a poem day ? maybe, maybe not, then again

Today is one of those days. You know the sort. One of those days where you start off loaded with positive intentions that quickly are buried under the murky weight of dark news information freely flowing from one edge of the cyber swamp to another. Haiku was on my mind at dawn.  Something about the crisp cold snow seemed sensible for a few brief lines.  Then I got online and hit Democracy Now! for some news. I know better than to start every day off with Amy Goodman’s “War and Peace Report”.  For mental health reasons, I try to switch it up for different times of the day after the livestream broadcast. Some days it’s better to read the transcripts rather than listen. Real news can be very disheartening. I don’t know how the news staff of this independent news venue manages day in and day out to thrive on a steady diet of The Dark Side of Humanity–without perky blonde cleavage or airy breathless reading of text monitors. Seriously. Actual journalism work is not for the faint of heart.

A report on the death of another gang rape victim in India lingered long after I moved on to other online tasks. I thought it was disheartening enough to learn that a woman is raped in India every 11 minutes–until I learned that there’s a rape every 6 minutes in the United States.  These numbers maybe be skewed because so many rapes go unreported.  Violence against women has been on my mind lately. It’s hard to avoid–fans of Downton Abbey will even get a taste of it. Yes, I watched ahead via online venues. In real life, things for the women of Afghanistan are at about the worst ever. So much for all the USA lip service paid to making life better for women and girls. Not so far in the back of my mind loiters the question: What is wrong with all the people who rape women, children and men? Are they born-hard wired to engage in such violence or are they made by their environments? Maybe they’re nature’s form of human predators for our species?  I’m not sure. Before I forget, The Invisible War aired on PBS–again.  It’s an expose about the rape epidemic in the military.  Ladies, I know it’s tempting for some to enlist for economic reasons like supporting your family or college funds–but do so knowing the risks you’re taking by hitching a money ride with the armed forces on any front. Take note, men aren’t escaping the sexual violence either, they’re also targets.  I’ve had conversations with people who say that rape has always been a part of war.  Hmm, hard to dent that fact. But, how does that explain military people raping the men and women in their own ranks? Is that a by-product of military training people to kill, torture and rape other people who they’re taught to view as non-humans? Possibly. What’s going to happen when the rapists return home? Are they going to cease engaging in violent sexual crimes?

Well, this is now very far afield from haiku about biting frost. Or is it?

~

Amy Goodman — We Will Not Be Silent

Link TV

~~

Deomcracy Now!

www.democracynow.org

~

Democracy Now! YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/democracynow/featured

~

January 2014

_

Tomdispatch from January 2013

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175641/

~

The Invisible War trailer

~~

Maze of Injustice–The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA–pdf file. This is the size of a small book complete with very informative end notes.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf

~

~

Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan ~ RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

http://www.rawa.org/index.php

https://www.youtube.com/user/rawa77/about

~~

&

so goes the snow haiku

down the rabbit holes deep

sleep? dream of chances snow blowing

&

`

news blues blow off vent

cyber waves serenity

mind fields boom! boom! boom!

&

November 25, Look thru Independent Lens for Young Lakota on PBS.

Heads up, documentary film, Young Lakota to air on Independent Lens on November 25, 2013.

I am wondering how in-depth this documentary will delve into the ongoing issues facing young Lakota –especially young Lakota women. From the trailer it appears to address at some level the sexual violence endured by many Indigenous women. I’ve provided links to two very important documents created by Amnesty International. Depending on your awareness of the issues they may or may not prove to be very disturbing reading.  I think they’re required reading for anyone entering into a serious discussion of violence, abortion, and sexual issues concerning Indigenous women–and all others as well.

I discovered this  information about the film via a post by Matthew L. M. Fletcher on Turtle Talk  http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-documentary-to-premiere-on-pbs-independent-lens-nov-25/

As I could not get the video on the link via TT to work properly I ventured to the tubes of you for an alternative which is posted here. I’ve included the links cited on Turtle Talk as well.

*

Young Lakota 

IndependentLens

Three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female President of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the three young tribe members are faced with difficult choices

*

Young Lakota website http://younglakota.tumblr.com/

*

Racialicious :  http://www.racialicious.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-premieres-nov-25-on-independent-lens/

10 .m. EST, Monday, Nov. 25, on PBS’s Independent Lens. The film chronicles Tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder’s challenge to a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota, and the political awakening she inspires in Sunny Clifford, a young Lakota woman living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Young Lakota was an Official Selection at the Big Sky Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at Cine Las Americas and the Smithsonian Showcase.
***
Maze of Injustice:  The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA.  (Note: Depending on your PC the PDF file may load fast or slow, but it will load–or so we hope.) This is not reading for the faint of heart.  Report by Amnesty International.
http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf
***
Stolen Sisters, Canada, A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada (Also not reading for the faint of heart.)
http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/amr200032004enstolensisters.pdf

Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog – Brave Bird ~ “It’s hard being an Indian Woman.”

