Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Stephen W. Russell (
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 18:09:17 -0500

On 5 Aug 1996, Gerold Firl wrote:

> term)
> Keywords:
> In article <>, "Stephen W. Russell" <> writes:
> |> Eric is in the resistance mode. Your are in the conquered peoples mode.
> |> If you want Eric to change his mind about who he is, what you have to do
> |> is quite simple: kill him.
> I would like to better understand this form of resistance. Eric is a
> special case; the pathology and perversity of eric brunner is that he
> works so hard to create enemies where none existed before. He is so
> anxious to be victimized that he that he plays the noxious clown ad
> nauseum; that particular mode is guaranteed to always find resistance.

Personally, I think he's a gentleman and a scholar, although he does have
a talent for poking at tender spots.

> Are you familiar with the nature conservancy?

I was a member for many years before I abandoned making a living for

> It was interesting to note
> that the money was not nearly as important as the hope and optimism
> generated by success.

Money is seldom important to Indians. Standing within our community is.

The man who made it happen actually got his start
> when he was in the army, stationed in postwar germany. He saw a
> defeated people pull together and rebuild, based not on hatred and
> resentment, but on a common goal of building a future together.

Big difference. Compare Germany after WWI, when we did not remove our
foot from their necks, to Germany after WWII, when we did. Most Indian
nations are more like post WWI Germany.

ad hominem against Brunner bobbitted
> What is your longterm vision for the american indians?

Truthfully? I think we ARE going to die out. What do you do with people
who have no interest in pursuing wealth?

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?

My people were sendentary farmers before the Euro Invasion. The second
time Euro demands destroyed our way of life, we had a higher literacy
rate than the people who moved in after we were evicted at gunpoint. The
tribal college from the third time we were done in is still operating as
Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Nobody wants to traipse up and down the country after the buffalo herd.
The Plains people will have to speak for themselves (except in the matter
of the Lakota and the Black Hills, where they have been very clear). It
is in the nature of freedom that it includes the freedom to fail. Our
right to self-determination does not depend upon accounting to someone
else for what we wish to do with it, but all three of my tribe's periods
of prosperity were superior to our situation now whether judged by our
values or yours. And all three were ended by what the invaders did--not
by our failure to adapt to changing times.

> Lets step back a couple of paces at look at amerindian reservation
> culture. The lifestyle has some major problems.

Yes. It creates a "leadership" in competition with traditional
leadership, a "leadership" defined by ability to get to the federal
teat. Divide and conquer, right?

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.

Maybe your experience differs from mine. As soon as I retire from this
second career, I'm going home. I know very few urban Indians who do not
ache to go home. We have to go where the jobs are to support our relatives.

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 don't "hate outsiders." Hell, we don't even have a reservation
anymore---haven't since the Dawes Act. I am more comfortable among
people who share my spiritual values. I would rather purify myself with
going to water than with a sweat, but the sweatlodge is an intertribal
fixture. I am well aware that over half of my tribe is Christianized,
but those of us who are not need a place where we do not feel odd.

> I had hoped that eric was an isolated case, but maybe he isn't.

I hope not. Indian intellectuals need to remember who they are. Eric

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.

I have NEVER been ashamed to be Indian! I have, now and then, been
ashamed to be American. I understand that I am responsible for being both.

Steve Russell>