August 30, 2009

Bear pits = boarding schools

Cherokee, North Carolina--Earth Keepers or the Eco-Shams?

By Chipa & Ruby WolfeFor anyone to justify the bears' bleak existence in the Cherokee bear pits while at the same time claiming the bears are like their children is exactly the reason why we have child welfare laws. I respectfully challenge the Chief and bear pit operator, Mr. Santiago, to spend a 48-hour stint in the bear pit to experience a small taste of the life these bears have been condemned too. I realize these practices have taken place throughout Cherokee for more than half a century but that does not make it right as there were many other unsavory and immoral practices that were once rampant across reservations that are no longer tolerated as the norm due to exposure and a new consciousness.

For someone to say the bears are being cared for adequately because they meet USDA guidelines is like saying Indian boarding schools were adequate because they met US Government standards while innocent Indian children were being whitewashed, molested, and deprived of being who they are. Many elders from reservation to reservation have lots of horror stories as to how their hair was cut and their bodies saturated with dust to kill lice, punished verbally and physically for speaking their only language and practicing their traditions. There is a huge parallel between the treatment of these bears and the treatment imposed upon the American Indian by their oppressors so Cherokee, North Carolina, does not speak for all Indian people regarding their indifference towards animals anymore than I do.
Comment:  The bear pit in the picture below certainly looks inhumane to me. Once again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

For more on the subject, see Why PETA Brought in Barker and Hicks:  Cherokee Bears Are Fine.

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