Monday, January 21, 2019

Read the Native Account of What Happened to the Native Americans at the Capital

As the mainstream media treats the MAGA kid's account of what happened at the capital on Saturday like truth and people speculate all day long and racists spread lies, etc., all you really need to do is listen to the Native Americans who were there.

Staring Down the Smug Face of American Violence

By Hunter Hooligan.

If you're not an indigenous person, I insist you read the whole thing, but this is a key excerpt:

By now, you have probably seen the video of what came next. There were just a few of us left at that point, chatting and lingering on the steps of the memorial. Across the square, a large group began to form, full of young boys in red hats and red shirts. All of it emblazoned with that tired slogan many of us now wearily associate with white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, and fascism. I had never seen so much MAGA apparel in the flesh until then. 
As more of the “MAGA teens” flooded the plaza from behind us, our small group of remaining demonstrators moved forward, away from them. We were following Nathan Phillips, who played his drum with confidence and courage, and sang a sacred prayer for peace — to de-escalate the growing nervousness on the plaza. It was Nathan who’d lead us in the circle dance. A tall man with a drum and voice like his is hard to miss. And now the MAGA boys noticed Nathan, too. 
From that point, things escalated quickly. We were surrounded by the boys, and we were alarmingly outnumbered. As we attempted to continue our path and move through the crowd, the boys closed in around us, until finally, one particular boy stood in front of Nathan and refused to let us pass. 
Nathan stopped walking, but he kept singing and playing his drum — staring right into the smirking boy’s eyes. We all huddled around him as the other boys began to push, prod, and bump us into a tighter and tighter cluster. They were mocking Nathan’s sacred music with purposefully disrespectful dancing and a perverted imitation of his singing. Their imitations were the racist tropes of “Indian chants” — the stereotypical grunting and “hiyahiyahiyas” of representations past. 
As the boys molded our huddle, I felt panic growing in my gut. I felt trapped.  There were so many of them around us that I couldn’t see out beyond them.  All I could see was cold faces full of empty laughter, boys intoxicated on their own false sense of power, control, and entitlement. 
But Nathan was steadfast. His drumming was constant and he exuded calm, grace, stability. He was unshaken. And it was his example that kept us all together. His singing, his drumming, his prayer. When we were surrounded by the sneering, jeering crowd, his voice was the one I latched onto. The boys alternated between their mock chanting and breaking out into familiar chants. 
“Build the wall!” 
“Gone in 2020!” 
As tensions grew over the course of the encounter, I pulled out my phone, along with several others. Our videos became the documentation of this latest example of bigotry against indigenous lives. But make no mistake, it is not the first, and sadly it will probably not be the last.

I believe Hunter Hooligan. I believe Nathan Phillips. If you don't have a frantic desperation to uphold white supremacy, it's clear that the full video of the account and any additional videos only make it clear that Hooligan's account is correct, and the entire incident was, if anything, more racist and fucked up than was originally depicted in the shorter version that first went viral.

I'm not interested in what anyone else was saying to these MAGA teens before they turned on the Native Americans who were only trying to diffuse the situation with a prayer song. They may have in fact stopped the situation from getting worse. They put themselves at great risk to try and ease a growing tension that could have exploded in a terrible way. They're heroes.

The high school teens should have known better than to take out any negative energy on a tiny group of Native Americans that included an elder. The adults responsible for the kids should have put a stop to the entire thing long before it got to that point.

That's one thing we should all be asking. Where was the Covington Catholic staff on this? Why did they allow their students to stay within shouting distance of a group of men who were upset by their presence and shouting obscene things to them? Who failed to train them to immediately move the children away from those men in order to avoid a completely avoidable situation?

It was both a failure of the Covington Catholic administration and a perfectly representative snapshot of violent white supremacy, privilege, and power over those we stole this land from via mass genocide.

No comments: