Tag: American Indian Movement

Aug 28

American Indian Activism at the DNC

I would have hoped that the Longest Walk that began in February and ended six months later, would have brought the issues of the truth about the suicides on reservations, the lack of justice on reservations, climate change, alcohol and drug addiction in the American Indian population, health concerns of American Indians, and the worries of the American Indian People in general into the public domain. It doesn’t seem like it did, and the same message is being given at the DNC in the midst of all that’s happening.

May 21

These Also Died for Their Country

My stepfather’s brother died with other Marines on the beach at Guadacanal during World War II.

My best high school friend was killed in the early days of the Vietnam War.

These men will be honored at next Monday’s Memorial Day ceremonies along with nearly a million of their soldier, sailor, marine, coast guard and air force compatriots who gave their lives in military service. No distinction is made between the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars most Americans would consider righteous and the hundreds of thousands who were killed in the furtherance of bad causes or died in vain because their criminal or reckless leaders sent them into harm’s way for greed, stupidity or empire. Those who fought in gray uniforms in a war of secession are given the same reverence, the same moments of silence, the same commemoration of sacrifice as those who wore blue into battle.

It doesn’t matter whether they were white boys from the First Tennessee Infantry Regiment who fell in the land-grabbing war with Mexico in 1847, or black soldiers of the 93rd Infantry Division fighting Germans in the war to end all wars, or Japanese-Americans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team slugging their way through Italy while their relatives lived incarcerated in camps back home.

It doesn’t matter whether their name was Hernández, or Hansen, or Hashimoto. Nor whether they caught enemy shrapnel or a bullet from friendly fire. Nor whether they were drafted or volunteered. Nor whether they died fighting for liberty more than 200 years ago at Bunker Hill or crushing it more than 100 years ago in the boondocks of the Philippines. On Memorial Day all American warriors who lost their lives are honored because they did lose their lives.  

With one exception.

Oct 22

Go Indians! (Vernon Bellecourt R.I.P)

A friend from Taos Pueblo invited me out for a drink the other night.  Turns out she had something on her mind.  “I hardly ever ask you to do anything.  You have to write a blog about the Cleveland Indians mascot because of the World series.” It’s a big issue in Indian Country.  And so, I am carrying out my friend’s wishes.

And, as it happens, Vernon Bellecourt, a leader of the American Indian Movement, was buried last week, so this story serves as a memorial to him, too.  The depiction of native peoples by teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins, and countless college and high school teams around the country is unconscionable.

(I put this in for the music only – and a reminder that no matter who thinks sports mascot protests are too serious and “PC”, there’s always lots of laughter in Indian country):

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Sep 10

Under Surveillance

Granny Doc posted a Daily Kos Rec List diary about new surveillance on deck after the end of this month.  But surveillance is nothing new.  Big Brother was watching me back in the 1970s.  And lots of other people, too.  It’s certainly not pleasant, but one adapts to it.  And it has its funny moments, too.

Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about the subject of surveillance, in response to seeing the film The Lives of Others, recently released on video.

So, the purpose of this diary is mainly to get particular about surveillance.  Surely I’m not the only one around who’s been “watched”.  Perhaps, someone else has a tale to add.