Wotanin Wowapi (Poplar, Mont.) 1975-2007, February 27, 1975, Image 4

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Wotaninvovapi PACO 4 Feb. 27, 1975 Editor: Feb. 25, 1975 Tbis letter is my reaction to the two letters that appeared in the \Opinion Column\ of your last issue. First I would like to present the definitions of the words discrimination and prejudice as they are taken from \Webeter's Dictionary.\ I would ask that the reader's consider the fact that such an \authority\, the dictiona_sy, was not necessary in the historical Indian Cul- ture. Discrimination: 1). The act of dis- criminating. 2). The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment. 3). An act based on pre- judioe. Pudic.: 1). An adverse judgement or opinion formed beforehand or with- out knowledge or examination of the facts. B). A preconosived preference or idea; bias. 2). The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. 3). Irra- tional suspicion or hatred of a par- ticular group, race, or religion. 4). Detriment or injury caused to a per- son by the preconceived and unfavor- able conviction of another or others. Further, these words and their defin- itions are the prime targets of some of the very important Civil Rights Laws that have been passed in this country. These laws were written to prevent such cases from happening. The basis of these laws is the \Con- stitution\ that was constructed by a non -Indian Congress almost 200 years ago. Who were the members of that Con- gress of 200 years ago and where did they come from? First off, they and their ancestors had been on this contin- ent less than four hundred years pre- vious to the time they wrote the Consti- tution. What took them so long? I think it is logical to believe that they and their ancestors were either the outcasts of their old countries or were persons who were dissatisfied with their old countries. So, who are the first non - Indiana to begin their \settlement\ of this country? They are individuals who acted on their own to satisfy themselves and their own desires. Once they found that their first desire was easily met (to leave a life of dissatisfaction) then other desires were born and the first seeds of greed were fed into their inflated egos. They were confronted with a problem. There were so many different kinds of people with just as many different de- sires and vents. So they came together to writa the Constitution. This piece of paper was originally written for the sole benefit of a13, the non -Indian people who were then living on this con- tinent. This piece of paper would allow each of the ethnic groups to go about their own ways of living and taking what they wanted from this land. There was enough to go around for -everybody. They were all individuals who, for the most part, were Concerned only about them- selves and their (pen groups when they provided input to the construction of the \Constitution.\ The second purpose of this \Declara- tion of Independence\ was to provide justification for a war of Independence. The Revolutionary War they call it; there was and is still pride in the fact that this country fought for its free- dom. What happens to the people today who justifiably considers themselves \revolutionaries?\ 148 years after the Constitution was written an amendment to the document was made :renting Indians citizenship. So, in a sense the India= were made a party indirectly responsible to the continued existence of the Constitution. Perhaps this was appropriate in more ways than one; if we consider that after the Rev- olutionary War most of the \foreigners\ in this land were considered outcasts from their old countries, then our Ind- ian Ancestors were more or less in the same \boat\ since they had been force- fully cast out of the land areas in which they had once roamed so freely. 148 years. What took them so long? I an sure that there were many tears of sadness shed those zany years age whenever a family or individual member departed his \homeland\ across the At- lantic for his new \home\ on this side of the water. There was human emotion and concern present among the different peoples, he or they were leaving on the \other side.\ In order to make his trip easier, it is quite logical that he or they had to disown any expression of human emotion or expression. Some time during that long ship voyage across the water, his sense of human emotion and respect for the lives of other \went over the side.\ He or they rere going into a land of strangers. How would they know who to trust? \Weak\ people could not exist in the \frontier.\ So, for the most part, these \original\ immigrants were an \unfeeling\ group of people. For many generations they passed these same \Lams of Survival\ down to their de- scendants during that process, some of the major elements of human respect and emotion were lost, never to be retrieved except in some cases, through their re- ligion. They were basically an \unfeel- ing\ \unthinking\ group of people who many times acted, on what they call \in- stinct.\ Instinct is an \unprogrammed \un- thinking\ reaction to something. Only animals are gifted with these attributes from birth. The animals don't have to justify or explain any of their \in- stinctive\ actions. These men with the \instincts for survival\ in a strange land qualified their actions quite sim- ply: hate! \I do this to you simply be- cause I don't like you\ is a statement that could have been issued just for this situation. And again this \explanation\ was pas- sed down to their descendants; hate. In many cases they violated the rules of their own religion in order to satis- fy their greed on \instincts for surviv- al.\ They outright defied the one body, Mire Supeeme Bojy,. who could have pro- vided them with the easiest path towards living on this continent, if they only believed in what they were saying in churches. How could .the general public react today to desecration of a worship cen- ter? I am sure there would be numerous reactions of disgust and exclamations of \Whoevers responsible will surely go to Hell.