Young Indigenous women are some of the most invisible and unrepresented people on Earth. That is one reason to read Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog,  nowBrave Bird, with Richard Erdoes even though it was published in 1990. Another reason is that it won the American Book Award in 1991.  Yet another reason is for the insight it provides into some of the tough issues young women on reservations continue to confront: violence, rape, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, exploitation, poor education, grinding poverty.  This is not a calm, quiet memoir of a certain time and place written by a woman looking back in nostalgia with some polite veneer of wisdom gained by mature hindsight. Lakota Woman offers the perspective of a very candid, blunt spoken, tough, and passionate young woman who makes no apologies for anything. This is a woman who now knows who she is, where she came from, and why.  Part of her story includes giving birth to her first child during the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 after refusing to leave in spite of the increasing danger. While Lakota Woman does not offer any in-depth analysis of the American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties or the Native American Church, it does offer a no punches pulled, first person female perspective based on direct experiences with all of them– a young Lakota female perspective seldom encountered in the mainstream American culture.

 I am a iyeska, a breed, that’s what the white kids used to call me. When I grew bigger they stopped calling me that, because it would get them a bloody nose. I am a small woman, not much over five feet tall, but I can hold my own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies I can become rather ornery and do real damage. I have white blood in me. Often I have wished to be able to purge it out of me. As a young girl I used to look at myself in the mirror, trying to find a clue as to who and what I was. My face is very Indian, and so are my eyes and my hair, but my skin is very light. Always I waited for the summer, for the prairie sun, the Badlands sun, to tan me and make me into a real skin. (p.9)

Such are the words of Mary Brave Bird of the Brule Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.  Consider the memoirs current teenaged women of Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Reservations might share–if anyone dared put them into print.  Lakota Woman might offend some, might make some very uncomfortable, and distress others.  It certainly won’t bore anyone. It definitely offers a great deal to think about regarding women, culture, family, history, spirituality, politics, and values.

Mary Crow Dog/Brave Bird online http://marycrowdog.com/index.html

Wikipedia list of American Book Awards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Book_Award

American Book Awards  —  Before Columbus Foundation  http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about-bcf.html

Maze of Injustice, the failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA, PDF file of Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf  Perhaps this report offers one explanation for the legistative difficulties faced by the VAWA.  Why would non-Native men want to start allowing arrest and prosecution of the non-Native men who rape Indigenous women on reservations? No rocket science required.

 

 

“Maze of Injustice” Legal News

Amnesty International, USA news:

We are thrilled to report that earlier this week Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act as an amendment to H.R. 725, a groundbreaking and long-overdue piece of legislation that tackles violent crime against Native American and Alaska Native women.

A huge thank you to the thousands of Amnesty supporters like you who took action to make this human rights victory possible.

Because of you, Native American and Alaska Native women will no longer be trapped in a mindboggling, jurisdictional maze that allows perpetrators to rape with impunity.

Every Native American and Alaska Native woman will be given the chance to:

  • get a police response,
  • have access to a rape kit,
  • have the opportunity to see her case prosecuted, and
  • see justice served for crimes committed against her.

Spurred by our hard-hitting 2007 report, Maze of Injustice, Amnesty’s millions-strong, global human rights movement has worked tirelessly to ensure this legislation became a reality.

People like you have set the stage for reversing the devastating rate of sexual violence that Native American and Alaska Native women have endured for much too long.

This is what we can accomplish when we work together.

I want to thank you again for all you do. This is a truly amazing victory for women’s human rights and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you,
Rachel and the rest of the Stop Violence Against Women team.

And what did “Sarah” do to help the women of Alaska?

 

 
 
 
 

We Shall Remain Shallow

Okay, after looking forward to what seemed MIGHT be a serious presentation  of a few Native American historical events via the PBS series We Shall Remain, I am utterly disgusted at the overall shallow treatment given to all all segments of the series. The final episode on Wounded Knee of 1973 did not even bother to present a behind the scenes segment. And what was with that strange presentation of childish drawings for illustrating the boarding school experience of Indian children? What was that mess? Why did the series present such an issue in that manner instead of interviewing those who endured this form of cultural genocide and are still living to tell about it? I think veteran journalist Tim Giago could have enlighted an audience with his own vast knowledge of the boarding school experience. I  know Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart-Jordan could have explained how boarding schools added to the ongoing trauma  of historical issues and their ramifications for the Lakota until this very day. She could have also dealt with how the denial to grieve in a culturally appropriate manner  has had lasting consequences through the generations. But did We  Shall Remain search for depth, substance,  and dialogue that might have built some tenouse awareness of such ongoing cultural issues and values? No, they went for the lowest level of presentation. 

