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.”

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

the1491s

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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”:

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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…

FYI, from the1491s, Geronimo is not dead!

November is Native American Heritage Month.

What the heck does that mean?

In part, it means this:

Columbus’ Heirs = Oil Companies

Yes, the modern natural heirs to the value, cultural and psychological legacy of Christopher Columbus are clearly represented by Oil companies like Chevron, Shell, and BP. If the people of the Gulf Coast really want to see their future after coverage of the BP disaster fades from mainstream news media they can look at the ongoing legal battle between the Indigenous people of Ecuador and  Chevron Oil.  Or they can consider the terrifying decades long running conflict between Indigenous people and Oil companies in the Niger Delta . Recently corporations which were granted ‘personhood’ rights for political contributions have been granted immunity from legal actions for the kidnapping, torture and murder  of anti-Oil activists. Yes, Oil companies get to have their cake and eat it too. Well, I guess that would be they get to pump oil without responsibility. This is just one environmental issue on which Indigenous Peoples are on the front lines facing down corporations that ‘develop’ the natural resources to the detriment of all living things, including themselves.  Heads up, corporations are composed of people, human beings, and guess what –all human beings are vulnerable to toxic  pollutants.

 

Where are the instruments of our own destruction? In our gas tanks. In our minds. In our values. In our lifestyles.  In our hearts? In our DNA?

Bad Indians and The Only Good Indian

Thought of this poem/video while wondering about the path of the film “The Only Good Indian.”

The Only Good Indian

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