Friday, December 21, 2007

Turning from Treacherous Treaties


After enduring 150 years of broken promises, lies, deception, and neglect - to the point where they felt that the government simply wanted them to vaporize and vanish once and for all - the descendants of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, and have set up a country of their own.

The Lakota Country, according to longtime indian rights activist Russel Means encompasses parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. According to Means, they will issue their own passports and driver's licenses. They have invited people covered by the territory they mapped out to join them with offers of tax freedom for as long as they renounce US citizenship.

Russel Means is a lifelong indigenous rights and constitutional rights activist, actor, author and artist with a very colorful history. Considered one of the most magnetic speakers of our time, he has spoken in all major universities in the US and UK, done lecture tours in Switzerland, South Korea and Japan, and his most famous speech "For America to Live, Europe Must Die" has been included in America's top 100 speeches.

Means declared that the withdrawal is legal, citing Article 6 of the Constitution which states that Treaties are the supreme law of the land. He said that their move was bolstered further by the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the United States and the rest of the international community in 1980. "The treaties with the US are worthless words on worthless paper. We are within our legal rights to be free and independent", Means said.

How this move will play out in the future is uncertain. It would be a wise move to have the issue discussed in debates during the election campaign, specially among the Democrats. The annexation of Indian lands "have made the once proud tribes mere facsimiles of white people", Means said. Life expectancy for men is the shortest in the world at 44 years old, teen suicides are 150% above the US norm, and infant mortality is 5 times higher than the US average. These numbers are attributable to loss of hope, lost opportunities, depression, and a long history of abuse and oppression from the US government.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and those "Honorable" men in the US Congress came out with a Declaration of genocide against Turkey last November for the massacre of Armenians prior to WW 1; what do they think this issue with the Lakota indians are, a mere oversight? After 150 years? The tribes have been deprived to the point of starvation for long periods. As I mentioned in a previous post, perhaps the US Authorities were experimenting to see if starvation would make the Indian tribes turn white.

The blacks, latinos, and asians have had a better deal than America's own indigenous people. This is perhaps because these 3 ethnic groups adapted to the American way of living such as junk food, drugs, pollution,environmental degradation, wasteful consumption, consumer orientation, sex, violence, guns, etc. The Indian tribes were one with nature, they respected the environment and kept it in balance. An entire culture with enormous knowledge and sound practices that could lead us to a better way of harnessing nature's resources has been wiped out because of the age old greed of the white man for the fast buck and the huge profit. Massacre and genocide was a mere method to "clear the wilderness". Americans need not look elsewhere in the world for what its foreign policy makers do to the smaller countries of the planet. Right in their own backyard, they can see its oldest laboratory for oppression and genocide!

I am with Russel Means. I would like to see his country, may not be much, but its theirs. I will find a way to support their cause. However, what I foresee is an army of FBI men swooping down on their territory demanding that they surrender or die. Should this transpire and Russel and his tribe are vanquished, this will not be the end of it. There will always be those who will toil for it, fight for it, suffer for it. If need be, die for it. That is the power of truth.

To Russel Means and the future of Lakota Country, I return the phrase: Mitaku Oyasin (We are all related).

1 comment:

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