Monthly Archives: September 2020

Quid pro quo maybe

Jack wrote this in July, 2006:

I was in here working on the numbers when I heard Tabby talking through her nose thumping the screen door.  Went for a look and she had a mouth full of young finch.

I took it away from her.  Didn’t appear to be too badly injured, but was in that catatonic-I-ain’t-waking-up-to-die thing birds do, so I cupped it in my hands and shot some healing and calm into it.

About five minutes of that and the heartbeat was strong, it began to stir and do a bit of minor struggling.

So I took it over and put it on top of the trash barrel to see if it could fly.  It did.  Flew to the porch where Tabby was sitting, watching.

In less time than it takes to tell it she had it again.  This time there’s no question of me taking away from her again.  Meal time.

So, Mr. Bald Eagle.  Come in and get me, coppers.

J

The Rez – “Where commodity cheese rules!”

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

I was browsing Native American forums, blogs and websites, reading about white racism.  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.

Racism 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 racism 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.

Okay.

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 a racist.

Somewhere inside yourself you believe Native Americans are more ignorant than you, less intelligent, less responsible, shiftless. 

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 heavenInstead, you hug yourselves with good feelings about all that’s being done for the NAs.  Give yourselves warm huggies.

And they hate you for it.

Nobody loves a racist.

Jack

Some thoughts about that 700 mile fence

Jack wrote this in October, 2006:

I keep hearing about the multi-billion dollar 700 mile fence debate, despite myself.  At first I thought it was a silly idea, doomed to just be a way of pouring a lot of money into the pockets of contractors using cheap Mexican labor.

But on second thought, if approached properly, I think it might be a boon, an improvement in the lives of a lot of people.

Consider this.  Suppose, instead of hiring contractors to build that fence and spending all that money, we use labor from our fullsome prisons.

Each day we send, say, a couple of thousand prisoners down to the International Border with a suitcase full of clothes, a pair of running shoes, hammers, shovels, and a hundred or so bucks to buy refreshments while they work.

For each group of a hundred or so, a guard.  A guard hired from one of the sheriff departments.  You know the sort.  The kind who would consider it a cramping imposition to squeeze another person into the front seat of a full-sized automobile with him.

The fence might take a while being built, but it would pay for itself many times over.

For every illegal alien crossing northward for honest work, hundreds of prostitutes, gang-raped-to-death 20 year-olds who got caught with an ounce of weed, wife beaters, child molesters, gangsters, robbers, and politicians-caught-with-a-hand-in-the-till would probably escape to the south.

They’d have all their fences behind them.  Those prisons in the US would empty, the cost of maintaining them would vanish.

All those folk who used to be prison guards would have to go back to selling dope to school kids, doing stickups at convenience stores, and eventually they, too, would have their day in the sun.

I like it.

A win-win-win is rarely seen in this life.

Jack

Avatar Meyer Baba

3.22.03 and back ups 095JackCDbackupJune03 173

Avatar Meyer Baba

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

Who were you
And what happened?

In 1969 someone built
A shrine in the desert
A shrine for you

Maintained it for many years
Fresh palm leaves inside
In the alter area
I believed so long
Was an urn
For your ashes
I thought

Fresh paint on the shrine
The sign kept your picture
There, safe

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

Chain link fence
Around an acre or three
Set up with water
Electricity
Sewer
Connections
So the world could
Come to you here

A world that never came

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

I watched the keepers
Grow old
And never saw them

Watched the paint crack
The palm leaves
Gradually became
Less frequent
Until they ceased

Replaced
In favor of
Easier plant life

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

And knew

Those who remembered
Were stooping
Under the weight
Of years

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

Revisited after a pause
Three years ago
And found the names
Scratched away
Bernal Rubias
Reyda Fresna
Maybe

Your picture
Torn from the sign
Deleted
By vandals
Or

Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

“I am the ancient
And I come
To Redeem
The modern
World”

A world that never came
But
Desert sun
Creosote
Yucca
And oven wind

 

From Poems of the New Old West by Jack Purcell, copyright 2003
(This shrine can be seen in Columbus, New Mexico)