Sunday night, Aug. 14, W. Kamau Bell and “United Shades of America” aired an episode titled “What Is the Land Back Movement?”, CNN press notice.
The one hour episode looked particularly at Sioux held lands in western South Dakota, and other nearby states, especially the Black Hills. The episode started at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which I have visited twice, in 1974 and 1998. Some of the episode showed some customs, such as one involving severed buffalo heads.
Much of the episode concerned a treaty around 1868 which promised the return of captured indigenous lands. Litigation ended with a scolding by the Supreme Court in 1980 but with a payout from the US Treasury of “only” $100 million instead of several billion.
In the meantime, the welfare of indigenous peoples has become bureaucratic, and legally obscure to most people (what does tribal autonomy really mean?) Casinos appeared, which benefitted wealthier indigenous persons. When I lived in Minneapolis 1997-2003, I often visited Mystic Lake Casino on Highway 160 SW of Minneapolis. The Libertarian Party of Minnesota often had events there. In one instance in 2002, there was an incident with a party candidate bringing a concealed weapon onto the premises.
As with the well known issues of slavery, one could debate the idea of other reparations. There is always the possibility that at some point, individual private citizens could be held legally liable, if there had been stolen lands of slave holdings in the ancestral chains above them. But because most of these situations occur in “red states” and because inheritance and trust law is largely controlled by states, this sounds politically unlikely.
It is also important to note that indigenous peoples on reservations in western states were hit very hard by COVID, partly because of poorer health (especially Type II diabetes because of western diets and possibly weaker immunity because of genetics or lack of prior exposure to coronaviruses).
I wanted to share a Timcast (Tim Pool) video from Aug. 11. 2022, where Tim discusses the ramifications of a situation where a customer of a YWCA in Washington State was banned for complaining about a transgender employee’s bathroom use. Tim says “the penalty for not engaging in politics is to be ruled by your inferiors”.
Seriously, many older people (myself included) do disagree strongly with the more extreme positions on both far Left and far Right. There is a tendency for the more moderate majority to leave actual politicking and fund raising for candidates to persons more polarized on the extremes, which reinforces cyclical and self-augmenting tribalism. In fact, I write a lot of commentary about the possible significance of many political developments, while refusing to join one side or the other. I discussed this dilemma here on Aug. 3. Bur one has to be in a situation of some perhaps unearned privilege to speak out without climbing into someone’s lifeboat and being willing to sink with it (as if recused from the Titanic). This could tend to work against speech set up the way mine has been over the long run.
It’s important to realize, in the context of Pool’s video, that this refers to total political participation, not just voting. It means activities like helping others to get to polls, being willing to raise money in your name for “other people’s causes” that you may not personally be in sync with, because voting blocks cross manly lines when it comes to sensitive specific issues (for example, “social and emotional learning” for children vs. age-inappropriate gender-related material). It means not feeling “ashamed” personally of people you pinch hit for, even if you have thought of them as competitive “losers”. It can mean “getting over yourself” indeed.
(Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 11:30 PM EDT by John W. Boushka)