What does an Indian think about Thanksgiving? What does a white American think? BadEagle.com has expressed the opinion of one Comanche Indian. As we approach Thanksgiving 2010, we note, once again, the most contrasting views of Indian and white opinon.
There is particularly hackneyed article by a white man currerntly making the rounds of internet commentary. “The Aftermath of the First Thanksgiving,” by one Malcome Lagauche (November 14), is such a fine rebuke of the white Christian that it has been published on many anti-American sites, and sites that feel rebuking America is a form of satisfying self-righteousness. Lagauche’s lament is based on the famous, but tired disposition that everything about America is false, pretentious, and immoral. Why? Because of what happened to the American Indian. In the long process of American history, the Indian suffered a continuous, abiding abuse from the white man. Such a position is shared by many a white (and colored) writer at this time of year. I don’t know who is trying to impress whom, but, as an Indian, I’m offended at these obligatory lamentations.
Pocasset tribe members mourn the death of their leader, Weetamoe See: Lagrauche Article 802
To present the American Indian as the image of abuse, as the sin of America’s soul, is the worst possible approach to reality that could be pawned off on the Indian. Yes, it is in the name of righteousness (or, “social justic”) that these theoretical indulgences are continually paraded, but they have absolutely no positive effect on American Indians. That is the cold steel of the matter.
Lagrauche complains that he was misinformed, misguided, and deceived by his education in American public schools about history and meaning of Thanksgiving. Though he is quite right to point out that the Indians who fought against the new white race (the Pilgrims) were patriots of their own nations, he is quite wrong to count their defeat as a fault of the white race, and to forever brand white America as an evil presence in the world. (And, yes, this smacks of anti-Zionism, and yes, Lagrauche’s piece has been picked up by Muslim sites.) We may also note that the “tribes” and “Indians” of modern times to whose ancestors Lagrauche refers are the pretender types, like todays “Wampanoag,” who are mostly black mulatto in plains Indian clothing. Of course, Lagrauche must reference personal knowledge and acquaintance with a living “Indian” leader, like the “tribal leader” of the great Kumeyaay Nation of southern California. Sounds impressive, no? The Kumeyaay nation is a little more than just another California casino “pop-up” tribe, which is suddenly made famous and powerful–through the white man’s vice; but, despite their many tiny bands and reservations (plots), they did not have federal recognition until the casinos moved in. (If I am mistaken on this, I invite immediate correction. The Kumeyaay web pages simply do not address this modern historical matter.) And, once again, they dress in Plains Indians clothing, to authenticate their “Indianness.” All of these casino tribes validate their Indianness through interweaving Plains Indian history, but the fact is, California Indians have an entirely different history, and share no commonality with Plains Indians other than the common plight of the white American nation build on top of them. “Pan-Indianism” this is called–considering all Indians alike. But writers like Lagrauche have no knowledge or mind for this kind of truth. All historical details and facts are dismissed for the greater good of Indian racism. That’s right. To think of Indians as a race is racism. Indians did not think of ourselves as a race at all. We were independent “nations.” We had different languages, religions, customs, and territories.
Inasmuch as Lagrauche’s article is based primarily on the plight of the Wampanoag and Pocasset people, his sole purpose is to affirmed their victimhood, rather than acknowledge any value in the white superiority. Again, he is absolutely right to recognize that Indians were patriots of their own nations. There were not the instigators of war with the invaders. The were being invaded! It was a war of defense.
However, this is not to imply that Indians were peace-loving, tree-hugging effetes. Yet, that is always the position of writers like Lagrauche. Indians are presented as morally, spiritual superior, because they were pacifists, according to this popular anti-American position. I have said this does no good for Indians. I also say it does positive harm. It is a disservice to Indians. What Lagrauche offers is an expression of liberal self-righteousness which not only insults Indians, but denigrates them as well. As most liberal social responses, it uses “victims” to denigrate Western civilization.
Victimhood is a negative moral position to be in. That is the overwhelming psychological fact. In infantilizes, it cripples, and it perpetuates dependence. Are these the conditions of the American Indian? Are these the choice of the Indian? Or, are they the inheritance of a selfish, white liberal stereotyping?
Whatever Indian problems are, and however they developed, the blood of bleeding heart liberals has no healing effect. The elixer of Indian maladies is in the Indian himself. So, no thanks to the doctrine of Lagrauche, and sympathies to the Indians who are suffering from its toxic taint. I say, don’t use me. Don’t pity me. And don’t presume. My object is not to be like you, but to be like I was before you ran into me. And you’d be a lot better off if you imitated what I was then.
You don’t see it, but you’re becoming like me, now, the creature you claim you created. You’re being invaded by a hostile race, with an intolerant religion, and instead of eliminating it forthwith, you’re being a gracious host, just like we were. So, is that why you like to pity Indianis? Is is some vicarious self-pity?
Snap out of it white man! Snap out of your own conceits.
Thanksgiving is not a time for politics, but just a simple agreed upon date to be thankful, formally, for the gift of life, and whatever joys we have found therein. Indian all believe in the Creator. To Him we offer our thanks. White people do the same. So, why becloud the spirits with the inevitable smog of politics? This is a time to forget the ego, not to aggrandize it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
And to the Kumeyaay, congratulations on your survival. Remember to thank the white man for his gambling vice. I must tell you, most of the world outside southern California doesn’t know a thing about you. Your story is unique and valid as it is. You don’t need to identify with plains Indians for strength. You are who you are, and that’s more than enough. You’re Indian, and you stayed Indian. I for one am thankful for that.