Tag Archives: mescalero

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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A Sobering View of Y2K

That tribal talk a week or so ago got me thinking about an old Mescalero bud I’ve known on and off through the parts of this lifetime that matter. We go long times without seeing one another, but we top off the long spells by bumping into one another in unlikely places.

Kurtiss and I first met working on Skeeter Jenkins’ ranch near Kenna, New Mexico. Must have been 1958, ’59. Skeeter wasn’t a joyful man on his ranch-hands. He’d berate Kurtiss by comparing him to us white lads, then he’d turn around five minutes later and tell us we weren’t half as good cowboying as that damned Apache over there.

I guess the only good that came out of that job was the bond that formed between Kurtiss and me, and the lifelong lesson I learned about not trusting ranchers. Old Skeeter cheated all of us spang out of a hard week pay and spread around the word none of us were worth the board he’d furnished working for him.  Fortunately, he’d done that sort of thing before, so nobody paid him any mind when it came to hiring us for other jobs, which we frequently got screwed out of our pay on, same as with Skeeter.

The last time I ran into Kurtiss must have been 1998, ’99. He and a couple of Arizona broncos were sitting on the tailgate of a truck parked for a powwow in Albuquerque when I came across them and a case of beer that was too close to gone to be any good.  When we’d killed what was left of that case we kicked out of there and spent the night singing ’50s rock and roll songs, getting roaring drunk and filling in on the minutia of our lives since we’d last met.

Spent a good bit of time talking about Y2K also, which was much on my mind at the time, and they’d never heard of it.   I expected that and explained to them. Those Apaches thought that just might be something really fine.

Kurtiss immediately thought of a state cop over toward Ruidoso who’s bad about kicking around folks who’ve had a bit much to drink, “I hope nobody gets to that prick before I do.”

Those Apaches demonstrated some rich imagination concerning the nuances of Y2K aftermath.  “We’ll be able to run raids on the Rio Grande tribes like the old days!”   This didn’t interest the Arizonians.  They were fairly sure Mexico would be open for a bit of raiding, though, and better pickings.

Then Kurtiss went thoughtful.  “I’d sure as hell like to kill me some Navajo.”  He told the old story of Bosque Redondo and all the slaughter the Din’e did to the less numerous Mescalero during the decade years they shared the reservation.   Apache numbers there were decimated until only 1800 were left alive when they escaped the rez and went back to Mescalero.

Bosque Redondo was fresh on his mind because of Navajo whines he heard at the Gathering of the Tribes Powwow. “Mescalero’s too large for such few people.” (The enormous Din’e Rez is getting jam-packed these days, by comparison.) “They ought to take some of that land away and give it to us,” was the general theme.

We fought our way down,” Kurtiss quoted himself. “And you guys multiply like rabbits.”

This led to some laughs and sneers about the theme of the Gathering of Nations Powwow, “Celebrating 400 years of unity (among the tribes)“.

I wonder where that was,” one of the Coyoteros grunted. “The Apache never saw it and neither did our enemies. Those Mexicans and Pima and all those town Indians were lucky the whites came along to save them.”

Mostly those guys were in agreement in their scorn for other southwestern tribes. “They don’t know how to use the land,” gesturing with a nod and a slight pucker of the lips.

A whole different view of the end of life as we know it.

Old Jules

 

Discarded Jewelry

Ruidoso Steak-House
Glanced at her reflection
In the plate-glass window
New squash-blossom turquoise
Sassy Stetson
Patted 50ish blonde curls
And wished
They’d eaten at the casino
Where this didn’t happen
Wrinkled pretty nose
Don’t give him anything
He’ll just get drunk!” Stage whispered
To her Houston lady friend
As though he wasn’t there
She was right of course
Except the old man Mescalero
Was already drunk
He turned away
Then turned back and mumbled
Sing the Song of Life each day
Or when the time arrives you won’t know how
To sing the Song of Death.”

Old Jules