Is Being Held Hostage by an Entitled Pissed off White Guy

KKK Gathering in Bowling Green KY our team was able to get close to and take pictures

KKK Gathering in Bowling Green KY our team was able to get close to and take pictures

Bubba this is not your country. You are a visitor here. You need to grow up and realize where you are. You are on stolen land. Everything here older than a hundred and fifty years was built by slaves. Your nation has murdered millions. You are lucky to be alive.

Throughout my life, I have worked with, lived around, been terrorized by, been raped by, have listened to, have counseled, have fist fought with, and have become exhausted, and bored with these “angry white men” who are allegedly misunderstood. As few as three years ago I was working alongside an angry brooding white man  listening to Rush Limbaugh in his head phones and lecturing me about the lazy blacks, the pissed off Indians, the goddam Mexicans, and his biggest issue women. According to him women and Jews controlled everything. And of course the rapidly vanishing control the white man had over this country.

He was a man who loved to threaten to “go get a truck load of Mexicans to do this job” anytime my African American co-worker and I complained about anything. Anytime he was alone with me he tried to pull me aside and reason with me, I guess because I was a lighter shade than my co-worker he felt I might be a kindred asshole. I am not.

There are many on the left who want to coddle these types. Assign them oppressed status. To treat them as some lower class people. Lower than who? American Indians? African Americans? Latinos? Women? Other white men who go to work at a shit job everyday and refuse to hate everyone different than them? I am sick of playing this game.

My Father grew up poor white trash and became a minister and civil rights activist in Greensboro NC. His father was poor white trash. My Grandfather on my mother’s side was an indentured servant at the age of 13, his father left him before he knew who he was. My grandmother on my mother’s side American Indian and White, was a union school teacher from Sebree Kentucky her entire life. I grew up with the luck to have some role models who decided not to reach out to the oppressor to lead them out of poverty. There was never a piece of land in either branch of our family until you get back to the civil war and my Grand mothers Great Grandfather was a POW from the South. He owned a plantation that was seized for back taxes in the early 1900s. So I have Bubba credentials out the ass. I have spent my entire life fighting bubba, educating bubba, and escaping Bubba. So I can’t really hear some bullshit about how we should be nice to ignorant Bubba cause he don’t know no better. He does. I am part Bubba and I say we need to kick Bubba’s ass until he joins the social justice movement on the front lines. Other wise Bubba is useless to us.

This entire planet is being held hostage by Bubba, who is voting against his own interest, joining militias and hate groups, is full of venom and hatred the South lost the civil war. Fuck Bubba, if Bubba can’t see that it is rich white people who are at the root of his plight. This whole thing about Bubba saying “at least we aren’t black”, is racist throwback bullshit and we cannot afford him anymore.

He complains about people being on welfare while the majority of people on government assistance are poor white people.He complains about losing the family farm? Who is he losing it to? American Indians? No! African Americans? No! White developers and factory farms after he loses it to the bank. The reason he turns to blame it on people poorer than himself? Because it is easy to pick on poor people and it takes a courageous warrior to stand up to those more powerful and wealthier than himself. Poor Bubba. Fight back or get the hell out of the way Bubba.

I cannot hear some shit about Bubba is of a lower class than me, cause he is not. Bubba beat my ass for 20 years, every goddam day. My father beat my ass till I was 18, the neighborhood kids beat my ass and raped me until I was 14, I was fighting from the time I was 9 until I left my fathers house. I worked from the time I was 14 to this day. Until I went to college I worked an assortment of shit jobs. After I got out of college I worked an even greater assortment of shit jobs. I drove a taxi for 14 years while I was learning to be an organizer. So I really can’t hear this shit about Bubba being a misunderstood wild animal who is incapable of reason.

I have some questions. So Bubba is poor and the militia movements are made up of people like Bubba. Right? So do you know how much a fully automatic AR15 costs, and then ammunition? If Bubba is so poor and so oppressed where is Bubba getting the money for full automatic weapons and ammunition? This bit about the militias being made up of poor white men is bullshit. They are wealthy land owners who are forming right wing paramilitary organizations to police and to build an apartheid government in this country. They are pissed because they are no longer the  majority.

They are willing to wage another civil war to keep white people in control. That is the bottom line. There is no room for sympathy with a Bubba like that. Meanwhile the left is rife with people who will chastise you for challenging white men for being culturally insensitive to white men?  We aren’t attacking them for being white. No we are attacking them because they need to be attacked. They need to be made to feel uncomfortable about their privilege.

Bubba this is not your country. You are a visitor here. You need to grow up and realize where you are. You are on stolen land. Everything here older than a hundred and fifty years was built by slaves. Your nation has murdered millions. You are lucky to be alive.

 

How the Mascot Issue Got Drowned in the Bathtub and We Missed the Colbert Bump

How the Mascot Issue Got Drowned in the Bathtub by Thomas Pearce

For decades the American Indian Movement, the United Church of Christ, and the National Congress of American Indians have used displays like the one below to show the public how we feel about the Mascot issue. Recently Steven Colbert was taken to task for making the same comparison to shame the Washington Franchise.

