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Bad Eagle Journal

Impropriety at Palo Duro

by David Yeagley · July 6, 2010 · 73 Comments ·

What’s wrong with this picture?

Members of the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network (TXAPAN) kneel before Comanche Nation chairman Michael Burgess and two other Comanches, and “apologize” for a “battle” at Palo Duro Canyon in 1874.

This story was told on the front page of the Comanche Nation News, June edition, 2010. The dramatic prayer incident took place this past April 23 and 24. To my knowledge, this event was not advertised among the Comanche people, nor was there any general invitation given. The June edition in the Comanche paper is the first I knew of it. I know I’m not the only Comanche that was unaware of it.

This event is ironic, the history dubious, and, in my opinion, the incident somewhat egregious. With all due respect for my beloved Comanche people and our leaders, I beg to differ with the idea that anyone owes Comanches an apology, or that Comanches need to offer forgiveness to anyone. Indeed, if Comanches accept apologies from anyone, then Comanches need to go and offer their apologies to the Apache, the Spanish, and the Texans. After all, Comanches were the aggressor–first toward other Indians, then toward the Spanish and Mexican population, in Mexico and in Texas. That the white Texans should finally out-gun and out-number the Comanche is no reason for the Texans to apologize. And Comanches certainly owe the Texans no apology. The Comanches were themselves invaders of the territory occupied by others. Then Comanches became victims of invasion.

Of a truth, Comanches should go down to Mexico, arrange a meeting with President Felipe Calderon, and kneel before him, confessing their brutal, savage abuse of Mexican people, and pray to God for forgiveness, from heaven and from the Mexican people.

Señor Felipe Calderon, el Presidente de Mexico.

But, what we have here in Palo Duro is an attempt of Christians to be graphic about their spiritual values. The reality of their faith is something they want emblazoned in the minds of the public. No, I don’t think they’re insincere, but I do think they’re melodramatic. This gesture is a fine piece of public relations, but, it is, in my opinion, historically and ethically mistaken, if theologically reasonable. It is effectually superficial, if based on a sincere attempt to manifest spiritual values in a sociological way. I’m afraid it smacks of liberalism, of reparations, of “historical justice” (if but in gesture), and really has no function beyond the intent of good will. It is not in fact about justice. It is completely off the mark.

As the news story relates, there were other tribes involved in the 1874 Palo Duro battle. This is indeed news to me, and probably to a lot of honest, informed Comanches. Apache, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho were included in the apostolic church round up. It was a “First Nations” gathering by white Christian manoeuverers. But the Comanche story of Palo Duro does not involved any other tribes. It was an effort of Col. Ranald McKenzie to coerce the last of the free Comanches to surrender and come to Ft. Sill with the rest of the Comanches. The news story in the Comanche paper does not mention the involvement of any other tribes in that 1874 affair. And southwestern plains Indians don’t use the term “First Nations.” This is a hep, Canadian liberal term for all indigenous people of the Americas. It’s part of that anti-white racist approach to Indians, which deems all indigenous people of the Americas equal to the grandeur of the American Indian, on a par with the honor of the Comanche. Personally, I’ll have none of it. No one belongs with the Comanche. And no other people should ever be associated with the American Indian. This is ethnic robbery. It is the denigration of Indian honor, and something liberals and Democrats continually seek, despite their professions of apology and forgiveness. Liberal “equality” degrades the American Indian, every time, and particularly the Comanche.

The fact is, most Indians, certainly the Indian leaders, among the southern plains tribes, are all Christian. It is a reservation tradition. Christianity is valued among Indians. I know that our Comanche people were at the April impropriety simply because they are Christian, and they would never work against other Christians–especially when those Texas Christians were trying to manifest some sort of Christian faith and principle toward other Christians whom they believe were terribly wronged. (Of course, Comanche certainly weren’t Christian at the time these “wrongs” were committed.) This is all perfectly appropriate, for the sake of Christian love and brotherhood.

But, it is inevitably superficial and meaningless. It is no more than a gesture. There is no righting of wrongs, even if the wrongs are positively identifiable–which, in this case, they are not. A cultural car wreck, such as the encounter of the white man with the Indian, is not something that any post-accident governmental ‘insurance’ policy can remedy. The crooked cannot be made straight. The old Indian way of life is gone forever.

What happened at the April impropriety at Palo Duro was simply a staged expression of the fact that people are ineffably awed by the ironies of history. Christian people feel compelled to address wrong, in a Christian way. It is a peculiar aspect of modern Christianity to venture into historical wrongs, however, and to feel an obligation to make today some marked expression about history. I say, however, that Christianity is best served on a personal basis, in the present, and not a national basis, not regarding irredeemable history. Jesus did say, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). I don’t know that national, political, or racial expression of right and wrong, apology and forgiveness, reparation and justice, are anything effective or useful except as the expression of good will. That can never be a bad thing to do, in and of itself.

I think that the Comanches who were at Palo Duro in April were there because they were invited, because they were acknowledged in an unusual way, and because, above all, they felt obligated to show respect to other Christians. This was for the Texas Christians, not really for the Comanches.

However, I say, again, because this present Comanche administration was willing to accept apology from white Texas Christians on bended knee, before the God of heaven, in the name of Christ, Comanches must now make a call to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and arrange for a public ceremony in Mexico, in say, Zecatecas, south of Coahuila; Comanches, the very ones present in Palo Duro in April, must publicly bow, on camera, before the Mexican government and the Mexican people, and on bended knee offer apology and beg for forgiveness for every Mexican the Comanches plundered, butchered, and raped.

This is the path created by April impropriety, and it must be followed.

This Palo Duro Christian gesture was on the front page of Comanche Nation News. Though I don’t see that it was advertised, or that all Comanche people were invited, it is presented to us as something our people were presumed to have approved. I for one would not have approved on any wise. As a Comanche, I can think of nothing more denigrated and distorting to the psyche than to sanction the dramtic public gesture of apology from those who do not owe us an apology! I know that our people, our elders, are all Christian. I know that they may see this April impropriety as a wonderful, healing event. As I said, they were there because they are honoring the Christian fellowship. This is of course a righteous thing. (Perhaps they are more righteous than I.)

I’m saying that, if the Comanche people honor this April event, then the Comanche people must apologize to Mexico. That’s the truth. And Comanche people must first apologize to the Apache!

This is the logical extention of the April impropriety at Palo Duro. Will Comanche people do this? Will the elders initiate such a dramatic gesture? They accepted such a gesture. Are they not obligated to make the same?

Personally, I say no one owes an apology to the Comanche. That insults our pride and honor. If we accept any such apology, then we owe apology to those whom we wronged. Then we’re not exactly Comanche anymore.

Posted by David Yeagley · July 6, 2010 · 10:10 am CT · ·

Tags: American Indians · Bad Eagle Journal · Christianity · Liberalism · Politics · Race · Religion · White Race

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73 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm   

    This was the white Michael Jackson — though, I suspect, he’s quite interested in women now that he’s an adult!

    Introducind Declan Galbraith .

  • 2 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm   

    Popular culture for Europeans!

    Carrickfergus .

  • 3 Illana // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm   

    I think it’s a little far from the topic now : “comment the picture”, (I don’t mean what you are saying is not interesting).

  • 4 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm   

    Declan Galbraith is awesome! How come I’ve never heard about this boy before? He sure can sing! Thanks for sharing, Thras!
    A final word about Michael Jackson. What I mean’t to say earlier when I said he was overrated was that while there is no question the man had great talent, I cannot stand it when people raise a celebrity to the level of a god or goddess and literally worship at his or her feet! It’s happen before with people like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, Princess Diana, and of course, Elvis Presley. Okay, all these people were beautiful and talented in their own way but now, like Michael Jackson, they’re all dead! Life goes on!

  • 5 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm   

    True, Illana!

    I am really thinking of taking the time to write an informed article on the nature of Liberalism. What liberals believe, their psychology or philosophy of life, etc., illustrated in their own words. I’d have to put this on a new web-page!

    It’s just that the older I get, the more of a ‘fatalist’ I become. I don’t really mean to say that EVERYTHING is “Fate.” It’s just that the state of the world is a given, and I feel totally powerless to do anything substantive about it.

  • 6 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm   

    “I cannot stand it when people raise a celebrity to the level of a god or goddess and literally worship at his or her feet!”

    No, I don’t like that either. It’s psychologically very unhealthy. But the same thing goes for a politician or scientists or artist or whatever. Every human talent is a gift of God and it is God who deserves the praise for creating it.

  • 7 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm   

    “Every human talent is a gift from God and it is God who deserves the praise for creating it.”

  • 8 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm   

    I really have reached the conclusion that Liberalism, since FDR, has gained such momentous power that it simply will have to run its course. Only if it crashes and fails might there ever be a return to some authentic form of conservatism that can restore the Constitutional rights and freedoms understood by the Founders.

    In the mean time, all we can work towards is damage-control!

  • 9 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm   

    Glenn Beck had an interesting program on tonight about the threat of the black power movement rising in America.This is another example of liberal engineering. It was really scary to see and hear this black man calling for all the white “crackers” to be killed. Even scarier is that Obama supports and encourages these groups! The recent acquittal of the Black Panther Case by the Justice Department is proof of this!

  • 10 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm   

    “It was really scary to see and hear this black man calling for all the white “crackers” to be killed.”

    You see, this is what I think Thomas Jefferson feared might happen. I don’t think Jefferson hated Blacks. He just believed that a power-grab contest would inevitably develop. He believed that the two races would naturally go to war against each other over the power to rule the land. That’s not “racism”; that’s simply an observation on human nature.

    It is, in fact, a hostile media that show such threats without condemning them. If a White group — say the KKK — made such threats, the media would blast them with the utmost condemnation. The double standard is what’s most frightening of all. Do the media desire a revolution?

  • 11 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm   

    When I wrote, “That’s not ‘racism’,” I was, of course, speaking of Jefferson’s expressed worry that a civil war would break out after the black slaves were set free.

  • 12 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm   

    The lamestream liberal news media has much complicity in egging on this type of behavior from radical blacks.These pot-stirrers are so desperate for recognition (high ratings) they will not be happy until something dreadful happens.

  • 13 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm   

    Where is the white outrage in Washington? Why does our society tolerate people like this man?

  • 14 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm   

    “Where is the white outrage in Washington? Why does our society tolerate people like this man?”

    One thing is that Whites do not want to add more fuel to the fire, so to speak. Containment is the rule people are following.

    This is the struggle Jefferson was afraid of when writing his Autobiography.

    Human beings naturally want to be governed by others just like themselves. They are not to be faulted for this natural tendency. I’m not exactly certain that God wants one race to exercise dominion over another.

    Of course, I’m not making excuses for the incitement to violence shown in this new report. I’m talking rather about the general desire of human beings to be among and be governed by their own kind of people.

  • 15 Pamela K. // Jul 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm   

    You must agree however, that if this man was white, he would probably be locked up in jail, especially if he was calling for the killing of black babies on a Philadelphia street corner! Another thing that bothers me about this whole Black Panther thing is where were the Philly cops that day when these thugs were intimidating people at that polling place? What right do these people have to stand there and harrass people and get away with it?

  • 16 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm   

    With the election of Barack Obama and many other changes over the decades, the white male feels defeated. Nothing is being done because of fear of a black riot. There is much statistical evidence that the black race is more violent than the white race under civilized conditions.

    Have a look at the Color of Crime report.

    The white population is praying that “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” will keep the peace.

  • 17 Thrasymachus // Jul 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm   

    Apartheid was ended in South Africa.

    Now, if this report on crime in that nation is correct, then it could be a preview of the near future here in the States:

    Getting Away With Murder – South Africa.

  • 18 Thrasymachus // Jul 8, 2010 at 6:24 am   

    “What right do these people have to stand there and harrass people and get away with it?”
    This is because in the eyes of many Blacks, to oppose what any Black says or does is “racism.” It is perceived “racism” to many simply to disagree with a Black.

    This is the dangerous situation the white man has got himself into over the past 50 years. It has been a gradual development.

  • 19 Bear // Jul 8, 2010 at 7:07 am   

    Back to the topic at hand, (not singing, black racism, hitler, or Michael Jackson) …..Doc you asked – What’s wrong with this picture?

    Pure and simple that Chrsitains would be found kneeling before another group of men. This disturbs me. I understand that it is to show humility, and reverence, but to have Christians kneel before them seems wrong in my opinion, as I am sure it would have been wrong to Peter in his day.

    Acts 10:25-26 (New King James Version) “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”

  • 20 Thrasymachus // Jul 8, 2010 at 7:10 am   


    You found the perfect Bible verse for this. Spot on! Yours is the best comment on the subject, I think!

  • 21 David Yeagley // Jul 8, 2010 at 9:45 am   

    I’m sure the Comanches were just trying to cooperate, out of respect for the Christian feelings of these Christian whites. I really don’t mean to rebuke my leaders here, but, like Bear, I just feel that they should have assumed a little more command in the situation.

    For all the savagery of the past, Comanche people today are amazingly docile, patient, and forbearing at times. Often, in fact.

    Except at our tribal meetings! Ha, ha! We take it out on each other, usually.

  • 22 Pamela K. // Jul 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm   

    “For all the savagery of the past, Comanche people today are amazingly docile, patient, and forbearing at times. Often, in fact.”
    No! Often, indeed. I am terribly sorry for going off on these wild tangents on your website! I really do think it’s important to stick to the subject at hand, and I’m sorry for straying off course, David.

  • 23 Thrasymachus // Jul 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm   

    The audio recordings, if such were to exist, of the sermons and Bible studies and teachings these Pentecostals were receiving would be most revealing. I really wonder just exactly what was being said to them to induce them to behave in this manner?

    It’s not just the facts of history that matter; it’s the big picture — the context — and the spirit in which it is all “revealed” or, better stated, taught.

    I believe there was something about this in Orwell’s “1984”?

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