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Heard the news? Lou Dobbs may run for senator to NJ on the way to running for the White House.
I can’t stand Lou Dobbs.
You know, I get the point these kids are trying to make, but everytime I see one of these Robert Erickson videos (they made the rounds on Facebook last week) I get a little troubled. And it’s not by his agenda or the reaction of the crowd.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he’s probably of Scandinavian descent. I might be wrong, but I’d go further and guess that he’s probably not a member of a tribe. This looks a lot like a bunch of college students decided to pull a prank and “stick it to the right-wing idiots” by exploiting what is for many Indians still a very sensitive and CURRENT issue regarding the loss of land and sovereignty. And for what? To embarrass some people on YouTube and get some jollies out of it.
10 bucks since they’ve never once attended a rally to pay the Lakota what the federal government owes them. 20 says they can’t even name the Minnesota reservations. But who cares as long as the people living there, quietly out of sight, can be used to get a cheap laugh and make yourself feel self-righteous about sticking it to The racist Man.
Colin: You are specifically suggesting that the folks who made this video are politically uneducated or unaware, possibly insensitive, perhaps exploitative, likely not appreciated by the Native Americans they seem to be talking about, and so on.
These are reasonable questions to ask. Perhaps we can get answers.
To give you some context about the political background that has informed my recent actions check these two groups which I am involved with.
Thats all I’m going to give you for now.
“All decisions regarding human interaction with this land base, including who lives on it, are rightfully those of the Dakota Oyate and the Oceti Sakowin.”
This is from the UM page. Do you really believe this? If Dakota elder told you to leave the US, you would?
HazelStone: A possible alternative question might be: Why would this NOT be the case? What is the legal justification for Dakota Oyate/Oceti Sakowin NOT having that role? (Legally, historically, etc.)
Obviously the point of this is to point out the absurdity of sending Native Americans (most Mexicans are) “home” because they are “illegal”
Shall we not conflate the video with the web sites pointed to?
Robert – I admit, my assumption that you and your friends are ignorant in this regard was wrong. Sorry about that. I still, however, question whether or not your actions constitute continued Western exploitation of the colonized, with a friendly face this time.
Alice – speaking of conflating, you seem to be working under the opinion that all indigenous people are more or less the same and constitute some single group of people. With very few exceptions, the US and Mexico consist of the former territories of very different Indian tribes. That’s CERTAINLY true when you get as far north as Minnesota.
You’re also apparently working under the opinion that the last 400 years didn’t happen. Like it or not, laws have been made and borders established in that time. I might as well claim that since my ancestors are native to the northern hemisphere, I can’t be an illegal immigrant if I just decide to move to Mexico or Canada without bothering with the legally-established channels. After all, why stop ignoring conceptual divisions at the level at the state?
Colin: Not at all. I do not intend to simplify history or geography, and I doubt this was the point of the video either.
In all instances you seem to be denigrating the effort to poinit out the hypocrisy of immigration policy by harping on how complex it all is. No fair.
Care to elaborate on what you see as exploitative about the action?
The goal wasn’t to get laughs or gain activist cred points, but to subvert the authority of the state by turning its racist rhetoric and policy on its head.
I believe this works toward the liberation of all people myself included, and all I can do is assure you that my intentions are not to gain internet fame.
Alice – your intent and your results are clearly different. Maya are no more indigenous to the land that is now the US than my mother’s German ancestors were when they immigrated here.
Robert – first, I’d point out that I don’t see how your actions are subverting the state in any way. You undermined a rally with only tangential ties to the government. If anything, you subverted other individuals’ right to assembly. Unless “subverting the state” meant overriding constitutional freedoms, but I don’t think that’s what you had in mind.
The possible exploitation I see is this. The rally taking place was about illegal immigration. Now, there may be (probably are) undertones of race there which might override the “illegal” qualifier. But leaving that aside (which is not to say I’m insensitive to it – my dad came here on a Venezuelan passport), you essentially hijacked a completely separate, and extremely sensitive and important, debate concerning the the redress of wrongs committed against the Native community and inserted that rhetoric into a clash with individuals who probably have absolutely no idea that debate even exists. The result isn’t going to be getting them to think about it. The result is going to be that, if anything, they will in the future associate Indigenous rights with a debate over what to do with people who are not supposed to be in this country under current law. You’re exploiting the plight of indigenous communities to further your own goals in regards to the immigration debate by presenting an already cliched bit of nod and wink mockery that the other side will never appreciate (both because they’re likely currently unaware of the problems in Indian Country and because nobody enjoys being mocked), the net result of which is a lower likelihood that they will ever consider supporting indigenous rights in the future.
