Tag Archives: lakota

I respect Native Americans and other minorities because it’s so dehumanizing.

Imagine it readers.  Someone saying aloud, no hint of humor, “I respect white people!”  Imagine that bullshit.

Now, turn that around and imagine you’re hearing what you’ve heard a thousand times from the lips of a white person speaking about this or that minority group.  Or women.  [Parenthetically, I think males, especially white males, are the minority in the US gender-wise.  I haven’t checked the statistics, but I recall somewhere women live longer than men because they don’t have the stresses, wars to fight, and don’t have to do the hard, dangerous work all us men do just for the fun of it.]

Anyway, think of it.  Suppose you were a self-respecting US citizen of color, and some white person said to you, “Hey man, I respect blacks.”  Do you suppose he’ll just figuratively roll his eyes back into his head and grunt?  Or will he say, “Just what the hell are you talking about you freaking lying hypocrite?  You believing your own bullshit again?”  Because it ain’t like he’s been living on the moon.  He’s living in the world where the prisons are full of black males, where black males are gang banging, selling black women off to prostitution, and strutting around being proud of it.

How the hell could anyone except some stupid white person insult, dehumanize decent black people who aren’t doing those things by saying he/she ‘respects’ generic, stereotyped, cardboard cutout blacks?

Same with Hispanics.  The only Hispanics a person could claim to respect and mean it across the board are the ones illegally crossing the US/Mexico Border to work their asses off for peanuts doing anything lazy assed US citizens don’t want to do.  But just saying, “I respect Hispanics,” is to stereotype them in a way any fool knows is a blasted lie because it simply isn’t possible in the real Universe.

It’s a similar with Native Americans.  That’s because the insult is compounded, squared and cubed.  Probably 90% of people guilty of even thinking such assinine thoughts have never even spoken to anything remotely akin to whatever the hell they think a Native American is.

There ain’t any such thing, is what I’m saying.  No such thing.  No such thing.  There are Lakota, Zuni, Navajo, Mojave, Mescalero.  As different from one another as a NYC black trumpet-player living in Greenwich Village is from a bayou Coonass in Louisiana.

About the only thing descendants of  aboriginal tribesmen in North America have in common is white people and Mexicans and blacks.  Every Rez is full of people who know how stupid white people, Mexicans and blacks are.  The Rez is full of stupid people too, but mostly they don’t know it.  But they could be a lot stupider than they are and still recognize how stupid white people, Mexicans and black people are.

And they’re damned well sick of being dehumanized by being respected by them.

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

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Minneconjou Lakota Texan – another busted stereotype

Long memories

A few old guys of the same species sitting around Kerrville, Texas wondering where the world went.  Each too different from the others to guess which parts they missed.  Old guy the others knew walked up and sat down.

Silver gray hair in a ponytail, 70ish, shorts and sandals with athletic stockings, heavyset.  We shook hands and I studied his features.  In Texas he looked definitely out-of-place, though he could have been Hispanic throwback gene pool.  But something in the features and skin pigment had me suspecting he was a Navajo or Apache.  A curiosity because Native Americans aren’t much drawn to Texas as a home.

Finally my puzzlement got the best of me.  “Where are you from?”

He grinned at the others, then at me.  “I’m Swedish.”

Yeah, but what TRIBE Swedish?”

Minneconjou Lakota, it turned out.  Born in a US Public Health hospital on the Rez in Minnesota.  Mama a party woman, no idea who his pappa was.  Reared by his grandma, then sent off to Indian School.  Learned to be a welder and pipe-fitter.

By 1970-or-so he was up in Alaska on the North Slope a few years building the first Alaskan pipeline across the permafrost.  Had a few stories to tell about that, then all of us began picking his mind for all manner of details.  “How deep did they have to go setting the pilings holding up those pipe joints?” How were you housed?”  And so on.

Turned out all the oil from that field was shipped directly to Japan.  US refineries weren’t tuned to that sort of crude.  But the fields are still producing.

Guy has a tribal census number, but never went back to live on the Rez, but visited his grandma there until she died.  Brought tears to his eyes thinking about her.  Never used the free health-care/dental-care for life benefit available to him because of the tribal census number US Public Health Service offers.

“I worked hard all my life and settled here.  Paid my own way every step along.  Making a lifetime job of being an Indian didn’t appeal to me much.  When they quit shooting us they tried to offer that as the next best thing. 

“They’re still trying, got all those liberal white people to worship blanket Indians.  Better than getting shot, but not as good as kicking the whole damned mess.”  He shook his head.  “Damned white people and their congratulations for being victims will finish off all the ones left.”

Nice meeting him.  I hope I see him again before I head for the tall timber.  Being born into a trap doesn’t mean there’s no escaping it, I reckons.

Old Jules