I just want to smack those few parents across the country who are causing a ruckus, attempting to eliminate Thanksgiving pageants, celebrations, and dress-up for small children because they are “offended” by the “Indian” garb (“stereotyping Indians,” they say) or the supposed whitewashing of the history of the conflict between Europeans and original natives of this land.
My family has traveled extensively in the Southwest and do we have stories…one in particular was the day we climbed up a steep mesa some hundreds of feet in the August heat to be greeted by hovels for homes but a spectacular view. I questioned our guide as to why people would have ever lived up here on this barren rock formation with no ability to plant because the only water was rain or water carried up the difficult trail. He said at first, “look at these beautiful views.” Well, they were breath-taking. But the living conditions were seemingly below the minimum allowable for human beings. He then continued with, “Living up here gave great safety to the tribe from other tribes who would rob, kill our young men, and then take our women, children, cattle and possessions.”
Nonetheless, having school children enact scenes of peace and mutual respect and camaraderie does nothing to defame the indigenous population or the fleeing Europeans…in spite of the funny looking clothes (oh, and “Goth” looks any better?).
I am concerned, as are many others, with the growing trend of one “offended” person having sufficient power to rip away the fabric of American tradition; of small groups rebelling violently against fair, democratic elections, and the fearful gutlessness of those who stand by and let this all happen.TrackBack URI
You could tell who the “visitors” were in Portland this past weekend. We were the only ones using umbrellas…Portlanders simply go on with their lives as if water were not draining from the sky.
It was a great trip. I arrived Thursday and stayed at The Benson Hotel on Southwest Broadway. Friday morning we drove to KATU-TV where I had a fun interview about “In My Never To Be Humble Opinion,” my one woman show that we did on Friday and Saturday night at the lovely Newmark Theater at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.
After the television interview, I arrived at KEX AM 1190 for an unbelievably moving Native American ceremony performed by Marshall Tall Eagle and his wife and granddaughter. They presented me with a “Mother’s Medal of Honor,” in recognition of my being “the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper.” Marshall Tall Eagle’s special status among the tribes gave him the power to assign an “Indian” name to a “civilian.” He told me he’d prayed about it and was told what name to use for me: “Walks with Warriors.” No question that I loved getting that name! Continue reading Journal of My Trip to Portland Oregon…