By WILLIAM LEDFORD
PART ONE (Part Two will be published next week)
It’s 2016 and if you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived the Christmas dinner and the New Year’s Eve parties. And…you’re back at work. And…you’re looking at your bank statement in disbelief because no way did you really spend that much money in a month.
Two important things happened in December of 1965. The One Feather was born and I became a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan. For all you Squealer, I mean Steeler fans out there who like to, well, squeal, about 6 Super Bowls, the Packers own 13 NFL Championships. Maybe one day they’ll catch up.
I was recently chided by a female relative for failing to properly reference a funny remark to its originator, I’ll endeavor to not do that in the future. So, with that in mind, a comedian named Bob Monkhouse said something years ago that I’ve liked and carried with me…”When I die I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather…not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”
I want to congratulate my cousin Taran Swimmer for winning the title of Miss Cherokee. I hope to see her in April at the Gathering of Nations Powwow here in Albuquerque. Time to get your outfit done and learn some Traditional moves.
I’m sorry that I missed the Rez ComicCon, it sounded like fun. Maybe next year. I have some different memories of the comics I owned that inspired my brother to stage this event. My grandmother used to call my comic books “tools of the devil” or “devil’s playthings” or some such and I was banned from reading those at her house. On the other hand Marvel Comics were some of the most fascinating and educational reading material I ever laid my hands on and devoured them eagerly. I stopped buying comics years ago but still have 12 long boxes of comic stored away. All bagged and boarded.
In the last part of 2015 Indian Country lost a tireless fighter and I want to say, “Rest in Peace John Trudell, good Native brother you fought the noble fight for many, many years against the dishonorable enemy”. For those of us in Indian Country who still remember AIM and what it really stood for, for your never-ending battle for the self-respect and pride of our people, we will miss you. All you Native youngsters out there, put down your American History books, pick up some books that detail the struggle in the 60’s and 70’s to escape the abyss brought on by self-determination, relocation and termination and regain our Native pride. Yes, mistakes were made in the struggle but J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI thugs tried their best to keep “Indians” in their place as second or third class citizens and failed. Unfortunately there’s still much work to be done as that place in society still rears its ugly head in the guise of something as disrespectful as the mascot for an NFL team but that’s fodder for another time.
After my last piece I was called out by a reader who disagreed with my point of view concerning American politics and l wanted to take a small amount of my busy day to respond to Mr. Jimmy Yarborough. I feel that communication between people with opposing political and world viewpoints is a positive indication that we’re civilized humans, not simply Red and Blue Staters and cheap insults like insinuating that my “liberal” head was “buried in the sand” simply because he disagreed with my point of view was unnecessary. I suppose my opinion that conservatives have their heads buried in a nether orifice is also possibly unnecessary. Ahh…political discourse.
I don’t know what that particular phrase means, “well located in New Mexico” but I think that I can figure it out. Yes, I live in Albuquerque, NM, called the Land of Enchantment, yes it’s somewhere near Nevada and California, yes its home base to three Congressional Democrats and one Republican. And to continue the geography review, NM is also nestled between Arizona and Texas who harbor within their borders some of the more obtuse and bizarre individuals that I have ever met and conversed with. Ultra weirdos.
The United States a third World country? Really. I’ve heard that Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh or someone of that ilk originally made that statement as a joke. Well, I laughed when I heard it so it must have been a joke. But, instead of bad jokes let’s discuss facts. Fact: President Obama has steered America through the deep recession left to him by the dangerous actions of his predecessor, it’s taken a long seven years for us to get where we are now but that’s how bad the country’s economic predicament was when he took office. America’s economy is once again the standard bearer of the free world. The world’s currencies are again based upon the dollar. He has extricated America from the costly war and occupation of Iraq and his practice of taking out terrorist leaders with drone fired missiles are doing a damn fine job. And one other item, while Trump was making a fool of himself with that birth certificate BS the President was monitoring a team of Navy SEALs as they eliminated Osama Bin Laden. All business while the clowns dance around and make absurd statements.
Ledford is an EBCI tribal member currently living in Albuquerque, NM.