Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Stephen W. Russell (
Sat, 3 Aug 1996 16:32:34 -0500

Last time I looked, Bubba, Euro-America still claimed to have a
representative form of government. Indians were not dealt in until 1924,
after all the deals we are complaining about were cut.

You are right that the U.S. is responsible for other bloodbaths, just as
we (when we talk contemporary, I have to eat it too) remain the world's
largest weapons dealer. I wasn't unaware or hiding it. It just didn't
seem germane. Was what the Nazis did to homosexuals ok because they did
more of it to Jews?

Now, whether you can disclaim a treaty because your name does not appear
on it is, I suppose, a question of political and/or moral philosophy.
The legal end is clear--not even Monaco could do business if every
citizen had to sign every treaty. And if you are not bound does that
mean I am not bound?

There may be an Indian tribe somewhere that was not victimized and there
may be one treaty that was kept. Your knowledge of history may be
superior to mine. I am ready to be enlightened, if that is the case.
When my tribe has its statutes printed, we put every US treaty in the
book--about one third of the whole book--in spite of the expense and in
spite of the fact that not one of them was worth the paper it was written
on. Now, whether we wear the victim shirt is a choice in only one
way--it is possible to give up tribal enrollment and deny being Indian.
Many do.

Now if all this crap was ancient history, your innocent act might go
over. But the sixty-odd AIM deaths on Pine Ridge with no investigation
compared to the acknowledged perjury to put Leonard Peltier away for the
deaths of two FBI agents in a fire fight is fairly fresh while Peltier
remains one of the few internationally acknowledged political prisoners
in this "free" country. The whining and footdragging over NAGPRA
continues as we speak. And don't forget the Supremes telling us that the
only remedy for violations of the Indian Civil Rights Act is habeas
corpus and that there is no private right of action under the American
Indian Religious Freedom Act.

How about the gutting of Indian education funds last session? How about
the continuing dispute with the Lakota over the Black Hills wherein some
of the poorest people in the country keep turning down breathtaking sums
of money because they did not sue over money--they want their sacred
lands returned.

Remember how the snail darter held up a TVA project until Congress
acted? My people had a lawsuit claiming inundation of sacred sites that
was rolled over like we were nothing but roadkill on the highway to
manifest destiny.

Here in Texas, we have been ten years trying to get legal protection for
Indian graves under state law (since NAGPRA does not apply to most of
Texas). A school district fought the Alabama-Coushatta tribe all the way
to the Supremes over allowing Indian boys to wear their hair in a
traditional manner.

The Kickapoos literally lived under an international bridge until a few
years ago when they received land for a reservation from a private
donor. (Kickapoos were on the Mexican side in the Texas Revolution.)

I could go on and on. There is old stuff past, old stuff still going on,
and new stuff coming along every day. No, an Indian cannot choose
whether to be a victim--he or she can only choose whether to be Indian.
There are so few of us left it is pretty easy to hide, even with dark skin.

I have heard all the mythical advantages to being Indian. No taxes to
pay. Free tuition. Indian Health Service. Myths. We pay taxes and
tuition and avoid IHS when we can afford to even in the few places where
it is available.

Advantages to being Indian? Just one. Connection to cultures that have
figured out how to coexist with the rest of the world rather than chewing
it up and spitting it out. A connection to a whole universe with no
separations among religion/government/philosophy/psychology/art/medicine/law.

I understand that you have no desire to live that way. Fine. Put us
back in a situation where we are not required to elect bureaucrats for
their ability to kiss federal butt and leave us alone. We haven't been a
threat to you since 1876.

Steve Russell

On 3
Aug 1996, Chris Cracknell wrote:

> In article <>, "Stephen W. Russell" <> wrote:
> >Maybe so, Hoss, but some of those T-shirts have blood all over them.
> >Fairly recent blood, as in the '70s on Pine Ridge.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
> And dozens of more bloodbaths all over the world.
> There are those who are the victims, and then there are those who just like
> to wear the T-shirts.
> And if you insist upon addressing me as a character from Bonanza, can I
> please be "Little Joe", I never much cared for Hoss.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> >Just live up to your written agreements
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> I wasn't aware that I had written any agreements. What agreements have I
> written and how am I failing to live up to them.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> >and leave us alone to be who we are.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> I didn't realize I was preventing you from being who you are. What exactly is
> it that I've done that's prevented you from being who you are.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> >Simple? You start keeping your word
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> And just what word of mine is it that I'm not keeping?
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> >and we would need your charity about as much as we need your liquor.
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
> I wasn't aware I was giving you charity. I thought the clothes I was setting
> out were going to the diabetes association. And I'm not sure about your need
> but I can tell you that that's not my liquor.
> (The anti-Hoss from hell!!)
> --
> -=<Atari 2600 Collector and Wethifl Musician>=-