What’s Today? Oh yeah, Taino Genocide Day . . .

It’s 14, October, 2013.  Some people are celebrating what might be called a myth or a lie of epic proportions about a fellow named Christopher Columbus.  Shall we discuss irony? Manifest Destiny? Greed? The profit motive? Slavery? Genocide? Rape? Murder? Torture? Yeah, the man did it all according to his own words and those of his companions. So what exactly is being celebrated? I’m at a loss–unless it’s an extremely sanitized delusional story,  because the truth would scare the pants off all the little children if it were told in classrooms. Oh but excuse me, schools are not supposed to be about  truth or reality. Nor are books. Certainly not poetry.  so what.  Here’s some historical truth, some current ugly reality and some poetry that deals with both.

“Mic Check”

TheBigPictureRT TheBigPictureRT

Oops, “Reality Check.”

*

To the Indigenous Woman – A poem by the 1491s (short version)

the1491s

*

Bad Indians, a poem by Ryan Red Corn

redhandmedia

was told by those old ones
that every song has a special time and a place where its sang
this is our song
and this our time
they used to say the only good indian is a dead indian
i must be a no good at being indian
cuz I feel alive and kicking
we are the bastard reject children of manifest destiny
the offspring of fornicating aimsters
raised by our grandparents who told us
not to confuse being warriors with gangsters
the edward curtis groupies get jazzed by anyone fitting the bill
and America gets jazzed by every Bury My Heart at Walmart film
here i stand before you
this crowd of nations
this life of sanctions
an awkward patience
like five hundred BIA buildings vs. a fathers’ unfiltered hate
right next to the IHS building with a two and a half week wait.
a cinderblock battlefield where few are left standing
and the people its failing, its’ marginalized estate.
i am armed to the teeth with words from the ivory tower
and those good indians told me its borrowed power if…
if i talk loud enough
if i talk clear enough
that i would be heard
that for some talking is singing
that for some singing is praying
but i guess that depends on who is doing the talking
and i guess that depends on who is doing the listening
…so understand me in english,
you have been robbed of your tongues
the taproot of thought
in the middle of resisting
the language got caught
and she only shows her face during ceremony
like she’s ashamed of her scars
like what she has to say is never really heard. at all.
and the violence she knows is enough to never sing again
but i killed the cameraman and stripped him of his lense.
i photographed the body and asked him to forgive.
forgive me as i cut out your tongue
forgive me as i put you in this powdered wig
forgive me when i put your body in a museum
forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
the balls of your forefathers will be traded for whiskey
to fuel the molotov cocktails to be tossed at your cities
and the breasts of your mothers severed and bloody
will be sold to the freak show for the revelers money
your children will witness their whole world collapse
as kidnapped siblings must erase names off maps
so forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
i was taught better than that
i have more respect than that
there is no history book with my story
there is no newspaper to give me my glory
because no one has heard this language in years
cept kokopelli, dream catchers and a trail of beers
my voice is a small pox blanket
that spreads like fire on the prairie
infecting both fist and hatchet
in the spirit of fucking crazy

Lest you get the wrong idea with all this negative press, let’s end on a positive note from “all my relations”:

**

Indigenous Love Words Project

the1491s

We asked one simple question: How do you say, “I Love You”, in your Indigenous language?

This is a crowd-sourced project organized by The 1491s. All footage was submitted by fans and supporters from throughout the world.

We say thank you to all those who submitted videos!! We are working on a succinct credits list, to be posted here, soon!!!!

Music Credit: “Kodi Track” by Frank Waln – https://soundcloud.com/f_waln_35/fran…

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6 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    October 14, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    At least some areas of the country are beginning to question the purpose of the holiday…just another case history being distorted for political reasons.

    • October 15, 2013 at 5:25 am

      Distortion indeed. Do you recall being taught about Christopher Columbus in grade school, Charles?
      I do.
      Know it seems very very strange considering the factual realities.

  2. MisBehaved Woman said,

    October 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    ♫ “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” ♫
    Blagh, 30 some years later and I still can’t scrub that sing-song ditty from my long-term memory banks. Recite it, don’t question it!

    Maybe we’re missing something…maybe the whole point of the his-story was to point out that men never did like asking directions?

    It’s a ridiculous Propaday…holiday designed to promoted propaganda… and I’ve never understood what it is we’re supposed to whoop-n-holler about.

    • October 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      “Men never did like asking directions” ROTFLOL! O hell, yeah, MBW.
      Do you know how to upset a teacher in a Catholic grade school really quick?
      Ask where the Indian kids are while looking around the classroom for them.
      Then, when the teacher tells you, “They’re all dead.”
      You say, “Why? Are you sure about that?”
      Think about where that conversation goes from there….yeah,,, good times…

  3. Henry Jekyll said,

    October 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Wonderful post my friend.

    • October 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Hello Henry. Thank you very much for enjoying this rather dark post. Though I do think it strives for a positive resolution. 🙂


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