Visiting South Dakota was an interesting experience. There, I was exposed to the bigotry and perpetual grievances of some Indians. I never knew that white people thought certain ways or were responsible for certain things. How nice!
For just one example, at one of the parks, I watched a movie wherein an Indian woman complained that her tribe’s livelihood depended entirely on buffalo. Never acknowledging the danger in that as a single point of failure, she blamed the white man for hunting the buffalo too much. Then she said that there was nothing they could do. Their whole civilization collapsed. They were victims!
This reveals a failure to adapt. The Indian tribes at large did not alter to handle changing circumstances. Instead of rolling with the punches (and to be fair, the challenges were serious) they were crushed, and all that remains is their endless whining about being defeated.
The descendants of failed civilizations spend their time looking backwards, cultivating a legacy of the past. Daniel Amos wrote a great song called “Memory Lane”, which states, “Take another trip down memory lane / if you go down there once too often / you might just remain.” It is spiritual death to dwell in the past. Your life is not over. You have life left to live. When one person does this, it is a waste of life. When an entire civilization does it? It is simply more evidence that not only has their civilization failed, but that it deserved to fail. In short, many Indian tribes were tumblr before tumblr.
Reading the history of various settler-Indian conflicts, one thing that presented itself was that not all Indian tribes agreed on all things. Many tribe members joined the Union army, for instance. Not all members of the Lakota (Sioux) think that creating a monument of Crazy Horse is a good idea. So the whole monolith zeitgeist of “Red Man / White Man” is not accurate. Don’t you tell me that I think based on your generalizations about white men, thank you!
Isn’t it time to stop whining about why your thinking sucks? Isn’t it time to do something that works, instead? Stop hating other people on the basis of their skin color and do something with your life! I salute the people who leave the rez. I salute people who make their way out of the ghetto. Who wants to live around people who do nothing except look backwards, abuse substances, make a mess of their environment, and complain?
There’s no need to rehash the past or the borrow hate from people long dead to create your identity. The only way is forward and we all encounter life as individuals, first of all, not as members of a race or a tribe. We decide what we want to do. And only you can determine whether to sit around in ashes and let others and the past define you, or do something with what God has given you. If you decide to do nothing with your gifts that too will be remembered, both now and evermore.