And for all the touting of lots of unseen footage–well there was not a single image presented that I had not viewed elsewhere.

But the more distrubing issue is that the series focused on Wounded Knee of 1973 rather than the insanity of Wounded Knee, Decemeber 29, 1890.  Now there’s a horror story that apparently no one wants to really deal with. I have my own ideas about that terrible ‘mess’ of inhumanity–and they don’t include who shot who first—let’s question the entire LACK of any true state of war —there was no ‘Indian War’ in 1890—perhaps the series researchers/writers discovered that if they ventured into the National Archieves to dig into the military records and agency records. Once they made the discovery that no Lakota people were on any warpath then they were at a complete loss as to how to deal with Wounded Knee 1890? Think about that PBS American Experience.  Yes, consider the possibility that at least 300 children, women, infants and men were murdered because of a lie constructed by a military looking for a reason to continue its own existence after the Civil War.  

And as for the segement on Geronimo—here is an important name the We Shall Remain folks declined to mention:  Charles Gatewood—he was sent to get Geronimo to surrender—unlike Lawton and Wood who were sent with orders to search and destroy.   Louis Kraft wrote a very enlightening little tome titled Gatewood and Geronimo–if nothing else, you can learn just how ‘close’ to the actioon Nelson A. Miles truly was not.

Hmm…and where was Sand Creek? the hanging of 38 Indian en masse and why? Black Kettle’s second go round with a massacre at Washita? and on  and on it goes…America has a long and dark history that no one wants to face and the likes of We Shall Remain did little to bring anything to light.   Then again, the series is a step up from the textbooks used in history classes across the country. Or is it? Is anyone aware that the poorest counties in the United States are Shannon, Douglas, Bennett —-or the Pine Ridge,  Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock Reservations. 

For a real step in the right direction regarding some of the ongoing issues facing Native American women see Amensty International’s report–“Maze of Injustice”—unless you’re the squeamish sort…….

http://www.amnestyusa.org/women/maze/report.pdf

Grist

Working toward a planet that doesn’t burn, a future that doesn’t suck

RevolutionResource.org

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

Deceleration

Climate Change: Mitigation. Adaptation. Justice.

Lgambill48's Blog

a place for reflective expression.

Shechaim's News of the Day

I write without an apology; Because of the end time Evil in our land lately! Also my friends, I write from my ancestors teaching.

Free Alabama Movement

National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery

Books Can Save A Life

"Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." Barry Lopez

The Greenery

Ideas That Grow and Bloom

The Case for Global Film

Everything that isn't Hollywood (and a little that is)

LRInspire

Wellness Leadership Education

Tales from the Conspiratum

Warning: This site may contain conspiracies

Make No Bones About It

The Quest for the Truth

Beyond Extreme Energy

No new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure. Renewable energy NOW.

Mugilan Raju

Prime my subconscious, one hint at a time

ipekseyhanpoyrazkarayel

Asla İdeallerinden Vazgeçme Asla! Never Give Up Your İdeals Never!

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes

1EarthUnited

Uniting the world, One Love at a time. :D

The Stay-at-home Scientist

Science, Gardening, Work-Life Balance

People Powered Machines

Our business is committed to saving energy, reducing emmissions and waste.

drwilda

Just another WordPress.com site

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

Army at Wounded Knee

A blog dedicated to documenting through primary sources, the Army's actions at Wounded Knee

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Ekostories

Essays on nature, culture, self

Red Wolf Journal

A literary compass for finding your voice..."You turn toward me, your lips move, wanting to speak."--Stephen Dobyns, "Wolves In The Street"

poet4justicedotwordpressdotcom

The poet can reach where the sun cannot. -HINDU PROVERBThe greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

"OUR WORLD"

Working together to make the world a better place to live! A fine WordPress.com site

Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

CreekWaterWoman

Simply a spot for this mid-lifer to dump some words, a poem, an essay.

Rezinate's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Through the Peacock's Eyes

Insights for Spiritual Living

the zen space

a space for zen words

We Write Poems

a community of people reading & writing poems, moving words

shelbycourtland

Bringing Social Issues To The Forefront

R. L. Culpeper

Sapere Aude

THE ONENESS of HUMANITY

Earth | Peace | Truth | 2019

InkPaperPen

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.