Display put together by the National Congress of American Indians making same point as Colbert

Display put together by the National Congress of American Indians making same point as Colbert

 

So what is this all about? Steven Colbert said this about Dan Snyder’s new horribly offensive nonprofit the ” Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.”

Colbert:
““Folks, this move by Dan Snyder inspires me, because my show has frequently come under attack for having a so-called offensive mascot, my beloved character Ching Chong Ding Dong….Offensive or not — NOT — Ching Chong is part of the unique heritage of the Colbert Nation that cannot change. But I’m willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitive to Orientals or Whatever….I owe all this sensitivity to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. So Asians, send your thank-you letters to him, not me.”

 

Suey Park a young activist in the Asian American community took issue. So now in 2014 Suey Park is demanding a stop to caricaturing on her people’s behalf. It might ring true, might, if she had bothered to join us in our call for an end to racist mascots from the beginning. As of yet I have not seen her comment ( until on Thursday 4/3/14., long after she first responsded) on the mascot issue. Her silence on this along with her budding online friendship with Michelle Malkin tells me that I smell a rat and it smells like right wing crap to me.

From all we have seen she didn’t post a comment anywhere saying she was against racist mascots until early Thursday evening 4/3/14, on her Facebook page. It should have been front and center one of her main points from the beginning. Let us me clear, I  do not agree with or condone statements against her that have been full of hatred, sexism, and racism. I am not saying she should not have expressed her opposition. I am saying she should have done it in a way that said more than “Cancel Colbert”.  She told Salon that she never intended to cancel Colbert and that she was a fan. I am saying the message is garbled and unclear and seems to have served Dan Snyder and the Washington Franchise more than anyone.

Let me get this right, churches have drawn the comparison, the National Congress of American Indians have drawn the comparison and somehow when the issue gets the spotlight on a national TV show that lampoons the racist behavior of Dan Snyder, the R*DSK*NS owner. Now it’s gone over the line?

What is fascinating, is that, I have watched while Ms. Suey Park, who claims revolutionary bona fides, is cozying up to Japanese internment camp apologist and right wing hack Michele Malkin – and she seems to be getting away with it. Well she is famous now. Hope she is happy. She could have stood with American Indians challenging mascots, but this seemed to pay more. The craziest thing is when Colbert announced after Park’s calling for his firing, he would be sending any money sent to him be donated to Snyder’s racist charity? Park nor anyone else said anything. I have watched while she has floated pay pal accounts to raise funds for several pet causes. She knows how to work the internet, that is for sure.

There is obviously racism going on in this country against Asian Americans, there is obviously racism against Indigenous people. The absolutely stupefying thing that comes out of this issue is how the Mascot issue stays for the most part invisible and how a mere skit could trigger this avalanche of anger.

Several Asian American writers like Greg Watanabe have gotten it right in their writing in this.

In his article “Why Suey Park got it Wrong” Greg states: “There are a couple of different things I find problematic with this. One, I think that one can make a point about anti-Native American racism using an example of anti-Asian racism. It’s not the entirety of the argument, not the fundamental crux of the argument of why anti-Native American racism is fucked up, but a point can be made.”

Vernon Bellecourt, former American Indian Movement leader, always said: “if the Irish want to have a protest against the Notre Dame Leprechaun, we will be there. If the Norwegian people want to have a protest against the “Vikings,” we will be there, we just ask American’s to leave us out of their fun and games.” So I wonder will Suey Park be at the next protest against the Washington franchise? or the Cleveland franchise? I hope so. If not I find her hell raising over Colbert’s skit to be a hollow horn of a counter revolutionary who saddles up next to fascists like Michele Malkin.

In my life time there is only one time I have disagreed with someone claiming to be the aggrieved party  to a racist insult. This is the one time. I do not disagree with her screaming “That Shit is Wrong!”. I disagree with her failing to stand in solidarity with American Indians when the issue of racist mascots was briefly and fleetingly in the lime light. She has a great opportunity to be someone building a bridge between indigenous people and the Asian American diaspora in this country. It seems to be an opportunity missed.

It is fascinating that no one has ever called the United Church of Christ, the National Congress of American Indians, nor the American Indian Movement racist for making the comparison that Colbert did. We have printed posters with caricatures that portrayed Chicano, Asian, Jewish, and African mascots with the tag line “How would you feel”.  The late AIM leader Michael Haney once dressed as a Klansman at an Atlanta Braves game and was quoted as saying “why don’t you change your mascot to the Georgia Klansmen”? Some found it offensive, no one called Mike racist.

Neither Suey Park, nor Michelle Malkin, nor anyone else has ever called us racist for this. The timing of her reaction almost seems to be too good for Dan Snyder to be coincidental. It seems maybe someone like Dan Snyder may be behind this. It is very interesting. It seems Dan Snyder and the R$dsk*ins have found a human shield in Suey Park.

Thomas Pearce is Co-Chair of the American Indian Movement Indiana and Kentucky