\ The church building itself is primarily a symbol. A symbol broadcast- ing to any bypasser that the people in- side that building are worshipping thei , . God. The \foreigners\ today are great re- specters of symbolism. They don't know what is inside themselves, so they sur- round themselves with materialistie items to show what they are. They don't know who they are, so how can they show that? A long time ago, in their history, one generation lost their sense of human emotion; then a succeeding generation developed \the instincts for survival\ to take the place of emotion. Following generations, developed the possession concept, i.e. this is mine; this was followed by the simultaneous development of greed and hate. With so many greedy people around it was inevitable that sooner or later someone was going to take that which \belonged\ to another individual. The fact of hate developed and was used a lot of times as further justification to try and \take\ from his neighbor again. This is my opinion as to where the majority of the present day non -Indians came from. For the most part they have had only one source of information on how to de- velop and live their lives. The source I just explained. Now; the process started almost 500 years ago and now they are calling them- selves \first class\ citizens. Is that how long it takes to become a \first class\ citizen? Almost 500 years? A look at the local Indian history in this area will show that our reservation is less than 90 years old. Our Grandparents were being forced to change their ways. Nowadays we are con- cerned about \forgetting\ the years of our ancestors past. Some of those an- cestors of ours were forced to literally wipe from their memory the life they had been living only the day before. There were many, many changes that our Grandparents had to make in their lives just to exist. How could they teach their children, \our parents\ the ways of this new world when they didn't fully understand it themselves. Our par- ents were \shortchanged\ to be sure, but they made the best out of the little they had. Our parents did have a bit more know- ledge about this different world and passed this on to 118. However, our Grandparents were wise enough to make sure that different parts of the old culture were passed down al- so. Remember; they had seen the white man in his \glory\ as an annihilator. They knew the basic person within that white skinned body and the outright hate that he was capable of spewing forth. So; they made sure that the Indian context of human respect and dignity were passed down. There grandchildren would not be the incomplete persons that the white man was (without his sense of human emotion and respect) for all liv- ing things. So here we are today. Perhaps we are going through the same stage that they went through a few hun- dred years ago; the stage of \instincts for survival.\ But unlike them, we still have our basic human qualities of emo- tion and respect for living things. It is my opinion, that these same qualities will provide us with the right direction whenever we reach the follow- ing A l l ag rf . this takes time; as it took the years for them to get where they are. Perhaps the next stage will not ar- rive until the time of our grandchil- dren. ;hese \foreigners\ are orphans in more ways than one. As an orphan is without a home, they are without the privilege of saying \MY race was here before yours,\ as well they are without a deep sense of human feeling. Discrimination and prejudice are re- sults of hate. These are classed as weapons of the maloritv and not the min- ority. People discriminate against us because of who we are; not what we are. If a member of a minority group is to discriminate azainst a member of the ma- jority it is primarily because of what that person is. (A member of the major- ity.) If a person is loaded domamith a one hundred pound rock (an unfeeling ob- ject); the majority on his back; he mould sooner remove the entire land in one move rather than chip away at that rock. (The chips can symbolize the ele- ments of people that make up the major- ity.) On the other hand, suppose that \unfeeling object\ (with a mind) enjoy s the free ride its getting. It needs that body (the minority) to stay under there. It (the rock, the majority) will go to all extremes to keep that body there - \it\ will resort to discrimination. carrier only wants to get that rock o his beck. The \All Indian\ Athletic events are international events such as the Olymp- ics are. The many different tribes rep- resented at these events have their own languages, songs, and social customs. All of these people speak English and drive cars to the events; so! the Non - Indian culture is present at these e- vents. When Billy Mills won his victory at the \64 Olympics the public media made sure that the entire world knew he was an Indian. Why not just accelit it as American Victory? None of the other U.S. Winners were identified by their ethnic back ground. He was one of the people from \down under that 100 pound rock\ who had made it. When the three 'blacks raised their fists at Mexico City in 1968 they were soundly berated. They raised their fists because of something they believed in; not because of something they didn't be- lieve in. I could go on... .and on. I will say that the person who wrote this letter to Mr. Bushman is really not as anonymous as she thinks. (I think the writer was a woman; a mother; who's re- sponsibility is to raise and train kids - poor kids). Their minds will bear more damaging soars than any cigarettror hot iron can inflict. That type of person is just a result of the five hundred years of living alone. Alone; without a true understand- ing of the sources of all life and all it beholds. There are many of that type, who rear their ugly heads once in a while to spit out their words of hate. My Grandparents instilled one thiM in my mind; keep an eye on \thoa people\ you might learn a few goon things. I must say I learned a few new words from that letter. I changed the meaning of those words just a little bit. \Bosh! I think her thinking is a bit warped! \# Jacob Bighorn Jr. the a Hal she 111,1 pr pri tui 0411 111 to 101 of. th fa an: tr ggPAPPOAVAR

Wotanin Wowapi (Poplar, Mont.), 27 Feb. 1975, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/WotaninWowapi/1975-02-27/ed-1/seq-4/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.