Observations and random thoughts. Volume 25.1.
By WILLIAM LEDFORD
I pride myself on having an excellent sense of humor. Whether anyone else agrees is beside the point, opinions are like a certain point of anatomy, but I have to say this, I just don’t get the joke. Can someone please explain to me how immature juvenile statements and insults and doctored pictures and videos technically called tweets and memes comprise the new way to express one’s self? Our President sits somewhere with his phone in hand and does these things…constantly. And his followers love it. Is this the “dumbing down of America” that I keep hearing about? Or is it simply a fad, or “trend” as fads are called now? I understand high schoolers, college kids and girls of all ages engaging in this behavior because they’re young and haven’t ripened yet and that’s what kids do but geez, Trump is a 72-year-old man, a grandfather many times over. And, I can imagine him giggling like a teenager at 3am while tweeting away furiously and sending this stuff out. It’s a rather pathetic scenario. I guess I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue. Fifty points to the person who knows what film that came from.
We have a new Vice Chief and…I’m bummed. I offered the wisdom and experience that I’ve accumulated during my 61+ years of living in America and was totally ignored. I speak of the fact that one of our Councilmembers who was burnt out and calling it quits was chosen to play second fiddle to the Principal Chief over me…and he accepted! Perhaps he wasn’t as burnt out as he let on. Maybe the cut in pay was too enticing. Maybe no one thought that I was serious but I was…not! I joke. See that? It’s called humor. Congratulations B! I knew that there was no way the ol’ lady was gonna let you step out of steady work with a steady paycheck, draw unemployment, get foodstamps and go fishing. Or maybe B said, “I tried to get out but they just pulled me back in.” Fifty bonus points to the person who knows what film that one came from!
I read something in the letter section not that long ago. It was very interesting to read the disclaimer issued by Two Feathers International Consultancy. I find it even more interesting to read what wasn’t in the disclaimer. What I see is this “Mashu White Feather” (wonder what his birth name is if it ain’t Johnson) talking about his upbringing and being of Cherokee descent. He seems to be using a tried and true Trump technique. He allows others to assume a thing (that he is a Native elder) long enough and then when he eventually “corrects” them, the idea is already implanted and the actual truth is glossed over and ignored.
My question is: why do these people, the TFIC, have a white man with questionable Native heritage talk to audiences about Native heritage? On the surface it seems ludicrous. Under the surface it’s a damned insult. There are plenty of actual, authentic Native people around that can discuss this particular subject with a helluva lot more experience than this guy has. Which by the way, if you’re doing the math, is zero. So out of curiosity, and boredom, I perused the webpage for the TFIC and suddenly became enlightened. This “Mashu” character is featured prominently on the home page and I do get it. The people that this group is reaching out to would probably be scared of any full blood ‘skins and feel comfortable looking at “Indians” that look like them. This group is a sham.
Native imposters baffle and disgust me. Ward Churchill from a few years ago comes to mind as an extremely bad example. And, it wasn’t that long ago that the era of boarding schools with unspoken and unreported abuse along with forced assimilation caused many Native people to actually be ashamed of being Indian. To me, it took a group like AIM, themselves victims and survivors of the BIA’s “urban relocation” experiment, to band together, make a stand and speak out bringing pride, anger and awareness back to a great many of us young Natives. Maybe AIM made a few missteps along the way, being infiltrated by the FBI definitely had something to do with that but a result was, here we are, Native people are once again becoming a force to be reckoned with. And, we Native people don’t need the Two Fingers International Conspiracy to speak for us. Did I say that right? So now, perhaps I’ll look for and contact some old AIM friends of mine and maybe have them look into this group. Now, that sounds like fun.
On a more positive note…it’s football time again! High school ball (Go Braves!), the NCAA (Go Tarheels!) and the NFL (Go Packers!) are up and running. Fantasy football is alive and well and now takes a big chunk of time on ESPN. In Europe and the big ol’ mass of land south of the Rio Grande the folks are playing their version of football…we call it soccer.
On a sidenote to football excitement, Trump is taking on black football players and the NFL via Twitter. And losing. Oh…he thinks that he’s winning, his base tells him so, but he’s just dividing the country again. Like the Wizard said on the Wizard of Oz, “Ignore the orange guy with the ugly wig and ill-fitting suit.”
Ledford is an EBCI tribal member currently residing in Albuquerque, NM.