Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Paula Sanch (
Tue, 06 Aug 1996 13:07:37 GMT (Gerold Firl) wrote:

> People like eric brunner who
>are consumed with hatred, shame, and spite, will always be in
>"resistance mode", but what good does it do for anybody?

Gerold, Eric is certainly not consumed by shame or spite, AFAIK. I
*doubt* he's "consumed" with hatred, either; he seems to be far too
functional as a person in society for that to be true. I know; I've
*seen* people who were consumed with hatred. They can't hold decent
jobs in unprotected environments (lots do seem to wind up in the US
postal service, however, which is a very sheltered environment in many
respects), and, in general, they can't maintain close personal
relationships, even with their families. I don't think he would have
been able to court and win a wife (pardon the old fashioned
terminology, please), either, unless he was pretty functional in
inter-personal relationships. The fact that he is adversarial on
occasion is, IMO, unfortunate, but he's got plenty of company; it's
*hard* to be adversarial if nobody's willing to fight with you.

>What is your longterm vision for the american indians? Where would you
>like indian resistance to lead? Personally, I find the idea of vast
>tracts of american land being set-aside for a
>hunter-gatherer/horticultural lifestyle to be very romantic and
>attractive, but unless our total population drops considerably, it just
>doesn't appear practical. What would you like to see?

In case you hadn't noticed, the US population is dropping, if one
excludes immigration. In fact, there are people in SF circles (and
probably other futurists as well) who are worrying about a population
implosion in this and all high tech societies, given the birthrate
trends in said societies. (Personally, I'm cheering the non-breeding
on. In an environment where one need have little fear of infant or
childhood mortality, breeding more than replacement is conspicuous
consumption, IMHO. And I do feel that *everybody* would benefit from
lower population densities.)

>Lets step back a couple of paces at look at amerindian reservation
>culture. The lifestyle has some major problems. Could it be that the
>kind of hysterical pathology evinced by brunner is a form of cultural
>innoculation created by the reservation culture to prevent dissolution?
>Surely many young people on the reservations would seriously consider
>the possibility of leaving.

Believe it or not, most NAs value their culture enough to wish to
preserve as much as possible of it. Check out how many Navaho youth
return to their rez after a college education. Check out how many
never leave. I use them as an example, not because anyone on this
list is of that group, AFAIK, but because they are higher profile than

The reason why I'm of mixed blood and was raised in white society is
that both sets of my mother's grandparents made the conscious decision
to live white (or as white as they were allowed; depends on the
community and era). It is my understanding that they made their
decisions based on a love of freedom; the realization that they
couldn't live on the ancestral lands; the whites had violated a
Supreme Court decision in order to kick them off; and the knowledge
that the land in (now) Oklahoma was nothing like their beloved green
mountains. The areas where they did settle were hilly and green (one
set in western KY; the other in eastern MO). My mother and all her
surviving sibs married white. This doesn't mean that I don't
self-identify as Cherokee. You betcha I do. I'm not ashamed of my
white relations, but they all know where I stand (and mostly love me
anyway <g>).

>This phenomenon is seen throughout the
>world today, where formerly isolated tribal cultures are melting into
>more mainstream/globally integrated cultures. But if young people can
>be indoctrinated with a sufficient dose of hatred for outsiders, and
>shame for themselves, then they will tend to stay home. This is a
>poison far more dangerous than mainstream oppression.

I know that it's unthinkable to you, but it's not hatred, but *love*
that motivates them (us); a love and appreciation for who we are; the
same kind of chauvinism which motivates you.

>I had hoped that eric was an isolated case, but maybe he isn't. It is
>important for indians to feel pride in their heritage. For decades
>indians have felt ashamed to be indians, and I'm glad to see that is
>changing. But it must be coupled with a forward-looking vision, and a
>healing of past wounds, to combine hope with pride and move towards a
>better future. That's the only way we're going to get there.

The best way to heal the wounds of the NAs is to start honoring solemn
treaties *and* free Leonard Pelletier.
My object is to be perfectly frank, without hurting anyone's
feelings. My next impossible goal is . . . I dunno yet.