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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Friday, January 16, 2009

Did He Really Say That?

Is the current Governor of the State of New York that ignorant of history that he could really be making the comments the press is claiming he made? I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone but the most ignorant racist could say that Native People must compensate New York State for the "privileges and benefits" of being located in the State. I didn't hear him actually say the words so I'm cautious in my response. Let's just say if Mr. Paterson has beliefs that represent anything close to this sentiment, then he or anyone else that feels this way should just continue to ignore us and drop the whole issue. This kind of stupidity will just get someone hurt. I don't set the bar higher for Mr. Paterson because he is black, nor do I for the in-coming US President, but you would think a man of color would at least understand that there is enough complexity borne out of the history of racism and oppression in the US to keep him from suggesting that the State has made us a Privileged People. Let me be clear. Neither the United States nor any of its member states have ever given us a right or a privilege. Every right we have, we have always had. We battle the State and federal governments every day to honor their promises to never claim our land and not to disturb us in the use of it. Year after year these governments have looked for ways to fit us in their box. They pass laws out west, drag Native people into courts and then claim they have legal precedent to act against us and all those promises they made. They build bad laws on top of bad court rulings in places irrelevant to us and call it Federal Indian Law. Mr. Paterson, if this is too much for you to acknowledge and grasp, you are not alone. Why do you think this confusion for you still exists? It is time to punt. Just like everyone that came before you. You can't accept the truth of our Sovereignty and our birthright, so rather than costing your State billions, making a fool of yourself with stupid comments and risk getting someone hurt, just let it go. You don't even have to apologize.


Anonymous said...

While I have no interest in cigarettes, in their sale, distribution, or use, I do find it very important that the Seneca are choosing to assert their existing treaty relationship as a separately sovereign nation, and the associated economic rights that this certainly includes. I both fully support and applaud that effort.

As to the New York governor, I have no direct knowledge if he had made such ignorant remarks either. I normally prefer to not think badly of or judge people I do not know. I do know there is a great deal of ignorance deliberately perpetrated in the present United States, starting with young school children's history books that choose to refer to the American Indian in the past tense.

D.O., Glen and Jean said...

Well, apparently the guv really DID say that and we surely agree he needs to study-up on the history. Speaking as someone who carries the surname Ogden, i know a whole lot about what went down in your homeland back in the day and i carry a special burden to remind folks what "First Nations" means.

Rest assured we'll be doing what we can back here in the land of the Pocumtuck to support you.

tpro said...

...listen to him, then compare how he speaks to the Israeli foreign minister, or ANY Israeli politician and you'll start to understand who's pulling his strings. Do not, for one minute, begin to think the struggle id's just begun.

Watch this video: