Racism Is A Far Too Common Experience For Native People
Above Photo: A march in support of the Lakota 57, a group of 57 Native students who were victimized during a hockey game in Rapid City, South Dakota, in January 2015. Photo: The Lakota 57
Racism has abandoned its murky corners as 2018 comes to an end.
Due to its unusual growth spurt, this narrow-minded activity is now openly assailing “people of color,” physically and emotionally. An obvious activity is to tell people to return to where they originated from. Their profanity is intense and clearly meant to instill fear and hurt emotions.
This unfounded hatred was once done secretly, now it is out in the open. The national government has become an obvious nesting site for this violent bigotry. Also, it is obvious to see that it has infiltrated all levels of local government, including courts, police, jail, and social services. These bigots are of European Caucasoid origin, educated, illiterate, elderly, young, rich and poor.
In a basic sense, this is what led to the Great Civil War and was thought to have been quashed forever. It is obvious now that it was merely festering in the minds and hearts of the descendants of those who lost that war. A tiny ray of hope for regaining some dignity in this country is that not all white-skinned people are bigots. However, the groundless hatred is consuming morality.
Consequently, our ancestors bore some appalling mayhems in their time. Modern scholars have now uncovered the hidden historic fact that since 1492, that 80% to 90% of the original inhabitants of North, Central, and South America perished. The most recent estimate puts that population at 90 to 100 million. Their ancient languages and cultures were also obliterated.
Most natives succumbed to European diseases like smallpox, measles, influenza, whooping cough and others. They had no immunity to these foreign diseases. Our surviving ancestors secured their future by transmitting their ancient cultural birthright to us. Despite growing evidence, the modern Euro-American denies their massive and deliberate killing of natives.Here on the Great Plains, my late grandparents and parents endured this onslaught in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a contemporary native person in 2018, I have endured and survived the atrocities brought on by this long-standing bigotry. Now I expect my children and grandchildren to continue tolerating their own atrocities within the uncertain shadow of this vindictively fanatic bigotry.At any rate, the majority of native people today have encountered it. I’ve even heard that racism will exist as long as “people of color” exist. Regardless of whether it will endure, we must learn everything there is to learn about this uncultured attitude and behavior. Most of these diehards actually believe they are superior to all other races because God chose them to populate this land.I offer samplings of this bigotry from my side of the spectrum. My life has been one big racial experience. This does not mean I encountered it every day and minute of my life. It makes its appearance only when I leave the comfort and security of my home on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
I come upon racial intolerance in Rapid City and other municipalities surrounding my homeland. If there is a lesson in all of this, I have learned to not react in anger. Police will react to that.Also, I have been falsely accused of something to which authorities take as truth. At any rate, these bigots on both sides of the law believe the system is there to protect their pale skin, period.I and my family were “regulars” at Denny’s, a nice family-type restaurant in Rapid City. Then, one day, we were served water in glasses that were filthy. I pointed this out to our waitress, a young blond, pale-skinned, employee. She examined one of the glasses and commented that all the glasses were like that. She didn’t apologize or even offer to replace the water glasses.I told my family not to drink the water as they had ordered other drinks to go with their meal. We quietly finished our meal, left the restaurant and have not been back there since. I’ve heard other natives discussing similar experiences at the same place and they too have opted to stop patronizing this particular eatery.