June 12, 2010

Mentioning racism = dwelling on past?

Navajo Human Rights Commission clings to victim mentalityEditor:

The PC police may crucify me, but somebody has to say it. The Farmington Community Relations Commission is working on a general agreement with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, or NNHRC, to collaborate on improving interracial relations in the area. The NNHRC wanted to include language to the effect that, "We must never' forget the tragedies inflicted against the Navajo people," and "we intend to move forward' by acknowledging that racism and other destructive actions were inflicted upon the Navajo and this racism continues in America to this day." Excuse me? This is moving forward? Mayor Roberts was right in suggesting the language be removed.

There is no denying that the Navajo tribe and its people have been mistreated in the past. And granted, pockets of racism still exist on both sides of the aisle, and unfortunately always will. But the majority of the people in San Juan County (Anglo, Native American, Black or Hispanic) live, work and play without even distinguishing that there is a racial difference. We are friends, neighbors, co-workers and business associates. While we shouldn't forget what happened in the past, we also will never get beyond it if the coals are fanned back to flame at the start of every conversation. That language keeps the old wounds exposed and implies that racism always has been and continues to be a white-against-Navajo problem. Prejudice goes both ways, and relationships are a two-way street. In that regard, the NNHRC should emphasize improving ongoing relations by focusing on the future, and should take responsibility and a proactive role in that effort.

Some comments from the comments section:I totally agree, The past is the past, We cannot change what has happened. But to keep it in the forefront will not help. I know racism is alive & well in the four corners. But the finger pointing is detrimental to all.

Yeah right--keep it all legal, by leaving it out, that this never happened. By not acknowledging this important fact--the very reason for powwow of commissions--Farmington is stuck on the past. You don't want to acknowledge it happened and move forward. You won't admit your guilt. That's why F-town is still totally in denial.

[Quoting previous comment] Just goes to show, there will always be haters on both sides of the fence. If you don't believe me look in the MIRROR!

Well said.

Well said? The coals are fanned back to flame every time a crime of hatred is committed like branding swastikas on an Indian or when a "gang" of whites pick up and beat an Indian. Yea, let's move forward by acknowledging history and to continue pursing tolerance through education because at present its ignorance that breeds bigotry.

We natives need that paragraph in there because that is the reason for this collaboration. That is a very important paragraph that acknowledges that native people have suffered!

All people have suffered at different times because of different reasons. Dwelling on the past is counterproductive.

Ya know people are always saying poor me, and sad to say but in this area is extremely worse...except its not people in general, it's the race's here...they think poor me because of the past...GET OVER IT....it's the past...you cant change the past, only the future...do you really want ur future generations to possibly work out like the past? Or do we want to build a bridge and get over it..it's in the history books...leave it there for kids to read...actually teach your kids morals and ethics...they shouldn't see skin color just personality...no judgement should be made because of skin but it is since people can't/WON'T get over what happened many many...years ago!
Comment:  The last comment sums up what the naysayers are thinking. Racism is a thing of the past. Everyone's equal these days. People are talking about this only to "play the victim card" and get something for nothing: money, preferential treatment, or whatever.

What they're really thinking is that the brown-skins are lazy drunks and bums who won't work and want a handout. Otherwise why would these people keep complaining when they could solve their own problems by hard work? "Pull yourselves up by the bootstraps, crybabies, like white people have done for centuries. We went out and civilized the world while you were still grubbing for roots and berries."

It's pretty clear Sharpe agrees with this view. Look at his language: "PC police," "what happened in the past," "old wounds," etc. As far as he's concerned, racism against minorities is no longer a problem except in a few "pockets" somewhere.

Sharpe helpfully indicates what he considers the real problem: Indian prejudice against whites. Never mind the fact that some white supremacists recently shaved a swastika in a Navajo's hair. To him the actions of the white majority are equivalent to those of the brown minority. "Those Injuns are lookin' at our wimmin and takin' our money at the casinos! They're gettin' special rights from the gummint when they haven't done nuthin'! Sure, we're racists, but they're racists too!"

"Racism" causes racism?

Perhaps the funniest thing is what triggered this whole diatribe. Was it a proposal to give the Indians massive reparations for their stolen land? A mandatory class to teach kids racial awareness and multiculturalism (which would be a good idea)? No. If we go by Sharpe's letter, it was a couple of lines in an agreement with a human rights commission. Nothing else, just a few words.

So a commission established to address racial issues shouldn't talk about race. Mentioning racism causes children to think about race, which causes them to turn racist. If we could scrub the word "racism" from government docs, the media, and the dictionary, racism would no longer exist except in history books.

This is breathtakingly stupid, yet it's how a sizable minority of the US population thinks. Guess these people have never heard Santayana's dictum that "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." To them, Santayana should've said: "Those who learn history are doomed to repeat it."

Who will think of the children?!

This must explain why Arizona's conservatives are cracking down on ethnic studies. They're just trying to protect their children from learning about racism. If the kids never hear about genocide or slavery, it'll never occur to them to discriminate against people.

And just coincidentally, white people will get to 1) curtail government benefits to minorities, and 2) maintain their power and privilege. Everyone who matters will be happy. Nice!

For more on scrubbing the history books, see Ethnic History Corrects American History and Mainstream History = Pro-White Propaganda. For more on the color-blind fantasies of white people, see "Color-Blind" People Are More Racist and Children Aren't Color-Blind.

Below:  Fortunately, these kids haven't been infected by the pernicious word "racism" yet. They don't know anything about prejudice or discrimination, so they're free to dress up as stereotypical Indians without shame. Yay!


Stephen Bridenstine said...

This whole debate can be summed up in one word...


Silver Rose said...

I wish it were as easy as fear. There's fear, but this is about maintenance combined with a new marketing strategy. Instead of doing the "work" of making the "other" into a boogeyman, it's easier to say minorities are ridiculous for holding onto the past. People will have sympathy for the Devil since he's the underdog, but not for someone who is the "same" as them. Because it's absurd that an "equal" is suffering from discrimination, they can deny it exists. And the worst part about is they will shut you up if you even dare speak about it.

This isn't fear. This is willful blindness and selfish arrogance. And it's working.

Chief Off Tribe said...

It was less than a few months ago when a racial incident was committed. How is this "living in the past?"

This is the "present" state of things in Farmington and it is across the nation, not just in the four corners area.

America has revived the old "boys will be boys" atittude when it comes to incidents involving racism and it appears to remain an accepted form of American behavior from all sides involved.

Even within Indian country, natives can be discriminatory against one another and that seems accepted as well.

It is easy to point fingers at non-natives for being racist. If you were raised with having Walt Disney and John Wayne crammed into your DNA all your life backed up with a healthy dose of Indian mascots, you'de be freckled ignorant too, but to discriminate against another tribe that is not from your area or tribe makes you just as prejudiced and ignorant as those you consider racists.

m. said...

"But the majority of the people in San Juan County (Anglo, Native American, Black or Hispanic) live, work and play without even distinguishing that there is a racial difference."


Sorry, but that's all I can manage. I don't know whether to laugh at the idiocy or cry because this idiot is one of many idiots who has turned a blind eye while a Navajo woman is harassed or Navajo man is jumped right in front of their face. Of course non-Natives in Farmington aren't going to "distinguish that there is any racial difference" when they "live, work and play"...only when they attack, otherwise there isn't much difference to notice when they're looking out for or cavorting with their own!