March 03, 2008

Walkers vs. United "Snakes"

Longest Walk:  Apology to Indians is diversionSimmons pointed out that when the original Longest Walk was making its way across the United States in 1978, a similar diversion was created to diffuse the impact of the walk at that time. Indian representatives came out and told the Long Walkers that their walk was not necessary because the anti-Indian legislation underway would be defeated without their march into Washington.

Now, 30 years later, another effort is underway to diffuse the impact of this Longest Walk.

“The United ‘Snakes’ of America thinks this would be enough for us,” Simmons said. “There are still problems across Indian country. We’re talking much more than just treaty rights.

“It goes beyond human rights and civil rights, we are talking about our natural rights since the beginning of time.

“Our traditional and spiritual leaders have been silenced for so long. The apology should be directed to them.”
Comment:  So the US apology was meant to diffuse the impact of the Longest Walk 2? What impact is that, exactly? It's not clear the walk is going to have any impact.

Will the walkers blame the apology if they fail to achieve their goals? If a few words can stymie their efforts, their efforts must not be worth much.

Actually, I suspect few of the representatives who voted for the apology have heard of the Longest Walk 2. If they have, I doubt it was uppermost in their minds.

In fact, I doubt they thought the apology would deter anyone from continuing to advocate change. One could argue that apologizing to people encourages them rather than discourages them.

I guess the marchers feel they need an opponent to march against. I'd say there are enough obstacles in and out of Congress without making the apology another one.

Below:  Jimbo Simmons walks to Cave Rock in Nevada. Photo courtesy of Brenda Norrell.

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