Pride & Prejudice

December 7, 2010

One of the most compelling, thought-provoking and candid assessments on the state of the planet came this week from a Native American educator, who bares the reality of both history and the terror of nowadays.
A great blight on US peoples is the fuzzy, glossed-over and near-lies concerning this country’s history — the rape of an entire continent in such a short space makes for a horrific heritage.

Waziyatawin, pictured at left, is a Wahpetunwan Dakota from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in southwestern Minnesota.
She received her Ph.D. in American history from Cornell University in 2000, taught for seven years at Arizona State University and currently holds the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria’s Department of Human and Social Development.
Read more about Waziyatawin and UVic’s indigenous program here.

Waziyatawin’s post appeared on Monday in the Twin Cities Daily Planet and was apparently a response to an inaccurate article in a local newspaper, the Winona Post, though I couldn’t find a link to that particular story.
Please go read Waziyatawin’s entire post, most enlightening.
A few nuggets:

Divide and conquer tactics are as old as colonialism.
In the context of Indigenous populations in the U.S., white colonizers work with those they deem “good Indians” to become collaborators against those they deem “bad Indians.”
This is how they diminish and suppress resistance efforts.
It’s an old story.
In fact, I had just explained this colonial dynamic to several members of the Unity Alliance after my presentation at Winona High School earlier that same day.
In the case of my evening lecture at WSU, a few members of the Alliance were offended by an uppity Dakota woman (that’s me) and called on their “good Indian” men to collaborate on leading an attack against me. Lucky for the white colonizers, they have cultivated their collaborators carefully and Leonard Wabasha (playing the same traitorous role his ancestor did in 1862) obliged them, helping to rally support from other Dakota tribal councilmen (at least some of whom, if not all, have been on the payroll of the Alliance) to attempt to silence or suppress a Dakota woman speaking about justice and defense of Dakota homeland. This is classic colonialism and these leaders have chosen the role as collaborators.
How embarrassing…for them.

Some of us have not been so suckered.
Actually, one of the things I spoke about that night in Winona was global collapse.
Regardless of anything I have said or done, or what any Indigenous person in the U.S. has said or done, the American way of life is coming to an end.
Given the realities of peak oil and peak debt, we are simultaneously facing the collapse of a civilization based entirely on cheap oil and the collapse of the American economy.
This coincides with growing crises emerging from global climate change and collapsing eco-systems due to hyper-exploitation.
Everything Dakota people have been told about the superiority of Western civilization is a lie, as is everything we have been told about progress and technology.
We have experienced a unique period of global history only possible because of fossil fuels, and that era is about to come crashing down.
From my perspective, it is no coincidence that we are experiencing the re-birth of the Dakota nation at the same time this civilization is coming to end. This means there will be unprecedented opportunities for Dakota reclamation.
But, because of the destruction to our homelands that continues every single day (including the loss of entire species and the collapse of ecosystems), it is in the best interest of everyone to put a stop to this civilization as soon as possible.
Every day we wait means our future survival is increasingly threatened (and this applies to Dakota and non-Dakota people alike).

From this it should be clear that I offer no apologies for anything I actually said that night in Winona.
I see a different future than the one prescribed for me by white society.
The age of American empire is ending.
The oil is running out.
Capitalism is failing.
The playing field is about to be levelled.
Revolution is coming.

Hear, Hear! (h/t to The OilDrum)

Add this to an interview of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, which appeared Monday at Spiegel Online:

I am very worried that most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world.
They are ignorant.
That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued.
And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.

That is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency.
Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity.
And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.

One must keep in mind, white people can be notorious liars and total assholes — I’m white and not-all-that-proud of it.

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