I just filled in my whole neocon Bingo card!
Hijack the concept of “subvert” by changing the word “subvert to “hijack”
Note that the side being mocked/subverted does not “get it”, so why bother it will just make them more resolved
Dismantle broad argument about racism by getting pedantic about some detail like, in this case, geography.
Etc. etc. etc.
Is there a Godwin’s Law for the word “neocon” yet?
Colin, no and there will never be such a law unless the group disappears completely. Neoconservatism is a rather pedestrian and commonplace form of evil, and it’s quite reasonable to point to it when one sees it.
subvert the authority of the state by turning its racist rhetoric and policy on its head.
That is certainly the message I got, and why I posted it.
Colin, is there some reason that teabaggers can’t have counter protesters? Everybody gets counter protesters. Sometimes, teabaggers ARE the counter protesters.
Oh, I’ve got no problems with counter-protests. ESPECIALLY if it’s a counter-protest against the racist trash that usually gets spouted at Anti-Immigration Rallies. I’m just questioning the form that counter-protest takes, the historical and ideological frame within which it occurs, and the subsequent chance of that counter-protest achieving anything meaningful (or “good”).
I think the video makes a valid point that is not in the consciousness of most Americans.
So what you’re saying, Colin, is that you’re very concerned…and you’d have done it better anyway, but not in any specific anyway.
What I’m saying is that there are elements of Robert’s approach that I find troubling, specifically his use of Indigenous Rights rhetoric and themes and how that usage might reflect poorly on the Indigenous Rights movement. Not that I’d do it better, and not that I’m merely ‘concerned’ in some vague sense.
Heck, I’m not even saying that the approach IS wrong. I’m just highlighting some doubts that I have and which I think a lot of people are unlikely to consider at all due to the relative low-visibility of indigenous causes.
Did you ever consider that the tea baggers are not the audience in this action? They are the last person I care about in an action like this. At their expense an important contradiction was pointed out in the racist and xenophobic rhetoric of the immigration debate.
Additionally, (not at the expense of) it raised questions of what it means to be a settler on native land stolen through genocide, fraudulent treaties and ethnic cleansing. Maybe you can ask the Dakota folks we work directly with whether they felt exploited by this action rather than making assumption after assumption.
Judging by your comments about this action, I would like to make an assumption of my own to say that you probably have more in common with the tea baggers than myself and the communities of resistance that are working for justice.
“Did you ever consider that the tea baggers are not the audience in this action? They are the last person I care about in an action like this. At their expense an important contradiction was pointed out in the racist and xenophobic rhetoric of the immigration debate.”
They might be the last person you care about, but that’s your oversight. You’re fighting for rights, freedoms, reparations, the whole deal. Do you think that’s going to happen if you ignore and ridicule the people that disagree with you? That doesn’t seem like a surefire way to grow support – merely a means to make those who support you already chuckle.
I’m sorry, but if “raising the question” of our colonial inheritance in this way ends up, as it might, hurting
your decolonization campaign, then yeah, it’s at the expense of indigenous rights.
“the tea baggers are not the audience in this action?”
“Do you think that’s going to happen if you ignore and ridicule the people that disagree with you? ”
Teabaggers? Giving support to indigenous rights movements or any immigration policy that stops short of shooting them dead at the border? A lost cause.
Re: Comment #1. Let Lou Dobbs run for President, It might fire up the voting Latino base in the Democratic Party and Independents to come out and vote. It might even encourage some of those hypocritical employers to come out and encourage others to vote against Dobbs since they seem to make it a practice to hire illegals to keep their labor costs down and to destroy the Unions.
“HazelStone: A possible alternative question might be: Why would this NOT be the case? What is the legal justification for Dakota Oyate/Oceti Sakowin NOT having that role?”
The point I’m trying to make is that no group should be telling anyone where they should live. Buying into that is as much bullshit as saying the US should be allowed to deport people. This doesn’t seem very radical to me.
Some illegal alien Mexicans are using gas and oil products to vaporize whites. They are Mexicans and this is wrong. We must stop them. Watch your relatives. Many that were killed were vaporized. This is going on in hidden areas. Stop them now. Do not go. Do not be fooled. This has been going on a very long time.
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Rising Seas: Past, Present, Future
People of the Book: A Novel
Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam