July 27, 2008

No Natives for president?

In Looking for Native Cosby? I said no Native was well-known or loved enough at the moment to transcend tribal boundaries. But I added that Indians would listen to and rally around a Native who achieved that stature--for instance, the first Native candidate for president.

Kiowa writer Russell Bates claimed that could never happen. Namely, that a Native could never run for president with America's tribes united behind him or her. As Russ put it:There is no such Native! And there never will be.

[W]hat 'prescience' do you possess that there even could be such a personality WITHIN THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS?
Here's my response:

The people I listed before are examples of Natives who are gaining a national following. They aren't examples of Natives who could successfully run for president. Try to read what I wrote instead of (mis)interpreting it.

Already several Natives have won wide acceptance and honor among the nation's tribes. Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Joe Garcia of the National Congress of American Indians. Ernie Stevens Jr. of the National Indian Gaming Association. Eloise Cobell. The Navajo codetalkers. Lori Piestewa. Vine Deloria Jr. before he died.

No, I'm not saying any of them could successfully run for president either. (Especially the ones who are no longer alive.) I'm saying they've won wide acceptance and honor among the nation's tribes. That's a necessary but not sufficient precondition for a Native vying for the presidency.

A candidate in 20 years?

Twenty years ago, Barack Obama hadn't even started Harvard Law School. If he could become a candidate for president in 20 years, so could a lot of people. Any of the thousands of young Native activists, lawyers, and politicians out there, for instance.

I believe Native candidates could be ready to run in 20 years. But would the American public be ready to accept them? Maybe, maybe not. It took a century or more for the first serious black and female candidates to gain acceptance. It might take just as long for an Indian.

But you're the one who set a time limit, not me. First you said a Native could never be a national figure, and then you said it couldn't happen in 20 years. What's the next timeframe you're going to backtrack to...next summer?

Since I didn't set a time limit, your arbitrary 20-year deadline is irrelevant. Maybe it'll take 30 or 40 years to happen. If it does, I'll probably be around to see it and you probably won't. Too bad for you.

P.S. You don't have much faith in your fellow Natives, do you? Is that why you're always kissing up to powerful white men? Because they have the fame and clout you crave?


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Native Americans, whether in the US of A, Canada, Central or South America, supremely are disenfranchised and thus are aliens on their own lands. Though few aspire to play games with rules they did not make, Natives have held state and national political offices but mostly during terms that led nowhere no matter how long those lasted. What accomplishments they may achieve either are belittled or are far from celebrated and respected. Any and all may see that very process of ridicule and diminution occur right in this blog whenever Rob or his spirit twin dMarks responds to writerfella's post or writerfella's past. And writerfella kisses up to no EuroMan but rather it is EuroMan who always has kissed up to him. In fact, just last night...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Apparently you have nothing to say about your ridiculous claim that a Native couldn't be elected president--ever or in 20 years. So noted.

I respect and celebrate Native accomplishments several times a day, which is more than you can say. I occasionally ridicule or diminish your accomplishments because you spend so much time extolling and inflating them.

As I've shown repeatedly, you kiss up to plenty of white men in the entertainment field. As long as you keep shilling for them, I'll keep pointing it out.