Johnny Cash– Ballad of Ira Hayes
I was browsing Native American forums, blogs and websites, reading about ethnic supremacy. One NA has a signature mentioning the Navajo Rez, “where commodity cheese rules!”
Don’t get me wrong. The NAs on those sites weren’t complaining about all the privileges they get that non-Native Americans don’t.
But the accusations and complaints about racism in this government and among non-Natives got me thinking on the subject.
Ethnic supremacy manifests itself in a lot of ways. Including patronizing, providing special privilege and freebies for no explainable reason.
I had to conclude, after thinking on it a while, they are absolutely right. I can’t fathom any other explanation than ethnic supremacy for the commodity cheese, health care, tax-free land, and all the rest:
- Do you (and your government) believe Native Americans are stupid?
- Do you believe after more than a century of generations being schooled the same as your own children, that Native Americans are more ignorant than non-Native children when they come to the legal age of maturity?
- Do you believe they are lazy and irresponsible?
I’ll bet you answered no on all counts.
So think about it.
Why are you providing Native Americans free commodities you have to pay for?
Why, exactly, do you believe Native Americans can’t get jobs, same as you do, to pay for their own food?
Why do you provide them roads and schools on the reservations with your tax money, when you have to also pay for the roads and schools in your own communities?
Why, exactly, do you believe Native Americans can’t pay taxes to build schools for their children and roads in their communities with their taxes the same as you do?
Why do you believe they shouldn’t pay property taxes on their lands, same as you do?
You have to worry, try to find health insurance, pay for dentists, plan and save, give up other things so you can assure when you or your kids get sick there’s a doctor, a hospital. Braces for their teeth, dentists to drill the cavities.
Why do you believe Native Americans can’t provide for their own health and dental care, same as you do? Save, sacrifice, plan. Same as you have to do in your own life?
The reason is obvious enough.
You are an ethnic supremacist. Somewhere inside yourself you believe now, today, Native Americans are more ignorant than you, less intelligent, less responsible, shiftless.
Almost 150 years after your ancestors finished killing off as many as they could catch and sending the surviving ancestors of the ones living on the Rez today to live on reservations you’re still thinking of them exactly the way your ancestors thought of them. Still telling them indirectly there’s something primitive inside them keeping them from being able to function in a modern world. Still telling them they’re victims, even though they were born naked same as you and I were.
You believe they are a bunch of lazy drunks and can’t work, can’t plan, can’t take responsibility for their own lives.
No matter how much you pad it with sensitivity and phony warmth, with sentimentality and fantasies about how sweetly they love the land, with excuses about how badly men who have been dead centuries treated other long-dead men, the bottom line is you believe they can’t make it the same way you do.
If you didn’t believe they were all those things, you’d scream to high heaven. Instead, you wrap yourselves with good feelings about all that’s being done for the NAs. Give yourselves warm hugs.
And they hate you for it.
Nobody loves an ethnic supremacist.
Afterthought: Ira Hayes didn’t die drunk in that ditch because of anything white men did to his ancestors. He didn’t die in that ditch because of anything white men did directly to him during his own lifetime. Ira Hayes died in that ditch because he didn’t come home from WWII and do what the other men pictured in that flag raising did when they returned. He died in that ditch because it was what was expected of him.