If you have been following the news, maybe you have heard or seen something about the business going on in North Dakota. There is a company that wants to build an oil pipeline through tribal lands and under at least one major river. The pipeline is touted by supporters as a safe way to transport light, sweet crude oil from ...
No. I had this plan to write up a post that gave details about this thing and explain both sides. Honestly, however, it wasn't what I wanted to say here.
People assume that this business about the pipeline is an isolated incident. There are a rather large group of people who are saying horrible things about the native peoples who are coming together to resist this. The insults range from 'buffalo jockey' to even more offensive things that I will not sully my blog with. The argument that this pipeline is a non-issue is equally offensive.
This is not just about the pipeline.
This is about cultural genocide that has been ongoing for generations. The native peoples of North America lost approximately 90% of their pre-colonial era population due to this business. They have been denied the right to live upon their lands, corralled into reservations that are too small to sustain them and kept in a state that could be described as ghettos, if anyone was bold enough to look at it directly. There was generations of children forcibly removed from their homes and 'reeducated' in schools where they were punished for speaking their native languages, engaging in their native cultural practices, and forced to take up the culture of their oppressors under the threat of physical, psychological, and legal punishment. And the people who put these poor kidnapped children through this barbarism have been upheld as taking care of the 'white man's burden' as though they were somehow helping these people.
This is about how the concept of 'manifest destiny' and how Christians have more rights to the land then the people who lived there for countless generations before do. This is as much of a battle as Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn. This is not just a case of private citizens having their rights plowed under. It is far more egregious than that. It is a continued effort to take the native peoples and marginalize them until they functionally are erased from the map. Who needs small pox blankets for germ warfare when you can poison their water supply with impunity?
Some people have said that violence against the people at Standing Rock is the answer. Unfortunately, they perpetuate the idea that the villains are the native peoples and their supporters. They are the victims here. Not the company that can afford to have a bit of spray paint washed off their bulldozers. Not the local law enforcement who confiscated the drinking water for the encampment under false pretenses with out any recrimination for doing so.
The native peoples are sovereign nations. They have been abused. They have been maligned and denigrated. And they are not going to remain silent anymore. All of you hoity toity people who want to claim that you are believers in Christ's lesson, you better put your money where your mouth is. Step up and help these people. Christ taught that you were to care for the people who were under subjugation and love them as if they were your Lord. Start walking your faith. Maybe you can make some inroads on paying off the blood debt you owe them for your part in their oppression.
For my part, as an Earth-loving heathen, I'm going to pray. As I am sure many of you will. I am also going to be writing letters to my government representatives. I'm going to be making a point of disseminating information for how to resist this kind of garbage that the people at Standing Rock have been suffering. And I am going to do what little I can for the betterment of the people where I am.
Because, like the people at Standing Rock, this land is in my bones. The water is in my blood. It is sacred. I will not be quiet as the sacred is profaned. I will not stand idle as people who are my kin in spirit and through various aspects of my multi-cultural lineage are abused.
And, as one of the men at Standing Rock noted, the last time the native people's came together like this, they stood against their oppressors. They won that battle handily. The battle may not be fought with rifles and arrows. But, they will win this one as well. I assure you. The very land favors them. And their kinsmen come from all points.