They WERE here first. Cynthia Oceguera shouldn’t apologize for the truth. Despite that, many Natives have been living on reservations for what is nearing two centuries, and faced systemic racism that has kept them from achieving economic independence. Their land was stolen from them to make way for European settlers, disregarding their ties to the land and their culture, their needs or their worth. That was the point. The Manifest Destiny of whites trumped reason, resulting in a holocaust on American soil. So when anyone makes statements like: As Nevada approaches its 2016 caucuses, its Native Americans have two choices: stay silent or step up, they’re ignoring how the deck is stacked against these people. They ignore murder, rape and laws built to hold them back.
If we’re going to say that Black Lives Matter, what about Natives? Natives and Blacks have suffered immeasurably at the hands of the white establishment and may make good allies to achieve their goals for equality and fairness. These two groups have such similar experiences: targeted by the law and not accepted into the society for the melanin in their skin. Their movement has come again and again, and been shutdown hard each time.
Does it surprise anyone that the many Natives are cynical about trying to do anything politically to make change for their people? Failed treaties and consistent back lash have served to create defeatism. But, that is the point. Look at how it has been used on Blacks, other people of color, women, the labor movement…
Many of my Native friends have said, “What is the point? they’re all the same. They all lie.” That experience cannot be ignored, not when the person who is experiencing it is telling you that pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is bull shit and there is no way out.
See the video linked below for more details about the Native American situation. Keep in mind that the Final Solution, enacted by the Nazi’s of Germany against the Jewish peoples of Europe took stock from the Native American Solution enacted by the United States Government (both Democratic and Republican representatives). Get the word out. Learn more about this topic. I’d wager, of anyone running, Bernie Sanders would be the one to take action here. Everyone else ignores race issues, unless they can use them to curry favor in whatever direction they intend, and none take action. However, Sanders has a long track record of following through. It might be worth contacting his campaign to see what he has to say. As of the day I wrote this, I have sent a message entreating them to address the issue. Please follow my lead, ally or Native. It takes only a minute. Contact the Bernie Sanders campaign here.
It is inexcusable that in 2016 their situation should be this way. We must make a change. We must. They were here first.
“Although President Barack Obama is well regarded among Native Americans, many feel that presidential candidates overpromise and underdeliver — and that the 2016 winner will be no different. Still, leaders in places like Nevada’s Walker River Paiute Reservation, which had one of the highest voter turnouts in Indian Country, fight to keep the faith. In this America Tonight excerpt, Sarah Hoye sits down with tribal elders who believe in the political process even though, they say, many of the wrongs committed against Native Americans have yet to be righted.“
I received a response from the campaign on Sunday, just after Midnight…
From: Info [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2016 12:33 AM
To: K. Williams <redacted email>
Subject: Re: Native American Issues and Congratulations.
Thank you for your thoughtful note and suggestion. It will be passed on.
And thanks for your support!
Help Desk Volunteer
On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 5:43 PM EST, Kelly Williams <> wrote:
Good evening and thank you for taking the time to read this note.
I’m featuring a short blog post on my site this Friday on Native American Rights. I’d love to see Bernie get on this issue, as so many have ignored the plight of Natives in the past. As they say, politicians over promise and under serve. Bernie is not like that. I think his plans can really make a difference for Natives.
However, when there are no jobs in the area, no shots at education and systemic poverty-what will his policies do to alleviate that?
You want Nevada? You want more votes nationwide, hit this issue with a solid plan. Include them. They were here first, and it is time we right the wrongs. Your recent ad tells me that you will do something, but they’re so defeated that they won’t believe it. Inclusive plans, where the white child, the black child, the native child is given the same services, that will resonate.
Something to think about. Thank you for your time. Keep up the awesome work. Congrats on New Hampshire, Senator. So excited!
Here is a copy of my post that will be out soon.
They Were Here First: http://authorkwilliams.com/2016/02/5624/
Follow up February 24, 2016
“On Tuesday, Tara Houska, Couchiching First Nation, was named as Native American Advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign, according to officials.”