By Gyasi Ross
Yet, according to Chad, white school administrators, academics and bloggers do not like to admit that some Native kids just simply mess up. So they present an all-encompassing excuse for Native kids—intergenerational trauma. He said that when he talks to elderly Natives—or even most of us Natives who grew up within our own communities—those Natives want accountability, responsibility and an end to all the excuses.
When I thought more about Chad’s pseudo-conspiracy theory I had to admit—it wasn’t even really a theory. In fact, I’ve seen this “white-folks-excusing-bad-behavior-within-Native-youth-who-ultimately-end-up-in-prison” phenomenon up close. I’ve also seen the destruction that it does within our communities.
Natives in control
I agree with Ross's newfound position expressed above and here:
Even though I believe intergenerational trauma explains some of the problems, I don't hear Indians using it as an excuse for their problems. I hear about them seeking the resources for and implementing programs to combat these problems. These programs don't always succeed--often because they lack money--but most Indians aren't just sitting around crying. Or hanging their heads in defeat like the End of the Trail statue.
Which is why a comic book like SCALPED, where everyone is mired in poverty and despair, rings false to me. Unlike Ross's Natives, SCALPED's Natives are totally out of control of their destiny. They're pawns of gambling syndicates, gangsters, and gunmen--not to mention the murderer-in-chief. The good Natives--elders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers, police officers, fire fighters, housing officials, et al.--are basically absent. If any are present, they're outnumbered by the bad Natives--criminals, thugs, and lowlifes--by a wide margin.
For more on the subject, see Why Indians Remain Poor and Blaming the Victim.