COMMENTARY: I swear it’s real…

by Apr 29, 2021OPINIONS




I’ve recently discovered something, baseball season is in full swing and…I don’t care. Well, to be honest I lost interest in baseball years ago. I try to feign interest in my NY Yankees but in reality…I don’t care. I was losing interest long before the Houston Astros cheated their way to a World Series title, were busted and then…nothing happened. Oh, some minor firings and suspensions but in reality…nothing. Life went on. In the days of yore players would been banned or fined and suspended for a few seasons, or even life for cheating and besmirching baseball’s integrity. Now, nothing. Baseball sucks. Where’s Kennesaw Mountain Landis when you need him?

In the world of “what the heck”! A group of Republicans, yes, a Trump is also involved, are spreading a rumor, they call it an assertion, that Joe Biden’s climate policies will force Americans to stop eating red meat. You know, your burgers and your steaks and so forth. 45’s former economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned that we Americans will soon be forced to consume plant-based beer. My first thought was…what was I drinking all those years? Meat-based beer? I thought beer was comprised of grains also know as plants. Shows what I know, right? Oh yeah, Trump. Junior chimed in that he’d probably eaten four pounds of red meat the previous day. Geez, four pounds, give that man some ExLax…stat!

Anyway, Kudlow went on to reference a report from the UK’s Daily Mail that had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Biden or his policies and naturally it spun out of control in that zany Bizarro World some of the GOP live in. The idea is so stupid that even Georgia’s Q’Anon supporter Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado’s gun nut Rep. Lauren Boebert jumped on the band wagon and dispensed a dose of their sage wisdom. And, not to be outdone, the Governor of Texas also chimed in via tweet. Fox News eagerly climbed aboard the crazy train (sorry about that Ozzy) only to issue a short retraction a little later. Yeah, I know, no one saw that since it was during the day, but they did. So, don’t worry GOP folks, you can still have your cows and eat ‘em too.

I hate continuing to talk about the crap that some Republicans say but these last couple of weeks have been busy and while I began writing about this particular individual others also began to pile onto this hapless yo-yo. So, without a pause let’s move to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who opened his big yap and these words came out, “There’s not much Native American culture in American culture”. Yeah, I know, it’s Rick Santorum but, who is actually this ignorant? Apparently, he is. So, to capsule this, has he ever heard of cotton? Or rubber, chocolate, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, or tobacco? I wonder if he knows that the style of American government with various branches was originally a Native idea. Maybe he buys into this white supremacist idea that we natives were all savages and the coming of Europeans saved this land. Or maybe the fact that Native people have long been wiped out in Pennsylvania clouds his reasoning. Which segues into the fact that Native people once cleared whole sections of forest to make farmable land and cultivated it for hundreds of years before European boat people showed up here starving and unwashed. They killed our people with disease then “borrowed” our idea of cultivating land and in the process wiped out the forests on this continent. Yep. Those people.

OK, now on to the actual Native culture! As Kool and the Gang would sing, “It’s a celebration!” Our syllabary, our written language, is two centuries old! Two hundred years ago Sequoyah invented, and not without interference from the myopic, a way for the Cherokee people to communicate both orally and on paper and with those tools we can store our wisdom on pages. Woo hooo! That’s something to celebrate. I envy the youngsters who are immersed in our oral and written language forms because as a youngster our language was on the way out, our parents had been beaten down so badly that carrying on our culture wasn’t looked upon as a something to be proud of. I learned a lot of slang words and most of it was mispronounced anyway. I’m now sixty-five years old and I’ll depart this world knowing that my grandchildren, my nieces, and my nephews will carry on the Cherokee culture and traditions that some Republicans say we don’t have.

In the words of Freewheelin’ Franklin, Fat Freddy and Phineas along with Fat Freddy Scat, “Keep on truckin’!” See ya next time.

Ledford is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians currently residing in Albuquerque, N.M.