Events At Lincoln Memorial Highlight How Far We Have To Go

| Organize!

Above photo: A screengrab from the viral video showing a teenager standing in front of veteran Nathan Phillips in Washington, D.C. on January 18, 2019.

In the wake of the events at the Lincoln Memorial after the Indigenous Peoples March, much has been said and written. After all the spin, we believe the clearly visible facts of the incident involving Nathan Phillips highlight the importance of having a real discussion about normalized and systemic racism and the need to build bridges of understanding that allow us to move forward as a society — peace with justice.

We believe in our brother, and we share Nate’s goals of bringing attention to the issues that divide us, of taking strong action to stop the cycle of repression and disrespect toward Indigenous people and immigrants, and of forwarding a progressive vision for a better future.

Let’s use what happened to keep the focus on the reasons we marched in the first place: stopping the epidemics of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; the removal of Native American children from their families and tribes in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and the despoiling of sacred, tribal lands by fossil fuel companies hellbent on warming our climate to a dangerous level.

Let’s show, en masse and unencumbered, that we won’t accept the spin from right-wing media outlets. Their game plan attempts to switch the focus to irrelevant details and conveniently ignore the genocide of Native Americans and past enslavement of African Americans — meaningful context to what happened in D.C. An Omaha-Ponca elder stepping in to halt a hostile exchange and diffuse racial tension is an act of bravery that needs to be replicated, not covered over.

The events at the Lincoln Memorial highlight how far we still have to go. You can help us harness the power of that moment to create real change. Your voice is needed, now more than ever.

Wopila Tanka—Your solidarity emboldens our struggle!

Please sign onto our open letter today, and share it far and wide. Your support can help us continue to engage key influencers — political figures, clergy, and allied organizations among them — and ensure that Nathan’s stand was not in vain. You can help Indigenous peoples take back our collective power by standing with Nathan Phillips, in dignity, for peace with justice.


    We have always been here. America has great plains and vibrant cities.
    It is populated by white people. We are dynamic, and will start a business at the drop of a hat. That is why other nationalities try to come over and take what we have. We are good to others as long as they keep their place. Our official language is English. We have the best electronic media in the world, and we have the freedom to express ourselves without fear. We are rugged individualists who hunt, trap and fish as did our ancestors. We have the best pastoral activities, dairying and poultry raising. We have developed agriculture so that we can feed the world. Our food preparation, meat packing industry, refrigeration, canning and cereal industry are the best in the world. People are fat because we produce food in abundance. We have the best pharmaceuticals in the world. Our clothes are the most fashionable, and the cheapest.We have unlimited use of land, water, lumbering, oil and gas, and mining. We have the best cities, with the most opportunities for those who are ambitious enough to seize them. Our public utilities are privatized, as they should be, for the government is evil. The secret of our success is owning property. We play the market and everybody can become rich. Our banks control the world economy, because others are too corrupt to do business properly. If we could only control the unions, we would do even better.
    The key to our success is individual enterprise, corporate organization, and competition. We engage in hobbies and sports, keeping us busy in a good way. We don’t have much truck with art, but we like a good song. We love movies on TV and an occasional treat in Las Vegas. We accumulate wealth because we are smart, and others are dumb and/or lazy. We don’t put up with those who don’t know their place, and we have the right to take justice into our own hands. It’s the American way. We believe marriage is sacred, and the police are there to protect us. Only bad people are in jail, those who question our way of life. We are born citizens, and any foreigner trying to take over citizenship will be sorry. The government tries to tax us to bring in foreigners, using that money to break us and help them. The only true religion is Protestant following of Jesus Christ. Our boys join the army to potect us from the brown-skinned hordes. We will declare war on anyone who tries to take away what we have. Science is used to give us better food and hair products, and make our lives better. Homosexuality and abortions are evil, and must be stopped. Men should be aggressive and women passive, otherwise it’s all backwards. Old people should be put in a home, where they are happier with their own kind.

  • mwildfire

    You left out the parts about war, and environmental depredation.