Daily Archives: January 10, 2022

Black Mesa, Strip Mines and Lines in the Sand

Jack wrote this in February, 2006:

Morning blogsters:

I see on Mountain’s feed the leviathan is moving in another out-of-sight place.

This time it’s the forced relocation of Din’e families from Black Mesa.

I don’t know the nuances and issues here.  The last I remember hearing about Black Mesa involved a squabble between the Hopi and Navajo over a piece of ground both were occupying.  Must have been a quarter-century ago.

I gather from Mountain’s blog a law was passed to resolve it all, and that the Din’e must have won and continued to occupy the land until now.  Maybe the Hopi were relocated.

Now, evidently, the issue’s a different one.  Peabody Coal wants to strip mine coal there, and there’s the threat of relocation for the ones left on the Mesa.

Seems to me there are several separate issues here.

As for the relocation:  the Din’e are a numerous folk.  The Rez is the largest in the US (I suspect).

If they believe this is wrong and want to stop it, they’re able to do it, and they know perfectly well how do do it.

Mountain’s blog’s asking for petitions to be signed.  Sometimes petitions and legal action still work, even against the leviathan.

The Zuni managed to stop a strip mine cold through a lot of stirring and insisting through the legal system.  (That mine notice at the top of this entry didn’t happen because of Zuni determination, fighting the leviathan alone, and winning.)

But at the end of the day, this one might well come down to Din’e determination in other ways, standing alone, or with whomever else believes enough, is concerned enough, to join in.

If it comes to Din’e warriors drawing a line in the sand and facing the dragon alone, to people dying, so be it.  Sometimes that’s just how it has to be.  Sometimes we just have to gore our own oxen, sometimes we have to die doing it because we know what we are doing is right.

It’s what makes us men.

We’ve never been afraid to die for something we believed in.  If something’s changed that, we deserve whatever we get.

But any day is a good day to die if it ain’t in some drunken car wreck, some drug deal gone sour, some slow death of diabetes or fast one of suicide.  Wiggling and twisting in the web and calling it struggle until the leviathan comes to suck out whatever’s left of life in us.

We can go along being bought and paid for an awfully long time.  We can sell our souls to the leviathon a piece at a time, as mostly we’ve all done.  Until the leviathan comes to just believe it’s the way of all things and demands a piece that ain’t for sale.

We can beg and shuffle, and when he says, “YOU MUST!”, lower our eyes and say, ‘Sold’.

Or we can look him in the eye and say, “Come on ahead and do your damnedest.”

The Din’e can win on this one if they believe and if they’re determined enough.  But sometimes we all get so accustomed to losing in this life we forget how to win.

We’ve got to sing the song of life each day so when the time arrives to sing the song of death we’ll recognize it and know how to sing it.


(I see I’ve only talked of a single issue here.  But there’s another I’ll discuss later.  The strip mining of my, and your deserts so folks in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Tucson, El Paso, can fire up their hair dryers and air condition their homes.  I’m going to say some things about that, but in another entry.)