Thursday, March 30, 2006

You are on Indian Land

Many mainstream Americans, all along the political spectrum, have been surprised in recent weeks to see large numbers, extremely large numbers, of migrants demonstrating in cities around the US.

While the media did not mention it, in all those millions, and yes, the sum of all the demonstrators went into the millions, there was not one, zero, "incidents," or acts of violence. I'm not sure that can be said of any demonstration of comparable size in the US or anywhere else. Ever.

What were they demonstrating about? Ostensibly, a hate law proposed to the US legislature by a popular politican, who sadly will be even more popular with the American political class because of his proposal. It was about the indigenous people of the Americas exercising their inalienable right to move from one part of their continent to another.

But it went deeper than that.

In an offline incident that was recounted to me, a man from India asked a man from Honduras, why are you at work today? I thought all the Mexicans were on strike. Why are they doing that, anyway?

The Honduran, not bothering to correct the common but annoying assumption about his national origin answered, Everyone who can is on strike today. They are doing it to get human rights for you and your family.

And indeed, it is something of a disappointment not to see migrants from other regions in the marches, however, taking the forest view, that is a trifle. There were not a lot of migrants from anywhere marching with Dr. King, back in the day when so many Afro-Americans marched, to get human rights for the father of the man from India, the grandfather of the man from Honduras.

The demonstrations we see now however, these millions of sons and daughters of the indigenous people of the Americas, go even deeper than that. Many pundits have labeled the events as a wakeup call. What they mean by that will differ according to their point of view.

But regardless of what their interpretation may be, they are right. It is a wakeup call.

It is a complimentary, peaceful wakeup call from those sons and daughters of the indigenous people of the Americas to the sons and daughters of the European invaders that they are on Indian Land.

You are on Indian Land, I am on Indian Land.

One of the unintended consequences of the concerted efforts at genocide, culturecide, and linguacide perpetuated by the invaders is that today, all those Indians whose ancestors survived, including all the millions who, like their Afro-American brothers, do not know their tribe, do not know their real names, are now one tribe, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, and everything between.

And it is all Indian Land.

When the first march occurred in Chicago, the first march of March, something both long-awaited and unexpected leapt in some hearts - a whisper of hope, a breath of spring.

Hope that that soft breeze might be a harbinger, that perhaps what had lain in wait, head buried for half a millennia under the earth of Indian Land, might emerge a jonquil.

Subsequent marches have watered that hope.

I ask people of goodwill, if indeed from that hard dry earth of Indian Land, there is emerging a jonquil, let us work together to water it, that it may flourish and grow, and bring at long last justice, human rights, prosperity and peace, in the Great Reclaiming, in this coming of the Eighth Generation, let the jonquil bud, and bloom, and the spirit of the eagle fly free, over this Indian Land.

crossposted to my unforgivably pompous and arrogant blog, and probably some other places as well, eventually.

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