Quotes for Columbus Day

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I thought that I’d try something a little different for today.  Here are some Native American quotes I’d like to share with you all.

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“Fight Club”- FOAK and What it Means

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The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks such things as hate crimes, terrorism, and white supremacists.  They are a well-respected organization and committed to dealing with facts.  As most of us know, there are a lot of white supremacist organizations throughout the U.S.  What a lot of people don’t know, is that there is a lot of talk within these organizations about military operations against various groups of U.S. citizens.  All a person has to do is look at some recent events to see that this is true.

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However, the specific issue at hand is the formation of a new group, by Kyle Chapman (I am leaving a link below where you can see who and what Kyle Chapman is) which will be a “highly masculine” group called the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (otherwise known as FOAK’s) which is going to be formed for the express purpose to “bring the fight to the streets”.  Recently we have seen an uptick in the violence that protestors are being met with, not only from the police, but also from these groups of the extreme right-wing.

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I am not going to regurgitate the links that I’ve provided.  Instead I am encouraging you to read them, and educate yourself.  With the fear of being seen as a lunatic conspiracy theorist, my thoughts are leading to this:  What if, with all the new violence, the President declares Military Rule, Democracy is suspended and we have a dictator?  I know, it sounds insane, however, don’t these various groups vowing to “fight” against protestors (and others) sound a lot like the Nazi Brown Shirts?  Let me know what you think.

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http://nypost.com/2017/04/27/alt-right-group-tries-to-build-small-street-army/

https://www.adl.org/education/resources/reports/state-of-white-supremacy

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/24/white-supremacist-who-traveled-to-new-york-to-murder-black-men-followed-extremist-racist-online-groups-who-support-trump_partner/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/opinions/white-supremacy-is-terrorism-ifill-opinion/

 

Unity

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The only way to fight injustice in the world is make sure that we fight for all who are in need of it.  That means that we need to stand up not only for ourselves and our own concerns, but we must stand up for all the others who are marginalized.  We must stand and resist together.  It’s the only way change will occur.

 

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Diversity

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I love diversity.  There is nothing more boring than only seeing what you’ve already seen.  Or heard, read or experienced.  I’ve spent some time in those “retirement communities” which are almost never diversified, and can attest that they are the most boring places as far as I’m concerned.  Usually everyone is exactly the same, with much of the same life experiences and world-view.  It’s also interesting to note that to me, they seem like high school all over again, with the “popular kids” and then everyone else.  So, when I see and hear random people talking about how much diversity hurts the America that they want to make great again, I just don’t understand it.

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One of the best things about Netflix (and I admit that I’ve definitely been a binge watcher), is that I can watch movies from all over the world.  Some of the best movies I’ve seen have been made by Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi directors, writers and/or producers.  I also read novels that have been written by people of many different cultures, with a completely different world-view from myself.  I’ve learned more things by reading novels written about different countries and cultures than I ever learned in school.  I’ve learned about the ancient traditions of Chinese cooking, and the symbolism of different dishes from Chinese writers.  Even though, as a Vegan, some of the cooking descriptions were uncomfortable to read, I gained a respect and understanding of Chinese cooking that I didn’t have before, and it made me look at the dishes that I prepare in a new way.  That’s just one example.  When you read a novel, or watch a movie told from another point of view, you often sympathize with the characters and gain a new way of thinking, and looking at the world.  Your world-view becomes more diversified, and you grow as a person.

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Diversity is wonderful just for those reasons.  But, most importantly, it helps people to see that even though there may be differences in culture, religion and life-experience, we are all the same. These differences should be celebrated.  We should enjoy learning new things, eating new foods, watching different movies, listening to other kinds of music, and reading different novels. No matter where you live, who you worship (or don’t worship), what you believe, in the end different peoples are all alike in the basics.  We all want love, family and understanding.  That, I believe is the reason some people claim that diversity is evil.  If we gain understanding of the “other”, there will be no reason to keep ourselves separate.  How can you “hate” the other if you understand them?  In keeping citizens divided, individuals can regain (or maintain) control.  A house divided cannot stand, nor can a nation divided.

 

Finding Wisdom

I have a difficult time celebrating Thanksgiving.  Remember, I’m Vegan so the food can be more than a little offensive.  This year I’m trying Tofurky for the first time!  I can hardly wait.  Then, there’s the first Thanksgiving thing, that was followed fairly quickly with that genocide thing.  So, here are a few quotes from the Native Americans.

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Here are a few videos of how the government treats Native Americans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15YAD0Us4N4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBgDt0aWXmQ

North Dakota Pipeline Protests

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What rights do citizens of the United States actually have?  This is a question that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  I wanted to discuss the protests that have been happening in North Dakota.

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Kalamazoo River pipeline spill

My first question regards who, in fact “owns” the land that the North Dakota pipeline is being constructed on.  This pipeline is going to be nearly 2,000 miles long, and will run through public, state and private land.  With the problems of excessive pipeline problems affecting watershed areas, this fight is about clean water and scared lands.

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What is most worrying is the ongoing long list of pipeline leaks/spills that have adversely affected water where these pipelines run.  This is not a concern to be just “waved away” as though there is no precedent.  Just making a quick search of these many leaks brought me to an exceedingly long list on Wikipedia along with all the links to prove that these leaks did indeed occur.

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Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

Secondly, the preparation for the pipeline has already destroyed sacred sites of the Native Americans.  Since one can say that all this land originally belonged to these Tribes, the company had no rights to destroy important archeological sites.  They had already filed court papers in an effort to legally stop the bulldozing.  I’ve seen many different videos of the protests, and security forces bringing dogs to intimidate and bite the protestors was a bit much in my opinion.

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So, my question is, do citizens have the right to protest, and the right to clean water.  What do you think?

 

http://standingrock.org/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/04/492625850/dakota-access-pipeline-protests-in-north-dakota-turn-violent

https://thinkprogress.org/fight-over-bakken-pipeline-continues-5f7a5dee451e#.wft9jh69v

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pipeline_accidents_in_the_United_States_in_the_21st_century

 

 

 

The Biloxi-Chitimacha Indian Tribe – Climate Change Refugees – Part 7 – Social Issues Seriest

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The Isle de Jean Charles band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha Indians have become the first climate change refugees.  They have received $48 million dollars to help them move off their disappearing island located in southern Louisiana.  Residents of this area have been seeing there land disappearing due to the extreme weather brought about by climate changes. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/15/1485411/-Isle-de-Jean-Charles-Band-of-Biloxi-Chitimacha-Indians-become-the-first-official-Climate-Refugees?detail=email

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These dire circumstances have been made much worse for the coastal communities of Louisiana by the dredging of the hundreds of thousands of wetlands by the oil companies.  The oil companies will not be paying out the money to relocate the tribe even though it is their actions which have led to the flooding these communities face.  Wetlands help protect against flooding.  http://www.mbgnet.net/fresh/wetlands/why.htm

 

The money will be used to help the tribe relocate as a single entity, thereby retaining their status as an Indian tribe.  This is important, since if they do not remain together, the U.S. Government will take away their status as an Indian Tribe.  They are worried about retaining their culture and identity, as many other tribes have been lost to us for this very reason.  In the mid 1800’s the tribal lands were 1,062 acres of land, but not the reservation is only 283 acres.

http://www7.nau.edu/itep/main/tcc/Tribes/gc_choctaw

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/02/05/biloxi-chitimacha-choctaw-get-48-million-move-disappearing-louisiana-island-163310

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What do you think of Climate change?  What advice would you give to these peoples who wish to retain their cultural identity, while also needing to find a new place to live?  Leave your comments below.