Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What We Learned From the Cayuga Evtent

Most of us who have had the opportunity to live or grow up in a native community have become a little sheltered to the racism that not only exists outside the immediate area of our homes, but how open it is. Most non-native people that live near us have grown to know and, to some extent, understand us. By and large they support our positions and are very encouraging in our battles for autonomy. For the Cayugas and even the Oneidas that have either a new or very small presence in a given area, the intolerance and open racism is right at their door step. Several hundred of us had the opportunity to show solidarity with the Cayuga people and get a harsh education at the same time. We witnessed over two hundred car loads of old, hateful, white people brandishing signs calling for the abolishion of Native identity. They want Seneca to be name of a county or a falls. They want Cayuga to be just a lake and let Mohawk just be a haircut for overly expressive youths. Let the military name aircraft or squadrons and platoons after these warring savages. They want America to own the words and let the images be of something in the past except when used metaphorically or as mascots. We have no right to exist as a distinct people in their view. We should be happy to be Americans and should be grateful for the history that has been so good to us. Our land should be available to all Americans and all State and federal laws should be uniformly applied to our land and people. God and Manifest Destiny called for our eradication. It's true read the history books. Eliminating 98% of the Native population on the continent was not a holocaust, it was a necessary cost. Who knew that the remaining 2% would still manage to survive and not just fade into some other part of the American fabric. After all, some of them could pass for white(trash) and the rest could fit in with the blacks or Mexicans. Either way they would be more manageable that way and they couldn't keep trying to "claim" sovereignty. Our people, for all the success and support we have had cannot kid ourselves about the security of our future. Polls have suggested that most Americans support our view and position, but they won't fight for us. The 30 or 40% of them that oppose us, will fight us. Those car loads of old, bitter, white folks were also affluent. They represent the spheres of influence. We must stay active and continue to educate ourselves and those around us.

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