By Adair Hill
After Sarah Palin spoke, they began to hand out awards, when out of nowhere, a Native American was speaking! I became excited and tried to move closer to a jumbo-tron so I could hear (I couldn't get close enough to capture on video, but luckily someone else did and put it on YouTube):
Adair Hill continues:
Adair is particularly annoyed by one of Bigpond's claim: that we shouldn't look back. It's a claim echoed by Beck and others whenever they want to tout the country's greatness and deny its problems. Adair rightly rips this apart:
"Never look back to the past" = We're gonna forget about the whole physical and cultural genocide against our people.
Why that disturbs me:
1. Many Native Americans and other historically oppressed people in this country are still suffering from the legacy of that oppression, and, many would say, are still actively being oppressed. Kinda hard not to look back when you're still feeling the effects.
2. It is extremely hypocritical of the rally in general to try to tell people not to look back to the past, when every other minute they were referring to "The values our country was founded on...," "our founding fathers said...," "William Penn wrote...," "returning America to greatness...." Isn't that all looking back to the past too? I mean...hello?
"We shall look forward to the great awakening" = we shall look forward to everyone believing our fundamentalist Christian doctrine and values.
Why this disturbs me: Umm, let's see...freedom of religion, "values" are not universal.
In addition to all this is the fact that many of the American "founding fathers" were deists, and all believed in freedom of religion.
Do I feel like Negiel Bigpond got used? Yes. However, his speech reflects his own ideas and religious beliefs, and he got a public forum to express them in, so he did get something out of it. Do I feel like this speech represents Native beliefs accurately? Absolutely not.
ROB: You mean the original intent that treated Indian tribes as sovereign foreign nations? Whose chiefs were equal in stature to Europe's monarchs?
CONSERVATIVE: No, not that original intent. Tribal sovereignty and treaties are outdated concepts that have no place in America today.
ROB: Then which original intent? The one where only white property owners could vote and hold office? Where blacks, women, and other minorities had no rights?
CONSERVATIVE: Yes! That's the original intent I'm talking about! When real Americans like Glenn Beck didn't have to cry over socialism and immigration and a Muslim takeover of America!