Skip to comments.America’s unjust efforts to preserve white privilege (COMMENTARY)
Posted on 02/18/2015 5:38:36 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
TUBA CITY, Ariz. (RNS) As I pass through the Navajo Nation on my 4,000-mile drive across America, I catch a disturbing glimpse of a white-power insurgency happening in all regions.
White settlement of the Southwest meant dislodging the native population at gunpoint. U.S. Army troops slaughtered the Navajo at will. Whites broke one treaty after another, then forced the Navajo in 1864 onto a Long Walk of 300 miles away from their tribal lands. When a pregnant Navajo woman came to childbirth, an impatient Army soldier simply shot her.
The Navajo were allowed to return four years later to a much-diminished territory set aside for them. Today the Navajo Nation is the largest tribal reservation in the U.S. It has significant autonomy, including its own judicial, law enforcement and social service systems. But the Navajo remain under Washingtons thumb. Poverty is everywhere.
I read the history and feel shame and compassion. The cowboys and Indians games we played as children in Indiana, informed by TV shows like The Lone Ranger, now seem utterly ignorant. The real story was gruesome and unjust.
I had a similar reaction when I moved to the South and discovered how whites there had savaged Native Americans, enslaved millions of Africans, then terrorized former slaves and their descendants for over a century.
Hearing those stories and seeing daily evidence that, as Faulkner said of the South, the past isnt even past, forced me to see my life up North differently. I grew up benefiting from segregation in Indiana. I never questioned why my city had an all-black high school, or why the clubs and honors at my integrated high school were reserved for whites.
Not long ago I drove through Topeka, Kan., which gave us Brown v. Board of Education, and heard on public radio a supposedly learned conversation about the possible overturning of Brown v. Board and a resumption of legal segregation.
No wonder the politics of Kansas are so ugly and the Christian fundamentalism so virulent. So are the politics and religion of the South, of Arizona and across the country. In some places, whites seem to be on a mission to preserve the benefits of white privilege, even if that means gun violence, police brutality, unfair sentencing, and the languishing of urban schools.
They treat immigrants of color as if they were indolent invaders intent on destroying the American way of life, rather than the latest to believe the promise of liberty and opportunity.
Like a white government breaking promises to Native Americans, politicians serving angry whites chip away at the job gains of blacks and Hispanics, shred a social safety net that benefits people of color, cripple immigration and systematically deny voting rights to nonwhites.
They call it shrinking a bloated government and combating welfare fraud and voter fraud, but the targets are nonwhites, not cheaters.
There is no comparable zeal for taking white-led corporations off the federal dole or curbing their cheating. Cutting taxes on the rich and raising them on the poor are all about race. So is Christian right-wing alarm over Islam in the U.S.
Right-wing politicians and clerics dismiss concern about this white-power insurgency as soft-minded liberal guilt and anti-American. In fact, its basic justice; its the soul of America at stake here.
A nation that allows war on people of color risks descending into the same evil that shot a pregnant Navajo woman when a white government wanted her tribes land.
(Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @tomehrich.)
Stopped at the headline. I don’t take American Express or The Race Card.
Ehrich is a self-loathing white liberal who believes that “all cultures are equal”.
Wish he’d ditch the westernized apparel and sport some loin-cloths so he can stand in solidarity with the victims of “white subjugation”.
Ilk like him never lived in the real world...away from plumbing, heated homes, electricity, and cars...yeah those things whitey invented.
Whoever this idiot is, he is auditioning for a gig at MSNBC.
That explains it. I am an Episcopalian. I haven't been to an Episcopal church since shortly after 9/11 and a sermon that blamed Americans for 9/11.
I very much doubt he drove through Topeka and heard Brown was being debated on the radio.
Please tell what station and what time of day ?
Mush-headed ignorance. Pathetic.
And who was talking about it?
I say it didn’t happen....
Allegedly some guy shot a pregnant lady 150 years ago ( and should have been charged, tried, and if guilty executed Imho). So this socalled priest says we need to do -— what? All find a cliff like the Grand Canyon and jump off? For goodness’’ sakes!!!! Am I at least allowed a good stiff drink before I jump?
This guy get out much?
Reads like it’s ‘63. Or maybe 1970...and AIM is still occupying Alcatraz.
Navajo’s got kicked around a bit, no doubt about that. The Apache were meaner and they got a much nicer Rez...the White Mountains.
But modern Navajo’s can, like all Indians, leave the rez...head to Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff...and do. Went to school with a fair number of them. Ms. Benally who sat next to me in Differential Equations went on to Medical School, works on the reservation as an MD for the last 30 years.
Unemployment? Poverty? I agree. So why are the jobs being shipped to China - Apple could have an assembly plant in Chinle - and why are we importing Aboriginals from Mexico, when their distant cousins are already here and in need of a job?
And it ain’t like there’s any love lost between the Navajo, Apache and Comanche with the Mexicans. There’s a reason they came North out of Mexico Norte...no one treated them worse then the Spaniards and their descendants, the Mexicans. Ask Geronimo.
Fascinating article. I could almost see Billy Jack striding across the landscape again out near Winslow.
I was raised Episcopalian. The Episcopal Church has had a strong lunatic leftist faction for decades.
Wow. Just wow.
In a somewhat related “discussion” with a libidiot, I was informed that the Native American population in what is now the United States was over 400,000,000 before 1492. He found a book that showed 112,000,000. All without industrilalized food production and transportation. (Max population without industrialized food production and transportation was 18 million, give or take. Anything more was not “sustainable” to use leftidiot jargon.)
Short version: leftscum are literally insane.
For all the bleating about the poor Indians...
I have a single question...Can anyone point to the widespread use of the wheel by these people? Why had the other civilizations that existed prior to and concurrent to thise civilizations widely adopted the wheel, and yet these people had not invented it for themselves for their own use?
Hyperbole much, dipshit?
When the liberal loonies start that kind of crap, it's time to pull the plug.
I don't know what else he wrote, nor do I care.
I figure this guy was raised in a special ed school in Cuba.
I will agree to an extent. White Privelege is real. Thing is, we invite anyone who wants to partake to come along for the ride! Hence my Native American and Black (they personally hate the term “African American”) business associates, some of whom have suffered old school racism but all of whom have suffered ostricization for being “too white.”
Good post. The other day I was talking to a person who was bemoaning the fact that Indians lived on terrible reservations in squalor. I said “ why don’t they just leave?” She said “it’s because they are so poor and it is two hours to anyplace from their reservation.”
I said “no it’s because their government check comes to the reservation”.
My ancestors walked behind a wagon till they got to Texas without a single government check and they have done alright.
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