Liberals like to use Indians as a prick against America. Conservatives apparently wish Indians did not exist—at least not as “nations within a nation.” Indians simply wish to be Indians. Nationhood is our natural intuition, something we spilled blood for, and something the United States government promised to recognize, forever.
Since 2001, BadEagle.com has attempted to articulate American patriotism from the American Indian point of view. At this point in the dialogue, however, it seems that liberals and conservatives are alike confused in their rhetoric, and therefore BadEagle.com must reassess our own approach, and restate our position.
Consider the circumstances:
Acting president Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. “Barak Hussein Obama”) has repeatedly used the terms “level the playing field,” and “spread the wealth” as code for government control, or, tyranny. This is the liberal position. Hillary Clinton expressed it more openly: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” (San Francisco, 2004). Economic parity is the Communist idea of equality. Material-based equality requires force to accomplish. It is the antithesis of free enterprise. It is the antithesis of Americanism, and blatantly treasonous toward the United States Constitution. It is certainly extraneous and irrelevant to the concepts expressed in the defining document of the United States.
However, when talking about Indians, conservatives have used the very same words. “Level the playing field” is meant to nullify the Indian treaties, remove all legal identification of Indians, and to dissolve Indian nationhood. Indians must be like everyone else, as if our history and blood are nothing. Many conservatives want to see the end of Indian reservations. David Horowitz has publicly express such sentiments, as has Charlie Meadows (President, Oklahoma Political Action Committee), and One Nation United (Fall 2009 Newsletter, p.13). Horowitz thinks reservations cause depravity. Meadows and other conservatives resent the economic advantage (i.e., the tax-free status) of Indian businesses, like gas stations, smoke shops, casinos, etc. One Nation United lobbyists work against the destructive environmental and socio-economic effects Indian casinos have on neighboring Americans.
Recently, The Oklahoman newspaper actually advocated the dissolution of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and every other “government program” connected with Indian people. It was a veritable hate crime, and has been reported as such to the FBI, as well as to the BIA.
While the liberal ‘use’ of American Indians tends to be petty and affects only the careers of a few vainglorious Indian leaders, the conservative position on Indians is a positive affront.
BadEagle.com has taken the position, from the beginning, that American Indians are natural patriots, and natural conservatives. Any people who are willing to sacrifice all for the preservation of their identity and nationhood have to be considered patriots. Our position has always been that the Indian is exemplary in this matter.
That conservatives would develop the position that Indians are at odds with Americanism is most ironic and tragic. It is also profoundly mistaken. Indeed, such a position, while perfectly innocent of racial prejudice against Indians, demonstrates an acute lack of appreciation for the nationhood of Indians. Contrary to BadEagle.com’s position of allowing every nation, every people, the freedom to love, honor, and preserve itself, conservative leaders are anxious to deny just such privileges to the very people to whom the United States government promised to preserve.
Worse, in their strangely liberal jargon against Indians, conservatives are actually being anti-American! To contradict or deny the history and the stated legal positions of the United States government is dangerously close to treason itself.
But conservatives don’t understand that Indians are the exception to their “principles” of equality. Indians are not another “minority group.” Indian treaty provisions are not government programs, nor hand-outs, nor welfare. And the conservative leaders have no right to make moral judgments of Indian people, or the effects of Indian treaties, however obvious the depravity. They need to look at the moral failure of their own society as well. Shall Americans be denied their nation because of their self-denigrations?
And, if conservative “equality” advocates object to tax-free Indian businesses, all they have to do is boycott Indian businesses. This is the simple, free, democratic thing to do. When conservatives wish to make illegal that which is provided or allowed by the United States government in historical documents, conservatives are toying with treason. There are better ways to deal with the Indian issues. The conservative need not push himself over the edge.
And American Indians need not be forced to choose between being Indian, and being American.
Touch the Clouds, Lakota chief, 1838-1905.