Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Paula Sanch (
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 23:29:50 GMT

S.NEMETH@IX.NETCOM.COM (Stella Nemeth) wrote:
> (Paula Sanch) wrote:

<big snip>
>> It is in that same fashion that
>>you owe to Black Americans (or whatever their current preferred
>>nomenclature is - I'm getting old enough to be distinctly more
>>ethnocentric each year - which does not mean that I do not identify
>>with their sufferings. I participated in the civil rights activities
>>in Mississippi in the late 60s;

>I'm not sure here. Are you saying that you have paid your dues and
>therefore you, personally, don't "owe" Black Americans? Or are you
>saying that because you are a Native American you don't "owe" Black
>Americans? Or are you just giving an explanation of why we shouldn't
>think you are a racist? (Quite unecessary, IMHO, since I don't think
>you are one in the first place.) Or are you giving an explanation of
>why you don't "owe" Black Americans but I, as a Jew, do?

Well, I wasn't exactly trying to say I'd paid my dues to any group,
but rather the dues that I believe each responsible human being owes
to others.

I don't really see how I can explain parts of my position in this
without more Bible quotes, and I don't especially like doing that in a
non-religious forum (and I have yet to see a religious forum on Usenet
that wasn't total pandemonium, but that's irrelevant). My beliefs say
that I should "owe no man anything save to love one another." Some
stripes of Biblical literalists take this to mean that debt is
immoral. I won't take a position on that (I've already got enough
enemies <g>), but *I* take it to mean that sort of obligation which
dictates behavior and attitudes.

>OK. Let me tell you where I stand. I had to make a decision to
>"forgive" Karen. Karen was the 12 year old friend of my daughter when
>she was 12. Karen was born in Germany. <snip Holocaust references>

>As a result, I've decided that I am also innocent of anything that I
>didn't personally do to someone. That means that if someone two
>centuries ago, when my family had their own problems on another
>continent or two was mean, nasty, rotten or downright murderous
>towards your family, I DIDN'T DO IT. And I'm not guilty of it either.

>I'm only guilty of the things that I, PERSONALLY, have done to other
>people. I only get credit for those things that I, PERSONALLY, have
>done for other people.

If you're interested in what I personally believe, I don't personally
blame any human being now alive for the conquest and despoilation of
my (and others') Native American ancestors. I *do* believe that
everyone who is blessed with "this world's goods" has personal
obligations toward those who don't, particularly WRT those who are the
descendants of groups who were systematically deprived by aggressive
and oppressive societies/governments/groups. *Much* of the pain and
suffering among minorities in the US could be ameliorated by the
government's simply fulfilling promises made to their ancestors.
Tribal peoples whose solemn treaties were honored would not (in I
think nearly every case) need any further assistance from anyone.
Those who maintain the ways of their ancestors to any remote extent
place strong values on sharing both material and spiritual goods, and,
when self-governed along ancestral lines, will neither oppress nor
cheat their "brothers".

Whatever I personally think of the Black Muslims, they have a point in
that freed slaves were to have been given land and livestock. Had
this happened, the playing field would have been leveled in a time and
manner which would have prevented much of what we see today.

>If I can forgive, I can receive forgiveness.

>If I am guilty, in your eyes, of every nasty thing anyone who is white
>ever did during the history of humankind, what are you guilty of?

>If you can't forgive, you don't get forgiveness either. Where do you
>draw the line?

Oh, I'm *quite* aware that I must forgive. There are people for whom
I pray, on a daily basis, simply because otherwise I would hate them
in my heart. While I pray for them and their well-being, I am not in
danger of hating them, and am able to forgive them their personal
injuries to me.

>It is a good thing to learn about your heritage. It is a good thing
>to try to bring that heritage into the next century, to look after
>those of "your own" (however you decide to define that) who need help,
>and to generally enrich each of the cultures you belong to with the
>good things of each of the others.

It's also good for the heart to try to help other people, as one sees
their needs and perceives one's own resources for meeting their needs.
My object is to be perfectly frank, without hurting anyone's
feelings. My next impossible goal is . . . I dunno yet.